Weekend Getaways to OCNJ

Weekend Getaways to OCNJ

Sometimes everyone needs a mini vacation. For your next family weekend getaway, visit Ocean City, New Jersey. With a population of fewer than 12,000 people, Ocean City is unique among other beach resorts since it’s less crowded and a dry town — putting an added emphasis on an environment that revolves around family. No matter what season it is, the beach is always fun and beautiful. There are still numerous things to keep you busy during your stay — from dining out and attending planned events to strolling along the 2.5-mile-long Boardwalk

Consider the following things to do the next time your family visits Ocean City, New Jersey, and see why people keep coming back every year.

Explore Restaurants

Nothing says vacation like letting someone else do the cooking. On your weekend beach vacation in Ocean City, New Jersey, take advantage of the various restaurants for a tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner. After that, follow up with dessert at one of the many sweet spots the town has to offer. Plus, with so many options, you’re sure to find something everyone in your family can agree on. Even during the offseason, you can still make the most of your weekend by indulging in delicious food with your loved ones. On your next weekend getaway, eat in Ocean City to see one of the many reasons people visit the beach. 

1. Wake up With Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t miss out the next time you’re on vacation to OCNJ. Luckily, the beach has plenty of breakfast options, serving a wide variety of classic favorites like omelets, pancakes and French toast in restaurants along the Boardwalk and all over town. Getting up and out of the door in the morning for breakfast has your family fueled up and ready to take on the day. A coffee from a nearby cafe helps, too. 

Plus, eating breakfast will jumpstart your metabolism and can help you continuously burn calories for the rest of the day. If you happen to plan your weekend getaway in December around the holiday season or a weekend in April during the springtime, you could enjoy breakfast with Santa or the Easter Bunny at various restaurants on different weekends throughout the months. Even if you and your family end up making the most of your vacation and sleeping in, many places offer brunch and breakfast foods well into the lunch hour. 

2. Grab a Quick Bite for Lunch

Everyone knows time flies when you’re having fun, so sometimes you may need to grab a quick bite in the middle of your busy day for lunch. For something simple, yet savory, grab a slice of pizza from one of Ocean City, New Jersey’s, more than 25 pizza places. Many families know pizza is also a staple meal, sure to satisfy even the choosiest eaters in the family. There are also tons of other restaurants around the beach to grab a quick lunch, such as a sandwich and fries, so you can continue having fun with your family. 

3. Enjoy a Sit-Down Dinner With Family

Enjoy-a-Sit-Down-Dinner-With-Family

After a day of play, enjoy a nice meal as a family for dinner. From Ocean City seafood to classic New Jersey Italian food and everything in between, you’ll never run out of new things to try. Plus, there are many benefits to eating dinner as a family. It’s easy to get caught up in everything going on in life, so dinner acts as the time to unwind and have a conversation. For some families, dinner is the only quality time they get to spend together, and it provides structure for their day. Additionally, research suggests teens who eat dinner with their family every day are more likely to do better academically in school than kids who eat two or fewer meals a week with family. Eating together as a family also links to healthier eating habits, less risk-taking behavior, lower levels of stress and improved family relations.

4. Indulge in a Sweet Treat for Dessert

Whether you want to follow a meal with some dessert or just need to satisfy a sweet tooth, OCNJ has you covered. With more than 30 different combined options of ice cream shops, bakeries and candy stores, you can enjoy anything from homemade donuts and sticky buns to soft serve and gelato, celebrate you and your family’s mini-vacay with a sweet treat. Don’t forget about beach classics like kettle corn or saltwater taffy and fudge, either. It’s all here waiting for you and your family at Ocean City. 

Get Active

Vacation is a great time to relax and enjoy with your family, but starting the day with some exercise can help everyone wake up and be ready to tackle the rest of the day. For example, you could get up early and beat the crowds, biking along the Boardwalk with family as the sun rises. Or maybe you want to take a stroll along the Boardwalk at the end of the day as the sun sets, or even visit Ocean City, New Jersey, on the weekend for a 5K run. Not only are these fun ways to spend time together as a family, but they are excellent health and fitness opportunities to keep everyone happy and healthy. 

1. Ride a Bike

Beat the heat in the morning and take your family for a bike ride along the Boardwalk on one of your beach weekend getaways. While you could transport your bikes to the beach, it’s just as convenient to stop by one of Ocean City, New Jersey’s, multiple bike rental shops. Whether everyone wants to bike separately, or you’re planning on piling into a surrey, have some quality family fun while staying active on vacation. There are many health benefits from biking, such as alleviating knee pain and osteoarthritis, losing weight and getting rid of body fat and improving heart health, keeping blood pressure under control. Exercise like biking can also lower the risk of cancer, increase life expectancy and can be an excellent way to alleviate stress. 

In Ocean City, New Jersey, families can ride bikes along the Boardwalk typically from the middle of May through Labor Day, from early morning until noon. You can’t ride bikes on sidewalks — you must walk them, and you must also follow the rules of the road when riding. If you plan to ride bikes in the evening after it gets dark, you must have lights on your bike as well. Rental costs vary from place to place, but you’re sure to find plenty of bike rental options along the Boardwalk. 

2. Take a Walk on the Boardwalk 

Take-a-Walk-on-the-Boardwalk

Didn’t make it to a bike rental shop? No problem. Take your family out to walk along Ocean City, New Jersey’s, 2.5-mile-long Boardwalk for some fun exploration while getting in your steps for the day. Walking is an excellent means of exercise, proven to help aid with memory loss in older adults, avoiding high blood pressure and risk of heart attack, decreasing the risk of lung cancer, keeping fat off and helping strengthen your bones. Plus, walking outside helps maintain a healthy intake of vitamin D, which helps maintain strong bones, keeps muscles functioning properly and builds immunity to fight viruses and bacteria. 

Ocean City’s Boardwalk features markers every quarter-mile for walkers, bikers and joggers to track your progress if you wish. In addition to being a great exercise site, the Boardwalk — named the best Boardwalk in all of New Jersey — also has a variety of restaurants and shops along both sides, you can check out things to do while you’re walking. Although some shops and restaurants close during the offseason, the Boardwalk is open all year, so you and your family can take a stroll during any weekend. 

3. Run in an Annual Event

Throughout the year, Ocean City, New Jersey, hosts multiple 5Ks and other runs for you and the whole family. Whether running is a family tradition or you want to try a race for the first time, consider visiting for one of the subsequent runs if they happen to fall on a weekend. For more upcoming races and activities, keep an eye on the calendar for things to do in OCNJ this weekend.

  • Labor Day race: Each year, Ocean City, New Jersey, hosts a five-mile run along the beach and a one-mile run/walk. The five-mile race typically starts at 9 a.m. Labor Day morning, and the one-mile run/walk begins immediately after. 
  • Annual Half-Marathon and 5K Run: When it comes close to the end of September, you know it’s time for Ocean City, New Jersey’s, annual Half-Marathon and 5K Run. In addition to the 13.1 miles of the half-marathon and the 5K, they added a 10-mile non-competitive walk with the same start and course as the half-marathon for those who might want to take things a little slower. The 2020 race is on Sept. 27, and as always, you can save when you register your family of four or more. 
  • The Fast and the Furriest 5K Turkey Trot: Since 2007, the Fast and the Furriest 5K Turkey Trot has been an Ocean City, New Jersey, Thanksgiving tradition for many families. For kids 14 and younger, there is also a one-mile fun run that starts after the 5K ends. For the 5K, single entries cost $30, but a family of four can enter for $100. The kids’ fun run cost costs $15 an entry. All proceeds benefit the Ocean City Humane Society.
  • First Day 5K Run/Walk: Ring in the New Year with your family by running or walking in OCNJ’s annual First Day 5K, presented by the Runaway Athletic Club. Registration costs $25 per person before increasing to $30 Dec. 26 to the day of the race. The race starts at 1 p.m. on the Boardwalk near Moorlyn Terrace. After the race, enjoy refreshments and stick around for the awards ceremony at the Music Pier.

Watch a Parade

Ocean City, New Jersey, also has a reputation for its parades, celebrating multiple occasions year-round. With some parade traditions dating back more than 100 years, having fun as a community has long been a central theme of OCNJ. Plus, parades are an excellent opportunity to spend time with family. From paying homage to all things humorous to a classic commemoration of Christmas cheer, you’re sure to find a parade that piques your family’s interest throughout the year. Consider planning your next weekend vacation around one of the following OCNJ parades. 

1. Doo Dah Parade

Come April each year, Ocean City, New Jersey, says hello to spring and goodbye to tax season with the annual Doo Dah Parade. The Doo Dah Parade, around for more than 30 years, is OCNJ’s tribute to humor and marks the start of many special events of the season that continues through the year. The parade features floats, marching bands, a grand marshal and a brigade of more than 500 basset hounds. The grand marshal for the event changes each year — 2019’s grand marshal for the Doo Dah Parade was “I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden. At the end of the parade, everyone can cover their friends with shaving cream pies as part of the traditional “Pie-asco” finale. Plan your weekend getaway with your family for the 35th annual Doo Dah Parade in April 2020 for some spring fun. 

2. Night in Venice

Night-in-Venice

Ocean City, New Jersey, has celebrated Night in Venice, a boat parade and decorated bayfront home contest, for more than 60 years. Each year, thousands of residents and visitors alike look forward to the summer highlight and gather around the bayfront and attend parties at homes along the parade’s route. The parade also features various stars — 2019’s Night in Venice featured Chubby Checker, “The Office” star Kate Flannery, Caissie Levy from the Broadway production of “Frozen” and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Freddie Mitchell. 

The boat parade starts near the Ocean City-Longport Bridge and continues along the bayside to Tennessee Avenue, going in and out of lagoons on the way. Free grandstands are available for optimal viewing but are first-come, first-served, whereas the Bayside Center has a ticketed event at a low cost. At the end of the parade, fireworks go off over the bayfront. Night in Venice’s 66th anniversary in 2020 will be on Saturday, July 18, at 6 p.m. 

3. Baby Parade

Shortly after Night in Venice, OCNJ celebrates its annual Baby Parade. For $5 a child, parents enter their children, 10 years old or younger, into the parade to commemorate new generations. The parade features children in themed strollers, floats and wagons going down the Boardwalk. The Baby Parade starts at Sixth Street and goes to the Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace, while other entries continue to 14th Street. Next year’s event will celebrate 111 years of the Baby Parade.

4. Halloween Parade

Each year, Ocean City, New Jersey, celebrates Halloween with The Exchange Club’s Annual Halloween Parade in late October. Children, adults, entertainers and businesses alike dress up in costumes for the occasion. The parade goes down Asbury Avenue, starting at Sixth Street and ending at 11th Street. The Halloween Parade is an excellent opportunity to spend time with your family as well as get children excited for trick-or-treating. There are various parade acts, like drill teams, dance teams, unique floats and antique cars. Judges will award prizes based on originality, appearance and artistry. Next year’s 2020 Halloween Parade will mark 73 years of the tradition.

5. Christmas Parade

Christmas-Parade

Even in the offseason, Ocean City, New Jersey, knows how to get in the holiday spirit with a little bit of help from the annual Christmas Parade. The parade travels along downtown Asbury Avenue, starting at Sixth Street and concluding at 11th Street. Families can expect to see a variety of acts in the parade, such as dance groups and cheer squads, musical groups, classic cars and antique vehicles, business floats and more. Parade organizers encourage each act to decorate, illuminate and add some holiday music to celebrate the season. As the grand finale, Santa Claus rides down in a horse and carriage to conclude the parade, waving to all the children. The 2019 parade will be Friday, Dec. 6, at 6 p.m.

Visit Ocean City, New Jersey, for Your Next Family Weekend Getaway

Whether you’re looking to take your family on a weekend getaway during summer vacation or during winter break, Ocean City, New Jersey, is the right destination for you. Make the most of the eight-mile stretch of beaches in warmer weather, but don’t worry about running out of things to do once the weather cools down. Grab a bite at some of the Boardwalk’s best restaurants, walk or bike down the Boardwalk, attend scheduled events and partake in longstanding town traditions with your family all year-round. Ocean City has a convenient location in the northeast/mid-Atlantic area, so families in Pennsylvania and New Jersey can easily make the weekend trek. Stay up to date with Ocean City events this weekend, places to stay, shop, eat and additional island info, and start planning your trip. For any further questions, contact us today.

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