Tuesday, February 8, 2011

10 Cool Things to do in Ocean City

Ocean City Maryland is where touchy feely meets “Oh Cool!” Ocean City Maryland offers the spectrum of kid-friendly fun for your kids, any time of year. As if it weren’t enough strolling the picture-perfect boardwalk, breathing in the refreshing saltwater air and teasing the waves as they hit the white-sand.
Yes, you’ll most likely have to watch a few ollies and kickflips on Ocean City’s Ocean Bowl Skate Park, but you won’t mind so much knowing what else is in store. A trip to Assateague Island to roam the beaches with the wild ponies will have your kids raving to all their friends. Your younger set will be awed into delightful jabber remembering how they got to go on an exciting pirate adventure and how they got to assist Captain Cholly and his buccaneer crew battle Pirate Pete and bring home the neat hidden treasure. There is also the unforgettable Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum or the Life-Saving Station Museum, with a saltwater aquarium and real live shipwrecks. Ocean City Maryland has earned its reputation as the East Coast’s Number One Family Resort. So Pack up your Kids and Enjoy!

1. Assateague Island
End of Rte 611

Your kids will thank you for hours after a trip to Assateague Island to see the wild ponies. Straight from the pages of Marguerite Henry’s children’s classic Misty of Chincoteague, there are plenty of wild Assateague ponies that will walk right up to you. Make sure your kids know not to feed or pet the ponies though: they are wild, even if they look incredibly cuddly. The most exciting time to go is the end of July where some 150-175 wild ponies make the historic swim across the Assateague Channel (during low tide) to strut their stuff at the annual auction. If you’d prefer a more tranquil experience, take your kids to Assateague off season. There is plenty to do year round on the 35-mile long barrier reef named for the region’s native Assateague Indians, from hiking, canoeing and biking to surf fishing, clamming and crabbing. Guided walks and children’s activities are available through the Barrier Island Visitor’s Center, open all year. The museum offers a small aquarium, a touch-tank, and a beachcombing exhibit as well as telescopes, films, and a bookstore. You can also camp on the island: Call 1-800-365-2267 to make a reservation. If you are driving, Assateague’s north entrance is at the end of Route 611, eight miles south of Ocean City MD. If you are arriving in season, it is worth it to take an adventure cruise. Try Assateague Adventure, 410-289-3500, on the Talbot Street Pier, or the Assateague Island Explorer, 410-289-5887, in downtown Ocean City MD. Both offer 1 +1/2 hour nature cruises that land on Assateague.

2. Ocean Bowl Skate Park
3rd & St. Louis Ave.
410.289.BOWL (2695)

You will soon find yourself on the privileged “cool” list, having had the forethought to take your kids to the Ocean Bowl where 17,000 square feet of concrete will delight skaters of all skill levels. For the best of ollies, shove-its and kickflips, the skate park touts a world class pool bowl with deep and shallow end, a large vert ramp and a mini ramp, along with the innovative open concrete street course with hit walls, hips, and small bowl. Designed by nationally recognized X-Games competitor and skatepark designer Tim Payne (who built the MTV street course) and molded by Omer Windham, the Ocean Bowl Skate Park definitely puts Ocean City Maryland on the map. Skaters must wear helmets, knee pads, wrist guards, and elbow pads while in the park, and a liability waiver must be signed by all participants and/or parents of children under 18 years of age. Legal guardians must be present at registration, or the official waiver form with the guardian’s signature must be notarized.

3. Pirate Adventures
Harpoon Hanna’s (142nd Street and the Bay)
Har Mateys! How about taking your little ruffians on an exciting seafaring adventure to find hidden treasure? Dressed for the part with sailor sashes and painted faces, your little pirates will take the honored oath of loyalty before they assist Captain Cholly (USCG certified) and his swashbuckling deck hands find the treasure. They will have to decipher the treasure map and battle the fierce rogue Pirate Pete, but if all goes according to plan, they will get to hoist the treasure chest into the ship and return home with the booty. But not before they fire off the cannons and hear a couple of pirate stories. Safe for children of all ages. Reservations required. The pirate ship sails weekends in May with six trips daily from June 9 to Labor Day.

4. Museums
The museums on the boardwalk of Ocean City Maryland can’t help but impress. Start with Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum at the Main Pier, 410-289-6586. You’re not likely to miss the building with the giant shark crashing through it. Inside you’ll find more than 500 oddities from around the world, and if the tallest man in the world and a 40-foot long working wooden roller coaster don’t do much for your kids, take them to the torture-chamber devices and shark exhibit, guaranteeing delighted outbursts of “OH Cool!”

At the inlet is the Ocean City’s Lifesaving Museum, 410-289-4991. Built in 1891 this newly renovated lifesaving station includes saltwater aquariums, shark jaws, bathing suits dating back to the early 1900s, and artifacts recovered from shipwrecks off the Delmarva coastline. There is also the Ocean Gallery, 410-289-5300, on 2nd St. on the Boardwalk, where you will find an interesting collection of posters and art. Off the boardwalk, head to Wheels of Yesterday Antique & Classic Cars Museum, 410-213-7329, at 12708 Ocean Gateway (Rt. 50), where you will find Jack Benny’s Overland, a 1930s racing car and a 19th-century mail wagon among its other fine attractions.

5. Go Karts
The speed demons in your family will seem ready to take the checkers as they race on Ocean City Maryland’s go kart tracks. There is something for all skill levels. You have your choice of three Go Kart racing facilities. You’ll find the fastest go karts at Baja Amusements, 410-213-BAJA, 1 Mile West of Route 50 Bridge, where your racers can choose among six tracks. For kids eight and older, there is Family Tracks and the Family Grand Prix where they can drive themselves and acquire car and racing skills. Children under eight can ride free with an adult. For the experienced, there is a competitive stock car track and a challenging oval track as well as Road Racer, a 1/2 mile track with high banked turns and twisting corners. For the largest selection go to Speedworld at the Jolly Roger Amusement Park, 410-289-4902, 30th St. & Coastal Highway. You will find more than 300 state-of-the-art go karts and will be able to choose from a selection of 14 tracks geared toward families, kiddies and experienced drivers. The best prices are at Ocean City Grand Prix, 410-213-1278, Route 50 in West Ocean City. Choose from seven exciting go kart tracks.

6. Indoor Ice Skating
Carousel Ice Skating Rink
11700 Coastal Highway

Whether you have the next Sarah Hughes on your hands itching to do a triple-triple combination or have a child that just wants to wobble a little on the ice, you will have to visit the Carousel Ice Skating Rink while you are in Ocean City Maryland. During the summer months, it’s fun to get a change of scenery from the beach. They have great ice shows. You can reserve a time with an instructor of just take your kiddies out yourself. If you’re on the ice with your child, skate backwards using your outstretched palms to offer support. This is a lot better than supporting your child from behind. (This is, of course, assuming you can hold yourself up.) To slow down and stop, tell your child (or yourself) to bend the knees, turn the toes of each foot in toward the other foot, point the heels out, and push out on the heels. Remember to bring gloves and invest in knee pads or elbow pads or both. Wearing a helmet is a good idea for beginners.

7. Miniature Golf

There are countless popular miniature golf courses in Ocean City Maryland, and with good reason. First on your list, especially on those cold or rainy days, should be Old Pro Golf‘s indoor underwater course: Undersea Adventure, an elaborate 2-story, 18-hole course complete with whales, barracuda, a shipwreck and a sunken submarine. Located at 68th St., it is open all year. Call 410-524-2645. Old Pro has seven other courses located throughout the city each with their own theme: 23rd St. (Hawaiian Gardens), 28th St. (Medieval Castle & Big Top Circus), 68th St. (Dinosaurs) and 136th St. (Pirate, Safari and Polynesian). Also try the following courses:

Treasure Golf & Jungle Golf
30th St. & Coastal Highway
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Journey through a tropical rain forest, under and through waterfalls, around peaceful lagoons and over scenic mountains. Watch out though, wild animals (of the animated variety) will pop out at you when you least expect it.

Baja Amusements
12639 Ocean Gateway (Route 50)
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Putt putt through a challenging safari, complete with waterfalls and lagoons.

Lost Galaxy Golf
33rd St. & Coastal Highway
Open year round. Take a trip into outerspace with special effects such as fog, flames and a UFO that blasts off.

65th St. Slide & Ride
Toward the Bay at 65th St.
Open April through September. Cool nautical theme.

Maui Golf
57th St. & Coastal Highway
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Take an adventurous trip to the island of Maui.

Frontier Town
Rt. 611, West Ocean City
Open mid-June through Labor Day. This is mini-golf, cowboy style.

8. Planet Maze and Laser Tag
3301 Coastal Hwy, 21842
Not your Victorian hedge maze, this year-round indoor and outdoor soft play maze will stimulate your kids without frightening even your littlest ones. It is a great way for your younger kids to entertain themselves while you sit back and enjoy a cool drink as you watch the action from above. You can also of course join in the fun as they work their way through the foam forest, jump in balls, and climb and slide on tubes, tunnels, three-story slides and rope climbs. Your little tykes will improve hand/eye coordination while you get a little break as the tot-friendly staff keep an eye on things. No need to worry about your child’s safety. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the Soft Contained Equipment used in building the playground. There is also a laser tag game featuring virtual reality at its best. Armored with laser guns and futuristic headgear, kids of all ages will enjoy the team on team sport. Kids enter an arena filled with black lights and fog reminiscent of the movie “Stargate.” They then try to laser tag rival team members and their arena guardian, “RA,” while protecting their own RA. When a player is hit, they are directed to go to the Energy Pod to recharge. Game time typically lasts 10 minutes.

9. Kite Flying
Being the Kite Capital of the World, you almost have to take your kids on a kite flying adventure while you are in Ocean City Maryland. If you don’t have a kite, that’s not a problem. Enter the Kite Loft, 800-682-5483, on 5th Street and the Boardwalk. Just walking into the store will be worth it. You will be entranced by the mix of brilliant colors, spinning windsocks, flying toys, floating kinetics, sky chairs, windwheels and, of course, kites, plenty of kites. For kite flyers, it is the place to be, particularly if the Loft’s owner, The King of the Wind, is in. He’ll show you how it’s done.

10. Amusement/Water Parks

Nothing quite like watching the waves hit the shore from atop a boardwalk Ferris Wheel, breathing in the saltwater air and trying to save your french fries from the flock of sea gulls above you. There is no shortage of amusement and water parks in Ocean City Maryland.

65th St. Slide & Ride
Toward the Bay at 65th St.
Open May through September, this family oriented amusement and water park features a triple flume water slide with kiddie slide. You will also find go-karts, bumper boats, batting cages, miniature golf, Moonbounce and kiddie cars.

Baja Amusements
12639 Ocean Gateway (Route 50)
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. In addition to go-karts tracks, Baja Amusements features such delights as miniature golf, video arcade and bumper boats.

Frontier Town
Rt. 611, West Ocean City
Open mid-June through Labor Day. This is the Wild West. Lots of fun for the kids with horseback rides, stage coach rides, rodeo, Indian dancing, train rides, paddle boats, water slides and mini golf.

Splash Mountain/Jolly Roger Amusement Park
30th St. & Coastal Highway
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, the park features roller coasters, rides, games, water park, go karts and miniature golf. You can plunge back and forth down the sides of the Stealth, the 45 foot tall half-pipe slide, the third of its kind anywhere. If the weather is warm, try Splash Mountain, which offers a number of fun rides.

Trimper’s Rides
Boardwalk and S. First St.
Open year round (indoor section). Kids and adults alike will enjoy the 1902 antique carousel. Outdoors are popular rides such as the Boomerang and the Tidal Wave.

Ocean City Pier Rides
On the Inlet in Downtown Ocean City Maryland
Located in the charming Old Town section of the Ocean City Maryland Boardwalk, there are plenty of rides to satisfy everyone in your family. Your younger set will appreciate the Strawberry ride and the Candyland Adventure Fun House while your older kids will appreciate the open Looping Roller Coaster. The Ferris Wheel is a must for all.

Importance of Kite Flying

Kite flying is an old and regular tradition in almost all developed as well as in developing countries. Countries like USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan etc., are regularly conducting International Kite Flying Competitions and Workshops on kitesevery year. Moreover, in some countries kite related events are celebrated every month. In India, Panjab can boast of having rich cultural heritage of flying kites. There were days when sky was completely covered with multi-coloured and different shaped traditional kites conveying messages of peace, brotherhood, happiness, Communal Harmony and National Integration. Let us all put more efforts to revive this art of flying kite in our leisure time as it regenerates energy and provides numerous benefits to our body and this also helps in reducing stress and tension being created in the present day to day life.

Kite itself is lifeless but still spreads message on International Peace, Communal Harmony, Anti Terrorism to all people living in this universe. Only we have created boundaries between different nations on this Earth but kite do not follow this man made rules and still spreads fragrance of brotherhood on reaching to other countries by crossing borders and flying high in the sky.

Meaningful Educational Kites can also made with different combination of colours schemes to educate children and young people. Kites with social messages like ‘PROTECT YOUR ENVIRONMENT’, ‘GROW MORE TREES’ and ‘SAY NO TO CRACKERS’ can educate people on benefits of clean and pollution free environment. Kites carrying message against smoking, drinking and drugs can save youth from indulging in bad habits.
Kite flying helps in the development of concentration and thus student can score good marks by concentrating his mind in studies and other activities. Flying of kite is one of the best low budget recreation, clean and safe entertainment which helps in recovering physical as well as mental tiredness in a shortest possible time. Kite flyingregenerates quantas of energy, happiness and freshness which helps to handle day to day duties with more vigour, interest and dedication.

It is also a physical exercise for brain, arms, legs, neck and eyes. Kite flying helps in improving eye sight as eye lids are to be moved constantly along with every changing moment of the kite fly high up in the sky. Flying of kiteunder blue colour of the sky also provides soothness to our eyes.

Most of the time kites are flown in the parks and under the Sun so intake of Vitamin ‘D’ and fresh oxygen into our body is definitely more than watching TV, playing on computers and other indoor activities. As more and more oxygen is being supplied to lungs and heart means building up of stronger heart. Stronger heart controls the supply of blood all body parts quite efficiently and keeps blood pressure of a body normal and thus reduces chances of heart attack.

All of us must start flying a kiteat least once in a week and thus lead a happy, healthy, stress and strainfree long long life.

Dr Devinder Pal Singh Sehgal

Slovak Republic Record Holder

Impossibility Challenger Record Holder

Drachen (USA) Record Holder

# 5692/A, Sector 38(W), Chandigarh.