Christmas in Downtown Ocean City NJ
There’s something magical about spending Christmas in downtown Ocean City NJ. For this South Jersey beach town, winter is the only season where you’ll find empty beaches and crowd-free boardwalks and easily find free parking wherever you go.
Christmas is the theme all around downtown Ocean City throughout the month of December. Shop windows are festively decorated each year and you’ll hear Christmas carols playing at various small businesses and stores around the area. You’ll see streets downtown decked out in the holiday spirit. Amazing holiday treats will be sold at the boardwalk shops and served at the best Ocean City restaurants. Ornaments and lights will take over as the area strives to look more like Mia’s Christmas Gallery – where they celebrate Christmas year round.
What better way to kick off the holiday month than with a community-led parade? On December 1st, the Ocean City Christmas Parade will be heading once again down Asbury Avenue from 6th Street to 11st Street. There’s an online registration process for anyone who wants to participate in the parade and there’s a specific interest in bands, cheerleaders, and dance groups. Unlike the Halloween Parade, there aren’t any prizes awarded but the Christmas Parade is a wonderful tradition for families in Ocean City New Jersey.
The Ocean City Music Pier has plenty going on this holiday season, starting as early as November 18th & 19th for the Christmas Arts & Crafts Festival. This two-day event is a perfect shopping opportunity where you’ll find gingerbread houses and beach décor-style Christmas trees, plenty of gifts and Christmas-themed baskets. Stop by the Ocean City Music Pier on 8th Avenue and the boardwalk.
In previous years, Ocean City’s Christmastime experience included FREE horse and carriage rides on the weekends. The Ocean City Historical Museum on 17th and Simpson also conducted trolley tours where passengers could sing carols as ride around to take in the sights of Christmas in downtown Ocean City NJ.
There are plenty of family-friendly things to do in Ocean City this Christmas. The Greater Ocean City Theatre Company presents The Christmas Carol – a show that’s running from December 8th-16th. Many local churches are hosting special services and plays of their own.
Outreach is alive and well in Ocean City, New Jersey- especially around Christmas. A local family has been hosting a popular tradition of their own for the past 28 years with the Community Christmas Dinner at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. This is a service-focused way to spend Christmas morning and afternoon. This annual event continues to grow each year with the help of volunteers and the dedication of the Lukens and Martinez families.
If you’re ringing in the New Year in downtown Ocean City, check out the fun things to do the week after Christmas. The Ocean City Tabernacle is co-sponsoring a really cool event on New Years Eve called First Night Ocean City, which included a line up of performances including headliner Chubby Checker.
Don’t forget about the local beach town tradition affectionately called the Polar Bear Plunge! This involves a challenge where brave souls jump into the cold ocean waters dressed in swimsuits or wetsuits to officially kick off the New Year. Some local residents have even claimed that participating in the Polar Bear Plunge helps them to avoid getting sick for the rest of winter- contrary to what one would expect.
If you’re spending part of your Christmas in downtown Ocean City NJ, you’ve got plenty to look forward to! You can enjoy city sidewalks without the busy sidewalks and in the air there’s a strong feeling of Christmas. ☺