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What things to do would you recommend for a family with a 12-, 10- and 8-year old - for April 16-20th?
Submitted by Liz t, new york New York on March 19, 2014
Avatar for  Karl S
Centreville, VA
Insider since: 2010

My family and my brother's family will both be in OC at the same time as you. Our kids range in age from 8 to 19. I can assure you you will be able to find plenty of fun things to do for everyone. Here are a few ideas:

Walk the boardwalk. If the weather is nice many shops will be open including boardwalk favorites Thrasher's Fries, Dumser's ice cream, Fisher's popcorn (my favorite!), Candy Kitchen. They are almost always open on the weekends and sometimes on weekdays if the weather is nice. If the weather is nice, it is a great time of year to rent bikes and ride along the boardwalk.

Take a quick drive down to Assateague. Stop at the Visitor Center to see the hands on exhibits and then head over the bridge and drive through or stop and walk the beach or hike some of the trails.

Take a Horse and Carriage Ride along the boardwalk. They are Friday and Saturday 10am to 5pm and are $10 per person

Play mini golf at one of the many courses. I love the Old Pro courses. They are open everyday and have both indoor and outdoor courses.

Ride Go Carts - on nice days Baja Amusements in West OC often has a few tracks open at this time of year

Go to an Arcade - Marty's Playland is open everyday!

Take an Old Time Photo with the group - there are a few locations around town, listed on their website.

Play Laser Tag at Planet Maze.

If you like real golf, OC has lots of great courses for all ages and skill levels.

You might think it is a bit cold now, but last April several of The Insiders went on a kayak tour with SuperFun Eco Tours in it was fine. I've been back 2 more times with kids as young as 7 going on these trip with us. They run some great tours that kids and adults both love!

Go Ice Skating  at the Carousel.

Enjoy a great meal. Many restaurants and bars are open year round, but some only on weekends. If you go to the Visitor's Center at the Convention Center, they usually have a list of what restaurants are open when for the off season. Most restaurants in large hotels are open year round, and most are open by mid April.

Get some crabs from Crabs-to-Go to feel a bit more like summer. They have excellent crabs year round.

Go bowling at 72nd Street Ocean Lanes. Call ahead to check for lane availability (410.524.7550) and be aware, they take cash only.

Go see a movie.

Go to the Salisbury Zoo - It is about 30 miles away. It is a nice community zoo, and it is FREE!

If you like to shop, checkout the Tanger Outlets in West OC - they have been revamped in the past year or so since Tanger took them over. Visiting the interesting shops in the downtown of the nearby town of Berlin can be fun too.

If you have not already booked your room, I suggest selecting a place with an indoor pool - That always provides some fun and is especially great to have if the weather is not nice.

Have a great time in OC in April!

Answered: March 19, 2014
I will be coming to Ocean City in August the 18th to the 21st. What is the best way to see the wild ponies? I know there are different tours available, do you recommend a specific one
Submitted by priscilla p, point pleasant New Jersey on March 19, 2014
Avatar for  Bill A
Linthicum MD and OC MD
Insider since: 2008

Hi Priscilla,

Our family tried the Assateague Adventure and we all have alot of fun!  But, if you just drive over to Assateague Island and pay the park entry fee, you may still have a good chance to see ponies either as you drive or if you hike around the island.  We now take our own boat over to the island and they are in abundance.  The horse below was not lured in by anyone.  It just came up to us looking for food.  DO NOT FEED THE HORSES.  They will bite.

 

Answered: March 19, 2014
Looking for small intimate wedding. We just want our six kids and two grandkids in attendance...not a first marriage for either of and did the big thing last time. Any suggestions for where to host and other tips?
Submitted by deana m, philadelphia Pennsylvania on March 17, 2014
Avatar for  Karl S
Centreville, VA
Insider since: 2010

Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

If you are looking for venues for the ceremony, I have three suggestions:

1. The beach - You get married it anywhere on OC's beach, or if you want something more secluded, consider Assateague. The beach at the inlet can be a really nice spot. There is no charge to use the beach in OC, but you need to coordinate a time and location with the Mayor's Office. You can call them at 410.289.8931 to do this. There is no fee. There is some more information here. There are limitations on the times you can do this, especially during the summer. The best times for small crowds and for picture taking are as the sun is rising or setting which gives the best light. Generally, you will have better light on the beach in the morning than in the afternoon since the sun rises over the ocean.

2. One of OC's great parks. Sunset Park is a nice venue with great views of the bay, inlet, ocean, and Assateague right on the bay just south of the Route 50 bridge. Northside Park at 125th Street also is very picturesque with a great pier and gazebo extending out into the bay Contact the Recreation & Parks Department at 410.250.0125  to find out what you need to do to use one of these parks.

3. The Isle of Wight Wildlife Management Area between the two Route 90 bridges is also a very nice spot with a large pier overlooking the bay. Contact the Department of Natural Resources at 410.713.3850 to find out more.

If you are looking for restaurnts, many places in OC can help you. Some places I'd suggest contacting as they can give you some more private space for you event are:

Clarion Hotel at 101st Street (800.638.2100) - They can provide food and a private room for an event, or you can get married on the beach and then move inside.

Victoria Room at the Dunes Manor (800.523.2888) - They can also provide food and a private room for an event, or you can get married on the beach and then move inside.

Harrison's Harbor Watch at the south end of the boardwalk (410.289.5121) -Great food with some more private areas for your party. Excellent views of the inlet and ocean.

Phillip's Crab House at 21st Street (410.289.6821) - A nice atmpshpere with classic seafood and some private rooms.

FYI, to get married in OC, you first need to apply for a Worcester County marriage license. Call the Clerk of Court Office at 410.632.5500 to find out exactly what’s required, what documents are needed, when you can apply, and how long it takes.

Have a great wedding day in OC!

Answered: March 18, 2014
When is the Bloody Mary contest this year and which bar is holding it?
Submitted by Alan L, Denton Maryland on March 17, 2014
Avatar for  Darlene L
Johnstown Pa
Insider since: 2009

The Best Bloody Mary contest will be held April 27th at Fager's Island.  It starts at noon and costs $10.00 per person.

Answered: March 17, 2014
My family will be visiting OC, Maryland the last week of October-first week of November. What shops/restaurants will be closed (or open) during that time frame?
Submitted by Cathy B, APO AE New York on March 17, 2014
Avatar for  Darlene L
Johnstown Pa
Insider since: 2009

Hi Cathy,

You won't have any problems finding places to eat then.  Smaller food places and food stands will have closed, but the larger, more popular restaurants remain open at least till New Years.  Harrison's, the Shark, Embers and Bonfire, etc. will all be open.

As for the shops, you'll still find some shops open on the boardwalk especially on the weekend.  Thrashers Fries and Fishers will be open limited hours. The Gold Coast Mall and the Tanger Outlets will also be open.  You'll find plenty to do and find lots to eat.  No worries.

Answered: March 17, 2014
My family and I are coming for the weekend at the end of March. Can you tell me if the shops on the boardwalk are open?
Submitted by Kelly M, PITTSBURGH Pennsylvania on March 13, 2014
Avatar for  Bill A
Linthicum MD and OC MD
Insider since: 2008

I am guessing you will be down on the 28th-30th.  If the weather is nice, expect alot to be open including many shops, Thrashers, Candy Kitchen, Trimper's Indoor Rides, OC Life Saving Museum, the arcades, and multible restaurants.  Phillips up on 21st will also be opening that weekend.  You will also find Old Pro miniature golf open as well. 

Answered: March 13, 2014
Hi, I am coming to OC for the first time for a girls trip. We are coming last week of May. I realize you can never predict the weather but is it generally a good time for beach weather, what is the weather usually like? Also what are some have to do things while we are there? Any suggestions?
Submitted by melinda o, canton Ohio on March 13, 2014
Avatar for  Darlene L
Johnstown Pa
Insider since: 2009

Hi Melinda.  May is a great time to visit OC.  The weather is usually plenty warm for sunbathing, but the ocean will still be cold. I've seen people in the water then but it's too cold for me.  You'll be the best judge as to what you can tolerate.

While in town, check out all of the activity on the boardwalk, visit the Life Saving Station Museum, check out Seacrets for night life, you can play mini golf, regular golf, shop at the Ocean City Outlets, take a day and spend it in nearby Berlin. There are lots of quaint shops and bistros there, plus it's the home of Ocean Downs Casino and Race Track.  Play laser tag at Planet Maze, rent bicycles, head to Jolly Roger Amusement Park, go parasailing or kayaking, go fishing, crabbing, or even take a ride on the OC Rocket or Sea Rocket! 

Plus on May 24 and 25, there is a huge arts and crafts show at the Convention Center on 40th St.

Send for a free Visitor Guide for Ocean City at www.ococean.com/vacation-guide

Answered: March 13, 2014
When does the boardwalk tram start running?
Submitted by Karrie H, Westminster Maryland on March 12, 2014
Avatar for  Bill A
Linthicum MD and OC MD
Insider since: 2008

Hi, the boardwalk tram will open for Springfest weekend from May 1st - 4th and close until May 23rd which at that time will be running daily for the rest of the summer until September 1st.  The fare id $3 one way and runs from the inlet (south 1st St) to 27th St on the boardwalk.

Answered: March 12, 2014
Regarding arranged bus trips to OC - When will they start? Leaving from where? What are the names of bus lines and how can I get on their notification lists?
Submitted by Barbra R, Baltimore Maryland on March 11, 2014
Avatar for  Karl S
Centreville, VA
Insider since: 2010

Barbra,

I suspect you are looking for a charter bus type trip to OC from Baltimore. If that is the case, checkout these compmanies:

Kline Tours (717.597.5997) offers three day trips to OC this summer. These tours leave from Greencastle, PA; Hagerstown, MD; and Frederick, MD.

Eyre Bus, Tour & Travel (800.321.3973). They run a few trips to OC every year, mostly in the spring and fall. I belive they operate out of Montgomery County, MD.

Lincoln Coach Lines (800.233.1300) also offers bus tours that go to OC, but they leave from Hanover, PA, so that is probably not good for you.

You can also contact Rohrbaugh Tours (410.239.8000). They also do lots of bus tours in the area, but I did not see any to OC schedule.

In the past, I believe Hunt Valley Motor Coach (800.888.1228) has also offered tours to OC, although they currently do not have any listed o their website.

If you are actually looking for bus service to get from Baltimore to OC. Greyhound or BayRunner Shuttles are your best option.

You can take a Greyhound Bus from New Carrollton, MD Metro Station to Ocean City, MD (call 800.231.2222) or go to https://www.greyhound.com/farefinder/step1.aspx to reserve tickets). You can take the MARC Train to New Carrollton from Baltimore. There is one bus a day which leaves New Carrollton at about noon and arrives in OC at about 3:30PM. You don't need to change buses, and the 3.5 hour time is not bad for a bus trip to OC. Cost is between $30 and $60 dollars depending when you buy your ticket and other options you select.

If you need to go at anther time, try the Bayrunner Shuttle. To do this you will need to get to BWI Airport. Bayrunner Shuttle has regular service to OC with several shuttles per day. Cost is about $100. You can get specifics at http://www.bayrunnershuttle.com/east/default.asp

Have a great trip to OC!

Answered: March 11, 2014
We are coming down for the St. Patty's Day parade. Any idea what time we should head downtown to get a parking spot? We've been stuck in traffic the past few years and had quite a walk to get to the festivities. Thanks!
Submitted by Pam S, State College Pennsylvania on March 11, 2014
Avatar for  Bill A
Linthicum MD and OC MD
Insider since: 2008

Hi Pam,

I have been stuck in that same traffic jam.  That could explain why many people arrive three hours early and put out their chairs.  You could try to park at the convention center, seacrets or alonfg the side streets.  The best spots to see the parade is 45th- 50th St along Coastal highway.  The parade starts at noon and goes from 60th St to 44th St.  Arrive 2-3 hours early, park your chairs, and grab a bite to eat(a late breakfast or early lunch)  

Answered: March 11, 2014