The temperatures are dropping but that doesn’t mean the events in Ocean City have entered a freeze. The festive holiday season is fast approaching and there is plenty for everyone in the family to enjoy!
Winterfest of Lights (Nov 18 – Jan 1)
Those familiar with the holiday season in Ocean City will need no explanation of the Winterfest of Lights. For those new to Ocean City, Northside Park on 125th Street becomes a wonderous land of festive lights covering 58 acres, with an animated 50-foot Christmas tree greeting visitors at the entrance. The changes implemented last year – a walk-thru trip instead of tram – continue this year, giving a full 360° view of everything Winterfest has to offer. The (heated!) Winterfest pavilion offers festive refreshments, a gift shop, and a holiday workshop with Santa Claus, who will be visiting every day up until December 23rd! Admission is $5 for visitors 12 years and older; free for visitors 11 and under. Bring your pets on Wednesdays for Furry Friends Day! For further information, please contact the Recreation and Parks Department at 410-250-0125 or visit the official website.
Holiday Shoppers Fair (Nov 26 – 28)
Need more of a festive flair in your house? Or are you looking for a unique gift for your loved ones? Visit the Holiday Shoppers Fair at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center! There will be over 150 vendors offering “handmade products, nautical, candles, photography, florals, jewelry, ceramics,” and more! The Fair also offers children’s face painting and other activities, a non-shopper’s lounge, door prizes, and a food court. Admission is $3 for the entire weekend for visitors (14 years and older.) Visit the official website for further details.
OC Christmas Parade + Carousel Events (Dec 4)
After missing last year due to safety reasons concerning the pandemic, the yearly Ocean City Christmas Parade returns with all its festive fervor! Starting at Old Landing Road just south of the Carousel Hotel and finishing at 120th Street, enjoy the fantastic display of “high school bands, horses, antique cars, colorful holiday floats” and so much more! Spectators line up on both sides of the highway (on the sidewalks, of course) but wouldn’t a private balcony be so much more comfortable? Book a bayside room at the Carousel Hotel and watch the parade from the comfort of your balcony chairs!
That’s not all the Carousel has to offer on the day of the parade! Once the parade has reached the judge’s bandstand, visit the Carousel Atrium, which has been transformed into a Christmas Wonderland. From 12 pm – 3pm, all ice skating will be half-priced for everyone, complimentary seasonal refreshments and discounted snacks will be available, and special guests will be coming all the way from the North Pole for free photos! Please call 410-524-1000 with any questions.
Winterfest of Lights Jingle Bell 5K Run (Dec 5)
Whether to compete against others or just to enjoy the energy of the moment, sign up for the Winterfest of Lights Jingle Bell 5K Run at Northside Park! The event starts at 5 pm and finishes at 6:30 pm, which allows runners to travel the path of lights and take it all its festiveness! Registration runs until Dec. 2nd for adult participants (Dec. 1st for ages 12 and under). Visit the official website for further details!
Pizza Party with Santa (Dec 8)
Make a plan to see Santa for pizza before enjoying the Winterfest of Lights! Register your children now (Pre-K to Grade 4) for pizza, arts and crafts, cookie-decorating, and a visit with Santa from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm in the Winterfest Pavilion! Registration is mandatory and more information can be found at the official website.
Ocean City Comic Con (Dec 11)
Come to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center and celebrate your love of anime, manga, games, comics, and so much more of pop culture! Sit in on panels, partake in themed events, watch media screenings, compete against other gamers in tournaments, meet professional and amateur artists, and bask in the creativity of the cosplayers walking through the Convention Center! Admission is $10 for adults, with $1 off for a canned food donation to Diakonia and another $1 if in appropriate costume!
Santacon (Dec. 11)
While the holidays focus on making magic happen for the children, they’re not the only ones who can celebrate. It’s just that adult celebrations are often much rowdier and involve copious amounts of alcohol. Adults are invited to dress up in festive, Santa Claus-adjacent gear, and join up with other Santas around the town during the Santacon event. To participate, bring a donation to the Cork Bar for Kenille’s Kupboard Pet Pantry & Rescue (monetary donations to this organization or Assateague Coastal Trust can also be made online). Be sure to read the guidelines about how to be a good Santa on their website!
New Year’s Eve (Dec 31)
See 2021 on its way while enjoying the festivities of New Year’s Eve! Northside Park hosts the fireworks show, in addition to live entertainment, refreshments, and of course the Winterfest of Lights! Book a bayside room at the Carousel Hotel to watch the fireworks from the comfort of your private balcony. If you miss out on the bayside balcony, don’t worry; the top floor of the Carousel parking garage offers an unobscured view of the fireworks!
Stay tuned in the next few weeks to the Carousel website for information regarding New Year’s Eve celebrations!
Penguin Swim (Jan 1)
Start the year with kindness by participating in the Penguin Swim! For the past 28 years, Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin has hosted the event (located on the beach in front of the Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort on 91st St.) in order to raise funds that will be used to better serve their community. Participants can come alone, with a group, or find a group in this philanthropic endeavor. Visit the official website for information on how to sign up to be a penguin, how to sponsor other penguins, or how to spread awareness for the event!
We look forward to celebrating the end of 2021 and the start of 2022 with you!