Ocean City is known as one of the most family-friendly destinations on the East Coast. Ocean City is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier summer destinations and is the perfect place to bring the family for a relaxing getaway. It is located on the Maryland coast near the border with Delaware and has 10 miles of beautifully maintained beach. Ocean City is considered a fun family getaway where one can enjoy a beach vacation with plenty of activities for the kids.

Most of the free things to do in Ocean City are family-oriented — though many activities can be enjoyed by people of all ages as well. If you’re looking for more adult-themed activities in Mid-Atlantic, consider visiting Atlantic City (nicknamed New Jersey’s Mini Las Vegas).


Why Ocean City is a family destination

Ocean City is anything but a party town because Ocean City is a dry town. It’s illegal to sell alcohol in Ocean City so all revelers and revelers find other destinations along the Atlantic coast to party (like Atlantic City). This makes Ocean City a laid-back, family-friendly destination on the East Coast.

  • Dry: Ocean City Is Dry – The sale of alcohol is prohibited

Aiming to be a family destination, Ocean City offers many family attractions during the summer months. Many of these attractions are free and a great way to make vacations affordable for the whole family.

Ocean City beaches:

  • Length: 10 miles
  • Admission: Free
  • Hours: 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Plus, Ocean City’s 10 miles of well-maintained beaches are free and open to the public between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Related: Visiting Ocean City This Summer? Stick to this part of the beach

Free family activities in Ocean City

Come to Ocean City in the summer and discover the beaches filled with fun and free family activities. Expect activities like concerts, movies on the beach, and even the chance of a dance party. Family activities are offered throughout the summer months. There are normally activities to do every night of the week throughout the summer.

The schedule of family activities offered in Ocean City changes every year – some of their activities may also be canceled due to inclement weather. Their calendar for 2022 has the following activities:

  • May 14 to October 2: Daily giant kite show and free sport kite lessons
  • May 28 to September 3: Free crafts for kids
  • June 1 to August 17: Beach movies and garden games (Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday evenings)
  • June 1 to August 31: Lifeboat Station Museum Daily Programs
  • June 2 to August 18: Various games like sandcastle competitions, tug of war, relays and more
  • June 12 to September 4: Sundaes In The Park & ​​Fireworks – Includes free music like country and rock
  • July 11 to August 29: OC Beach Dance Party Dance (Monday)

Related: Ocean City, Maryland: A Guide To Everything Worth Seeing, Doing & Dining

Examples of beach movies and garden games

Ocean City Beach Movies and Yard Games are offered on the beach every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening in the summer. Gather with the kids on the beach and watch a free movie and enjoy the other activities on offer. The films are projected on a giant screen set up on the beach and begin at dusk.

  • When: June 1 to August 17 (Calendar 2022)
  • Time: Movies and games are canceled in bad weather

There are backyard games aimed at families with kids, like corn hole, ladder ball, spike ball, connected big four, and more.

There are two locations where the activities take place – 27th Street Beach and Carousel Hotel, 118th Street Oceanfront. Note that this information is for the 2022 summer season and locations and programs may change from year to year.

Movies on the beach and garden games rooms:

  • Mondays and Fridays: At 27th Street Beach
  • Wednesdays : At the Carousel Hotel, 118th Street Oceanfront

Examples of family movies released in the summer 2022 season include Rock Dog 2, Despicable Me, Encanto, Jungle Cruise, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Shrek, Trolls World Tour, Coco, Frozen, PAW Patrol, and Finding Nemo.

For up-to-date information and to find out what is happening in Ocean City, visitors are encouraged to check the official website Ocean City website.

Another fun activity is seeing the wild ponies on the Assateague Island National Shoreline.