Top Hostess Gifts for Thanksgiving and Where to Find Them in Ocean City

Whether headed to the home of a family member for Thanksgiving or dining at a friend’s house, you want to be sure that you bring a hostess gift to show your appreciation for their hospitality. Fortunately, the shops of Ocean City are filled with plenty of hostess gifts that are perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving festivities. Here are some of the Ocean City stores to visit for a wide array of hostess gifts and some of the options you’ll find there.

Salty Seahorse

Salty Seahorse Kitras Solar Garden Lights

The Salty Seahorse, located at 714 Asbury Avenue, is filled with tons of excellent gift options. From lovely candles to Kitras solar garden lights, you’re sure to put a smile on the face of your hostess or host when they open their gift from the Salty Seahorse.

Artisan Body Products

Scented soaps and body products make ideal hostess gifts. Artisan Body Products at 920 Asbury Avenue can help you fill your gift bag with these items. From seasonal scents to year-round items, Artisan Body Products offers something for everyone.

Stainton’s

Staintons Seafindings Vendor (450x800)

At Stainton’s, located at 810 Asbury Avenue, you can easily shop for items to bring to your host for the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. With over 70 different vendors to choose from who offer home decor items, jewelry, clothing, bath and body products, and more, you’re bound to find the perfect gift.

Mia’s Christmas Gallery

Mia’s Christmas Gallery, located at 755 Asbury Avenue, is your go-to spot for holiday items galore. But, did you know it’s also a great place to pick up a hostess/host gift for your upcoming dinner? Decorative hand towels, table decor, and other gift items can be found at Mia’s.

Ocean City Coffee Company

Coffee beans Pixabay

Bring your host or hostess the gift of caffeine when you knock on their door this Thanksgiving. Ocean City Coffee Company sells bags of their fresh coffee beans as well as coffee-centric gift items at their shop at 917 Asbury Avenue.

Dead End Bakehouse

Dessert is always an acceptable (and delicious!) gift to bring along to Thanksgiving dinner when you’re a guest at someone’s house. Order one or a few apple crumb pies from the Dead End Bakehouse, located at 1050 Bay Avenue, and make this holiday dinner an extra sweet one.

Rauhauser’s

Rauhauser’s at 721 Asbury Avenue offers tempting sweet candy treats that make a delicious Thanksgiving gift to bring to dinner. Whether you’re seeking out Thanksgiving-themed chocolates or candies that are ideal year-round, Rauhauser’s has you covered.

Feature photo and solar garden light photo: Salty Seahorse

Fun and Fellowship Will Fill the Afternoon at Island Fall Fest (Oct. 26)

Local churches will join forces on Saturday, October 26, from 2–4 p.m., to host Island Fall Fest.

The Ocean City Tabernacle, Coastal Christian, First Presbyterian, and St. Peter’s United Methodist invite the community to come together for this spectacular family-friendly event on the Ocean City Tabernacle grounds.

Pumpkin Faces Pixabay

This free community event will include a wide array of kid’s activities and family entertainment such as trunk-or-treat, a video game truck, giveaways, face painting, and more. Delicious food offerings will also be available, including hamburgers, hot dogs, cotton candy, and even some sweet treats from Kona Ice.

Don’t miss this fun afternoon of fellowship with members of the Ocean City community!

 

Excellent Ways to Embrace the Halloween Spirit in Ocean City

With Halloween just a few weeks away, you may be wondering how you can embrace the spirit of the holiday in Ocean City. Whether you’re looking for activities to enjoy with the kids or seeking out entertainment options for the adults, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from in Ocean City.

Ocean City Ghost Tours

The Ghost Tour of Ocean City provides an excellent way to get in the spirit of the spooky season. Based on the book, Ghost Stories of Ocean City, NJ, the Ghost Tour of Ocean City takes guests on a candlelight walking tour of Ocean City where stories of ghosts and unexplained occurrences fill the evening.

The tours are held every Friday and Saturday night in October, in addition to tours on Mischief Night and Halloween, and depart from 9th Street and Asbury Avenue. The cost is $18 per adult/kids 13+; $12 for children ages 4–12. You can find out more about these spine-tingling ghost tours and purchase tickets on the Ghost Tour of Ocean City website.

Fall Brunch Featuring Discussion About the Jersey Devil (Oct. 20)

If you’re from New Jersey or well-versed in the folklore of the area, you are certain to be familiar with the story of the Jersey Devil. On Sunday, October 20, at 12:30 p.m., attend the Ocean City Historical Museum‘s Fall Fundraising Brunch at Clancy’s by the Bay in Somers Point. The guest speaker will be Galloway Township historian Ken Sooy who will entertain and inform the crowd with the myths and legends that exist regarding the Jersey Devil.

Guests will be treated to a brunch buffet during the event. Tickets are now available at the Ocean City Historical Museum for $28 for museum members and $32 for all other guests.

Halloween Parade (Oct. 24)

Halloween Hippy Costume Pixabay.jpg

Every October, Ocean City residents and visitors put on their most creative costumes to attend and participate in the Ocean City Halloween Parade along Asbury Avenue. This year, the 72nd Annual Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Exchange Club of Ocean City, will take place on Thursday, October 24, from 7:15–8:15 p.m. between 6th and 11th Streets.

Parade-goers will enjoy floats, marching bands, costumed participants, and so much more! Those who register and participate in the parade will be judged and have the opportunity to win prizes if they rank in the top spots for their individual event category.

 

Things to Know About the 2019 Ocean City Fall Block Party

In just a few days, the 2019 Ocean City Fall Block Party will be in full swing. As you prepare to shop and dine the day away, here are some things you should know about one of the most popular Ocean City events of year:

When and Where?

The 2019 Ocean City Fall Block Party will take place on Saturday, October 12, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., along Asbury Avenue between 5th Street and 14th Street. This is a rain-or-shine event and free to attend.

OC Block Party Attendees (450x800)

What Types of Vendors Will Be on Hand?

The vendors you’ll find at this year’s Ocean City Fall Block Party will be selling handcrafted items, clothing, home decor items, jewelry, artwork, bath and body products, holiday decor, and so much more.

Will There Be Food Available for Purchase?

You bet! In addition to being an event for shopping options galore, the Ocean City Fall Block Party is the prime location to grab all of your favorite food items. From soups to sandwiches to pizza to baked goods, no matter what you crave for refueling in between vendor table stops, you’re likely to find it at this year’s Block Party. Food will be offered at individual vendors along Asbury Avenue as well as at the local restaurants.

OC Block Party Pita

Will There Be Live Entertainment?

Absolutely! Live entertainment will be unfolding along Asbury Avenue throughout the day. Look for the following live entertainment to unfold on Saturday:

  • Tidal Wave Band (10th Street)
  • Pennsport String Band (13th Street)
  • Cast of The Marvelous Wonderettes (City Hall)
  • And more!

What Else is There to Do?

If you’re looking for even more reasons to attend the 2019 Ocean City Fall Block Party in addition to shopping and dining, there are other activities taking place throughout the day and evening, including the following:

  • Pony rides at the Ocean City Tabernacle during the event hours (6th Street and Asbury Avenue)
  • Fireworks display over the ocean by the Ocean City Music Pier at 9 p.m.

OC Block Party Clothing (450x800)

Where Can I Park?

I’m not going to lie. The city gets a bit crowded during this popular event but don’t worry, parking is definitely doable. And, best of all, parking is free at all metered spots and municipal parking lots, including the Transportation Center lot (9th Street and Haven Avenue), 700 block of Central Avenue lot, and 800 block of Central Avenue lot.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

The main thing to keep in mind is that you will likely leave with a lot of new purchases, so make sure you can carry everything. There are plenty of big items to purchase along the Block Party route, so be certain to have a game plan in place for how much you can carry and where you’re going to put it when you buy it. With so many fabulous vendors and unique items, your shopping bags will definitely fill up quickly at this year’s Ocean City Fall Block Party!

 

 

Fire Education and Fun to Unfold at the 2019 Fire Prevention Open House (Oct. 10)

On Thursday, October 10, the Ocean City Fire Department will host its annual Fire Prevention Open House at its headquarters located at 550 Asbury Avenue.

This fun and educational event will run from 5–8 p.m. and include the following activities:

  • Live burn demonstration
  • Smoke house
  • Helicopter landing
  • Tours of the trucks
  • Stop, drop, and roll
  • Hot dogs and pretzels

This free event provides the community with an inside look into the Ocean City Fire Department and offers the opportunity to meet the firefighters as well as learn some extremely important fire prevention tips.

Bring the entire family to this exciting event on October 10. In the event of inclement weather, a rain date of October 11 has been reserved.

Maximizing Your Labor Day Weekend in Ocean City

Let’s be honest. Labor Day weekend is tough. It’s the end of the unofficial summer and a time when many kids are getting ready to head back to school. Basically, it’s a bummer! But, don’t be sad, because with Labor Day weekend comes end-of-season sales and the opportunity to grab your last bite of seasonal shore food. Plus, in addition to year-round residents looking forward to “locals summer,” it’s also a time for visitors and seasonal homeowners to enjoy the bevy of activities which occur throughout Ocean City during the fall season.

So, what can you look forward to this weekend? Plenty!

Sales and Specials Galore

As the summer season is nearing its end, many stores are putting their inventory on sale and clearance. Some of the not-to-be-missed sale spots and offerings include the following:

  • Hoy’s 5 & 10: 30-40% off marked price items throughout the store
  • Salty Seahorse20% off beach totes, hats and Ayala Bar products
  • Henry’s: Free gift with $100 purchase of Dune Jewelry
  • Harbor Outfitters: Bote Board blowout sale! $200-$500 off, depending on board style.
  • Seagrass Boutique: At the Linwood and Ocean City shops, Seagrass Boutique will be hosting its Labor Day sale with 20% off throughout the entire store.

Seasonal Last Bites

Wards Pastry Butter Cake

Okay, so whether you live in Ocean City year-round, own a summer home, or are visiting temporarily, chances are you love the smell of caramel corn in the air and cold bites of soft serve. Well, unfortunately, some of these seasonal bites will be paused until next summer. So, what does that mean? You better stock up on your favorites while you can! Here’s a list of must-visit spots and menu items in which to indulge to hold you over until next summer (or your next visit to OC):

Whatever you choose to do this holiday weekend, may it be filled with family, friends, and fun!

 

 

 

 

Spots to Grab Healthy and Delicious Culinary Bites in Ocean City

Food can be delicious and healthy at the same time. In Ocean City, you’ll find plenty of restaurants that offer nutritious dining options where taste is in no way sacrificed. From tempting fruit bowls to vegetarian dishes, you’ll find your share of healthy dining spots with enticing menu items throughout the city.

Here are some of the locations where you can grab healthy and delicious culinary bites in Ocean City as well as some not-to-be-missed items at each spot:

Healthy Sandwiches and Entrees

Farm Stand at 14th (800x450)

The Farm Stand at 14th: The Farm Stand at 14th, located below Bob’s Grill at 14th Street and the Boardwalk, offers a healthy menu filled with veggie-laden dishes and items for the meat lovers of the group. Some of the menu items to try at the Farm Stand include the vegan crab cake, grass-fed beef burger, and the sweet potato taco. And, be sure to check with the restaurant as to their special menu item of the day.

Heart Beet Kitchen: Another must-visit spot for nutritious and tasty meals in Ocean City is Heart Beet Kitchen. The unique menu items you’ll find at Heart Beet Kitchen, located at 801 8th Street, include buffalo cauliflower, watermelon feta salad, eggplant meatballs, and coconut BLT, to name a few.

Soma Cafe: At Soma Cafe, located at 825 Asbury Avenue, you can grab all of your favorite healthy breakfast and lunch offerings from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., seven days a week. Some menu items you should definitely try at Soma include the almond butter avocado toast, strawberry kale salad, and Brussels sprout grilled cheese. As an added bonus, Soma Cafe opens on Thursday nights for dinner and offers a three-course prix fixe meal for $25 per person.

Bashful Banana Bakery and Cafe: When you’re on the boardwalk and find yourself craving healthy eats, pop into the Bashful Banana Bakery and Cafe, located at 946 Boardwalk on Colony Walk. With delicious and nutritious menu options such as the balsamic chicken wrap, shrimp salad sandwich, vegan Thai tofu scramble rice bowl, peanut noodles, and vegetarian paella filling the menu, you are certain to find quite a few items to savor at the Bashful Banana. Also, be sure to check out the daily specials offered for some tempting limited-time-only items.

Tempting Pitaya/Acai/Fruit Bowls and Frozen Yogurt

Acai Bowl Pixabay

Spoon & Sip: As the “home of 100% all-natural acai,” Spoon & Sip at 838 Asbury Avenue offers a menu filled with healthy and delicious light bites of a wide array. The items you’ll find at Spoon & Sip include nutrient-filled and flavor-rich pitaya bowls and acai bowls, refreshing frozen yogurt offerings and so much more. Stop in and enjoy some delectable Spoon & Sip options today!

Yoasis Beach Bowls: Another nutritious eatery in Ocean City is Yoasis Beach Bowls at 1242 Boardwalk. Visit Yoasis Beach Bowls and scoop up all of your favorite healthy bowls, including pitaya bowls and acai bowls, and frozen yogurt options.

Bungalow Bowls: Bungalow Bowls, with two locations including 816 Boardwalk and 1054 Asbury Avenue, is another excellent spot for healthy fare in the way of acai bowls, pitaya bowls, smoothies, and more. Whether you crave a fruit-laden bowl to take along with you to the beach or want to sip a smoothie while strolling along Asbury Avenue, Bungalow Bowls has you covered.

Playa Bowls: Playa Bowls, located at 744 Boardwalk, is your go-to spot for healthy offerings such as poke bowls, green base bowls, chia pudding bowls, and so much more. These refreshing and healthy snacks are filling and delicious, all at the same time.

Visit one or more of these spots today in Ocean City and discover that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor!