You’ve packed your bags, and the car is loaded with snacks and distractions as you head to the mountains with the whole family, but have you added these family-friendly activities to the list of ‘Must-See/Must-Do’ experiences? There’s much to keep the whole family engaged in a trip to Mountain Maryland. Whether you’re an adventuring family, one with a sweet tooth, or lovers of history and the arts, you won’t be surprised when you hear an authentic chorus of, ‘Are we there yet?’
For The Outdoor Adventurer
Start your adventure at Rocky Gap State Park’s Scales and Tails Aviary to view wildlife and hear the tales of how the native, non-releasable birds of prey became part of the program. After, head to the park’s beach to rent a kayak or pedal boat to explore the park from the waters of Lake Habeeb! Or, pack up a picnic and rent your bikes from an outfitter to trek Allegany County’s world-class trails - the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath.
For the Sweet Tooth
Are you a family with a sweet tooth? Complete Allegany County’s Ice Cream Trail, featuring nine locations of the area’s best places for ice cream. Prefer some candy instead? Head to McFarland Candies, a chocolate and specialty candy store in its third generation of family chocolatiers, or the Fruit Bowl, with over 900 varieties of candy on open display, including over 400 pick-a-mix candies.
For the Train Enthusiast
Hitch a ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad for a three-hour excursion from Cumberland to Frostburg and back, with a layover in Frostburg to see the train turn around on the turntable. Check out the Cumberland Railroad Museum, offering exhibits devoted exclusively to the city’s rich railroad history and tours of the caboose located on the concourse of the Western Maryland Railway Station.
On a Rainy Day
If the weather puts a damper on your outdoor activities, gather the family members and try the Exit Strategy Escape Room, where you will look for clues, open locks, and decipher messages to complete your mission and beat the clock. Or, head to Fore Axes - a golf simulator, bocce ball, and ax-throwing lounge.
For the History Buff
Learn about George Washington’s ties to Cumberland when you visit George Washington’s Headquarters, a log cabin occupied by George Washington on his travels to the area. Explore the original tunnels of Fort Cumberland, located beneath Cumberland’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church, which were also rumored to be a means of transport on the Underground Railroad.
For the Budding Artist
From circus artists and acrobats to ballets and world music, your budding artists will love the live performances of the Cultural Events Series at Frostburg State University. Or, stop by Mr. Toad’s Pottery, an inclusive, paint-your-own-pottery studio that offers board art, mixed media, and mosaics. Touted as a top family-friendly festival in the country, the whole family will love DelFest, Allegany County’s premier, 4- day Bluegrass festival, celebrating the rich legacy of Del McCoury Music.