Summer fun for families

Summer is almost upon us. If you are looking for fun, family-oriented activities, there are many local options.

"Carroll County offers a wide variety of free or inexpensive kid-friendly activities," JoAnna Crone, manager, Carroll County Office of Tourism, wrote in an email. "Our Visitor Center staff will be glad to help parents plan a fun-filled stay-cation to entertain their kids without spending a lot of money or even refilling the gas tank. When the kids ask, 'Are we there yet?' Parents can say 'Yes!'"

Here's a small sampling of what is planned for the next few months.


Youth Fishing Derby

Where: Piney Run Park, 30 Martz Road, Sykesville

When: 7-11 a.m. June 2. Park gates open at 6:30 a.m.

Info: Sandy Buterbaugh at 410-795-5165,

Piney Run Park sponsors this tournament, which is for ages 15 and younger, and offers new fishing gear for prizes. The child with the largest fish gets a trophy and fishing gear. There is a fee of $5 per child. Park entrance fees are waived for participants and their parents. Online registration is available, or register at the event.


Art in the Park

Where: Westminster City Hall grounds, 1838 Emerald Hill Drive, Westminster

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 2

Info: Sandy Oxx at 410-848-7272,

This outdoor festival of visual and performing arts features free admission, strolling entertainment, and food and artwork for sale by vendors. Look for free crafts for the kids, too.

Art in the Park is an activity of the Carroll County Arts Council and cooperating sponsors.

Walker Brothers Circus

Where: Memorial Park, 56 Memorial Drive, Taneytown

When: 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. June 8

Info: 410-756-4234 or

This Walker Brothers Circus show is being sponsored by the Taneytown Chamber of Commerce. Adult tickets cost $12 in advance or $15 the day of the show. Two children age 14 and younger are free with each paying adult; admission for each additional child age 14 and younger is $5. Tickets can be purchased at the Taneytown Chamber office, The Liquor Barn, New Windsor State Bank in Taneytown, the Taneytown Police Department or Emergency Stuff in Taneytown.

Sykesville Cinema Series

Where: South Branch Park, 350 W. Friendship Road, Sykesville

When: Dusk June 9, with other movie showings planned

Info: Town of Sykesville office at 410-795-8959 or

Bring lawn chairs and enjoy the movie "Toy Story" for free, under the stars. Concessions will be for sale. The rain date is June 16. Also see "E.T.:The Extraterrestrial" on July 14 and "The Blind Side" on Aug. 11.

The Sykesville Cinema Series is sponsored by the Sykesville Parks and Recreation Committee.

Taneytown Movie Night

Where: Memorial Park, 56 Memorial Drive, Taneytown

When: 8 p.m./dusk June 23, with other summertime movie nights planned

Info: 410-751-1100 for movie titles and more information or

This is the first in a series of free movies, one Saturday per month through August, sponsored by Taneytown Parks and Recreation. On June 23, the movie is "Dolphin Tale." Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy. Food and snacks will be sold by the Junior Eagles at a concession stand. Movies will also be shown on the tentative dates of July 21 and Aug. 18, with titles to be announced.

Summer Fireworks Celebration

Where: River Valley Ranch, 4443 Grave Run Road, Millers

When: Noon-10 p.m. June 23

Info: 443-712-1010 or

Bring a picnic, watch a rodeo at 4 p.m. and enjoy a 7 p.m. patriotic concert followed by a 9 p.m. fireworks display. The parking fee is $5 per person for anyone 3 and older, with a maximum charge of $20 per car for parking. Other activities, available at an additional cost, include a 5 p.m. chuckwagon supper or food from vendors, horseback rides, swimming, hayrides and an outdoor skateboard park.

River Valley Ranch, which sponsors the Summer Fireworks Celebration, has two Saturdays open to the public this summer, this one and a July 21 Family Fun Day. Both feature a free rodeo. See the website to learn more.


A Month of Sundays Concert Series

Where: Westminster City Park, Longwell Avenue, Westminster

When: 6:45-9 p.m July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29

Info: Jennifer Mellor at 410-857-2999,

Bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy free outdoor concerts every Sunday in July. Food will be available for purchase. Donations of personal care items for all ages - such as baby food, diapers, formula, paper goods or cleaning supplies - will be collected to benefit Human Services Programs of Carroll County. Look for free parking. No pets allowed.

Performers booked are: July 1, Say Chance; July 8, Middle Sister and Chris Swam & Greg Gottlieb; July 15, Mason Vixon; July 22, Patty Reese; and July 29, The Fabulous Hubcaps.

AMonth of Sundays Concert Series is sponsored by Carroll County Parks and Recreation, Westminster City Parks and Recreation, and Human Services Programs of Carroll County.

Ice Cream Sundae Social

Where: Union Mills Homestead, 3311 Littlestown Pike, Union Mills

When: 1-4 p.m. July 8

Info: Jane Sewell at 410-848-2288,

Here's an old-fashioned ice cream social with music, a roaming clown and wagon rides. Entrance is free; pay only for the ice cream if you purchase, or tours of the house and mill, if desired.

Celebrate Summer Movie Night

Where: The Railyard, 3 N. Main St., Mount Airy

When: 7-10 p.m. July 20

Info: Ellie Bonde at 301-829-8300,

Enjoy bingo and beach ball volleyball and bring your own chair to watch the movie "Beach Blanket Bingo" under the stars at this free event, sponsored by Mount Airy Main Street Association. The movie will begin at 8:30 p.m. Food will be available for purchase.

The fun continues at the same location the following day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Corn Hole game and a sidewalk chalk art competition. Those who sign up get a space on the sidewalk to draw. Judges will award prizes.


Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival

Where: Union Mills Homestead, 3311 Littlestown Pike, Union Mills

When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 4


Info: Jane Sewell at 410-848-2288,


Enjoy an old-fashioned picnic in the park with a quarter of a chicken, applesauce, slice of tomato, roll and all the corn you can eat, roasted in the husk. Dinner costs $12 for adults and $6 for children 5 and younger. There will be music and vendors, and the blacksmith shop will be open with exhibits. There's no entrance fee, but an additional charge for tours of the mill and house.

This 42nd Annual Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival is being sponsored by Union Mills Homestead and the Silver Run-Union Mills Lions Club.

Sykesville Concert in the Park: "A Tribute to our Armed Forces"

Where: Millard Cooper Park, Springfield Avenue, Sykesville

When: 7-9 p.m. Aug. 17 (with additional concert dates planned for July and earlier in August)

Info: Ivy Wells at 410-795-8959,

Enjoy a free outdoor concert by D.L. "Pigeon" McCauley, who will present "A Tribute to our Armed Forces." The grounds also have a playground and snack bar. Additional parking is available at Sykesville Middle School.

This is the last in a series of summer concerts. Other concert dates include July 13, 20 and 27 and Aug. 3 and 10. Learn more online.

The Sykesville Concert in the Park series is sponsored by the Sykesville Parks and Recreation Committee.

Concert at Belle Grove Square

Where: Belle Grove Square park, intersection of Green and Bond streets, Westminster

When: 6-7:15 p.m. Aug. 26

Info: 410-848-9000 or

The Westminster Municipal Band performs a concert in the park. There is no charge to attend.

Learn more about Carroll County events and attractions at the Carroll County Visitor Center, 210 E. Main St., Westminster, or visit or call 410-848-1388 for more information.