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30 for 30: Discover 30 Attractions, Businesses and Institutions That Have Served Frederick County for 30 Years or More

Fireworks in Frederick | Courtesy Visit Frederick

Hitting the big three zero is definitely a huge milestone for Frederick’s Child. To celebrate our anniversary, we put together a list of 30 attractions, businesses and institutions that have called Frederick County home for 30 years or more.

When composing this list, we first looked at what venues are family-friendly, popular and have welcomed generations of visitors throughout the years. We verified founding dates—some of our initial choices just missed the 30-year mark by a few years.

As our staff observes this anniversary, we hope that our readers will discover or remember some of these establishments that have helped make Frederick County a wonderful place to raise a family.


1. Baker Park

For more than 75 years, Baker Park has welcomed generations of residents and visitors to experience recreation and leisure in “Frederick’s front yard.” The 58-acre park has multiple playgrounds, a tower with carillon bells, jogging and bicycle paths and a lake where many ducks call home. Located in downtown Frederick, the site also hosts some of the city’s most popular events, including Frederick’s Fourth to honor Independence Day and a Summer Concert Series. 121 N. Bentz St., Frederick; 301-600-1450;

2. Big Wooden Slide in Mount Tabor Park

All playground slides will pale in comparison after you’ve experienced the one in Mount Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge. Known as the Big Wooden Slide, the structure stands 40 feet high and was first constructed by volunteers in 1950. Make sure to bring a beach towel so you can slide down even faster. 13544 Motters Station Road, Rocky Ridge; 301-600-1646;

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve | Courtesy Visit Frederick

3. Catoctin Wildlife Preserve

With more than 600 exotic animals spread across 50 acres, the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve gives visitors the opportunity to see and sometimes interact with some of the world’s most interesting creatures. The Thurmont-based facility began as a 2-acre snake farm in the 1930s but expanded when Richard Hahn, who continues to serve as executive director, bought the facility in the 1960s. 13019 Catoctin Furnace Road, Thurmont; 301-271-3180;

4. Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal Point of Rocks

Whether it’s taking a walk or pedaling a bike, the towpath beside the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal in Point of Rocks and Brunswick gets quite busy during warmer weather months. Native Americans first established paths in the area centuries ago, but the site saw its commerce peak from the 1830s to the 1930s, thanks to the canal and nearby railroad tracks. 3701 Canal Road, Point of Rocks; 304-535-4014;

Cunningham Falls State Park | Courtesy Visit Frederick

5. Cunningham Falls State Park

When you don’t own a pool but want some relief from the summer heat, Cunningham Falls State Park is a great spot to cool down. If William Houck Lake is too crowded, the Thurmont-based park features a scales-and-tails aviary, several playgrounds, hiking trails and campsites. Established in 1954, the park usually reaches capacity during the warm weather months on the weekends. Plan to arrive as early as possible if you want to avoid large numbers of people. 14039 Catoctin Hollow Road, Thurmont; 301-271-7574;

Frederick Keys | Courtesy Visit Frederick

6. Frederick Keys

After more than 30 years, the Frederick Keys are no longer a minor league affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles (sigh). Since there is no crying in baseball, the team will now be a part of the all-new Major League Baseball Draft League showcasing college talent hoping to play professionally. Grab your popcorn because the next Derek Jeter may be calling Frederick home this season. 21 Stadium Drive, Frederick; 301-662-0013;

7. Monocacy National Battlefield

Our region is ripe for history lovers, especially those with an interest in the Civil War. Located in southern Frederick, Monocacy National Battlefield pays tribute to the lives lost during an 1864 attack that slowed down Confederate forces from their quest to capture Washington, D.C. The site was established as a national battlefield in 1976. 4632 Araby Church Road, Frederick; 301-662-3515;

8. Rose Hill Manor Park and Children’s Museum

Built in the 1790s, Rose Hill Manor Park and Children’s Museum was home to the state’s first governor, Thomas Johnson. Opening its doors to visitors in 1972, the site welcomes families to learn about local history in a hands-on approach, including playing with toys and learning how to card wool. A tour includes getting to see a blacksmith’s shop, ice house and log cabin. 1611 N. Market St., Frederick; 301-600-1650;

Walkersville Southern Railroad | Randy Srba

9. Walkersville Southern Railroad

Founded in 1991, the Walkersville Southern Railroad offers a great experience for the young and young at heart. Special events such as the annual Bunny and Santa train rides sell out quickly, while weekend excursions from May to October are a great way to enjoy scenic views while riding historic rails that date back to the mid-1800s. 34 W. Pennsylvania Ave., Walkersville; 301-898-0899;

Weinberg Center for the Arts | Courtesy Justin Tsucalas for Visit Frederick

10. Weinberg Center for the Arts

When the Weinberg Center for the Arts opened its doors in 1926, the building was the second largest structure ever built in Frederick. Home to the only Wurlitzer organ in the state, the venue hosts movie events, local dance companies, regional performers as well as nationally touring acts and internationally known names through its annual Speaker Series. 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick; 301-600-2828;


11. Catoctin Mountain Orchard

Whether you want to pick your own produce or come to the market, Catoctin Mountain Orchard welcomes thousands of visitors every year. Nestled in the Catoctin Mountains in Thurmont, the Black family started the farm in 1961. This year, the orchard marks 60 years in the business of selling homegrown fruits, vegetables and berries. 15036 N. Franklinville Road, Thurmont; 301-271-2737;

12. Colonial Jewelers

For thoughtful gifts or ways to mark an occasion, Colonial Jewelers has been serving customers in downtown Frederick since 1948. The retail jewelry store is now in its fourth generation. Owners Patty and Jeff Hurwitz founded the Hurwitz Breast Cancer Fund to help provide innovative technology for early detection at Frederick Health facilities. 1 S. Market St., Frederick; 301-663-9252;

13. Dance Unlimited

Whether doing a plie, kick-ball change or a shuffle step, Dance Unlimited has been offering dance, voice and acting instruction to children for more than 30 years. Located in Frederick, the arts company offers a supportive environment, top-notch facilities, performance opportunities and year-round training. 244B S. Jefferson St., Frederick; 301-662-3722;

14. Educare Learning Center

Formerly known as Dandelion Child Care, the Educare Learning Center has welcomed children 8 weeks to school-aged kids for more than 30 years. The Jefferson-based facility focuses on a nature-enriched environment dedicated to encouraging children to learn and grow. 2538 Jefferson Pike, Jefferson; 301-834-9007;

15. Frederick Municipal Airport

For those who are young and young-at-heart aviation fans, Frederick Municipal Airport is a great spot to watch planes take off and fly, especially from its observation area with picnic tables. Dedicated in 1949, the full-service airport with two runways welcomes small aircraft and hosts three flight schools. 310 Aviation Way, Frederick; 301-600-2201;

16. Gladhill Furniture & Mattresses

When Gladhill Furniture & Mattresses first opened in 1915, the company used a horse-drawn wagon to deliver their products. More than 100 years later, the Middletown-based store offers a five-story showroom filled with some of the country’s finest quality brands in furniture and paired with dedicated customer service. 10 Walnut St., Middletown; 301-371-6800;

17. Kramer’s Piano Shop

Dean Kramer first founded his piano-tuning business, Kramer’s Piano Shop, in 1974. After purchasing a building to renovate in New Midway, the owners moved the store to its current location in 1985. Over nearly four decades, Kramer’s has added sales of pianos, guitars and music books, private lessons and gift boutique items to its offerings at the shop. 12049 Woodsboro Pike, New Midway; 301-898-3245;

18. Lilypons Water Gardens

More than a century ago, Leicester Thomas Sr. turned his goldfish and water lily hobby into a business—Three Springs Fisheries. In a bid to expand due to popularity, he purchased a 250-acre property in Adamstown in 1925, and the business was later renamed by the name it still goes by today—Lilypons Water Gardens. Now in its fourth generation of ownership, the site continues to be a destination for water gardening as well as a spot to enjoy nature’s beauty and see some unique birds. 6800 Lily Pons Road, Adamstown; 301-874-5133;

McCuthcheon’s Apple Products | Turner Photography for Visit Frederick

19. McCutcheon’s Apple Products

When craving a preserve, fruit butter or jelly, McCutcheon’s Apple Products has served generations of Fredericktonians. Founded in 1938, the homestyle product company is now on its fourth and fifth generation in the family business and features a variety of products including sauces, dressings, honey and baking mixes. Folks certainly know when the end of the workday arrives. The company sounds a loud whistle at 5 p.m. 13 S. Wisner St., Frederick; 301-662-3261;

20. Mountain Gate Family Restaurant

When residents and visitors want a taste of home cooking but don’t want to inconvenience a family member, they have been heading to the Mountain Gate Family Restaurant for more than 30 years. The Thurmont eatery features menu selections for dine-in, a buffet service and carryout options. 133 Frederick Road, Thurmont; 301-271-4373;

21. Scenic View Orchards

With its origins as a hay-and-grain farm in the 1800s, Scenic View Orchards has remained family owned and is now in its seventh generation. More than 30 years ago, the Sabillasville farm expanded to include fruit trees, berries and vegetables. It offers a popular roadside market open from late May until Thanksgiving. 16225 Sabillasville Road, Sabillasville; 301-271-2149;

South Mountain Creamery | Courtesy Visit Frederick

22. South Mountain Creamery

The Sowers family started a farm more than 40 years ago in Middletown. After two decades, they created South Mountain Creamery as a place to sell their milk and products. Today, the farm has massively expanded to include a restaurant and ice cream shop in downtown Frederick and a home delivery service bringing farm-fresh foods to the masses. Folks may come to the farm to see the facilities and bottle feed baby calves at 4 p.m. every day. 8305 Bolivar Road, Middletown; 844-762-6455;

Summers Farm | Courtesy Visit Frederick

23. Summers Farm

Summers Farm was first purchased in 1934 to become a dairy farm. Third-generation farmer Teresa Summers decided to open the farm in 1996 for a festival so that children could see agriculture up close. The annual event remains as a must-do attraction for many area families, and it even caught singer Taylor Swift’s attention a few years ago when the corn maze featured her image. 5620 Butterfly Lane, Frederick; 301-620-9316;

24. Walkersville Eyecare

When Dr. David M. Sclar founded Walkersville Eyecare in 1988, he instilled a simple motto into his business practices—treat every patient with respect and kindness while providing first-rate eye care. Today, the practice has three doctors with more than 80 years combined experience, but they still focus on living out Dr. Sclar’s vision each day. Discovery Crossings Shopping Center, 8415 Woodsboro Pike, Suites A-C, Walkersville; 301-898-3000;

25. Wee Folk School

More than 30 years ago, Wee Folk School opened its doors to the Frederick community for preschool children ages 2 to 5. Today, the school continues its mission to provide guidance and support for all children with programs that incorporate developmentally appropriate, hands-on activities with an emphasis on social and emotional growth. 26 E. Church St., Frederick; 301-663-5117;

26. Winterbrook Farms

Now on its fourth generation, Winterbrook Farms mainly provides local horse farms with top-quality hay while also growing crops. Located in Creagerstown, just outside Thurmont, the farm began hosting a corn maze in 2000. Over the following years, the farm begin holding an annual fall festival featuring a number of activities such as apple cannons, mini zip lines, and pedal karts. 13001 Creagerstown Road, Thurmont; 301-465-3801;


27. Beth Sholom Congregation

Beth Sholom has served the Frederick community for more than 100 years. Its educational offerings include Beth Sholom Early Childhood Center for children 2 to 4 years old, religious education for children ages 5 through 16 and courses for adults. 1011 N. Market St., Frederick; 301-663-3437;

28. Frederick Health Hospital

In the late 1890s, Emma Smith raised $8,000 to build what is now known as Frederick Health Hospital. Opened in 1902, the facility has expanded throughout the years to include 22 locations with more than 3,000 employees and a network of specialty care providers to best serve the growing population of the county. 400 W. Seventh St., Frederick; 240-566-3300;

29. Hood College

Established as a higher educational facility for women, Hood College dates to 1893. Named for Margaret Scholl Hood, who donated a 28-acre farm property to establish the institution, Hood became fully co-educational in 2003. Hood offers more than 30 undergraduate majors, 17 master’s degree professional areas and 12 post-baccalaureate certificates. 401 Rosemont Ave., Frederick; 301-663-3131;

30. The Community Foundation of Frederick County

The philanthropic work of The Community Foundation of Frederick County assists scores of residents throughout Frederick County. For more than three decades, the nonprofit has helped generous citizens create funds to help students with educational needs as well as provide grants to other area nonprofits. 312 E. Church St., Frederick;