The beginnings of another year signify many positive things—if you happen to have children, are a college student, are gainfully employed by the resort in the summer, but not so much in the winter, or are among the masses forced to live beyond their means—your post-holiday bank balance is not one of those “positive” things. So in the month when the smiling faces on holiday cards are replaced by stacks of bills in the mail, and the weather is trying hard to not succumb to that perpetual shade of gray, ShoreBread has compiled a list of budget-friendly activities to get you out, active, well-fed, and socializing.

We know, we know, after the never-ending rounds of holiday parties and the hustle and bustle making ready for the big event in December, hibernating in January seems like great idea…until house-atosis starts setting in, right around this weekend. There are only so many closets to clean out, and resolutions to try and keep before staying in starts to feel like a sentence instead of a choice. Take our advice and get out and about in the weeks ahead, we promise these options are all wallet-friendly.


For a mere $30, a pass to Assateague National Seashore is yours—and to boot it’s good until December 31st, 2012; buy it now to get the most out of it. Mild winter weekends are the perfect time to explore the dune and forest trails, take out a canoe or kayak, or get close, but not too close to the wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the ponies currently brandishing their shaggy winter coats. Plus, this pass gets you access to several beaches with parking, a must-have in the summer.

Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware offers a number of winter programs for children and adults alike. This Saturday for instance, you and anyone else age 7 and above, could help a seal and learn what it takes for them to survive. The program is just $2 per person. Guided weekend winter hikes, and night hikes for moon and star gazing are also offered for a small fee.

The Boardwalks—Ocean City, Bethany Beach, and Rehoboth all offer lengthy options for strolling or riding your bike near the shoreline—completely free activities. Some businesses are even open, weather permitting.

Ice hockey isn’t exactly a top sport on the shore, but ice-skating in general is a quintessential winter activity, that can be done right in Ocean City. The Carousel Hotel, that hosts ice shows in the summer, opens up their rink for public skates from 4p-9p Mon-Thurs, 10a-10p Saturday, and 10a-9p Sunday. For under $10 you can rent skates and have unlimited access to the rink during open hours. The facility is also open for private rentals.

Salisbury, MD’s Crown Sports Facility boasts a 12,000 sq. ft. family entertainment center with the 2-story Laser Tag arena and arcade. Deals include Mon-Thurs all laser tag games before 5pm are just $5. $14 per person Saturdays and Sundays for 2 games, plus 10 tokens.

Also in Salisbury at the Crown Skating Center—have some good old-fashioned family fun roller skating. One of their best deals is $30 for the Family Fun Pack. Admission and skate rentals for Mom, Dad, and 2 kids plus 4 sodas and a large pizza. Not valid on Friday or Saturday nights.

Go swimming at the Ocean Pines Sports Core Pool—you don’t have to be a swim member to use the facility! Current deal includes a Multi-Visit Coupon Card. $30 for 5 visits for adults, $20 for 5 visits for youth (5-17); kids 4 and under are always free. Or, pay per visit at the door. (Regular admission for non-members is $8 for adults and $6 for youth).


Winter specials are offered at some of the areas favorite spots. Below are just some of the many specials offered by area restaurants:

Fager’s Island Ocean City, MD: ½ Price Prime Rib and Select Fish specials are back every Sunday and Monday night. Thursdays are $9.99 for a 1 and ¼ lb lobster. Call in advance to reserve.

The Green Turtle North, Ocean City, MD has ½ price entrees on Fridays from 5p-10p.

Seacrets, Ocean City, MD offers ½ price entrees Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 5pm-10pm   

Ristorante Antipasti, Ocean City, MD offers their famous, and enormous, Garlic Steak for ½ price on Thursdays.

La Hacienda (Ocean City, MD location) offers $1.25 tacos on Thursday. The Ocean Pines location offers $5 burger and burrito night Wednesdays.

Mancini’s in Fenwick Island, DE offers the extremely popular ½ price pizza night (all except seafood) on Thursdays.

Nantuckets in Fenwick Island, DE has $19 entrees every Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights!

This list really could go on and on. If you’re a local, now is the time to dine out without the crowds and take advantage of these low prices. If you’re visiting, live like a local and enjoy the winter specials. Don’t see your favorite special listed here? Mention it in the comments below!

Take a Load Off…

The shoreline is covered with many beautiful hotels. If you live here, chances are you don’t have much opportunity to enjoy the amenities like the visitors do. Or do you? Many hotels are offering deeply discounted rates. Let someone else clean up for awhile. Pile the kids into the car and take a mini-vacation ‘down the shore,’ even if it’s only a few miles away. Reading this from points west or north? Take a winter respite at the beach, for a fraction of the price.

One of the deals offered by the Boardwalk Hotel Group is stay for one night at the $109 regular winter rate, and get $40 in meal vouchers!

Here’s a little hint: The Hilton Suites Ocean City Oceanfront has weekly suites for as low as $99, and weekend rooms starting at $108 in January—in-season can run from $500 and above. Take advantage of the low, low prices and enjoy Ocean City in the winter.

For more deals, visit your favorite hotel and see the current rates, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Additionally, consider booking summer weeks now. In many cases, the earlier you book, the more you save.

For additional hotel deals, and others, check out Ocean City Deals.

Happy winter, get out and enjoy it!