For some of us – teachers, parents, and kids – summer has already come to a bittersweet end. For others, the summer is still kickin,’ while a select few choose absolute denial over the fact that the summer season is winding down. Labor Day Weekend? Weren’t we just grilling on the Fourth of July?? Of course the silver lining is the month of September, which provides – Mother Nature willing – some of the best beach weather, along with a host of enjoyable events across the Eastern Shore. Whether you like it or not, Labor Day Weekend is upon us, so we decided to round-up a collection of summer events and activities to squeeze in while you still can. There’s movies on the beach, laser shows, local water parks and more…
If you haven’t been to Jolly Roger’s Splash Mountain this summer, then now is the time, as the waterpark won’t be open for much longer this season. One could easily spend an entire day at Splash Mountain – from the wave pool to the giant tree house to the collection of slides and rides. Challenge yourself with the Eye of the Hurricane or challenge the entire family on the Six Lane Super Racer. The Rain Forest provides a number of climbing and sliding and splashing adventures with water guns, tipping buckets, water wheels and more. For the dare devil, there’s Stealth, a 45-foot half-pipe slide. Or speed through the dark tunnels of the Black Hole Slides. For the little, little ones, there’s three Kiddie Pools or the Lost Lagoon Family Activity Pool. And for those looking to lounge, look to the Lazy River, or set up shop poolside in a lounge chair.
All summer long, Assateague National and State Parks featured a line-up of educational events and activities, not to mention the natural beauty of the beaches and wildlife that can be found 24/7. A day at Assateague can be as simple as lounging on the beach with a good book, or as activity filled as you like with kayaking, surfing, boat tours, camping, nature walks and more. Where else can you lay on the beach next to wild ponies? Take the Assateague Explorer’s Pony Express Nature Cruise and visit the areas where you have the greatest chance of seeing wild ponies. You’re also likely to spot a few bald eagles and dolphins along the way. You can also check out the Sunset Cruise, Kayaking Tour or Kayak Rental. Camping at Assateague runs through October, so why not spend your Labor Day Weekend camping out under the stars?
Each summer, the Town of Ocean City presents a stellar line-up of free events, from laser shows to movies on the beach. Concerts on the Beach ran all summer long, with concerts held every Wednesday night on the beach at North Division Street. Tonight marks the final Wednesday concert, with Randy Lee Ashcraft & the Saltwater Cowboys at 8pm. Thursday marks the final nights for Arts on the Dock and Sunset Park Party Nights, held at the Ocean City Fishing Center Marina and Sunset Park at S. Division Street and the Bay, respectively. Movies on the Beach also ran all summer long, with showings held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. The Movies on the Beach will wrap-up this week, with the final showing Friday night. The OC Beach Lights will also have a final showing this weekend. The Laser Light Show includes a five-story inflatable sphere featuring a visual laser, lighting, special effects, video and audio production with visibility along the boardwalk. Each show is runs eight minutes long, with show times at 9:30, 10 and 10:30pm. Laser shows will be held Saturday and Sunday nights this weekend.
If you’ve driven over the Route 50 bridge into Ocean City in the past few days, than you have undoubtedly noticed the massive ship docked between 3rd and 4th streets on the bay. The El Galeon hails from Spain, and is traveling around the world, including a stop in Ocean City. The ship is a replica of the 16th century ships that Spanish explorers sailed on to discover Florida and much of the New World. Tours are available daily, from 9am to 6pm, with special sunset tours Friday nights from 6pm to 9pm. The ship will set sail for Puerto Rico September 2.
The waterpark at Frontier Town will only be open for two more weekends, so now’s your chance to plan a day in the sun…while you still can. Slide down Red Bird’s Mountain, Frontier Town’s giant water slide and splash your way through the catch pool. The Lazy River is a great way to enjoy your final days of summer. The Waterin’ Hole activity pool features a shallow wadin’ pool with covered wagon mini-slides, cactus fountains, water sprays and more. Refuel at the Lazy River Cantina Restaurant or the Lazy River Poolside Grille, or take a break in the arcade or on the mini-golf course. The waterpark will be open through Labor Day, plus the following Saturday and Sunday.
Held from Friday, August 30 to Sunday, September 1 at the Ocean City Convention Center, the Labor Day Weekend Arts & Crafts Festival features a little bit of everything for the arts and crafts enthusiast. The mix of vendors includes oil and water colors, woodworking and furniture, stained glass, glass art, candles, pottery and unique gift and household items. Admission is free, with hours running from 10am to 5pm each day.
A day at the boardwalk holds any number of options. Rides, games, food, and let’s not forget about the people watching. We love spending a morning, afternoon, or evening cruising the boards, and while there are many weekends left to enjoy the Boardwalk, Labor Day Weekend is still a great chance to head down for some fun. For eats, Thrasher’s French Fries, Dolle’s and/or Fisher’s Popcorn are mandatory staples. Ice cream abounds, as do funnel cakes, lemonade stands, pizza slices and burgers. Trimper’s Rides is a trip within itself, with enough rides and games to keep you busy for hours.
Summer may be ending, but that doesn’t mean life as we know it on the Eastern Shore is coming to a screeching halt. Any local will tell you that fall is one of the best times of the year, and while that reasoning is due in large part to the diminished crowds, another factor is the Fall Events. Sunfest, OC Bikefest, Cruisin’ Weeknd, Wine on the Beach, the Fiddler’s Convention in Berlin, Berlin Octoberfest, the list goes on and on. Not to mention the ample opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. So have no fear Eastern Shore natives and visitors, when one door closes, another opens.