Downy Ocean, Hon
Art League of Ocean City, 502 94th St., (410) 524-9433, www.artleagueofoceancity.com Non-profit art center hosts all kinds of family friendly events with local artists, totally free.
Jolly Roger Amusement Park, 30th Street and Coastal Highway, (410) 289-4902, www.jollyrogerpark.com When you want to cool off without withstanding the brutal torture that is being covered in sand, come here for the Splash Mountain Water Park, and then stick around when you've dried off for games, rides, mini golf, and speed carts in the company of pirates. Yar!
Planet Maze and Laser Storm, 33rd Street and Coastal Highway, (410) 524-4386, www.planetmaze.com Now that you've fried your retinas and epidermis, it might be a good idea to clock in some time indoors. Black lights, an arcade, and minigolf can't hurt, right'
Ripley's Believe It or Not, Wicomico Street and Boardwalk, (410) 289-5600, www.oceancityripleys.com We're a sucker for weird things, and we're as equally a sucker for anything mildly nostalgic. Plus, the shark on the side of the building--the one that looks like it leapt out of the ocean and right through the Boardwalk's storefronts--is a pretty big magnet too. Cheap entertainment won't rot the brain anymore than the surf and sand already has.
Trimper's Rides of Ocean City, Boardwalk and S. First Street, (410) 289-8617, www.beach-net.com/trimpers Trimpers has been as mired in closing-real-estate controversy as Brooklyn's Coney Island and this may be your last summer to ride the Ferris wheel, play the carnival games, and weather the roller coaster.'
Powerboat Races, 12:30 and 2 p.m. May 31-June 1, Sunset Marina and Ocean City Beach, Wicomico Street Pier to 36th Street, www.oparacing.com, free for spectators. Street racing 'Pass'. But racing through OC's bright choppy waters? That's the dangerous-yet-safe-excitement we've been lookin' for.
Sandcastle Contest, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. June 14, Carousel Resort Hotel and Condominiums, 118th Street, (410) 703-1970, www.oceancity.com, free for spectators. Declare yourself reigning king or queen of the sand by building a winning palace that trumps all others. Proceeds benefit Play it Safe and the winner will be honored at Medieval Times through a choreographed combat exhibition by your new minions. Take this tip we learned from Martha: Bring as many varieties and sizes of scoops, funnels, and buckets you can lug to ensure victory.
OC Air Show, June 10-11, beaches and boardwalk, free from the beach and boardwalk, www.ocairshow.com Civilian aerobatics, an Army jet aerobatic team, and the U.S. Army Golden Knights (the synchronized swimmers of parachuters) join interactive demonstrations and an open house at OC's airport for two days where flying turns to an art form.
Art's Alive, June 21-22, Northside Park, 127th Street, (800) 626-2326, free. Sometimes we want something a little classier than what the iconic Ocean Gallery on 2nd Street is selling. Over 100 artists offer the alternative to Kosmo Kramer painted on velour.
Chincoteague Pony Swim, slack tide between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. July 30, Assateague Island, (757) 336-6161, www.assateagueisland.com, free. Watch Misty and 150 other ponies swim the Assateague Channel in this historic, wildly popular Maryland-centric annual event. If you want to take one home and braid ribbons in its mane, approximately 80 ponies will be auctioned the next day at the Fireman's Carnival.
White Marlin Open, Aug. 4-8, Harbor Island Marina, 14th Street, (410) 289-9229, www.whitemarlin.com You always thought one of those sharks or big fish at the end of the pier would look better in your living room. We agree, sorta, as long as you promise to host your cocktail parties'in another room, and this might be your chance to cement yourself as a champion sportsman. If you succeed in your endeavors, an award ceremony follows at the end of the week.
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Baltimore, MD 21201