Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas in Ocean city, NJ!

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  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!

Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why come to Ocean City (or the Jersey Shore) in the Off-Season?

For those people who love coming to Ocean City (or the Jersey Shore) in the summer because they love the hot sun, the warm ocean and the vibrant boardwalk, coming in the off-season seems really foreign to them. Then there are those people who think coming to Ocean City in the summer is crazy – too crowded, too hot, and don’t even think about trying to find parking near the boardwalk! If you don’t fit into either of those groups, you are the person who loves Ocean City/Jersey Shore in all seasons! And that is the group I fit into! This is written for the people in the first group who wonder what the people in the second group do when they are here. And just maybe, after reading this, the first group will turn into the third group! As a member of the third group, let me tell you that there is a lot of room in the group that loves the shore not only in the summer but also year round!
In no particular order, here are some of the reasons why the shore is a great place to visit in the off-season.

  • ·         Let me start with the most obvious – no crowds! During the summer when the boardwalk is busy, it is a lively place. There are people all over – babies in strollers, young kids dragging their parents to the rides, teenagers laughing with their friends, adults checking their wallets for more ride tickets, and older adults steering their electric scooters around obstacles (like other people!). In the off-season you can stroll down the boardwalk, pausing to look in the store windows, or stare at the ocean, without being jostled.
  • ·         You can find a bench to sit on! During the summer there are never enough benches. But in the off-season it is easy to find a bench to sit on. Sit on the bench to rest up or sit on one of the benches facing the ocean. There is nothing more calming than sitting on a bench watching the ocean. Some days the ocean is calm, other days the ocean is angry with the waves slapping on the beach.
  • ·         While not all the stores are open, those that are open are happy to see you! They are all fully stocked and many times their stock is on sale! These are the people who work year round at the store – not just during the summer. If you have a question they can answer it for you. They are not as rushed so they can spend time with you, but they will also give you your space as you wander around the store. No high pressure!
  • ·         There’s no lines! Summer time people can’t imagine having no line at Manco and Manco! Need some Johnson’s popcorn? No problem. Their main store on the boardwalk is open and just waiting to refill your bucket! And you can eat your Kohr’s ice cream slowly and it still won’t melt all over you.
  • ·         No dive bombing sea gulls!!!! You can sit outside, eating your Curly fries, and don’t have to hide them from the birds. This also means that you can sit on any bench without checking it first to be sure the birds didn’t drop any presents on the bench J
  • ·         Are you a runner or bike rider? It’s a lot easier to run or ride on the boardwalk without having to dodge people. If you are a bike rider, you can ride on the boardwalk at any time. No time constraints. Of course this also means that if you are strolling on the boardwalk, check for bikes and runners before crossing!
  • ·         Parking is a breeze! All the parking is free – on the streets, in town and the parking lots! That means more money to spend in the stores and restaurants!

So why not give the shore in the off season a chance? What do you have to lose? We Ocean City lovers know that there is never a wrong time to visit Ocean City!

Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
 [email protected]