Growing up in South Jersey, I looked forward to spending a week in Ocean City every summer. This shore town beamed with boardwalk fun, from mini-golf to amusement rides, funnel cakes to soft-serve ice cream. And while I brought my husband, Logan alongside for a mini-trek when we were dating, it was officially time to introduce our young boys to the Jersey Shore.
While we typically stayed in a home in Ocean City each summer, my parents now live close enough to make a day trek. And so, we set out to show our boys everything that Ocean City had to offer in a day span.
Arcades are a must on the boardwalk and our boys were immediately smitten by Jilly’s Arcade. They ran from automated ride back to skeeball machine until their hearts were content and their play card was empty. We also faced each other in a round of mini-golf in Golden Galleon, a course that I played many times as a child.
I had always wanted to visit the famous Flanders Hotel but had never had the opportunity and so we enjoyed a seafood lunch at Emily’s Ocean Room. Emily’s Crab Bisque is a must and the crab cakes cannot be missed. Our boys enjoyed taking a break from the boardwalk sun by lounging in The Flanders Hotel lobby, playing each other in chess and taking in the beautiful ambience there.
With full and happy bellies, we had to stop and have the bros try my favorite soft serve ice cream on the planet: Kohr Bros.This frozen custard was always the highlight of my summer and I was so glad that the boys didn’t disagree. (By the way, the mint and chocolate combination always wins!)
With sugar rushes complete, we had to keep going to Shriver’s for a taste of salt water taffies. Landon really liked the first taste of his but Griffin was not a fan! Manco & Manco’s pizza, though, won a thumbs up photo from the whole crowd and tasted the exact same as it did so many years ago. Things just taste better on the boardwalk.
We ended the day with several hours at Gillian’s Wonderland Pier, a literal kid-heaven experience involving amusement rides and a carnival atmosphere. Our kids had so much fun on the bumper cars, the caterpillar roller coaster and so many other rides that, I, too loved as a child. After almost three hours, we had to drag our kids out of Gillian’s.
I feel so blessed to have shown our boys Ocean City, NJ and the summer magic that comes with it. When I think back about the memories that I made in OCNJ growing up, I feel so grateful to have them. My prayer is that our boys’ quick experience there will also leave a long-lasting impression on them.
If you’re more into healthy food, we did love Bungalow Bowls which offered smoothie bowls and other whole food treats.
Be sure to point out hermit crabs to your kids for sale in many of the shops on the boardwalk; it doesn’t get much more Jersey shore than that!
Arrive early and rent a surrey; if you arrive early to Ocean City, you’ll be surrounded by runners, bikers and surrey riders.