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Here are some ideas to help you welcome the arrival of our next year with a little outdoor fun on Jan. 1, 2024!


Thousands of folks on the Delmarva Peninsula greet the arrival of each new year by taking a mid-winter dip into the ocean or the Bay on New Year’s Day. Some folks make quite the spectacle of themselves for these occasions, donning silly hats and ridiculous costumes. Others keep a lower profile, making the briefest of dips and then hightailing it over to a nearby bonfire or hot chocolate line. Most of these events benefit local charities, which do their part to create a festive environment full of creature comforts for their brave plungers.

No, I absolutely, positively will not be running into the ocean come Jan. 1, 2024. That said, don’t let me spoil your fun!

The Ocean City (Md.) Penguin Swim
The Dewey (Del.) Dunk
The Fenwick Freeze (Fenwick Island, Del.)
Hair of the Dog Walk/Run/Plunge (Bethany Beach, Del.)
The Chincoteague (Va.) Pony Plunge
First Day in the Bay (Cape Charles, Va.)
The Big Dip (Rock Hall, Md.)


If plunging into the New Year in wet and freezing fashion is not for you, opt instead to join in a group walk. A number of state parks on the Delmarva Peninsula organize “First Day Hikes” in the great outdoors on Jan. 1.

New Years Weekend: First Day Hikes on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, as well as Southern Delaware• This list of First Day Hikes in Delaware includes events at a slew of state parks in our area, including Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore, First State Heritage, Fort DuPont, Holts Landing, Killens Pond, Lums Pond, Trap Pond, and lots of parks in and around Wilmington, too.
• This list of First Day Hikes in Maryland is broken out by region, so head to the Eastern Region for most of the Eastern Shore parks. But if you’re interested in Cecil County, it’s listed in the central region.
• In Virginia, Kiptopeke State Park near Cape Charles will be joining in the First Day Hike fun.


–Compiled by Jim Duffy for Secrets of the Eastern Shore/Whimbrel Creations LLC. Posted on Dec. 16, 2023. Happy New Year, everyone!

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