Downy Ocean, Hon
Art League of Ocean City, 502 94th St., (410) 524-9433, artleagueofoceancity.com. Family friendly, non-profit art center hosts events, workshops, and exhibits year-round. And it's always free, yippee!
Jolly Roger Amusement Park, 30th Street and Coastal Highway, (410) 289-4902, jollyrogerpark.com. Sometimes one needs fun in the sun without salt in the eyes or sand in the pants, and this joint features water slides instead of jellyfish.
K-Coast Surf Sessions, 35th Street, Ocean City, (4403) 880-0905, kcoast.com. There are a lot of surfing activities in OC this summer so get off the sand, beach bum, and into the ocean! Lessons start at $100 and drop 40 percent for additional lessons.
Planet Maze and Laser Storm, 3305 Coastal Highway, (410) 525-4386, planetmaze.com. "Funplex" is a weird hybrid, but this complex of self-contained fun is the only place to practice your putt on the mini-golf course outside and exercise your brain indoors in a maze and the laser tag arena.
Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum, South end of Boardwalk at Inlet, (410) 289-4991, ocmuseum.org. Cruise though OC's history and its beach culture, which focuses on the real (swimwear fashion, an aquarium, shipwrecks) and the unreal (pirate treasure and mermaids).
Ripley's Believe It or Not, Wicomico Street and Boardwalk, (410) 289-5600, oceancityripleys.com. The same weird, creepy, out-of-this world attractions the show featured in the '70s (plus new attractions). It's exciting, and tacky, but this is your vacation. We won't tell.
Trimper's Rides of Ocean City, Boardwalk and South First Street, (410) 289-8617, beach-net.com/trimpers. The past few years have been of financial uncertainty, but Trimper's promises to open this season, allowing us to relive the carnival-based memories from our youth.
Stuff to Do
Spring Arts and Crafts Show, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 23-34, Convention Center, 40th and Bay streets, (410) 213-0735, ococean.com, free. Ocean City's only weekend craft show sets up shop over the Memorial Day holiday and features a bevy of all the craft-based goodness you'd expect with, hopefully, a touch of the shell/sand/beach motif.
Geico Offshore Grand Prix, 9 am.-6 p.m. May 29-31, Sunset Marina, 12911 Sunset Ave., (732) 920-3945, ocsunsetmarina.com, free for spectators. More than 50 boats compete in this high-speed race where the vessels reach speeds at nearly 200 mph.
POA Offshore Powerboat Race, May 30-31, between 10th and 36th streets off Ocean City Boardwalk, oparacing.org. Last year 56 boats attended this great spectator event, which includes boats on display and testing in the ocean.
Council of Baltimore Ravens Roosts Annual Parade, 10 a.m. May 30, 19th through 28th streets, (443) 618-5130, councilrr.com, free. Fifty roosts leave the nests to join feathers in solidarity for Charm City's chargers.
Ride Across Maryland, May 30-June 1, Ocean City, (410) 992-9999. rideacrossmaryland.org. bikers ride their hogs from Columbia to the OC to benefit breast cancer. This ride is two-wheel centric but is open to cars and trucks, too.
Ocean City Restaurant Week, May 31-June 7, Ocean City, (800) 626-2326, oceancityrestaurantweek.com, $20-$30. Fancy two- and three-course meals drop dramatically in price all week long, making the financial divide between your staycation and vacation a little bit smaller.
OC Surfrider Longboard Challenge, June 5-7, 37th Street on the beach, surfrider.org/oceancitymd. Teams compete for the coveted OC Surfrider Perpetual Tiki Trophy, which makes OC seem less Senior Week paradise and more . . . paradise. Surf's up, dude!
OC Car and Truck Show, June 6-7, Convention Center, 40th and Bay streets, (302) 436-0183, occarshow.com. Everything related to cars and trucks, plus "youth culture"--which we guess means anyone who souped up a car after they saw The Fast and the Furious. Vroom, vroom.
Sandcastle Contest, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 13, Carousel Resort Hotel and Condominiums, 118th Street, (410) 703-1970, oceancity.com, free for spectators. Show your stuff--or the success to your winning sand-to-water ratio--in the cutthroat annual competition that includes prizes and year-long notoriety as the number one sandcastle artist. Or, go for the fun, 3-D visuals.
Captain Schoeph Relay and Paddle Board Extravaganza, June 14-15, 7th Street on the beach, ococean.com/ocbp. Watch the scantily clad, athletic, tanned lifeguards impress us further--they're already watching for our safety in the water--by swimming the length of the island as a relay team. The next night they repeat the event with paddle-boards.
OC Air Show, noon-3 p.m. June 12-14, beaches and boardwalk, ocairshow.com,free. U.S. Airforce Thunderbirds and U.S. Army Golden Knights maneuver aerial stunts over beachy skies.
MD State Firemen's Association Conference and Parade, 1 p.m. June 19, Convention Center, 40th and Bay streets, ococean.com, free. Maryland Fire Rescue Service's annual convention presents training programs, exhibits, a meet and greet, and a parade.
OC Beachfest, June 19-21, Convention Center, Ocean City, (410) 798-6304, oceancitybeachfest.com. Extreme OC living--action sports, running for the serious, and surfing--are the spotlight on the family festival that encourages you to get outta sand loungin' and into some real activity.
International Surfing Day Paddleout, noon June 20, 37th Street on the beach, surfrider.org/oceancitymd. Hang 10 and show your appreciation for the briny surf with internationally renowned surfers. Activists will paddle out to raise awareness for the environment, which is sure to be more effective than Paul Rudd's romantic advice in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Art's Alive, June 20-21, Northside Park Complex, 27th Street Bayside, ococean.com, free. Over 150 artists compete in OC's ninth annual Art League-sponsored fine art show where artists can win up to $2,000 in prizes.
Ice Skating Shows, 6:30 p.m. June 21-Aug. 23, Carousel Resort Hotel, 118th Street, (800) 641-0011, carouselhotel.com, free. Professional skaters Next Ice Age present a show about fire and ice. Hey, is this an allusion for insufferable sunburn? No matter, an ice-skating show sounds cool on a hot summer evening.
Family Beach Olympics, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays June 30-Sept. 5, 27th Street on the beach, ococean.com. Family fun night in the sand with competitive relays, rounds of tug of war, and sandcastle building. You may even win some form of recognition, unless you're competing with the Brady Bunch.
OC Tuna Tournament, 4-7 p.m. July 10-12, OC Fishing Center, 12940 Inlet Isle Lane, (800) 322-3065, oceancitytunatournament.com. $571,470 in prizes were paid last year for heaviest fish, among other winners, in this competition that entertains with not just the scales, but live music, cold bevies, and good eats.
Sundaes on the Beach, 6-8 p.m. Sundays July 12-Aug. 23, Northside Park, 127th Street and the Bay, (410) 250-0125, oceocean.com. Bring your family, a picnic basket, and beach chairs to Northside Park for ice cream (for a small fee) and live family entertainment while watching the sun slowly go down over the beautiful bay.
Concerts on the Beach, 8-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays July 15-Sept. 2, North Division Street on the Beach, (410) 250-0125, ococean.com, free. Treat yourself to a collection of beach music, watch the sun set, sit on the sand, view the sparkling blue ocean, and dance with your honey. Cross your fingers for Beach Boy covers.
Greek Festival, noon-9 p.m. July 24-26, 8805 Coastal Highway, (410) 524-0990. Greek cuisine and culture are the focus in OC this weekend. Have some baklava for us.
Jesus at the Beach Music and Ministry Festival, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Convention Center and 7-10 p.m. on the beach, July 27-29, Convention Center and North Division Street on the beach, (410) 289-1296, jesusatthebeach.org. Music, praise, and worship plus a baptism in the holy surf. Bless.
White Marlin, 4-9 p.m. Aug. 3-7, Harbour Island, 14th Street, (410) 289-9229. whitemarlinopen.com, free for spectators. Join over 400 boats in the world's largest billfish tournament for the chance at $3.5 million. Maybe you'll get the one that got away, too.
Antiques-by-the-Sea, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 7-9, Convention Center, 4001 Coastal Highway, (410) 289-8311, stpaulsbythesea.org. Bring back a classier souvenir than, well, anything encrusted in seashells, although we love the tacky, too.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201