There’s nothing quite like December in Frederick County. Here, amid magnificent historic architecture, a canopy of twinkling lights, fine dining and shopping, the area is brimming with fun-filled seasonal events and holiday cheer.
From downtown holiday processions to beloved neighborhood traditions, there’s a sleighful of ways to have amazing holiday adventures with the ones you love. And although plenty of opportunities abound, we’ve assembled a list of four must-do events to ensure your holiday season is merry and bright!
Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship
The Candlelight Tour of Historic Houses of Worship celebrates Frederick’s tradition of religious diversity, local history and the holiday season with eleven churches opening their doors to the public. As the sun begins to set, visitors can tour many of Frederick’s famous clustered spires and other historic houses of worship by candlelight. Each beautiful venue offers visitors unique programs, choir performances, refreshments, nativity scenes and more.
A printed map of participating sites can be found at the Visit Frederick Information Center at 19 E. Church St.
Dec. 26, 4-9 p.m. | VisitFrederick.org
Candlelight House Tour
Looking for a little festive inspiration? The self-guided walking tour is a long-standing tradition in Frederick County (more than 30 years and counting) taking visitors inside private homes elaborately dressed for the season. Whether you favor historical home significance, architectural features or the creativity of talented decorators, you’ll no doubt find yourself impressed by each stop on the route.
This year’s tour is a walk through Frederick’s rich history and will feature eight homes, each with distinctive architectural style and holiday theme.
A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit beautification and community projects in downtown Frederick. More than $100,000 has been donated to beautify the Frederick community as a result of the Candlelight House Tours! This event sells out so we recommend you purchase your tickets quickly!
Saturday, Dec. 7, 5-9 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8, 12-4 p.m.
34th Annual Kris Kringle Procession
Embrace the holiday spirit and let your inner Cheermeister out! The Kris Kringle procession, entering its 34th year, is a must-do for the family! Each year, Frederick City lights up with the holiday spirit as local community groups march through the streets of Downtown Frederick. It’s part small-town charm, part old-world holiday wonder.
Children from across the county, dressed as reindeer, snowflakes, elves and angels, participate in the procession alongside German/English characters of yesteryear (Pelsnickle, Weinacht Man and Kris Kringle) as well as modern favorites like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Jack Frost. The parade ends in Baker Park for the ceremonial lighting of the city Christmas tree and a concert featuring the Carillon Bells.
The Kris Kringle procession runs from the corner of South Carroll Street to East Patrick Street, turns right onto North Market Street, and then turns left onto West Second Street ending at Baker Park.
Tip: Get there early and know the route!
Dec.13, 6:30 p.m.
The Santa Train of Walkersville Southern Railroad
A holiday visit on the Walkersville Southern Railroad is a magical family experience! Make your child’s visit with Santa a unique memory as you travel over the track that the Pennsylvania Railroad originally built in 1872.
Your experience lasts a little more than an hour where Santa will personally visit with each and every family on board. Complimentary hot chocolate and Uncle Ralph's cookies are served in the museum after your ride. ASL Santa will be on board Dec. 1, 15, 21 and 22 for hearing-impaired families.
The Walkersville Southern Railroad was founded by a hardy group of volunteers over 25 years ago, taking a long-unused railroad line back from the weeds. Over the years, their volunteers have restored a number of pre World War II cars and locomotives, rebuilt the station, added a museum and are proud to have 15,000 passengers per year enjoy the great scenery of Frederick County.
Tip: The Santa Train is extremely popular with families in the area. We recommend booking your preferred date now to secure your family’s place in this fun Christmas experience!
Did you know? 15,000 visitors a year travel the Walkersville Southern Railroad!
December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Looking for more to do in the county this holiday season? VisitFrederick.org has a host of events that’ll keep you busy the entire month of December!
Blogger. Marketer. Deadline Juggler. Native Fredericktonian. By day, Jen serves as the VP of marketing and communication at the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, but by night you can find her serving as owner/editor of the lifestyle site PursuitOfItAll.com.