Birthday parties can be hectic and expensive. In our family, we don’t do all-out parties every year. For the first birthday, five, ten, thirteen, etc. we do big parties. For the other birthdays, we let our children choose what’s for dinner, have ice cream cake, and gifts, of course! With my kids attending Vacation Bible School in Ocean City this summer, I learned about the weekly Downtown Ocean City free activities on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am until 1pm. Since my son’s fourth birthday fell on a summer Thursday, I decided to take advantage of these activities and turn it into our own little free birthday party for him!
First, we gathered up our friends! Then, we headed over to get in line for pony rides in the parking lot of Ocean City Tabernacle on Wesley Avenue, near 5th Street. The ponies are so pretty and the kids really enjoyed it!
Since the lines for face painting can be long, we ate our lunch while we waited! The birthday gift from our friends was absolutely genius to distract from the wait…bubbles! Then the little guy turned around to find some of the many characters who roam around downtown! Spider-Man and Iron Man are two of my son’s favorite characters and their timing couldn’t have been more perfect!
Everybody loved their face painting and so did I, she’s a really skilled artist! We did miss the balloon animals because it was past 1pm but I recommend checking that out also! They’re usually around Asbury Avenue, I believe, and they make some of the coolest balloon things I’ve seen!
Right across from the face painting, which is also in the OC Tabernacle parking lot, there’s a really lovely and shaded tree that we all gathered under to sing “Happy Birthday” and share cupcakes that I’d brought.
During the summer, the Ocean City Fire Department on 6th and West Avenue leaves their doors open and if people walk in and they’re not busy, they’re happy to show children around the station. My little man was over-the-moon to be able to sit in the firetrucks and turn on the sirens.
They even showed us the ambulance and demonstrated the process of taking vitals in an emergency! Everyone was so friendly and the kids really enjoyed themselves. I’m so happy that we were able to give my son a special day! Yet another reason why Ocean City, New Jersey, is my favorite town ever.
So, if you gather a group of kids and go to Downtown Ocean City, you can get free:
- Pony rides
- Face Painting
- Balloon animals
- Character meet-and-greets
- Fire station tour
Bring along some cupcakes, maybe some favors, do some shopping, and even head to the beach afterward!