guides

Winter Fun in Westminster-Carroll

By Ashley Fisher November 14, 2019


FIRST THINGS FIRST
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FEELING FESTIVE?
Visit Santa’s Workshop sponsored by the Junior Woman's Club of Westminster! Come and create some holiday related crafts, a gingerbread house, and enjoy yummy snacks. This workshop is geared to children ages 4 to 11. Cost: $15 per child. Siblings of attendees are $10 each. Register before Nov 15th to babscondon@comcast.net. Workshop held at St. Pauls United Church of Christ, December 7, 2-4pm.

Come and enjoy one of Westminster’s favorite holiday traditions: Miracle on Main Street! This celebration on November 30 includes a mile-long family-friendly Jingle Bell Run, the Holiday Electric Parade, and Annual Tree Lighting in downtown Westminster! The festivities begin with the run at 4:55pm, parade at 6pm, followed by the tree lighting!

The Festival of Wreaths is one of the most well-attended holiday events in Carroll County. Each year more than 150 theme wreaths are displayed through this week-long silent auction and is one of the Arts Council’s most significant fundraising events. Visitors experience a wonderland of creativity and generosity as they vote for their favorites and bid on those they would like to take home (or give as gifts!) in this spectacular event. Admission is Free. Bid on wreaths to help raise money for the Arts Council. November 29-December 8.

The 13th Annual Festival of Trees, sponsored by The Shepherd's Staff, returns for its 13th year! Nov 29-Dec 1.

Head to the Carroll County Farm Museum for a historical Christmas experience with the Civil War Holiday Encampment on December 7 from 9am-4pm. The encampment features a pay muster, mail call, drills, a skirmish and more. Children can help decorate the camp tree!

Bundle up and giddy-up! Horse-drawn carriage rides will be FREE every Saturday in December across the street from Santa’s house on Locust Lane from 12-4pm.

Do you hear what I hear? Sounds of the season will fill the Townmall of Westminster from December 1-23.


GET CRAFTY
Get your kids in the holiday mood with Piney Run Park’s “Children Holiday Workshop” December 13, 4-6pm & December 14, 10am-Noon. The program, for kids ages 5-15, will offer a fun-filled day of creative take home holiday crafts as well as tasty treats to enjoy throughout the morning. Contact Piney Run Park for more information 410-795-6043.

Looking to personalize your front door with holiday cheer? Join in for a festive workshop celebrating the season with local materials to create your very own wreath! Saturday, November 30, 10am or Friday, December 6 at 5pm at Cultivated, located at 15 E Main St Suite 103, Westminster, MD.

Unable to make the first workshops?  Wreath Workshops will also be held at Old Westminster Winery on December 1 and 7 from 5-8pm! You will make large wreaths utilizing unique natural items.  You will come away with a customized wreath, perfect for featuring on a door of your house! The instructor will provide a wide selection of evergreen branches, unique foliage, berries, and dried materials to adorn your wreath.  She’ll give a demo as you enjoy a glass of wine, and then you’ll be set loose to choose your own materials and make your large wreath to take home. All supplies, instruction, and one glass of wine is included in your ticket price.  This is a fun, creative, and educational event not to be missed!

Calling all wannabe artists! Join in for a fun night of friendship, painting, music, and wine to kick off the holiday season. A professional will be on hand to help you paint 2 winter scenes on wine glasses which can be gifted or used to help you survive the holiday season! Westminster Elks Club, November 30, 6-9pm.

The best gifts are homemade. On November 17, a Polymer Clay gift making workshop will be held at Magnolia House.

Can’t commit to a specific date but still want to get crafty? Drop in at COB 51 or Firehouse Pottery to paint some festive ceramics!


CATCH A HOLIDAY SHOW
Get in the holiday mood early by attending the concert Masterworks Chorale Presents: A Choral Harvest- November 17, 3-6pm at McDaniel College.

Feeling a bit like Scrooge? Come and see the classic, A Christmas Carol, at the Carroll Arts Center to lift your spirits. This live production is a holiday tradition at the Carroll Arts Center.  This year the Center welcomes back the acclaimed Maryland Ensemble Theatre for their joyful version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale in a heartwarming adaptation that is designed to appeal to all ages. December 13-14.

The Contempic School of Ballet will be hosting its 3rd annual Nutcracker Tea Party at the Best Western in Westminster December 15, 2019 from 3-5pm. Join the Sugar Plum Fairy and all of her friends as they dance through the Land of Sweets. The tea party includes beverages, sweet and savory treats, along with an excerpt performance of the 2nd act of the holiday classic- The Nutcracker.

What do you get when you pair the beloved animated holiday film with a live performance of the film’s Vince Guaraldi jazz score? You get a fabulously festive show featuring the renowned Eric Byrd Trio!  This annual presentation of A Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas is always very popular with families as well as discriminating jazz aficionados and is a great way to celebrate the season. December 20 at the Carroll Arts Center.

SANTA SIGHTINGS
Every Saturday in December Santa will be in his house on the lawn of the CCPL Westminster Branch. Children are invited to visit and talk with him about their holiday wishes 12-4pm.

Will only the Mall Santa do? On Saturday, November 23, Santa arrives at the mall with a parade! Join the Mall’s Grand Marshal, Captain Deo-Fonso, Snowcap the Polar Bear, Bucky Moose, Toy Soldier, a Strolling Jazz Trio and other seasonal characters as they parade Santa throughout TownMall of Westminster. Parade begins in the Belk Court and ends in Center Court. Have your photos taken with Santa through December 24!

On December 7 at 8:30am, sit down and relax at the TownMall of Westminster and enjoy Breakfast with Santa & a Snowman, face painting. balloon art, prizes and games. Then, after breakfast, enjoy a special screening of Polar Express" inside R/C Theatres Westminster Movies 9!

The mall has yet another exciting way to hang with Santa with their Cookies and Storytime with Santa! Santa will read "The Night Before Christmas and all will then enjoy cookies and drinks. December 11 at 10am.

While you’re picking out local fresh fruits and veggies at the Farmer’s Market at the Carroll County AG Center on November 30, look out for a visit from Santa

On December 14 from 7-11am, SkillsUSA will be hosting a Breakfast with Santa. Come join Santa and Mrs. Claus for pictures and good food.  All proceeds go to sending the students to the SkillsUSA National Competition.

Hop off the treadmill and into Santa’s lap! The Y Holiday Breakfast will include light refreshments, seasonal crafts, fun activities, and pictures taken with a special guest! December 14 10-11:30am.

Head to a Cultivated in downtown Westminster for Christmas shopping and photos with Santa for the family on December 7 or make it a date night with your loved one for some fun couples photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus on December 12!

A special, sensory sensitive visit with Santa will be held by by Camelot West Family Services at Carroll Springs school on December 9 from 5-8pm.

Enjoy a historical holiday experience with A Holiday from the Heart at the Carroll County Farm Museum. This will be held Monday – Friday from 9am-4pm from December 1-22. Tour the Farmhouse decorated for the holiday season! On Saturday and Sundays, the Holiday tour runs from noon to 4 pm (special events may have additional hours TBD). Weekends also feature special attractions such as the Sugar Plum Shoppe, Santa, Teas and more.

Last, but not least, be sure to check out the Fire Department’s route maps to see Santa ride on by your house on a fire truck! This is one of the town’s most favorite ways to spot Santa in Westminster. 


WORK OFF THOSE CHRISTMAS COOKIES
Head over to Piney Run Park for a hike to the dam on Saturday, November 16, 9:30-11am. Grab your hiking boots and join as they explore the less known side of Piney Run Lake. Dress for the weather and bring your reusable water bottle. Light snacks will be provided for your convenience.

Or, on November 21st, venture outside and join Dave & Maureen Harvey of the Carroll County Bird Club for a morning bird walk at Piney Run Park. Search for the many different types of songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, and woodpeckers. Beginning birders are welcome. They suggest bringing along binoculars and field guides. Dress for the weather since walks occur rain or shine. Please meet at the Nature Center Parking Lot.

Join Bear Branch for an exciting event that only happens once a year! The Meteor Shower Hike will take place on Friday, December 13, 7:30-9pm. You will start in the planetarium to review what can be seen this time of year then hike to a high spot in the park to view the Geminids meteor shower, the moon and winter constellations.

Dash like Dasher at the Y Thanksgiving Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning! Feel free to indulge in a second helping of pie after this annual 5K!

SHOP LOCAL
Get moving and get shopping on Black Friday, Friday November 29, from 8am-10pm at the TownMall of Westminster!  A FREE Poinsettia will be given to the first 101 guests and visitors will have a chance to meet Fran Lane from Today's 101.9. Show your same-day receipts totaling $250 or more and you will receive a Yankee Candle (Choose either Christmas Cookie or Balsam & Cedar) a $29.50 value.

Shop with over 180 carefully selected vendors at the 7th Annual Sykesville Holiday Marketplace. You'll find a huge variety of handmade crafts and be able to shop with your favorite direct sale companies. From home decor, to skin care products, paper crafts to jewelry, candles to glassware, children's items to specialty foods & drinks, there is something for everyone! Get all of your holiday shopping done in one place. November 30

On December 7, from 8:30am-3pm, head over to St. John Church for their annual Christmas Bazaar. This bazaar features a room for children to pick out gifts for their family members, local made candies, goods, holiday gifts, and more!

Also on December 7, from 7am-2pm, a Christmas Bazaar will be held at Deer Park United Methodist Church. If you don’t find the gifts you are looking for this day, are you even looking?!

The Carroll Arts Center’s lobby is a treasure trove of art gifts and fine craft items handmade by talented local and regional artists. The Gift Shop offers a rotating selection of jewelry, pottery, scarves, glass, notecards, and more for sale in a range of prices and variety of styles. They also carry books by local authors and fun souvenirs to show off your love of the arts. The Gallery of Gifts runs from November 15 through December 21.

Take a stroll down Westminster’s Main Street in the historic district to see the festive street lined with lighted trees and stop in stores to purchase gifts for others (or yourself)! Have any runner friends? Check out Run Moore at its new location on Main Street for some great ideas. How about the music lovers? You’re sure to find the perfect item at Coffey Music. After you’re finished shopping, stop by Jeannie Bird Bakery, Birdies Cafe, or Rare Opportunity Bakehouse for some delicious hot chocolate or coffee, and scones. If that doesn’t fill you up, a nice sandwich or panini from tCup Cafe, or Molli’s Cafe will!


DO GOOD. BE KIND.
Fill up your bellies and your hearts at a country breakfast and toy collection drive at the Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren on December 14 from 7-11am.

Stop by one of the local Toys for Tots donation sites to drop off a new toy for a child this Christmas. It is a great way to get your whole family into the spirit of giving.

Looking for a furry family addition? Head to Petco in Westminster for their adoption event on December 7th at noon.


FIND THE PERFECT TREE
Carroll County has the greatest number of cut Christmas tree farms in Maryland! Find a locally grown evergreen to decorate your home. 

Visit the wreath shop at Gaver Farm and then cut down your very own tree! FREE Shaking and Baling, FREE Use of Saws and FREE Tree Drilling.


MAGICAL TRAINS
Calling all train enthusiasts! The Westminster Train show will be held on November 24. 200 vendors will be selling new and old trains plus accessories. Breakfast and lunch is served all day!

A favored local children’s program, Past Times for Children, will be all about TRAINS on November 16 at Cockey’s Koontz-Yingling Learning Center at 10am


BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE, SO WARM UP INSIDE
Let’s Talk Turkey at Piney Run Nature Center on Wednesday, November 27, 10-11:30am!  Did you know that all of the classic Thanksgiving dishes we eat are from sources native to North America, including the turkey? Join and hunt for a turkey in the woods and talk about what the life of a wild turkey is like. You will finish up by making a craft to take home honoring our feathered friends! The program is geared toward 3-5 year olds (w/ an adult). Registration is required. 

North Carroll Community School invites the community to come check out their school and have an hour of fun with one of our skilled teachers - FREE!  There will be a read aloud, crafts, snack, and creative play time. AND the best part? Complimentary coffee and WiFi for parents! The program is open to kids ages 3-5 years old. The program is available on December 3rd and January 7th at 10am.

Head over to Chick-fil-a for one of their Family Fun Nights

Past Times for Children will be teaching all about Holidays in the 1800s on Dec 21.

Still cold with nowhere to go? Check out a movie at RC Theatres in Westminster, bounce out the kids’ energy at the Fun and Fit Factory, or head to Thunderhead Bowling!

Keep those kids moving and check out Carroll County Parks and Recs for indoor recreation options such as soccer, gymnastics, soccer, adaptive programs, and more. 

With SIX different libraries in Carroll County, you can always find a great children’s program and place to curl up with a nice book! Check out their calendar of events!


RING IN THE NEW YEAR
On January 25, 2020, come on out to a Family Fun night! There will be a spaghetti dinner, trivia, face painting, photo booth & prizes with the Junior Woman’s Club of Westminster.