When you’re looking for fun things to do in Frederick, Md, you want a quick and easy guide that will lead you to the best experience possible!
Because, no matter if you were born and raised in Frederick or you’re a first time visitor passing through, our town has SO much to offer!
Whether you’re looking for that small-town charm, a shopper’s paradise, or a walk back in history, Frederick has it all!
Best Things to Do in Frederick Md
Clearly, the great thing about these sites is that you can find deals on excursions that you might never have thought to do until now!
Also, while you’re out and about, you gotta eat, so go to Restaurant.com to find the best deals on this amazing foodie town!
And if you’re visiting overnight, go to Trip Advisor to find the best rates on local hotels in Frederick Md.
Now, on to the list of the top things to do in Frederick Md!
1. Stop at the Frederick Visitor Center
Absolutely, your first stop should be the Frederick Visitor Center.
Here, you’ll find a ton of materials on the rich history of Frederick as well as notable places to see.
Without a doubt, the Visitor Center offers an unlimited amount of information on fun things to do all over the county!
Whether you’re looking for a driving tour of the covered bridges or a walking tour of Downtown Frederick, the Visitor Center is where you’ll get this information.
2. Visit the Civil War Battlefields – Things to do in Frederick Md
If you’re a history buff, bring the whole family to visit Monocacy National Battlefield.
Particularly, during the summer of 1864, this American Civil War Battle of Monocacy goes down in history as the battle that saved Washington DC.
As well as that, Monocacy National Battlefield has 1,647 acres rolling hills, historic buildings, with a Monocacy River backdrop.
Pictured above is part of the battlefield, specifically Best Farm, a former 748 acre plantation.
Another Civil War battlefield in Frederick County is the South Mountain State Battlefield.
3. Take Fun Pictures at the Many Murals of Frederick
Because Frederick has so many of them, I decided to write a blog post on the murals in Frederick Md.
And they’re not just in the historic district of Downtown Frederick either!
Although Downtown Frederick probably has the highest number of murals, like the iconic Community Bridge Mural over Carroll Creek, there are many others throughout the county.
4. Visit Frederick County Public Libraries – Things to do in Frederick Md
Overall, Frederick County currently has a total of 9 libraries.
- C. Burr Artz
- Brunswick Branch
- Emmitsburg Branch
- Middletown Branch
- Edward F. Fry Memorial Library at Point of Rocks
- Thurmont Regional
- Urbana Regional
- Walkersville Branch
- Myersville Community Library
Definitely, the libraries are a great place to start when looking for free things to do in Frederick Md.
Every library offers SO many fun programs year-round for all ages.
For instance, FCPL offers story times, playgroups, clubs, and classes.
5. Spend a Day in Historic Downtown Frederick
Besides all of the wonderfully unique specialty shops, historic buildings and the best restaurants in Downtown Frederick, there are also several special events to enjoy, such as:
- Summer Concert Series – Free Live Music at Baker Park’s Bandshell
- Summerfest Family Theatre is FREE in the mornings for the kiddos.
- Frederick’s 4th, the biggest 4th of July fireworks event in Frederick, Md.
- First Saturday in Downtown Frederick is super popular!
- Alive @ Five every Thursday from May through September, Downtown Frederick is abuzz with an outdoor happy hour and live music at Carroll Creek (only $5)
6. Take Advantage of the Public & State Parks – Things to do in Frederick Md
More things to do in Frederick, Md include getting lots of outdoor recreation!
Unquestionably, we are SO lucky to have SO many outdoor options here in Frederick offering:
- Walking trails (including the Appalachian Trail)
- Dog parks
- Picnic areas
- Bike Paths
- Lots of photo opportunities
For example, one option is to take a trip out to Gathland State Park.
But, before you go, read up on Exploring Burkittsville, MD.
Parks in Frederick County Maryland
And here’s a HUGE list of more FREE & low cost parks in Frederick County (check with each state park to confirm whether or not entry is free OR $3 per car or person):
- Baker Park
- Ballenger Creek Park
- Middletown Park
- Carroll Creek Park
- Catoctin Mountains National Park
- Cunningham Falls State Park
- Doubs Meadow Park
- Gambrill State Park – A Civilian Conservation Corps Camp of the 1930’s was located here.
- Greenbrier State Park
- Buckeystown Park
- C&O Canal Visitor Center
- Catoctin Aqueduct
- Creagerstown Park
- Devilbiss Bridge Park
- Green Hill Park
- Jug Bridge Monument Park
- Kemptown Park
- Libertytown Park
- Memorial Park
- Old National Pike Park
- Pinecliff Park
- Point of Rocks Park
- Urbana Community Park
- Urbana District Park
- Utica District Park
- Wiles Branch Park
- Washington Monument State Park
- Remsburg Park
- Middletown Memorial Park
With all these parks available to us, it makes sense to keep a nice, big outdoor picnic blanket, a couple of folding chairs, and a folding, collapsible picnic insulated bag stowed in the trunk of your car.
Indeed, you never know when you’ll want to drop everything on a gorgeous day and visit one of Frederick County’s parks to enjoy the beautiful weather!
In addition, I put together a great resource on state parks with beaches located in Frederick County as well as the surrounding area within one and a half hours away.
7. Enjoy Frederick County Scenic Drives
Frederick County has several scenic, historic byways you can enjoy by car or by bicycle.
For instance, take a driving tour of Frederick County’s hidden treasure, The Covered Bridges of Frederick.
Absolutely, this historic area affords several nice, scenic rides and gorgeous reminders of days gone by.
Other scenic byways are:
- Historic National Road
- Journey Through Hallowed Ground
- Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
- Antietam Campaign
- Old Main Streets
8. Visit Frederick’s Breweries – Things to do in Frederick Md
Because Frederick County has SO many breweries (last I counted there are 17), I had to put together a post with any and all information you need before visiting.
Therefore, check out the Best Breweries in Frederick: Cure What Ales You and let me know which one (or two or three) is your favorite!
In addition, I enjoyed a fun tour and beer tasting at the one and only Flying Dog Brewery – Bloodline Fruit Punch IPA anyone?
9. Relish in the Beauty of Surreybrooke Gardens
Surreybrooke Gardens is a garden center, but it’s so much more than that!
With their historic gardens and outbuildings, you can stroll through the grounds and feel like you’re frolicking back in time.
10. Have Fun at Frederick’s Nature Centers – Things to do in Frederick Md
These nature centers are free to get into the buildings.
In addition, visitors can hike, fish, play in the creek, and even enjoy geocaching.
11. Catch a Movie in Frederick
It’s always a great time to go to the movies, especially if the weather isn’t cooperating, like on a rainy day.
- Free Movie Nights
- Offered once a month from June through October at the Carroll Creek Ampitheater!
- Beer, wine, and snacks are available for purchase before and during the movies at Carroll Creek.
- Regal Westview & IMAX
- Really nice set of theaters located in the heart of Frederick.
- Go to Fandango to buy your tickets online! It’s way more convenient and you can waltz right into the theater to buy your popcorn without having to wait in line at the ticket box.
- Join Westview’s VIP+ Club and earn points to save money on future visits.
- In addition, they offer $1 kid movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning through their Summer Movie Express promo.
- Be sure to check Westview’s website for the latest promotions and deals.
- Warehouse Cinemas
- Frederick’s newest movie theaters offering:
- First-run films
- Excellent food and drinks (including beer & cocktails)
- Exceptional picture and sound
- Heated leather recliner seating in every auditorium
- Immersive SkyVUE™ technology
- Movie-themed events
- Frederick’s newest movie theaters offering:
12. Immerse Yourself In Frederick’s History – Things to do in Frederick Md
If you’re a history buff, check out Mount Olivet Cemetery.
It’s a gorgeous, very serene, historic cemetery where Francis Scott Key (he wrote the Start Spangled Banner!) and Thomas Johnson are buried.
However, before you go, read our post on Historic Mount Olivet Cemetery.
In addition, other historic sites & museums (like the popular Civil War Museum) in Frederick County include:
- Historical Society of Frederick County
- National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
- National Museum of Civil War Medicine (Sister museum to the Red Cross Founder Clara Barton Museum in Washington, DC) Groupon always has deals.
- Rose Hill Manor Park & Museums
- Brunswick Heritage Museum
- Frederick County Fire & Rescue Museum
- Middletown Valley Historical Society Museum
- Schifferstadt Architectural Museum
- Roger B. Taney House
- Roads and Rails Museum
- Catoctin Iron Furnace
- The Original Playhouse Children’s Museum
- Hessian Barracks – historical landmark located on South Market Street
13. Attend The Great Frederick Fair
Each year right around the beginning of September the Frederick Fairgrounds come to life with:
- Farm animals
- Cool cars
- Grandstand events
Read all about it in my post Frederick County Fair: 10 Reasons to Visit.
14. Take Advantage of Summer at Frederick County Carnivals
Summer equals carnivals!
Trust me, bring a sackpack for the stuffed animals and prizes you’ll win at the carnival!
Clearly, you’ll want to stay hands-free for riding the rides and walking around.
Moreover, here’s a great list of local Frederick County carnivals:
- Mother Seton School Carnival
- The Great Boonsboro Rescue Co. Carnival
- Gamber Community Fire Co. Carnival
- Union Bridge Fire Co. Carnival
- New Windsor Fire & Hose Co. Carnival
- Mount Airy Community Carnival
- Carroll Manor Fire Co. Carnival
- Taneytown Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival
- Sykesville Freedom Fire Co. Carnival
- Harney Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival
- Walkersville Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival
- Manchester Fire Co. Carnival
- Middletown Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival
- Guardian Hose Co. Carnival
- Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Dept. Carnival
- Burkittsville Ruritan Club Carnival
- Urbana Volunteer Fire & Rescue Co. Carnival
- Reese Fire Co. Carnival
- Mt. Airy Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival
- Jefferson Ruritan Club Carnival
- Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival
- Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival
- Libertytown Volunteer Fire Co. Carnival
15. Cool Off At Swimming Pools in Frederick County
Staying local for the summer can save you thousands of dollars in vacation costs.
Therefore, why not use some of that money and join one of the several pools in Frederick County?
Here’s a list of Frederick County Swimming Pools:
- Braddock Heights Pool – Membership Required
- Edward P. Thomas Memorial Pool – Public
- William R. Diggs Memorial Pool – Public
- Brunswick Municipal Pool – Public
Life is good!
16. Pick Up Fresh Veggies, Fruits & More at Farmers Markets
For all the foodies in Frederick, you won’t have a hard time locating a farmer’s market almost every day of the week during the spring and summer months.
Read up on our Farmers Markets in Frederick County experience and you’ll find a link there for all of the area’s market dates, times, and locations.
Specifically, in Frederick County, you’ll find:
- Brunswick Main Street Farmers Market
- Downtown Thursday Market
- Emmitsburg Farmers Market
- FSK Mall Farmers Market
- Farmers Market at NCI-Frederick
- Field Fresh Farmers Market
- Frederick City Market
- Frederick Farmers Market
- Jefferson Farmers Market
- Key City Food & Farm Market
- Lake Linganore Farmers and Artisans Market
- Middletown Farmers Market
- Myersville Farmers Market
- New Market Farmers Market
- Thurmont Mainstreet Market
- Urbana Library Market
- Walkersville Community Farmers Market
- YMCA of Frederick Market
Above all, be sure to bring your Farmer’s Market Bag with you for all the goodies you’ll be bringing home!
17. Take the Kids to Earth, Space, & Science Lab – Things to do in Frederick Md
If you’re looking for a fun, educational experience for the kiddos, we LOVE the Earth Space and Science Lab (ESSL).
Take a look at our trip to the ESSL to see all the things they have to offer.
In the past, Terri and I have taken our boys here and were super impressed with everything they had to offer.
Obviously a must-visit for children and adults alike.
18. Sophie & Madigan’s Playground
Sophie & Madigan’s Playground
632 Contender Way
The Lillard family of Myersville MD founded Sophie & Madigan’s Playground after their beloved girls, Sophie & Madigan, were killed in a horrific house fire in January of 2013. They are continually working to honor the girls by creating opportunities, and an inclusive play space to for the community to come together to play learn and create life long memories in ways that reflect the girls loving spirits.
19. Athletics in Frederick County
For some extra activity in your child’s life and to sharpen their athletic skills, try out an athletic summer camp.
As an example, The Athlete Factory has a great reputation for teaching kids the fundamentals of baseball and softball, as well as improving their skills.
Additionally, more athletic summer camps in Frederick County include:
Also, here’s a great post with a full list of Kids Sports Organizations in Frederick County.
20. Live Theatre in Frederick Md – Things to do in Frederick Md
Terri’s Live Theatre in Frederick County post is based on her son’s experience growing up participating in the local theatre community.
Needless to say, Frederick has SO much to offer in the performing arts.
Here’s a list of Frederick County Performing Arts Theatres:
- Fredericktowne Players
- Maryland Ensemble Theatre
- Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre
- Thurmont Thespians
- Act Too! Theatre Company
- Valley Theatre
- Maryland Shakespeare Festival
- Other Voices Theatre
- Weinberg Center for the Arts
- New Spire Arts
- Urbana Dance & Performing Arts Studio
- Mid Maryland Performing Arts Center
- Mt. Airy Performing Arts Center
- Sky Stage
- Summerfest Family Theatre
- Free Range Humans
21. Wind Down at Frederick County Wineries
Whether you’re looking for an intimate wine tasting or a day-long winery event with live music and food trucks, Frederick County has several amazing local wineries!
Read about our experience at Linganore Winecellars with What Happens at the Winery, Stays at the Winery.
But, before you leave the house for that first glass of wine, check Groupon for any current deals.
Also, for a list of ALL of the wineries in Frederick County, Maryland, like Elk Run Vineyards and Hidden Hills Farm, I’ve got the list!
AND, I’ve included what makes each and every winery unique and special.
22. Participate in Frederick County Summer Camps
For kids of all ages, including adults, be sure to bookmark the Recreater.
Also, for the teens in your life, we’ve put together a great list of 14 of the Best Summer Camps for Teens in Frederick.
23. Visit the Frederick County Zoo – Things to do in Frederick Md
The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo is located right here in Frederick County!
This zoo has so many interesting animals from all over the world, cool exhibits, and fun safari rides.
For more information, read our post, Catoctin Zoo: How to Have an Awesome Day Trip.
24. Attend a Frederick Keys Baseball Game
Obviously, you can’t call it summer until you’ve attended a minor league baseball game right here in Frederick!
The Frederick Keys are a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League.
Needless to say, you’ll get that ‘take me out to the ballgame’ experience without having to leave town.
Go to their site for lots of great promotions like:
- Kids Eat Free Mondays
- FREE Fireworks nights
- Select player autographs
- Guaranteed Win Tuesdays
- Junior Keys Kids Club
- 60+ Club
Don’t forget to bring your baseball glove to Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium for that chance to catch a foul ball!
Also, Groupon always has deals on Frederick Keys Baseball games.
25. Visit a Distillery – Things to do in Frederick Md
Frederick has an ever-growing list of amazing, small batch distilleries with not only delicious spirits made on site, but also cocktail bars and event space offerings!
To date, distilleries in Frederick include:
- American Shochu Company
- Dragon Distillery
- Fordham Lee Distillery
- McClintock Distilling
- Miscellaneous Distillery
- Puerto Rico Distillery
- Springfield Manor Winery, Distillery, & Brewery
- Tenth Ward Distilling Co.
26. Eat at Frederick’s Fabulous Restaurants
Whether you’re looking for casual dining, fancy fare, or something in between, Frederick has it all!
After years and years of writing about the best eats that Frederick County has to offer, I finally put it all together in this post, Best Restaurants in Frederick.
There, you’ll find links to the best restaurants in Frederick, categorized by cuisine.
Hint: The Tasting Room is a long-time local favorite!
Wow! Now that’s quite a list!
In conclusion, we’d love to hear from you if you have any “best kept secrets” or awesome things to do in Frederick Md.
For lists of FREE things to do, check out these posts: