Enjoy Local Shopping Discounts and Support Charities with Key to the Community Card

Supporting Ocean City businesses is important at all times, but especially now with local shops, restaurants, and service providers facing challenging situations due to COVID-19. It’s also important to support charities and nonprofit organizations whenever possible. Fortunately, the organizers of the Key to the Community card program have the answer!

The Key to the Community card is a discount shopping, dining, and services card that can be used at a wide array of local businesses. The card costs $25 and is good now through August of 2021. When individuals purchase this card, they can select a charity listed on the Key to the Community website and have $5 of the purchase price donated to their chosen organization. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the card sales will go to provide scholarship opportunities to deserving students.

Key to the Community

The deals offered range anywhere from meal discounts at Jon & Patty’s to a photo session discount with Kerri J Photography. The deals and discounts offered may change from month-to-month, so there’s always something new to explore and added ways to support local businesses.

Some of the charities that cardholders can support include OCNJ CARE, CROPS, Ocean City Theatre Company, Chip Miller Amyloidosis Foundation, Humane Society of Ocean City, and so many other wonderful local and national nonprofit organizations.

The Key to the Community card program was created by founders Jill Adamson and Tyrone Rolls who wanted to lend a hand and help the local community. Add in the philanthropic aspect plus discounts to cardholders and you have a program where there are benefits all around!

Now’s the perfect time to lend a hand to local businesses, support your favorite charity, and grab sensational discounts! Purchase your Key to the Community card today and get started saving money while helping others at the same time.

Photo credit: Key to the Community 

Hooked on Breakfast to Open in Ocean City on July 6

Starting tomorrow, Monday, July 6, you can add a new eatery to your must-visit list in Ocean City: Hooked on Breakfast!

Hooked on Breakfast will be opening its doors at 916 Asbury Avenue. Starting at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow, you’ll be able to enjoy a wide array of savory items for breakfast and lunch, thanks to this new restaurant that’s sure to be a popular dining spot.

The restaurant will be open daily from 6:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and offer up an extensive array of breakfast and lunch favorites along with some new culinary items you’re sure to adore. The tempting menu includes sticky bun French toast; raspberry chocolate chip pancakes; homemade cinnamon raisin French toast; corned beef hash; bacon, apple, and cheddar grilled sandwich; strawberry caprese salad; chicken fingers. And these are just a few of the many breakfast and lunch menu items diners can choose from at Hooked on Breakfast!

Hooked on Breakfast will be open for takeout and outdoor dining for now. Once indoor dining is allowed to resume, the restaurant will open its expansive dining room, filled with cozy booths and accommodating tables.

Stop by this new Asbury Avenue dining spot as soon as possible to enjoy all of the wonderful culinary items Hooked on Breakfast has to offer!

Ocean City Businesses Now Hiring

With more businesses opening their doors to customers in Ocean City, there is a need for more employees to staff the local restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. If you’re looking for a seasonal job in Ocean City, here are some places to start:

  • Donny’s Family Kitchen: Donny’s Family Kitchen is hiring experienced team members to fill the roles of cashier, cook, delivery driver, and pizza maker. Visit Donny’s Family Kitchen to apply or email donnysfamilykitchenoc@gmail.com with your resume and availability.
  • JiLLy’s: JiLLy’s is looking to fill many different positions at their various locations, including retail store associate, food prep/server, maintenance staff, warehouse/inventory control, arcade staff, parking lot staff, and more. Visit the JiLLy’s job page for more details and to apply.
  • Ike’s Famous Crabcakes: Ike’s Famous Crabcakes is hiring to fill various positions such as server, line cook, and food prep. Visit Ike’s website for more details and to apply.  You can also apply in person at 1344 Boardwalk.
  • Gillian’s Wonderland Pier: Gillian’s Wonderland Pier is hiring for the summer season and is looking to fill various positions, from ride operator to cashiers to food and beverage positions. Visit the Gillian’s website for more information and to apply.
  • Boyar’s Market: Boyar’s Market is looking for deli associates and individuals to answer phones and take customer orders. If you can work through Labor Day, apply here.

Whether you’re looking to work in a restaurant, in a retail store, or as a ride operator, the job opportunities are available this summer in Ocean City!

Ocean City Farmers Market Returns for 2020 Season on July 1

In just a few days the Ocean City Farmers Market will be open for business! Starting July 1, the Ocean City Farmers Market will take place every Wednesday through September 9, from 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

The farmers market will be located in its usual spot on the Ocean City Tabernacle grounds between 5th Street and 6th Street along Asbury Avenue.

Visit the various farm stands for your favorite produce and flowers and be sure to stop by the other stands for Ocean City Farmers Market favorites, such as zesty hot sauce, pickles and olives, and baked good items. The craft vendors will offer items ranging from handmade soaps and bath products to creative outside decor, plus so much more.

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Ocean City Farmers Market participants will include A.T. Buzby Farm, Doc Pickle, The Soup Bar, and many other farms and vendors!

With the current health situation at hand, farmers market attendees are required to wear masks for their safety and the safety of others.

Stop by the Ocean City Farmers Market on July 1 and every Wednesday this summer to support local farmers and vendors and purchase items you’re sure to put to good use!

Miniature Golf is Open with Outdoor Dining and In-Store Shopping Coming Soon in Ocean City

Great news! Miniature golf courses are now open in Ocean City. Many individuals have been eagerly anticipating the opening of these family fun-filled courses. Now the time has come to choose your putter and ball and engage in some friendly competition out in the open air.

And, as if this news isn’t exciting enough, get ready for outdoor dining and in-store shopping to begin in Ocean City on Monday, June 15. Certain restrictions will be in place for the safety and welfare of the employees, shoppers, and diners, but this is an excellent start to getting the businesses open after the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Restaurants that have the space for outdoor dining will be able to offer this service. As for stores, in-store shopping will be allowed to begin on June 15. Masks will be required when indoors and there will likely be certain maximum occupancy requirements for in-store shopping in order to maintain safe social distancing.

Contact your favorite restaurants to see if they’ll be offering outdoor dining and call your favorite stores to see what the procedure will be for in-store shopping.

Today is the perfect day to head out to enjoy a game of mini-golf and then get ready for outdoor dining and in-store shopping on Monday, June 15!

Ocean City Spring Block Party Goes Virtual (May 2)

This year’s popular annual Ocean City Spring Block Party was supposed to unfold on Saturday, May 2. Unfortunately, the in-person event has been canceled. But, on the bright side, there’s a way to shop online from the comfort and safety of your own home now that the Ocean City Spring Block Party has gone virtual.

On Saturday, May 2, Ocean City is hosting a Virtual Ocean City Spring Block Party that includes Ocean City store owners. Here are some of the latest deals posted on the Ocean City Virtual Spring Block Party event page:

  • Cruise Control Gear: Cruise Control Gear is offering 25% off all weekend with the code “LoveOCNJ”; Live Facebook shopping event at 10 a.m. on May 2
  • Kay Jay’s Doll Shoppe: 20% off storewide (use code: VBP2020); curbside pickup available; phone and email orders accepted
  • LEH Soap Company: 20% off certain items with the code “SPRINGSALE”; all orders over $50 ship for free
  • Creative Window Design: $100 off custom window treatment purchase of $1,500 or more; purchase must be made during block party weekend
  • Lucky Find: $38 hoop earrings in crystal, pearl, and sterling silver with ten beautiful colors to choose from; order by phone
  • Ike’s Famous Crabcakes: Open for delivery and curbside pickup beginning this weekend, May 2 and 3; Use code “BLOCKPARTY” and receive 15% off your restaurant, marketplace, and online store orders May 2 and 3
  • Downtown Pilates: When the weekend shopping is complete and you need to unwind after all that web surfing and buying, remember to visit the Downtown Pilates website for free weekly livestream pilates classes on Mondays
  • The Spotted Whale: 30% off all rugs with the code “Rugs30”
  • And more!

Keep checking back to the Ocean City Virtual Spring Block Party Facebook page for updates on Ocean City store offerings for May 2!

For those who would like to explore some of the offerings of the usual block party street vendors, OCNJ Chatter has posted an event link where block party vendors from years past can post their websites and you can peruse the options of your favorite block party street vendors!

Both of these avenues make it possible for you to support local brick-and-mortar shops as well as the annual block party vendors who look forward to this event each year as a way to gain exposure and sell their creative products to the masses.

The Farm Stand at 14th Opens May 2

The Farm Stand at 14th, known for its delicious and nutritious menu items, will be reopening on Saturday, May 2!

Once open, The Farm Stand at 14th, located below Bob’s Grill at 14th Street, will be offering curbside pickup and delivery services. The Farm Stand at 14th offers an eclectic array of items including vegetarian, vegan, and items for the meat lovers as well. Some of the items that will be gracing the menu at The Farm Stand at 14th include sweet potato tacos, fresh fruit and veggie smoothies (new this year!), and more.

Another new aspect to The Farm Stand at 14th this year is that Sam Freda of the former Soma Café will be joining the eatery as the new kitchen manager. And you’ll be happy to know that some of the culinary dishes you enjoyed at Soma Café will now be on the Farm Stand at 14th menu!

Opening day is May 2, weather permitting, and pickup will be available as well as delivery to Ocean City, Somers Point, and Upper Township. The eatery will be open for curbside pickup and delivery every day.

Ocean City Closings and City Preparedness in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

Additional information has just been released regarding the response to the coronavirus outbreak. Mayor Gillian has released details regarding the city’s response and changes pertaining to closings and cancellations going forward. Here are the finer details as outlined by Mayor Gillian:

Closed starting March 17:

  • Ocean City Community Center, which includes the Ocean City Free Public Library, Aquatic and Fitness Center, Arts Center, Historical Museum, and Senior Center
  • Ocean City Sports and Civic Center plus other city facilities
  • All Recreation Department programs suspended (until further notice)
  • Ocean City schools

Canceled:

  • OC Con Comic and Memorabilia Show
  • Girls Weekend
  • Great Egg Hunts and all other Easter events, including the Easter Sunrise Service
  • Doo Dah Parade
  • Mr. Mature America Pageant
  • Sports Memorabilia Show
  • All other shows/events through the end of April

Postponed:

  • Public meetings of boards and commissions, excluding City Council

City Hall and the Knight Building will stay open but with limited public access. Call City Hall for further details if you need city services.

What’s Open, What’s Closed in Ocean City Amid COVID-19 Concerns

*UPDATE: Gov. Murphy states all New Jersey bars, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and casinos to close at 8 p.m. tonight, March 16. Essential businesses, such as grocery stores and gas stations, can stay open past 8 p.m. Non-essential businesses must close by 8 p.m. daily. Restaurants can offer takeout/delivery services.

As COVID-19 concerns and cases grow, government officials, business owners, organizations, and individuals are taking necessary precautions to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some institutions are being instructed by the government to close, while others are taking the initiative to close their doors to help stop the spread of the virus. On the other hand, businesses are keeping their doors open so that individuals can have access to food and other items.

*Updated 3/17*

Here’s a list of some current businesses and entities in Ocean City that are open, closed, or canceling/postponing events:

Open:

Closed/Canceled/Postponed:

Event Cancellations:

  • OC Con Comic and Memorabilia Show
  • Girls Weekend
  • Great Egg Hunts and all other Easter events, including the Easter Sunrise Service
  • Doo Dah Parade
  • Mr. Mature America Pageant
  • Sports Memorabilia Show
  • All other shows/events through the end of April

This is just a starter list and includes some of the openings/closings/cancellations. The list will be updated on a continual basis as changes are noted. The best bet is to always call prior to heading to your favorite Ocean City shop or restaurant to make sure hours of operation haven’t recently changed. And please feel free to add additions in the comments below.

Most importantly, thank you to all who are helping the public during this uncertain time (and always), including first responders, medical professionals, shop/restaurant owners and employees, and others who are lending a hand overall. Be safe and stay well, Ocean City friends!

 

Save the Date: Girls Weekend 2020 in Downtown Ocean City

With only 100 days left to go until Memorial Day, it’s a good time to talk about springtime Ocean City events. One popular event that brings in the crowds each year is the Girls Weekend event. This year’s Girls Weekend will unfold April 3–5 and include offerings such as a fashion show, shopping deals, hotel packages, dining options, and more.

Here are some events being held during Girls Weekend 2020:

Fashion Show Kickoff Event (April 3)

The Girls Weekend Fashion Show has been so popular in prior years that it’s being moved to a new, larger location this year. Purchase your tickets and reserve a seat for the fashion show taking place at PLAAY Fitness and Yoga at 910 Asbury Avenue. The show will start at 7 p.m. and feature a display of fashions available at local Ocean City boutiques.

The cost is $20 per person and includes light bites offered by local restaurants during the event. Tickets are required to attend, and this show sells out each year, so be sure to get your tickets early. Tickets can be purchased online and at various area locations, including the Route 52 Causeway Welcome Center, City Hall Welcome Center, Ta-Dah (1040 Asbury Ave.), Making Waves (836 Asbury Ave.), 7th Street Surf Shop (720 Asbury Ave.), and the Sneaker Shop (704 Asbury Ave.).

Accommodation Deals and Packages for Girls Weekend 2020

Many local hotels and B&Bs will offer special deals and lodging packages for Girls Weekend 2020. Here are some of the latest deals being offered:

  • The Flanders Hotel: Reserve a stay for the night of Friday, April 3, or Saturday, April 4, and receive the following: early check-in with complimentary gift upon arrival; overnight stay in a deluxe one-bedroom suite; a 30-minute leg and foot massage or 30-minute mini-facial with free product samples from Divine Images Salon and Spa; a coupon for 10% off at The Shoppes at Flanders; breakfast in Emily’s Ocean Room; and, late check-out. The cost is $169 per person plus tax and gratuity (cost based on double occupancy).
  • Port-O-Call: Enjoy a two-night stay at the Port-O-Call for Girls Weekend 2020. The package includes two-night deluxe accommodations, dinner at a local restaurant, breakfast both mornings at Adelene, and your choice of a relaxing spa service including a 25-minute facial provided by a local salon, 25-minute massage by Blue Garden Wellness (6th floor of the hotel), or manicure or mini-pedicure provided by a local salon. Prices start at $295 per person (based on double occupancy; includes taxes and hotel dining gratuity).
  • Northwood Inn Bed and Breakfast: Stay for two nights and get the second night 50% off. Plus, enjoy complimentary pizza and drinks on Friday night.
  • Biscayne Suites: Enjoy two nights of accommodations for $239 plus tax and you’ll also have access to a late 6 p.m. checkout, so you can fully take advantage of the entire weekend. Just mention “Girls Weekend” when calling for reservations.
  • Inn the Gardens Bed and Breakfast: Book your Girls Weekend stay and you’ll get $25 off the second night at Inn the Gardens Bed and Breakfast.
  • Ocean City Mansion: Book your April 3–5 stay and receive two complimentary beach tags for the summer of 2020. Just mention “Girls Weekend” when calling to reserve your room.
  • Impala Island Inn: Stay at the Impala Island Inn for $160 for the weekend, plus tax. Just mention “Girls Weekend” to snag this deal!
  • Wild Dunes Inn: Book a weekend stay at the Wild Dunes Inn for $190 for the weekend, plus tax. You’ll be able to get this deal when you mention “Girls Weekend” when reserving.

Shopping Deals, Exercise Classes, and More!

Besides the Girls Weekend Fashion Show and fabulous lodging deals, Girls Weekend 2020 attendees will enjoy extraordinary sales at local shops and boutiques, dining specials at local restaurants, exercise classes, spa specials, craft projects and demos, and so much more!

Keep checking back to OCNJ Happenings Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for additional information as Girls Weekend 2020 draws closer and make your reservations today!