There’s nothing quite like Christmas time in a small town, and the Christmas activities in Frederick, MD did not disappoint! Filled with charm and activities for all ages, it was the perfect day trip for our family to help celebrate the holiday season!
We visited Frederick the first weekend in December as the kick-off to our Advent Calendar. It was the absolute perfect way for us to get in the holiday spirit!
We often watch Christmas movies at home and sit and ooh and aah over some of the town celebrations and holiday events. The entire time we watch the movie, we’re thinking “Yeah, but this is just a movie. Real life isn’t like that anymore.”
Guys. Real small town America filled with bustling streets, people shouting hi to neighbors and kids caroling in the streets while a horse-drawn carriage goes by… is happening in Frederick, MD. We’re so thankful that Visit Frederick invited us as their guests for the weekend!
Christmas Decorations in Frederick MD
You won’t have to go far to find examples of how Frederick decorates for the holidays. Our favorite was the boats that line Carroll Creek during December. Each one is unique and colorful!
But nighttime is when they really shine! Literally!
It was the absolute perfect holiday decoration for this area of town and was so much fun to walk along the creek seeing each individual boat! Carroll Creek is already one of my favorite spots in Frederick, but the lit boats along the bridges just solidified it for me!
The Doors of Frederick MD
If you stop by the Visitor’s Center when you first enter Frederick, you’ll see posters for sale of the Doors of Frederick. For good reason too, because they are just stunning. So many colors that blend perfectly with the historical architecture of their buildings.
During the holidays, the residents and shop owners in Frederick don’t hold back in decorating. There should be a new poster made just for the Christmas Doors of Frederick!
Holiday Home Tour in Frederick MD
We were fortunate to see even more of the beautifully decorated homes as part of the Holiday Home Tour that’s held during the first weekend in December.
This gorgeous home is a private residence that pretty much takes your breath away as you’re walking up to it! We weren’t able to take interior photos, but there was so much inspiration inside these homes. The paint colors and architecture were so inspiring.
A lot of the houses we toured had guides dressed in period costumes explaining some of the history of the homes. We even encountered some carolers on the home tour to help get everyone in a festive spirit!
I fell in love with these trees and the over-sized ornament decorations! Can you even imagine this being your front porch and getting to come home to this every night?
Some of the houses even had their backyards decorated like this garden shed.
The program for the Holiday Home Tour gave brief descriptions of each house with a little history of the homeowners. I loved how this one described the homeowner as a little girl telling her mom that if she was a house, this was the house she would be! Years later, her and her husband purchased it and raised their kids here!
Downtown Activities in Frederick MD
We also spent part of our weekend exploring downtown Frederick and all the holiday activities they were offering. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a town that blends history quite so well with modern amenities and hip dining and music options.
As part of the holiday festivities, they brought the music out into the streets!
There were a number of spots throughout town with live music that goes every weekend through December. The crowds were singing along, kids were dancing and it was just so festive!
We also stumbled upon a free s’mores station in front of one of the banks. I heard there was also hot chocolate at some point in downtown, but we never managed to find that one!
There is also a free trolley available and horse-drawn carriage rides. Those tickets are sold in front of Brewer’s Alley where the carriage picks up and drops off. It was about a 30 minute ride, complete with blankets and an entertaining guide.
Christmas Shopping in Frederick MD
One of my favorite parts of Frederick, is the variety of independently owned shops downtown. This is not a place to go for a chain store or something you’d find at a mall.
These are quirky, quaint shops filled with charm and one-of-a-kind gifts for pretty much anyone on your list! We stopped in everything from clothing shops to a guitar shop, an art store, a distiller, furniture stores and more!
We love Relish, North Market Pop Shop and Creme de la Creme! In fact, we might have gone back to each of those stores twice during our weekend!
Restaurants in Frederick MD
We’ve enjoyed pretty much every meal we’ve had in various Frederick restaurants. If you’re looking for a nicer dining our experience, The Tasting Room and Wine Kitchen are incredible.
For more of a family, pub dinner, we really enjoy Brewer’s Alley. I’ve eaten there twice now and highly recommend the Brussels sprouts and hamburger! Delicious!
We also enjoyed a great, relaxed breakfast at Frederick Coffee Company. It’s your typical coffeehouse with great breakfast sandwiches and delicious, specialty drinks. We even stopped back there before we left for the Lemon Berry and Marscapone cake.
If you’re looking for a delicious baked good while you’re downtown, I recommend stopping in at Cakes to Die For. They have cases filled with brownies, cookies, and cake slices. Plus, we loved their version of holiday decor and how it fit in with their theme!
Holiday Activities in Frederick MD
While we were there for the first weekend in December, there is still plenty of time left in the month to enjoy the holiday festivities. Frederick treats every weekend in December like First Saturday with plenty of live music and other events.
Be sure to check out the Events Calendar for other upcoming events in Frederick including the Houses of Worship Candlelight Tour. Frederick is known for it’s church spires and has some of the most architecturally impressive churches I’ve ever seen.
You will also want to check the schedule for the Weinberg Center for the Arts and perhaps take in a Nutcracker show!
There will also be Kris Kringle processional, Festival of Trees, art shows and so much more. We even stumbled on a Steampunk fair during our visit!
Be sure to add Frederick MD to your list of must-sees during December. It really will put you in a festive mood and make you feel like you’re in the middle of a Christmas movie set!