Blake Walsh

21 Best Things to Do in Germantown, MD

  • Published 2022/10/27

There are many reasons to try the best things to do in Germantown, Maryland, even though visitors often overlook this place as they make their way to Frederick from Washington, D.C.

Germantown is an unincorporated city in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Despite having unincorporated villages with the same name in three additional Maryland counties, the USPS recognizes just one “Germantown, Maryland.”

Germantown retains some of its small-town charms, despite its rapid growth, despite the city’s rapid expansion.

Butler’s Orchard, Bohrer Park, and Great Seneca Valley Stream Park are just a few of the many outdoor attractions in the region.

A wide variety of dining and shopping options abound the city, aside from its numerous museums and galleries.

Here are the best things to do in Germantown, Maryland:

Go Fruit-Picking at Butler’s Orchard

Kids and their parents riding slides at Butler's Orchard.

Nicole Glass Photography /

Started as a 37-acre peach farm, Butler’s Orchard has grown to more than 300 acres of fruit, vegetable, flower, and tree crops.

As a family-owned and run business for three generations, Butler’s Orchard has three children with University of Maryland horticulture degrees to thank for its continued success.

Pick your fruit or visit their farm market for freshly grown food and goods like preserves, local honey, and gourmet seasonings.

Orange pumpkins at Butler's Orchard.

Nicole Glass Photography /

Strawberries, black raspberries, thornless blackberries, blueberries, red raspberries, cherries, apples, and even pumpkins are just a few of the many options.

In October, you may have a hayride, go down the enormous slide, or ride a pony through the straw labyrinth at Pumpkinlan.

You may join its Strawberry Blossom Tour and Bunnyland visit in the summer or its Christmas tree-cutting tour in the winter months.

Big yellow pumpkin at Butler's Orchard.

Nicole Glass Photography /

Go Hiking at the Great Seneca Stream Valley Park

Signage of Great Seneca Stream Valley Park

G. Edward Johnson, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Great Seneca Stream Valley Park, home to the Seneca Creek Greenway Trail, is an excellent location for a wide range of outdoor activities, such as day hikes, mountain biking, and trail runs.

The trail’s relatively flat topography and few minor inclines make it suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, even those injured in the past.

Additionally, it provides shade in the summer since it travels through many types of forestation, and it affords a nice view of the Seneca Creek.

A three-mile trail and a 7.8-mile-trail are available.

There is also a playground, beautiful picnic sites, and boating activities for non-hikers in the region.

Explore the Galleries at BlackRock Center for the Arts

Aerial view of BlackRock Center for the Arts

Nicole Glass Photography /

Performance and gallery spaces are available at the BlackRock Center for the Arts.

Performances, exhibits, and visual and performing arts classes are all offered at this venue.

The theater is home to some of the best performers in the region, the country, and the world.

Musical performances span everything from pop to world music to classical to folk and dance and theater productions.

There will even be a modern circus act or two.

Tickets and a schedule of performances, as well as information on current gallery exhibits and community programs, are all available on the organization’s website.

Groups can schedule a guided tour of the center in addition to exploring the galleries on their own during the center’s public open hours.

Get to Know Marsupials at Roos2u

Meet and engage with the most intriguing creatures on the planet: kangaroos and wallabies!

Roos2u is an experience like no other!

A trip to this zoo isn’t the same as a regular one.

Isn’t it fun to get to know these animals up close and personal?

Visitors will be able to feed the joeys, dish out snacks, take endless photos, and even hold a joey!

It is our goal to educate you on macropods and their distinct characteristics.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you and your party to have a one-of-a-kind event.

Find the bundle that’s suitable for you by browsing our offerings!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any more inquiries.

Play Ball Games with Your Kids at Ridge Road Recreational Park

In addition to 56 acres of land, Ridge Road Recreational Park has many ball fields, courts for tennis and volleyball, an in-line hockey arena, picnic areas, and a playground.

If you’re traveling with pets, there’s a fenced-in space for them to enjoy.

Sports fields are available at Ridge Road Recreational Park, with lights and without lights.

All baseball and softball fields have lighting. Play ball games on the sporting fields in this park.

If you don’t have a Park Permit, you can use the in-line rink on a first-come, first-served basis if it’s not reserved.

Dog owners and their pets may enjoy the half-acre dog park.

Additionally, visitors can rent three picnic shelters all year long through the Park Permit service.

For additional details and guidelines for visitors, you may consult the Montgomery Parks Dog Parks website.

Try Various Fun Activities at Germantown Recreational Park

Montgomery Parks began collecting the property currently known as South Germantown Recreational Park in the 1960s for the citizens of northern Montgomery County.

An operating dairy farm since the mid-1800s, the James and Macie King Farm previously occupied most of the park’s 695 acres of undulating hills.

One of Montgomery Parks’ busiest parks in South Germantown Recreational Park!

Numerous activities, including hiking and bicycling, archery, miniature golf, and swimming, are just a few of the options available on the park’s expansive grounds.

With its sand traps, uneven grass, and natural obstacles, South Germantown Recreational Park’s championship miniature golf course has 18 holes of fun.

Shaded rest spaces, bathrooms, and vending machines are available for players near Splash Park.

These attractions are open to visitors during the summer months.

About the SplashPark and Miniature Golf page, you’ll find information on hours of operation, admission rates, group reservations, and party facilities.

Go Fishing at Little Seneca Lake

Aerial view of Little Seneca Lake.

Nicole Glass Photography /

Little Seneca Lake borders Germantown’s northern part. It’s a popular hangout in the summer when it’s hot outside.

However, the lake does not only provide recreation.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, the Washington Aqueduct, and the Fairfax County Water Authority in Virginia rely on it in an unexpected water shortage.

Little Seneca Creek and its two main tributaries, Ten Mile Creek and Cabin Branch (another name for stream), supply the lake with water.

Trees framing the Little Seneca Lake.

hafakot /

In the adjacent hills, Native Americans established hunting camps to fish and gather berries.

Many mills were built along fast-flowing rivers by the early European immigrants.

Ten Mile Creek became a thriving community with a school, a gristmill, and a sawmill.

After the railway arrived in 1873, people from Washington would travel up to the region in the summer and stay at several hotels.

Because of its elevated location, the 22-room High View Hotel on Ten Mile Creek, now a county historic landmark, was spared the effects of the lake’s construction.

The clips minnow, the comely shiner, and the rosy side dace are all endangered species in Ten Mile Creek, according to a study conducted in 1974.

Aerial view of Little Seneca Lake and fall trees.

hafakot /

Get Strategic at Tactical Laser Tag

There’s no better laser tag company in the region than Tactical Laser Tag.

What makes this business unique is that they can bring laser tag to your area, in the case of locals.

Tactical Laser Tag will come to the customer’s place and set up the battleground for them.

In addition to pop-up bunkers, laser tag blasters, and a laser tag Game Master, Tactical Laser Tags also provides all necessary supplies.

Events such as birthdays and youth groups can benefit significantly from them.

The company’s service region includes several states in the immediate vicinity.

Swing Your Club at Topgolf

Play like Tiger Woods on TopGolf and see how good you are at the game.

Regardless of the time of day, our arena is always alive with activity.

You will enjoy it because there is no need to perform well on the golf course or rack up many points.

Choose a game based on your level of golfing ability.

Additionally, a good time isn’t complete without delicious food and drink at the center of it.

You’ll find an established Executive Chef, and an experienced at Germantown restaurant serving up traditional dishes with a new spin. Discover more Germantown restaurants.

Get Creative at We Art Fun

We Art Fun opened in 2021, allowing you to create your masterpiece.

Feel free to bring your family and friends to paint and personalize ceramics, especially your kids.

There is no need to bring anything as the staff will provide you with painting supplies with each item to paint.

Materials and supplies are entirely toxin-free, so you can ensure they are safe for your kids.

If you like, you may purchase online and paint at home, or you can come in and do it in the studio.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just getting together with the girls, We Art Fun is the place to be.

For them, it’s all about bringing people together via art and spending time with their loved ones.

Grab The Shops at Seneca Meadows

The Shops at Seneca Meadows in Germantown, a relatively new retail center, are growing!

You’ll find it just off Father Hurley Boulevard near Seneca Meadows Parkway and Observation Drive.

The Shops at Seneca Meadows, anchored by Wegman’s, were designed by Bignell Watkins Hasser.

In Germantown, Maryland, the construction site is at I-270 and Father Hurley Boulevard.

The first Wegman’s shop in Montgomery County lies in this retail development, including in-line and pad sites.

The Shops at Seneca Meadows, with its 1 million square feet area, features retail, restaurants, and offices.

The Shops at Seneca Meadows has a grocery store, restaurants, liquor store, bank, and more all in one place.

Buy Products from Local Vendors at Lancaster County Dutch Market

At the Lancaster County Dutch Market, you may find Charming boutiques, including Lapp’s Candy, The Bake Shop, Zook’s Cheese, Lydiann’s Flower Garden, and Lancaster County Meats.

You may rest easy knowing that your purchases are helping a small, family-run business while also benefiting the community as a whole.

It’s hard to beat the cuisine here, which includes everything from fresh meat and smoked cheese to enormous pancakes and pumpkin rolls when it comes to delivering on the promise of high-quality Amish craftsmanship.

Incredibly popular, the pretzel shop offers a variety of hand-made pretzels stuffed with meat and cheese.

Take a Dip at Gunners Lake

Swimming in Gunners Lake is a great way to cool off during a hot Germantown July day.

In 1985, as part of Gunners Lake Village, a dam was constructed over Gunners Branch in the Great Seneca watershed to create Gunners Lake, which serves recreational and stormwater management purposes.

Also, it functions as a road barrier for Wisteria Drive. Residents refer to the lake as “an oasis in the center of Germantown.”

The Gunners Lake Loop is a popular place to go for a stroll, jog, or bike ride while taking in the scenery.

You may find wild strawberries, wildflowers, honeysuckle, and even wildlife in the lake’s woods.

There is a 1.25-mile paved road, a 3.5-mile forested walk, and a migratory bird sanctuary near Gunners Lake.

Learn about Sustainable Agriculture at Red Wriggler Community Farm

Red Wiggler Community Farm, which has been around since 1996, is a sustainable farm that employs and educates persons with and without intellectual impairments.

Seven of our 12-acre site is dedicated to vegetable cultivation by Red Wiggler Community Farm members, who sell or donate their harvest to a wide range of people.

On some Saturdays throughout the growing season, we provide excursions.

Tours are a fantastic way to learn about Red Wiggler’s purpose and sustainable agriculture while strolling around the fields with loved ones.

Spend time in nature, try some of the produce, and expand your horizons.

Play Ball Games at Waters Landing Local Park

Waters Landing Local Park debuted in the spring of 2016.

The park also features two tennis courts, a multi-use field, a softball field, and a football/soccer field.

It also has a multi-use field, so people of all ages can exercise there.

In addition, if your dog is well-trained, this is a fantastic area to let them loose off the leash.

Remember to bring your picnic basket because this park has a picnic area with a shelter you may rent for your outing.

Cool Down and Enjoy Sweet Treats at Cold Stone Creamery

Cold Stone Creamery in Germantown, Maryland, has been around for more than 30 years.

It has become known for its premium, freshly made ice cream treats, shakes, and smoothies.

It boasts of using only the freshest ingredients and producing our ice cream by hand, from scratch.

Watch as the premium ice cream is churned to order and blended with your choice of candies, fruits, and nuts on our frozen granite counter.

Aside from ice cream, it also serves ice cream cakes.

Have Your Portraits Framed by Experts at Art Galaxy Framing

Weary of shopping centers’ mediocre picture framing?

For the proprietor of Art Galaxy Framing, whether you’re a professional artist or a homeowner trying to fill up some wall space, you need artwork to place on your walls.

Check out Art Gallaxy Framing in Germantown for all your custom framing needs.

It also offers professional guidance on how to frame various media.

This business, run by a local family, has built a solid reputation among satisfied customers in the region.

Its demand is rising as more people seek out the expertise of a design specialist to frame their valuable artwork.

Aside from framing services, original works of art by regional artists are also on exhibit at Art Gallaxy Framing.

It’s your chance to discover and acquire some of the best local talents.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Discover the Region’s History at Gaithersburg Community Museum

Exterior of a building at Gaithersburg Community Museum.

Doug Kerr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Transportation and the area’s history are the focus of the Gaithersburg Community Museum, 12 minutes away from Germantown.

The B&O Railroad Station, established in 1884, now serves as the museum’s home.

Educational events and interactive displays are available at the museum.

Additionally, the complex includes a historical park, a rolling stock display, and the Freight House’s educational exhibits.

There is also an extensive collection of rolling equipment outdoors, including a Budd car from the 1950s, a C&O Railroad caboose, and a 1918 steam locomotive.

Gaze at Local Art at Gaithersburg Arts Barn

In a wonderfully rebuilt former stable 11 minutes away from Germantown, the Arts Barn is a community arts facility.

It is part of the Arts on the Green, a group of visual and performing arts facilities, including the Arts Barn.

The center’s 99-seat theater hosts a variety of year-round performing arts events.

These facilities include exhibition galleries and art studios where visitors may see the work of the resident artists.

Its educational offerings include camps, workshops, and educational activities for the community.

Shop for art-inspired goods, jewelry, and clothing at the center’s City Art Shop.

Have a Retail Therapy at Rio Lakefront

Carousel outside Rio Lakefront.

Alejandro Guzmani /

Twelve minutes away from Germantown, Rio Lakefront is Gaithersburg’s retail and eating destination.

Located in the center of Montgomery County, Rio is the perfect place for customers of all ages to enjoy an unparalleled retail experience.

In Gaithersburg, Maryland, main-Street shopping and entertainment destinations include Target and Pier 1 Imports and Barnes and Noble, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Shop at stores like South Moon Under, Francesca’s, and White House Black Market while strolling along the coastline.

Exterior of Rio Lakefront

TYangMD /

Eat at Yard House, Copper Canyon Grill, California Pizza Kitchen, or even Guapo’s for an outside meal as you sip a cappuccino from Corner Bakery or sip frozen sangria from Uncle Julio’s.

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center has The Carousel and paddle boats for your enjoyment.

Rio has more than 50 options for shopping, eating, and entertainment for the whole family!

Learn Horseriding at Hunt View Riding Academy

Hunt View Riding Academy is a professional horse riding school and residential facility located 13 minutes away from Germantown.

Some of the facility’s accreditations are from the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Maryland Horse Industry Association.

A large portion of the academy’s acreage is available for students to ride in various settings.

Private and group classes are available in multiple riding styles, including English and Western, and trail riding and other off-road activities.

Students as young as six years old are welcome to enroll, and the curriculum caters to a wide range of skill sets.

The lesson schedule is flexible, and you may request to personalize it according to your needs.

Final Thoughts

While Germantown is not the capital, this thriving heart of suburban life is home to everything, from stunning national parks to upscale retail and dining complexes.

Spend a day or two in this city to experience the best of Germantown, Maryland.

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