Downtown Frederick is a fun place to visit any time of year, but the holiday season brings special opportunities that make this gem of a destination shine even brighter. Read on for a run-down of holiday highlights and a few inside tips for finding gorgeous gifts and other fun surprises.
Frosty Friday on November 24th marks the area’s official kickoff for the holiday season. On the big day, visitors can enjoy free parking downtown in metered spaces and garages, plus there will be a free trolley running around the shopping district from 3-9 pm.
Starting at 9 am, the first 100 visitors can score special gift bags containing a sweet treat, a gift from a local business and a coffee voucher (while supplies last). Each bag also holds a map of local shops and a guide to local happy hours and holiday-themed cocktails sure to come in handy as the evening draws near.
Visitors can take a horse-drawn carriage ride around historic Downtown Frederick to see the holiday decorations and cuddle up alongside loved ones. Organizers recommend that those interested in carriage rides book ahead of time to avoid waiting in line. There are only a few spots left!
From 12-3 pm Santa will be at 30 N. Market Street to take pictures with kids both naughty and nice; and from 6-9 pm there will be free hot chocolate and s’mores to keep shoppers toasty.
The day’s celebrations will also include live music, the Festival of Trees at the Historical Society, and a visit from Elsa and Anna at Everedy Square and Shab Row. The whole day will be full of opportunities to make special memories with the people you love.
Frosty Friday is a spectacular time to visit Downtown Frederick, but the truth is that any day during the holiday season is a smart time to visit the area. You’ll find a goldmine of shops overflowing with great gift options for everyone or yourself. Whether you visit for Frosty Friday or a little later in the season, don’t miss these highlights:
Everedy Square + Shab Row
Literally two blocks from the intersection of Church and N. Market Street, the cluster of shops at Everedy Square and Shab Row are full of great finds.
At The Little Pottery Shop you can browse hand-thrown, hand-decorated pottery pieces by over 100 artists.
Head to Primitive Homespuns to purchase handmade products with rustic charm and a flair of the Americana. Find quilts, wooden spoon racks, tin lamps and other homey décor and accessories.
Smooch! Studio will blend custom foundation, lip color and other cosmetics right before your eyes. Get a gift card for your beauty buff friend to wow with the latest and greatest in custom cosmetics.
Urban Cottage | 107 E Patrick St
If you like giving heartfelt gifts, you’ll find great options at Urban Cottage. From artisan-crafted jewelry with inspiring inscriptions to reclaimed wood wall décor with heartwarming proclamations, you’re sure to find something with a message that rings true. There are also memory books for your loved ones, gloves made of reclaimed textiles and a delicious-smelling selection of bath and body products.
Venus on the Halfshell | 101 E Patrick St
Browse through a hand-curated collection of vintage clothing, accessories and furnishings. Find everything from flowy floral dresses and kitschy belt buckles to authentic cowboy boots. Your quirkiest friends will love gifts from this eclectic shop.
Spin the Bottle Wine Company | 220 E Patrick St
Walk past the red gate and down the alley at 220 East Patrick Street to encounter a charming courtyard and the entrance to Spin the Bottle. Browse an array of specialty wines, beers and hard sodas, all affordably priced, and if you’re visiting on a Friday make sure to stick around for a free tasting between 5 and 8 pm.
Vinyl Acres | 25 E Patrick St
Descend the stairs at this record store to check out the fabulous selection of vinyl at Vinyl Acres. You’ll find classic rock, blues, jazz, classical and contemporary music records that make great gifts for the music-lovers in your life, and you can also strike up a conversation with owners Bob Berberich and Martha Hull.
Both are veteran members of Washington’s music scene and Bob in particular has great stories to share about his time spent touring with the likes of Neil Young and Jimi Hendrix. Frederick is touted as something of a haven for vinyl lovers since it is home to three different record shops, so definitely plan to stop by if you or someone on your holiday list is into the format beloved by the world’s top musicians.
Edgeworks Knife & Supply | 200 N Market St
Whether you need a blade for cooking, hunting or other handiwork, Edgeworks is the place to find it. You’ll also find flashlights, axes and other gear as well as a selection of beautiful pocket knives just begging to be gifted. Not sure what the outdoorsy folks in your life need? Get them a gift card and let them choose for themselves.
Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium | 214 N Market St
If you have to buy a gift for someone who has everything, Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium (L.O.V.E.) is a godsend. Sample your way through a selection of deliciously flavored and infused oils and vinegars from around the world, then choose a couple to bottle and give as gifts. Can’t choose? Pick up a sampler of customer favorites to bestow upon a foodie friend.
Flavors range from the expected (Basil Infused Olive Oil) to the exotic (Blackberry Ginger Balsamic) but don’t be intimidated – the L.O.V.E. website has tons of recipes and ideas.
As you shop, stop for lunch at one of many delicious restaurants in the area, or make dinner reservations to assure yourself of a seat. You’ll find everything from Mediterranean delicacies at Ayse Meze Lounge to locally grown eats at The Orchard and everything in between.
While you wander around, keep your eyes open for more fun. Vini Culture is a serve-yourself wine bar, the North Market Pop Shop has over 400 varieties of glass bottle soda pop and you might even spy a mural by local artist Goodloe Byron.
As the day winds down, pick up a warm drink from Frederick Coffee Company & Café or a hot treat from Glory Doughnuts, then stroll along the Caroll Creek Promenade to enjoy the beauty of the tranquil water as your day in Frederick comes to a close.
It takes more than a day to see everything Downtown Frederick has to offer, but you’ve got to start somewhere! To plan your visit and learn more about everything there is to do and see, visit downtownfrederick.org.