Kids need a way to get out their wiggles and bursts of energy daily. During the warm weather months, they are able to go outside to play and enjoy area jungle gyms and parks. However, when the late fall and winter seasons arrive, parents often search for engaging indoor spaces for their children to explore.
Frederick’s Child Magazine put together a list of 15 spots across the county that your kids can enjoy any time of year, but especially while Mother Nature takes her long nap over the winter. Some are completely free while others come with a cost, but all provide hours of fun to guests.
SPINNERS PINBALL ARCADE
Some arcades still require payment every time you start up a new game. That’s not the case at this Frederick venue where $15 per person will get you unlimited gaming opportunities for the entire day. Guests can play old-school pinball machines along with classic arcade games, older model video games and physical games such as air hockey, Skee-Ball and table football.
Imagination can run wild at this indoor soft playground, which is geared toward younger children up to preteens. The Frederick-based facility features specialized zones for each age group including one for tots, the ball pit, and one for big kids. But all ages will love the three-level play structure.
ADVENTURE PARK USA
With more than 20 attractions, this destination is a great place to cure winter boredom. Head inside to take on the park’s XD theater 4D ride, try your luck at mini bowling, play a thrilling game of laser tag or check out around 75 games in the arcade. Be sure to come to this Monrovia location in the summer, too, when its outdoor attractions, including mini golf, go karts and roller coasters, are open.
URBAN AIR ADVENTURE AND TRAMPOLINE PARK
One of the best ways to keep warm is to jump around, and Urban Air Adventure and Trampoline Park is a great place to spend a cold day. The Frederick-based facility offers a full day of fun with activities such as climbing walls, laser tag, a ropes course, a sky rider zip line and much more. Folks can choose between three levels when purchasing their tickets.
ROADS AND RAILS MUSEUM
When choo-choo-choosing where to go on a cold day, bring train enthusiasts to the Roads and Rails Museum to see one of the largest miniature train displays in the United States. Guests get to explore a number of worlds including a corn field with aliens, a zoo, carnival and a volcano, to name just a few. Don’t leave without checking out the museum’s large display of LEGO, which also has a working train inside.
Let your inner Picasso, Kahlo, Monet and O’Keeffe shine during a session at a local paint-your-own pottery shop. I Made This! Pottery Studio and Hot Fired Arts offer patrons the opportunity to pick from dozens of plain white ceramics to paint into their own work of art. Imagination is the only tool you need when coming to these spots, as each has all the other supplies you need for a fun-filled, creative outing.
Beat the wind chill by heading to the ice indoors instead. Skate Frederick offers guests the opportunity to channel their inner Olympians and ice skate. It has public skating sessions, as well as private lessons in the sport and a home rink for ice hockey teams. Skate Frederick does not offer pre-registration for public sessions, so admission is on a first come, first served basis.
ORIGINAL PLAYHOUSE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Battery-free play is a phrase that can be super refreshing for parents to hear as their children are constantly bombarded with technology. Children can meander through the two-story museum using their imagination and curiosity to entertain themselves while entering rooms with a wide variety of themes including dress up theater, arts and crafts and more.
Give your brain a workout through 60 minutes of solving puzzles, riddles and clues courtesy of escape rooms. Frederick boasts three escape rooms: SureLockedIN Escape Games, Escape This and Clue IQ. Each offers unique experiences and themes including dinosaurs, jail cells and medieval times. Guests are given private rooms for their party and must work together in order to solve the room’s quest.
FOURTH DIMENSION FUN CENTER
Creators of Fourth Dimension Fun Center in Frederick weren’t kidding when they put “fun” in its name. The indoor entertainment center features activities to keep you and your kids busy throughout the day, including bowling, laser tag, escape rooms, an arcade and a laser maze. A bar and grille is also onsite, ready to serve you entrees, burgers, pizza, subs and more.
While it is nice to watch movies at home, there is nothing like seeing a film inside a theater with a gigantic screen and surround sound. Frederick has two great venues to choose from when it comes to films—Warehouse Cinemas and Regal Westview. Both offer discounted viewings on Tuesdays (Regal requires you to be a member of their Crown Club for the cheaper price.)
Whether you throw a strike, spare or gutter ball, bowling is always a good time. The county has two different spots to choose from for 10 pins of fun—Walkersville Bowling Center and Mount Airy Bowling Lanes. Both have food options so you can re-energize in-between frames.
A book has the ability to let readers go to exciting, far-off places without ever leaving their homes. So head to one of the nine Frederick County Public Library branches to check out some of the thousands of books and other materials they have available. Be sure to check out the library’s calendar of events for a number of engaging programs for all ages daily. The best part? It is all free!
Does your child have an interest in cooking, want to learn a sport or express themselves creatively? Check out the Frederick County Parks and Recreation quarterly publication, Recreator, to find list of all the classes available in a variety of subject areas like sports, dance, art, nature, history and more. The classes can be as short as a couple of hours or go on once a week for several weeks. They’re a great way for children to try new things without having to make a long commitment.
The Village People weren’t wrong. It is always fun to stay at the YMCA, especially when you get to take a number of fun classes in areas like swim and aquatics, health and fitness, sports and recreation and arts and humanities. The county YMCA has two main locations—one in downtown Frederick and another in Urbana. It also has a camp in Sabillasville, as well as an arts center and teaching kitchen in Downtown Frederick.