When you think of Ocean City, NJ you think of the beach, sitting in the hot sun and then walking the boardwalk. Thinking about Christmas, you think of snow and cold. But, Ocean City is a great place to visit in December! Ocean City has been listed as the top 5th place to visit in New Jersey for "the most magnificent myriad of holiday celebrations." Ocean City received this great honor from http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-jersey/top-christmas-towns-nj/ It did not come as a surprise to me, but if you are surprised, let me tell you some of the holiday activities.
Your Christmas experience starts on your way across the bridge. The lights under the bridge have been changed to green and red. As you look up, you see first the Wonderland Ferris wheel all lite up and then you also see the Playland Ferris wheel all decked out also! As you descend into Ocean City, the street decorations appear – wreaths, strings of green boughs and ribbons. Hopefully you are arriving in town at night because when you arrive in town, City Hall is all decked out as you can see above! Asbury Avenue is decorated like the entrance to town.
Events start in November, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with "Earlier than the Bird" shopping. The stores on Asbury Avenue open early and encourage people to come out in their pajamas to go shopping. Ever go shopping in your pajamas? No? Well, not me either :) But there are a lot of people who do and there are contests for the best outfit. The Thanksgiving weekend is the real start to the holiday festivities. Friday afternoon Santa arrives! Any Santa could arrive on a sleigh. Ocean City's Santa appears on the roof of City Hall and the OC Fire Department brings their truck and extends a ladder for Santa to come down. This year my granddaughter who will be 3 in February came to see Santa. She loved waving to Santa when he was on the roof and while he was descending the ladder. But she had no interest in getting any closer than that! Every weekend from Thanksgiving on there are free horse and carriage rides on Asbury Ave. Also on the weekends there are visits and pictures with Santa on the boardwalk in a lifeboat! And of course, you have to have a parade to welcome Santa! If your child hasn't had enough of a chance to see Santa, every weekend one of the restaurants has Breakfast with Santa on both Saturday and Sunday. You wonder how Santa has time to get all those toys made and packed up!
There are a lot of activities for the adults also. The Tabernacle has numerous special events. Michael Hartman and his marvelous ensemble always have a wonderful program for 2 weekends in December. The OC Pops gives a great program at the Hughes Performing venue and smaller Pops groups also give concerts at the library. There is caroling in town during the various tree lighting's.
So the next time you are looking for something special to do during the holiday season, think Ocean City, NJ!
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