15 of Maryland's Best Winter Activities!

The immense diversity of Maryland makes it an ideal place to visit or live during the winter. You can still enjoy the beaches (except bundled up in a few more layers!) as they’re blanketed in snow, and then ski down the slopes of Western Maryland just two hours away from the shore. This makes it possible to enjoy your favorite winter activities like ice fishing and snowmobiling on one day, and go shopping on a warmer winter afternoon the next. Our list of our favorite winter activities is just as eclectic.

1. Play at Wisp Resort

This is a skier and snowboarder’s paradise, but also boasts features for those who don’t want to hit the slopes on a pair of skis or board. At Wisp Resort in McHenry, you can go ice skating, tubing, or hang out by the fire and drink some hot cocoa if you prefer that instead. Bottom line—you will have an amazing weekend and everyone in your family will find something fun to do.

2. Ride the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

Taking a train ride through snow-covered mountains is incredibly romantic and makes for a splendid afternoon. Located in Cumberland, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad travels through the breathtaking Allegheny Mountains. You won’t want to miss these views. 

3. Pick your favorite at the Festival of Trees

To view over 600 spectacularly-decorated Christmas trees, head to the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Festival of Trees. Held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, the event lasts for three days and includes a Santa Land, pony rides, games, crafts, and a carousel.

4. Ice skate in Quiet Waters Park

Quiet Waters in Annapolis has an ice skating rink that is open virtually all winter so there is no need to rush during the holiday season. You can skate in February, as well, so many kids buy a season pass and head over on every sunny day. This is classic outdoor skating at its best.

5. Attend Six Flags Holiday in the Park

Rides, lights, entertainment and holiday treats, make this a family favorite. Six Flags is in Prince George’s County and easy to access, so you can grab the kids and go after school or on the weekend. You can even visit with Santa in between riding on your favorite roller coasters.

6. Gaylord National Harbor’s ICE!

This is an incredibly popular event at the National Harbor. Every year, a winter wonderland is created out of ice sculptures and the talent with which they carve the ice is remarkable. The theme changes every year but you are sure to find ice slides, Santa, and everything you need for a spectacular day. You can even stay overnight to make a weekend of it.

7. Baltimore Restaurant Week

After filling up on holiday sweets, it is time to eat sophisticated grownup food and there is no better time to do so than Baltimore’s Restaurant Week. Held every January, you can dine at five-star restaurants and the city’s most recent favorites, all for reduced prices. Some restaurants even offer three course lunches for $20.

8. View the park full of lights

Sandy Point State Park turns what is normally a fun beach destination into a holiday wonderland full of beautifully sparkling lights. You will see over 70 spectacular animated and stationary displays from the comfort of your vehicle.

9. Festival of Trains in Ellicott City

November through January, you can take your favorite conductor and head to the Festival of Trains. Here you will find both toy and model railroads with fantastic detail. They even have a Lego train for all the builders in your family. This is three months of choo-choo fun.

10. Ice fish at Deep Creek Lake

While most people head to this 3,900-acre lake to swim in the summer, this is also an excellent place to ice fish. Pull on your hat and gloves, grab a pole and some hot chocolate then start fishing!

11. View the Lights Parade

Sailboats adorned with lights, all ages dressed like Santa, and Jimmy Buffet playing on the radio—this is the Annapolis Lights Parade and it all happens on the water. The Eastport Yacht Club hosts this annual event and afterwards, you can grab dinner downtown or your favorite latte.

12. Attend the National Outdoor Show

This 30-year-old event is held on the Eastern Shore every February and includes unique activities like pole skinning, trap setting contests, corn shucking, and even a beauty pageant. The event is held in Golden Hill and to make it even more exciting, you can try muskrat.

13. Go sledding at Patterson Park in Baltimore

Perched atop the hill is a stunning pagoda with a killer view of the city. Seeing Baltimore covered in white makes for picture-perfect moments before careening down the hill to the delight of your children. Watch out for snowball fights!

14. Snowmobile with Garrett County Drifters

Snowmobile all winter long by heading to Garrett County. The Drifters are a snowmobiling club that you can join for a day of snowmobiling fun. Since many of the trails are only known to locals, this is the best way to get the scoop on where to get the best tracks.

15. Visit Downtown Annapolis

Annapolis is a historic and charming city any time of year but there is something magical about Annapolis in the winter. The tourists have mostly gone home so the cobblestone streets are open. Garland and wreaths are hung on classic light poles, downtown shops have spectacular window displays, and there are plenty of shops to grab some cocoa and a tasty treat.

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