Ocean City Free Activities: Top Things to Do on a Budget

Ocean City has lots of fun and free attractions and things to do. The city is one of the most visited coastal towns in the area, featuring 10 miles of free beaches, more than 200 restaurants and tons of family-friendly events. For a sample of Ocean City free activities, here are some ideas when planning a trip.

Top 10 Ocean City Free Activities for Budget-friendly Travel

Ocean City free activities beach

Photo: Lee Cannon

Visit the Boardwalk

One of the city’s top attractions is Ocean City Boardwalk, officially known as Atlantic Avenue. Named as one of the best in the U.S. by Travel Channel, the area is packed with restaurants, shops, a mini mall and more. Families can spend the day on the beach and fly kites on the boardwalk. Or explore dozens of businesses – ranging from arcades and candy shops to clothing retailers and popcorn shops. A large Ferris wheel also sits on site, and the boardwalk measures a whopping 2.5 miles with direct access to the beach. Direct access means less than a minute walk!

Enjoy a Free Summer Movie or Concert

When the sun sets, head to the beach for a movie or concert. Weather permitting in July and August, find free movies on 27th Street on Mondays and Fridays, and Wednesday showings on 118th Street. Bring chairs and blankets, and listen to live music on Wednesdays at the Caroline Street Stage. Also in July and August, don’t miss the fireworks shows on Mondays and Tuesdays, starting at 10 p.m.

Attend a Free Festival

Love meeting new people and trying something new? Head to one of Ocean City’s many free festivals held throughout the year. These festivals vary and cater to many interests. Some examples include: car shows, arts and crafts, seasonal parades and festivals, most of which feature live entertainment, delicious food and activities for all ages.

ocean city free fun family

Photo: Lee Cannon

Browse Ocean Gallery World Center

Wild and crazy best describes this Ocean City staple. Four locations offer a collection of art including prints, photos, cars and even crab art. On the outside, the gallery exhibits all these and more, and it’s made of old parts from 68 buildings around the world. Founded more than 30 years ago, the KroArt family welcomes visitors to explore creative ideas. This center attracts visitors and locals, and guests may even see a celebrity or two.

Tour Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

History buffs love learning about Ocean City and the Coast Guard at this family favorite. Explore exhibits featuring life-saving stations and brave men and women, shipwrecks and rescues, genealogical records, and special displays. The kids’ corner teaches youngsters about the region through fun and games. The on-site aquarium will entertain them with feedings and talk about sharks, beach safety, and knot tying.

Watch Wildlife at Assateague Island

Wild horses and ponies roam Assateague Island National Seashore. It’s important to keep a safe distance, so these strong beauties can thrive, but bring the camera to take unforgettable pictures. Take a guided kayak tour of the area with one of the park rangers, or hike paved and unpaved trails, as well as 37 miles of beach. Campers are also welcome to set up, but firewood must be purchased locally.

Play Ball

Have fun playing volleyball at the Dorchester Volleyball Park or at other nets located along the beach. The popular Northside Park has lighted softball and baseball fields, a multipurpose field, a soccer field, playgrounds, a fishing lagoon, and sports center annex. Pack a picnic lunch, and relax at one of many picnic sites.

Fish for Free

Ocean City has two free public fishing areas: Northside Park and Chicago Avenue. These do not require fishing licenses, but guests must register with the state of Maryland. For those who don’t mind paying a small fee, Oceanic Fishing Pier is open 24/7, and daily passes (12 hours) are available for less than $10. This pier even has night fishing under the lights, snacks and drinks, and everything needed for a day of fishing fun.

Shop the Outlet Mall

Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Tanger Outlets is home to dozens of stores, from American Eagle Outfitters to Under Armor. The outdoor mall hosts several events throughout the year and offers free Wi-Fi. For a break, try dining at one of the restaurants. Shoppers can park in one spot and spend the day finding the perfect gift or souvenir.

Ocean City Free Fun With iTrip

In addition to these free activities, guests who book direct with iTrip Vacations receive access to the Ocean City Free Fun Program. The program grants one free admission to an escape room, Ripley’s museum and Jolly Roger’s Amusement Park. Each day admission renews, so everyone in the family can visit new attractions at a more affordable price. Browse Ocean City vacation rentals and access Ocean City Free Fun!