Ocean City with Kids: A Perfect Family Day

by Kim Goodin, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Oct 21st 2010 04:34 PM

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Ocean City with Kids: A Family Vacation

Alamy

Time-tested and parent-approved, a vacation to Ocean City with kids is one you and your family will remember fondly for years.


Morning


Start the day right with breakfast at Bayside Skillet. While the youngsters scarf down a plate of kid-friendly crêpes filled with peanut butter and jelly, fresh fruit or even ham and cheese, mom and dad can fill up on crab and cheese, Southwestern chicken omelets, or bacon-topped, pan-fried potatoes, served with coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice.

Bayside Skillet
77th Street on the Bay
Ocean City, MD 21842
410-524-7950
http://www.baysideskillet.com
Daily 7:30AM-10PM

Next stop for family vacations in Ocean City is the beach: spend a couple of hours having fun in the sand together. You're a bit spoiled for choice because there are roughly 10 miles of beach to choose from, but you'll probably want to stay relatively near your hotel so you can freshen up before hitting the boardwalk for the afternoon. Ocean City with kids really is a snap – the beach is safe, there are lifeguards stationed here and there, and when the sun gets too intense for the little ones' skin, there are plenty of other fun things to occupy their attention.


Afternoon


This is an afternoon guaranteed to make your kids think Ocean City offers the best family vacation ever. Grab some lunch at Piezano's. Choose from pizza, subs, pasta and salads, but don't overdo it because there are yummy snacks to be had later in the afternoon.

Piezano's
300 S. Atlantic Avenue
Ocean City, MD 21842
410-289-7433
http://piezano.com
Summer daily 10AM-2AM; winter hours vary

One of the most famous Ocean City landmarks is up next: Trimper's Rides. You'll find a couple of rides here that teens and adults will love, but for the most part Trimper's appeals to the 10-and-under set. Inside are rides for little kids: cars, airplanes and fire engines that go around in circles; a fantastic merry go round; bumper cars and a mini Ferris wheel. Outside are the larger rides, including a roller coaster, a Himalaya ride, teacups, an inverter, a tilt-a-whirl and a fun house. Depending on your kids, you could spend a couple hours here or a whole day.

Trimper's Rides
S. First Street & The Boardwalk
Ocean City, MD 21842
410-289-8617
http://www.trimpersrides.com
Exact dates and hours vary
Ride tickets: 40 for $18

With so much more to do and see, rein them in and hit the boardwalk for a stroll. This is a lively place, and most children will be enthralled with the excitement of it all. Stop for a snack at Thrasher's Fries or Fisher's Popcorn, two foods universally associated with Ocean City. With kids, you're probably better off heading for Fisher's because there's the added attraction of watching as the caramel corn is made.

Thrasher's Fries
801 N. Boardwalk
Ocean City, MD 21842
410-289-4150
Seasonal hours

Fisher's Popcorn
200 S. Boardwalk
Ocean City, MD 21842
888-395-0335 or 410-289-5638
http://www.fisherspopcorn.com
Seasonal hours

Late afternoon is the best time to meet the pirates. The pirate ship Duckaneer departs from the Talbot Street Pier, whisking families off on a whirlwind adventure on the high seas. Search for sunken treasure, battle rival pirates with water cannons, get a tattoo and an eye patch, and share the booty at the journey's end. It's the most fun you can have in Ocean City with one eye covered!

Duckaneer
Talbot Street Pier
311 Talbot Street on the Bay
Ocean City, MD
http://www.theduckaneer.com
June-October, exact dates and times vary
Ages 4 & up $19, children 3 & under $9


Evening


After your pirate adventure, everyone is probably ready for another hotel pit stop. Dinner is at the kid-friendly Fish Tales, at Bahia Marina. With a pirate ship to play on and sand to dig in, plus grilled cheese and smiley fries, this is a place after every kid's heart. Parents will appreciate the set-up, too, but are just as likely to be pleasantly surprised with the menu selection and full bar.

Fish Tales
Bahia Marina
2207 Herring Way
Ocean City, MD 21842
410-289-0990
http://www.ocfishtales.com
Daily 11AM-2PM

It's been a long, fun day, but it's not over yet. There are still plenty of things to do in Ocean City with kids!

During July and August, the city schedules family activities on the beach six nights a week: movies, concerts, sporting competitions and storytelling Monday through Saturday. The best thing about these events, aside from the lasting memories you're creating with your kids, is that they are all free. Check the Ocean City government website and/or the official Ocean City tourism website for the schedule.

If that's not grabbing your attention, how about an evening of miniature golf? No ordinary miniature golf, though – this is Ocean City, after all. Old Pro Golf has seven elaborately themed courses (dinosaurs, castles, pirates and so on) in four different locations. There's a course for every kid.

Old Pro Golf
Multiple locations
410-524-2645
http://www.oldprogolf.com
Seasonal hours
Day: adults $7, children 4-6 $6. Night: adults $8, children 4-6 $7
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