Holiday Happenings in Ocean City, Maryland

As the temperatures drop and the holiday season approaches, Ocean City, Maryland, transforms into a charming winter wonderland by the sea. Although our coastal community is known for summer beach activities, OC also offers a delightful array of festivities and attractions that make it the perfect destination for a winter getaway.  Let's explore the holiday happenings that will warm your heart and brighten your spirits in Ocean City, Maryland, this winter.

Winterfest of Lights

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Winterfest Pond

One of the most beloved holiday traditions in Ocean City is the Winterfest of Lights. Held at Northside Park, this event transforms the park into a breathtaking display of holiday lights and decorations. Stroll through the twinkling forest of light displays on our walking paths and stop to grab a warm cup of hot cocoa or cider. Back by popular demand, take a festive tram ride if you'd prefer to observe the lights bundles under a blanket. The Winterfest Express tram ride will have multiple “trolly” stops to assist in making your way around the 58 acre Northside Park. Winterfest of Lights is an enchanting experience for visitors of all ages and a perfect way to kick off the holiday season. Download the Ocean City App to see the map of this year's light display. Starts November 16 thru December 31.  

Holiday Train Gardens

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Train Garden

If you're looking for a fun and festive activity to add to your holiday tradition this season, head on over to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center Welcome Center and enjoy the Holiday Model Railroad Display!  It's sure to put you in the Christmas spirit! Admission is free, but donations are accepted to benefit Ocean City Beach Patrol, so bring your whole family! Wednesday - Sunday starting November 16 thru December 31.

The OC Library also offers a Winter Train Garden. Welcoming visitors of all ages, this display is sure to delight visitors of all ages with interacting buttons and sounds.  A scavenger hunt for our young patrons will also be available.  The Winter Train Garden is open during the library’s normal business hours from November 15, 2023 - January 5, 2024.

These displays are a beloved holiday tradition for many and provide a delightful way to get into the festive spirit during the holiday season. 

Shoppers Fair

Holiday shopping at the beach can be a unique and enjoyable experience, combining the pleasure of seaside relaxation with the excitement of finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones. 

Consider picking up beach-themed home decor items like seashell wind chimes, beachy wall art, or coastal-themed candles to bring a bit of the beach to your loved ones' homes at the Holiday Shoppers Fair. Unique merchandise such as gourmet items, nautical, candles, photography, florals, jewelry, and ceramics. Over 120 vendors offering great gifts, accessories, & household items. Children's activities & face painting while adults shop. November 24-26.

Start your holiday shopping here with one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts you won’t find anywhere else. Shop for jewelry, ceramics, fiber art, and more from local artists. At the First Friday Opening Reception and Holiday Fair presented by the Art League of Ocean City. Meet the artists, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and see the new exhibits by a variety of local and regional artists. Friday December 2 & Saturday December 3.

Dashing Around Town

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Parade Float

Ocean City hosts various special events throughout the winter season.

To kick off the season, the 40th Annual Christmas Parade down Coastal Highway will feature a variety of colorful and creatively designed floats, each sponsored by local businesses, organizations, or community groups. Local school bands and community musical groups playing holiday tunes. Mark your calendars for December 2nd, bring your chairs, blankets and plan for a day in OC! Arrive early to park and get your viewing spot. The parade begins promptly at 11:00 am with an extended route from Old Landing Road north to 120th Street.

In addition, you won't want to miss the 2023 Christmas Carnival Fundraiser at Trimper's Rides. Filled with unique vendors, activities and of course, the nostalgic, indoor rides! There will be Black Friday Sales on 2024 passes, Live Holiday Music, Elf Land Snowball Brawl, Holiday treats plus so much more. November 25th – 26th, and December 2nd – 3rd12-5pm

Finally, the Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra will host a festive selection of music celebrating the spirit of the season at the Performing Arts Center. This is a wonderful way to get into the spirit of the season and enjoy the magic of live music during the holidays. It's a tradition that many people look forward to every year. Experience the heartwarming and engaging experience December 3 at 3:00pm. 

Ring in the New Year

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New Years Fireworks


Wrap up the holiday season by starting your New Years Weekend in OCMD.  Make it even more special with a show by seeing the winner of the 2023 Tribute Artist of the Year: Lisa McClowry. For her portrayal of CHER, The Beat Goes On portrays the Goddess of Pop in her one-woman Broadway style live stage show. From a live band to multiple costume changes, you can expect to hear the top Cher hits spanning from the 60's to today. December 29 at 7:00pm at the Performing Arts Center. 

Ring in the New Year in Ocean City, Maryland, with fireworks and fun for all ages at two locations. Taking place downtown, visitors can watch fireworks at midnight to ring in 2023. Refreshments will be available for purchase from local vendors and food trucks.  Northside Park Winterfest of Lights will stay open until 11:30 p.m. for the last walk-through of the season. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and toast to the new year over fireworks at midnight. Come out for a fun New Year's Eve experience you and your family will enjoy. December 31, 2023