When people think about planning a vacation to the Jersey Shore, they usually plan to visit during the summer months. After all, there’s plenty of sun, warm water and things to do.
But Ocean City, NJ, doesn’t hibernate once winter comes around. In fact, a family winter vacation at the beach can be ideal for people who are looking for fun-filled activities and fewer crowds. There’s plenty to do at the beach in winter. Check out these 19 options.
Even Santa knows it’s fun to visit the beach for a winter getaway. He makes his first appearance in Ocean City at the end of November, right around Thanksgiving. Then, he usually comes back every weekend until Christmas Day for photo ops. On Saturdays, he likes to hang around for breakfast, usually at a different downtown restaurant each week.
Ocean City keeps the holiday festivities going after Santa visits. There are also free horse and carriage rides through downtown on the weekends, a Christmas parade at the beginning of December and a train show.
A beach vacation in winter can be the ideal way to ring in the New Year. Every December 31, Ocean City, NJ, celebrates First Night with a variety of events throughout the town. There are live musical performances in the evening, culminating in a fireworks display at midnight. Throughout the late afternoon and into the evening, you’ll find fun and activities like puppet shows, ice skating and amusement rides, as well as games and other performances.
Although the town stays up late on New Year’s Eve, it doesn’t take New Year’s Day off. Instead, it throws a big party known as First Day at the Beach. The fun kicks off with a polar plunge into the ocean at 2 p.m. There’s also a 5K run along the Boardwalk and a shopping extravaganza in the afternoon, with many stores in the downtown area offering great deals and sales.
If your idea of the perfect date is taking long walks on the beach, then you’ll love spending the weekends around Valentine’s Day in Ocean City. Many restaurants downtown are open for Valentine’s dinner for couples or families.
The Ocean City Historical Museum also holds its annual Children’s Tea around Valentine’s Day. The children’s tea teaches kids about the ritual of having high tea and includes plenty of fun arts & crafts projects and face painting.
Strolling the boards isn’t just an activity for the summer months. A winter vacation to the shore also provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy what the Ocean City Boardwalk has to offer. While some stores and activities do shut down during the winter, more of them stay open than you might think.
Did you know that Ocean City has multiple miniature golf courses? Several of them stay open rain, snow or shine, all winter long. Winter can be the perfect time to practice your putt-putt, as fewer crowds mean there’s less of a chance that a line will form behind you while you get ready to take a swing.
Like miniature golf, many shops along the Boardwalk stay open all winter long. In fact, some stores use winter as a time to offer considerable savings and sales. If you’re a savvy shopper, a winter vacation to the beach can be an excellent time to snag some great deals.
You’ll find stores selling beachwear, T-shirts and accessories, toys, records and even holiday decorations. Be sure to also stop into all the shops that sell candy and sweets, such as saltwater taffy and caramel corn.