Ocean City’s small-town version of “Black Friday” takes place on Friday, Nov. 24. Christmas in the Downtown – “Our Miracle on Asbury Avenue” – will be celebrated from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The event will feature carolers and performers along downtown Asbury Avenue between Sixth Street and 14th Street.
Downtown stores will offer discount shopping for gifts, and many Asbury Avenue restaurants will be open. Free horse-and-carriage rides will be available noon to 3 p.m. with boarding at Sixth Street and Asbury Avenue.
Santa will visit with children 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Mark Soifer Park (Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue). Entertainment and Christmas carols will begin at 4 p.m. on the steps of City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue.
The event culminates around 5 p.m. when Santa Claus will emerge on the rooftop of City Hall. With the help of an Ocean City Fire Department ladder truck, Santa will descend and help light the Christmas Tree and illuminate City Hall.
The shopping discounts will continue on Nov. 25 as downtown merchants celebrate Small Business Saturday.
Music lovers can enjoy a special holiday performance of the Ocean City Pops Orchestra on Saturday, Nov. 25. Led by conductor Vince Lee, the Pops will perform classic holiday favorites and modern hits featuring soloist Sara Maimone of Ocean City.
The show starts at 6 p.m. at the Ocean City Music Pier. For tickets, visit OceanCityVacation.com/BoxOffice.
Annual Fast & Furriest 5K Turkey Trot (Nov. 23): Down the Boardwalk. Sponsored by the Humane Society of Ocean City. For more information, call 609-398-9500, ext. 4, or visit hsocnj.org.
Photos with Santa in Lifeguard Boat (Nov. 25-Dec. 23): Noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the Ocean City Music Pier.
Visits with Santa in the Downtown (Nov. 25-Dec. 23): 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Mark Soifer Park, Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue.
Christmas Parade (Dec. 1): 6 p.m. on Asbury Avenue from Sixth Street to 11th Street.
Train Show (Dec. 2-3): Free admission to model train show 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Ocean City Music Pier.
Holiday Festival (Dec. 3): The Ocean City Community Center (1735 Simpson Avenue) will host its annual Holiday Festival 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3. The event takes place in the Ocean City Free Public Library’s atrium with holiday crafts, a balloon sculptor, live music, refreshments and a visit from Santa (feel free to bring your letters and lists).
Mrs. Claus, a reading by a local children’s author, crafts and shopping will take place at the adjacent Ocean City Historical Museum. Hand-made pottery, jewelry, paintings and other unique gifts will be for sale in the adjacent Ocean City Arts Center.
Festive Fridays (Dec. 8, 15, 22): Shopping, carolers, and free horse-and-carriage rides from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. along downtown Asbury Avenue.
“Finding Nemo JR” (Dec. 8-10): Ocean City Theatre Company students in grades 3 to 8 will present this stage adaptation of Disney’s classic story. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9, and 2 p.m. Dec. 10. More information and online ticket sales are available at oceancitytheatrecompany.com.
First Night New Year’s Eve Celebration (Dec. 31): Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the entire family. The 31st anniversary of this Ocean City event will feature traditional favorites like rides, ice-skating and magicians, along with headline entertainment including the Stevie Nicks tribute band Gypsy and the Motown revue Motor City. For a complete schedule and to purchase all-inclusive admission buttons, please visit firstnightocnj.com.
First Day Celebration (Jan. 1, 2024): Activities include a 1 p.m. 5K run on the Boardwalk (pre-register at www.ocnj.us/race-events), a 2 p.m. First Dip polar plunge, and an all-day Shopping Extravaganza. Visit firstnightocnj.com for more information.