first_imgBy Tim KellyFor those who wish to get an early start on holiday shopping, the Ocean City Historical Museum has you covered.The museum will host its first Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair on Friday, Nov. 30, from 1 to 7 p.m. The event, which takes place in the atrium outside the museum entrance, will also serve as an open house for the museum and the kick-off for Mrs. Claus’ Market.During the month of December, the museum’s gift shop is expanded to include holiday gifts, museum-related items, local wares and one-of-a-kind antiques. During these weeks, the shop takes on its new identity as Mrs. Claus’ Market.“This is an opportunity for people to pick up a unique hostess gift for those holiday parties, or to find something local for people who love Ocean City and do not live in the area,” said Jeff McGranahan, the museum’s executive director. “Many of the gifts are already boxed and wrapped and ready to go. We’ll even assist with shipping the item.” Local favorites, such as Windy Acres Sea Salt, Jalma Farms jams and Busy Bees’ locally produced honey, will be among the choices. The items are arranged in gift boxes and baskets for easy one-stop shopping and gift-giving.In addition to saving time and being convenient, purchasing these gifts has the additional benefit of helping the Historical Museum continue with its good work preserving and telling the many stories of Ocean City’s past. “We rely on events such as these in order to survive,” said Beth Bowman, a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees. “I hope people will take time to attend and to shop with us.”“Mrs. Claus” shows off some of the products that will be for sale in December at Mrs. Claus’ Market at the Ocean City Historical Museum.The vision of the museum, according to its website, is to be “an inviting, informative and innovative community resource that is recognized and respected as the place for exploring and celebrating the rich history and heritage of Ocean City, NJ.”The museum has certainly achieved that vision and then some.Among other exhibits and features, visitors may peruse artifacts, stories and recovered cargo from the Sindia, Ocean City’s most famous shipwreck.Another exhibit is devoted to Ocean City’s adopted daughter, Grace Kelly, a Philadelphia native who summered in the resort for many years and went on to become an Oscar-winning actress and later the Princess of Monaco.There are also sections of the museum featuring the Ocean City Beach Patrol, Ocean City High School, and the city’s famous beach and Boardwalk, among many other highlights.Now, McGranahan hopes Ocean City residents and visitors will also think of the museum as a one-stop shopping center. “People should shop early (for the best selection of items),” McGranahan added.He noted that one vendor, Gring Antiques of Atlantic City, will have a selection of vintage antique Christmas decorations, but supplies are limited.“For people in the market for these types of decorations, this will be a good opportunity,” McGranahan said. For more information on the Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair and Mrs. Claus’ Market, visit the Ocean City Historical Museum website at or call 609-399-1801. The museum is located inside the Ocean City Community Center at 1735 Simpson Avenue. Mary Ann Gring, of Gring’s Antiques, sets up an assortment of Christmas decorations and other antiques for sale to benefit the Ocean City Historical Museum. (Photos courtesy of the Ocean City Historical Museum)last_img