Holiday Family Traditions to Start ASAP

Holiday Family Traditions to Start ASAP


The holidays are the best time to start new and exciting family traditions. Family traditions allow the bonds between family members to grow stronger, give the children something to look forward to, and help make memories that will last a lifetime. We are listing off our favorite family traditions for the holidays… feel free to steal one (or all!).

Matching Pajamas

Family in pajamas decorating a Christmas tree

Photo courtesy of Any Lane via Pexel

We love a matching PJ moment! Owning a set of matching pajamas with the family instantly gives you Christmas morning attire. On the other hand, wearing your *fancy* new pajamas to your annual Christmas card photoshoot is another adorable option. Either way, professional photography or not, photos are a must when it comes to dressing the whole family in the same thing. What other time throughout the year can you force everyone into the same outfit?!

Write a Letter to Santa

Grab your pen and a piece of paper—it is time to get on Santa’s ‘Good’ list! This activity brings the children together, allows them to practice their writing skills, and gets them thinking about all the good they did this year. Eat some Christmas cookies and pen that uber important letter to Santa!

Tree Lighting

Attend your local tree lighting! This is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. Likewise, not much time or money needs to be invested in it. Most towns have a local tree lighting ceremony that is free to attend yet may have local vendors or additional entertainment. All you need is a warm coat, gloves, and a cup of hot cocoa… you are ready to attend a tree lighting ceremony with the family! Tree lightings typically happen early in the season—sometimes even as soon as November—so if you missed your local event this year, plan to start this tradition next.

Ocean City Holiday Spectacular

The Ocean City Holiday Spectacular at the Music Pier on the boardwalk

Photo courtesy of Ocean City Theatre Company

The Greater Ocean City Theatre Company is putting on their annual spectacular at the Ocean City Music Pier. Expect professional performers to put on an enchanting show of singing and dancing that cannot be missed. Beautiful costumes, special effects, and pure talent are sure to wow the whole family this weekend! Join them as they sing familiar tunes and get everyone into the spirit of the holiday.

At this point, you still have three chances to catch this amazing show on the boardwalk. Come see it for yourself Saturday, December 17th at 2pm and 7:30pm, or Sunday, December 18th at 2pm. Children under 12 years old are $18 and adults are $20. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets!

Photos with Santa

Baby in a Santa Hat

Photo courtesy of J Carter via Pexel

Spend your whole weekend at the Music Pier! Photos with Santa are a holiday tradition must, and Santa is visiting the pier this weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. Outfit your little one in their holiday best and head on over to the boardwalk. Santa will be present from 1-3pm on both days (maybe get there early and then head to the Ocean City Holiday Spectacular once you are done with photos?!). Hang out on the boardwalk for an afternoon for full of merry fun!

Cannot make it to the pier in the afternoon? No worries—your little one can still see Santa this holiday in Ocean City. Head to Soifer Park between nine and 11am on Saturday, December 17th and Sunday, December 18th.

As for outfits, Bowfish has got your little one’s back. Check out our beautiful picks best suited for professional holiday photos (and family dinners!) here.

Horse & Carriage Rides

We have suggested it before and we will bring it up again—horse and carriage rides! Turning this fun, local activity into a yearly tradition surely gives your child something to look forward to. Head to 6th & Asbury Avenue (maybe after hitting up our brick-and-mortar store for some last-minute shopping?) this weekend—both Saturday and Sunday—between noon and 3pm to get in on the fun. This is another activity that is best enjoyed with some hot cocoa and a couple of warm layers to keep the whole family cozy.

Christmas in Historic Smithville

Smithville at Christmastime

Photo courtesy of Al Juliano

If you have been to the historic village of Smithville before, you know that this is a charming town, nearly straight out of a fairytale! The village holds plenty of various shops, as well as yummy eateries. It has an extra touch of magic during the holidays. For instance, every day of December, the town of Smithville puts on a light show on the lake from 5:30- 8:30pm. You can also bring your children on a holiday train ride around the village for just $3.00 per person (weather permitting).

And yes—Santa can be found in Smithville as well! Fred and Ethels’ Lantern Light restaurant offers breakfast with Santa. Reservations are required and the restaurant’s contact information can be found here.

Check out all the other fun events happening throughout the month of December in Smithville by clicking here. Whether you and your family visit the town to experience all the festive holiday offerings, or you head there to simply see the Christmas décor, it is sure to be the start of a favorite holiday tradition.

First Day at The Beach

You may have heard of this New Year’s Day tradition and possibly even participated in it already! It could seem like a tough sell, but if you and your family are the brave type, it could be a fun activity to turn into a yearly tradition. Be at the Music Pier by 2pm on New Year’s Day to participate in a ‘first dip’ with your fellow outgoing beachgoers. Put on your favorite swimsuit, a few more layers, a warm winter coat, and some cozy boots before you head to the beach to take part in this wild tradition. Include the family or allow them to watch from the sand to cheer you on. Either way, this is quite the fun way to start off a new year with the family.

Holiday traditions tighten the bonds within a family unit and provide your children with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Which holiday traditions do you already participate in? Have you been inspired by anything we have recommended? Let us know in the comments how you will be spending the holidays this season!