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Family-Friendly Ocean City, New Jersey

by Mary Melnick

May 25, 2020

Julie Feinstein | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.


The eight-mile-long beach is perfect for families looking to relax, sunbathe, swim and go for a stroll. For families looking to rent beach chairs and umbrellas, find a spot along the boardwalk — these beaches tend to be more crowded than others, but chair rentals and access to the boardwalk are a plus. If your family is looking for a more secluded beach, head to the higher numbered streets where it’s less crowded and families tend to spread out. For the surfers in your group, look for specified beaches.


Ocean City, New Jersey. Photo: Jon Bilous | Dreamstime.com


The 2.5-mile boardwalk is the place to be. Families flock here for food, fun and nightly entertainment. With two amusement locations, a waterpark, miniature golf courses and more, you’ll never get bored.


During July and August, Thursday night on the boardwalk is family night, offering plenty of free activities, including face painting, magic shows, karaoke and more. For families looking to enjoy rides, Castaway Cove is filled with thrilling fun for older kids. Looking for rides catered to the little ones? Head toward Gillian’s Wonderland — the amusement locations are open day and night — or take a break from the beach during the day at OC Water Park.


While on the boardwalk, make sure you grab a slice and a birch beer at Manco and Manco. After you eat, play a round of mini golf with the family — Congo Falls is a personal favorite. Before ending the night, stop at Polish Water Ice for a delicious treat.


Head away from the boardwalk for donuts at Dot’s Pastry Shop before shopping along Asbury Avenue. When you’ve worked up an appetite (again) from shopping, head to Kessel’s Korner for a bite to eat.


Before heading home, make sure to stop by Shriver’s Salt Water Taffy & Fudge and Johnson’s Popcorn to bring some classic OCNJ treats back with you.


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