A huge thank you to Holly Hills Country Club for their generous sponsorship of this guide! Holly Hills is conveniently located near downtown Frederick and a short drive from both Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Nestled in the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains, the club offers members and guests a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the essence of a private club with scenic views, a challenging 18 hole golf course, swimming pool and pool house, tennis courts, activities field, summer camp for kids and an elegant clubhouse in a family friendly environment.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Check the Macaroni Kid Calendar for free and low-cost things to do in our area. Not a subscriber? Sign up and you’ll get the scoop each week directly in your email in-box. It’s free. No sales. No gimmicks. Just plain fun.
- Head to the Francis Scott Key Mall for a FREE walk-through parade in the parking lot on November 14th. Floats will include businesses, non-profits, and anchor stores and will be lined up outside the mall providing swag, pre-packaged treats, and coupons. The Grinch will be on hand for photos, along with additional Holiday Characters. The Salvation Army will be providing outside entertainment. Vendors and food trucks will be in the area to offer food and holiday treats for parade-goers.
- Celebrate Thanksgiving with a delicious meal at Brewer’s Alley! They have a great menu in store and you don’t need to cook!
- The holiday season opens in downtown Frederick on November 27th for the festive Frosty Friday event! This includes all day shopping in Downtown Frederick! Parking is FREE, shops open early and stay open late, plus you can claim a free gift from the Snowflake Tree (while supplies last). Remember to wear your mask.
- While you are shopping downtown on the 27th, stop in at Brewer’s Alley for their Frosty Friday breakfast!
- Victory Baptist Church will be hosting an Outdoor Living Manger the weekend of December 11th to 13th. There will be a program every 30 minutes during open hours.
- On December 12th, enjoy the collaboration of Christmas and history at the Monocacy Battlefield for the Museums by Candlelight event. Welcome the holidays by joining park staff and volunteers for holiday decorations and crafts for kids at the historic Thomas House. Tours will also be offered at the Civil War Museum on this date. Follow in the footsteps of soldiers, surgeons, and more to discover how Civil War medicine continues to change lives today.
- Celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 19th at Sol Yoga! In this workshop, you will be releasing the old and inviting the new. A short discussion, a candlelight kriya & meditation and an extended sound healing savasana with gongs & singing bowls will make this a magical and meaningful workshop.
- Grab some holiday-themed gourmet popcorn from The Original Popcorn House and a cup of hot chocolate from the Frederick Coffee Company & Cafe and take a stroll on Carroll Creek to enjoy the festive light displays.
- Get the milk and cookies ready because Santa Claus is coming to Francis Scott Key Mall beginning on November 9th! This year, due to social distancing, Santa is requesting each visitor to have a reservation.
- Ride the train with Santa on the Walkersville Southern Railroad! Have your camera ready for some great shots as Santa will visit with each family! ASL Santa for our deaf friends: November 28 & 29 and December 19 & 20. Rides last 1 hour and 10 min, rain, snow or shine! Free hot chocolate and Uncle Ralph's cookies will be served in the museum after your ride. Reservations required.
- From November 27th-29th, come and see Santa’s scout at the Maryland Christmas show!
- Can’t see Santa in person? No problem! Have your child send him a letter with their wish list instead! The Greetings from the North Pole Post Office program adds to the excitement of Christmas and is ideal for getting kids interested in letter writing, stamps and penmanship.
Catch a Holiday Show:
- Enjoy some smooth live jazz music and smooth craft cocktails at Tenth Ward Distillery every Thursday night through December 31st for their Jazz & Cocktails series.
- Every Saturday night in November, head to Hometown Harvest Kitchen for live music, farm-to-fork appetizers and entrees, and delicious cocktails, beer, and wine. Cozy up on their spacious, heated, “Insta-worthy” patio, featuring bistro lights and Carroll Creek views, and enjoy a fun, relaxing evening with the whole family.
- Grammy nominated songwriter and piano sensation, Jim Brickman, is donating to theatres across the country this holiday season by performing virtual concerts complete with Interactive Zoom Rooms, Meet & Greets and Christmas Gifts delivered to your door. A portion of each ticket purchased to this LIVE event on Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 4:00 PM will benefit the Weinberg Center for the Arts.
- Listen to the sounds of the season in a festive environment with Christmas in the Hootch lounge with Freddie Long on December 10th. Enjoy some yummy food from Hootch & Banter at the same time!
- Freddie Long will be at Bushwaller’s Pub on Christmas Night for the 5th Annual Freddie Long Christmas Spectacular! Top off your day of festivities with some great music and food.
- Find the Perfect Tree:
- Frederick County is home to several farms selling beautiful Christmas trees to brighten your home for the holidays!
Festive Road Trips
- Drive over to Valley View Farms in Cockeysville for their Christmas/Holiday sights! From early November Valley View Farms has an outdoor Christmas light display that illuminates the night sky with over 100,000 lights. The entire valley is set aglow with a sea of twinkling star-like lights that dazzle the mind’s eye with inspiration. Head home with a beautiful Christmas ornament that you find in their shop!
- From November 25th-January 2nd, head to the Merriweather Symphony of Lights to see beautiful holidays lights on a drive-thru or walkthrough route!
- The shops at Kenilworth are home to several holiday treasures, such as their amazing train display and also their visits with Santa! Grab some hot chocolate to go and take the worthwhile trip!
GET CRAFTY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
- Every Wednesday in November, Hot Fired Arts invites you to paint from the comfort of our home on pottery or canvas. You can pick up your kits for home painting in studio or purchase them from their website's on-line store. A picture and description of each weeks project will be explained on Thursdays under the Event page. Prices vary but will include the project, paints, and firing.
- Grab a friend for a fun Wooden Pumpkin Painting Workshop at Give Rise Studio on November 14th. Get crafty with art instructor, Virginia Mae Warwick, by painting your very own wooden pumpkin to decorate your home.
- Warm up under a warm blanket that you made yourself! AR Workshop Frederick is hosting a Chunky Knit Blanket Workshop on November 15th, November 21st, November 25th, and November 28th. You will be guided step-by-step through the hand knitting process to create a super cozy, one-of-a-kind blanket.
- Make some beautiful Thanksgiving-themed cookies at AR Workshop on November 22nd for their Specialty Cookie Decorating with Custom Cookies by Karen events! Learn how to decorate various holiday-themed cookies step-by-step.
- On December 5th, head to Cafe Bueno for a fun afternoon painting a beautiful easy Christmas Decorations painting. Class is open to all ages. They will set up your experience to adhere to Covid 19 guidelines, keeping everyone safe while still having a great time.
- Make a reservation at Hot Fired Arts to paint your own canvas or pottery!
- AR Workshop Frederick has DIY-to-go kits, virtual party packages, and lots of workshops!
WORK OFF THOSE CHRISTMAS COOKIES
- Bundle up and head out for a hike on the beautiful Catoctin Mountain trails! It isn’t too late to catch the last of the Fall foliage. And no matter the season, you are sure to see some beautiful sights while you get your exercise.
- Every Saturday in November, Sol Yoga invites you to indulge in an afternoon of self-care as you sink into 75 minutes of deep release and relaxation in this delicious restorative yoga class. Intended to ease mental and physical tension in a lasting way, gentle asanas (poses) are held with the support of props for several minutes or more, and complemented with guided imagery, gentle breathwork and meditation. This is offered both in-person and virtually!
- Tuesdays in November, Sol Yoga offers a Yoga as Healing course, which is a guided, trauma informed yoga practice to help reduce stress and relieve tension and overwhelm in the body and mind. Taught by a specially trained and seasoned Trauma Informed Yoga Teacher, this 4-week series provides students with a space to become acquainted with and reclaim their bodies, helps them become grounded in the present moment, and allows them to explore the benefits of mindfulness as they flow breath to movement in guided, trauma informed yoga practice.
- Sol Yoga will also have a Mask Only Gentle Yoga series on Tuesdays in November. Join seasoned teacher Shelley Pentony for an all levels gentle yoga experience. All participants and teachers will be wearing a mask at all times and will practice 6’ apart. Studio will be sterilized before and after.
- The Virtual Santa Run of 2020 is a festive event held by the YMCA of Frederick County! Walk or run a 5K, 10K, or 1 mile Elf Run on December 12th!
- Sign up for a membership at OneLife Fitness - North Frederick! They have great classes to help you keep fit during the holiday season.
SHOP LOCAL FOR THE HOLIDAYS
- Downtown Frederick is lined with stores with gifts for everyone - from foodies to artists and fashionistas to music lovers. Check out the holiday shopping directory here!
- Let the family-owned, battery-free downtown toy store help you shop for the little ones in your life. Browse Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts!
- Make it a weekend event from November 13th-15th at Attaboy Barrel House with their LOCAL POP holiday celebration. LOCAL POP is a series of Frederick Retail pop ups at the Attaboy Barrel House. Partnering with some of the fave downtown businesses, they have three weekends of themed shopping goodness. And food trucks!
- The Village at Wormans Mill will be hosting a Holiday Market in the Village on November 14th. Local artists and makers will display and sell a variety of work including jewelry, pottery, holiday and home decor, glassware, clothing, pet products, gourmet foods and more. Make an afternoon of it! Their local restaurant, deli & bakery are also open, plus you can visit their beauty service providers to get ready for holiday looks!
- Support local farmers by shopping at the Frederick Farmer’s Market on November 14th! These farmers provide the community of Frederick with fresh local meat, produce, plants, flowers, crafts and goat cheese!
- Looking for the perfect Christmas gifts? Head to the Frederick County fairgrounds on November 20th for the Maryland Christmas Show. Featuring fine artisans and merchants, you are sure to find the perfect gifts.
- Friday November 27th is Black Friday! Use your spending power to support the black community by boycotting your traditional Black Friday plans and coming out to support local black-owned businesses at the SOUL Street Black Friday Pop-Up Market. There will be a wide variety of vendors, making this the perfect event to start your holiday shopping! They will also have food, music and fun, of course!
- Calling all local artist lovers, window shoppin', cocktail sippin', holiday shoppers! Tenth Ward Distillery is hosting a load of local makers and artisans for all your holiday shopping needs on Sunday, November 29 11am-6pm. Social distancing requirements will be followed!
- First Saturday in downtown Frederick will be held on December 5th! First Saturday is a day to show your love for local! Support local businesses by shopping with an independent retailer, eating at a local restaurant, supporting local artists and exploring Downtown Frederick. Many downtown businesses celebrate First Saturday with their own unique events. From in-store tastings and gallery openings, to artist and vendor exhibitions… there’s always something new to explore!
DO GOOD. BE KIND.
- Stop by one of the local Toys for Tots donation sites to drop off a new toy for a child this Christmas. It is a great way to get your whole family into the spirit of giving.
- Put those elf on the shelfs to good use and have them help your children engage in kindness missions throughout the season. This is a great way to refocus on the true meaning of the holidays.
- Have your child make holiday cards for residents in a local assisted living facility! They might not be able to cheer them up in person, but they can certainly bring some cheer with their kind words and thoughtful pictures.
- Warm up with some hot coffee and delicious donuts at Dunkin Donuts on November 14th for the Cops on Rooftops event! Frederick Police are raising money for local Special Olympics Athletes on this day. The kids will have fun waving to the officers and you will enjoy supporting a great cause (and some caffeination)!
- On November 14th, the Collective Church would love for you to stop by the Collective building and drop off Thanksgiving food items to benefit families in need through the Frederick Rescue Mission. They will be following MD COVID Guidelines so make sure to mask up.
- The Frederick Community Action Agency is in need of volunteers to help distribute turkeys on Wednesday, November 25rd at 5:00PM. They will also need volunteers to help pack emergency food boxes next door at the Frederick Community Action Agency Food Bank on the same night!
- Give on “Giving Tuesday,” November 27 . Give a gift online or sign up to volunteer to make a difference in the lives of children, teens, and adults in Frederick County.
- Have you ever wondered what was required to become a foster parent? Or, what the need was like here in Frederick County? Please join an Information Session on December 2nd where the Frederick County Department of Social Services will provide an overview of their program & licensing requirements, and they will be available to answer any questions you may have.
- Donate traditional menu items or your time to the Frederick Rescue Mission, or send someone in need of a good meal.
- Volunteer with The Frederick Soup Kitchen Program, which provides a full evening meal, seven nights a week from 5:30 to 6:30 pm to anyone in need of a hot, nutritious meal.
- Donate to Heartly House, which provides services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.
- Donate food or cash or even volunteer to participate in Annapurna’s Kitchen “Pay As You Can Cafe” that serves a monthly meal based on pantry contributions, volunteers, and donations. Come serve and/or enjoy a meal…and maybe pay one forward!
BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, SO WARM UP INSIDE
- Let the kids burn out some energy after weeks of virtual schooling by attending the Ninja Nerf Night at Jump Club Extreme on November 14th. This event will include various Nerf activities such as all out battles, team battles, target practice, and more inside the Frederick Ninja Warrior Gym.
- Keep those kids moving and check out Frederick County Parks and Rec for indoor recreation options such as soccer, gymnastics, soccer, adaptive programs, and more.
- With many different libraries in Frederick County, you can always find a great virtual and adult children’s program or a nice place to curl up with a book at home! Check out their calendar of events!
- Take ice-skating or hockey lessons, or enjoy public skate times at Skate Frederick. Or go retro and roller-skate at Starland Roller Rink.
- Go bowling at Terrace Lanes or duckpin bowling at Mt. Airy Bowling Lanes.
- Climb the walls at the Boulder Yard!
- Get in game time at Spinners!
SOCIALLY DISTANCED HOLIDAY CHEER
- Settle in on the couch with your family, some hot cocoa, and popcorn for a holiday movie night. Check out some of the new holiday movies coming to Netflix, such as Part Two of the Christmas Chronicles or Captain Underpants Mega Blissmas!
- When it snows, make the most of it and go sledding as a family! It may be chilly, but it beats being cooped up inside!
- Looking for a sensory-rich and festive cooking activity for the kids? Try your hand at making these yummy popcorn balls.
- Set up a Zoom game night with family and friends. A holiday-themed game of charades is sure to get everyone in the holiday spirit!
- Have a family holiday Paint Nite! Spread out at the table with your paint and canvases and follow along using a free YouTube tutorial. Check on this one on how to make a Reindeer Painting!
- Go on a drive for a holiday scavenger hunt! See if you can find everything on the list - blue lights, an inflatable Santa, decorated mailbox, tree in the window, etc.! You can make your own or check out some ideas on Etsy or Pinterest.
- Build a gingerbread house!
- Work on those fine motor skills by cutting out paper snowflakes!
- Host a virtual Christmas trivia night! Have everyone show up in their tackiest Christmas sweaters and enjoy company safely through the screen.
- Decorate Christmas Cookies! Have a fun contest by posting the cookies on social media and having friends and family vote for their favorite design.
- Have a holiday music dance party! Ask Alexa or Google to play some holiday music and have some fun.
- Head downtown in Westminster to some of the cute main street shops to see if you can find the perfect ornament for this year.
- Socially distanced cookie swap! Bake cookies and be randomly assigned to drop the cookies on someone else’s doorstep! Everyone walks away with a sweet surprise treat.
- Go on a Candy Cane Hunt! Hide Candy Canes around your house and have the kids collect them. Play some holiday music to add to the cheer!
- Head to one of the branches of Frederick County Public Library and check out lots of holiday books to read together as a family!
- Play I-Spy with the Christmas Tree ornaments! Once you have decorated the tree, take turns guessing which ornament someone spies on each turn.
- Hold a sibling sleepover in the living room. Combine the sleepover with some of the other activities listed here!
- Zoom caroling! Pick some of your favorite holiday songs and call up some distant friends or relatives to bring some holiday music into their homes!