Tailwinds Over Frederick offers the county's closest thing to a magic carpet ride, drifting you up, up and away courtesy of pilot
Most rides rise to around 3,000 feet, or half a mile, and Smith often hosts newlyweds at 6,000 feet so couples can lay claim to a mile-high wedding. But Smith's favorite flights pass over
The leisurely atmospheric stroll lasts about three hours from start to finish. That includes balloon setup, the tour itself, an impromptu meet-and-greet with whoever owns the landing spot, a champagne toast, and a drive back to the launch location.
It's a hands-on process that can bring out the child in anyone. Riders help Smith and his family unpack and inflate the balloon before climbing into the steel-reinforced basket, then break it down for storage once the journey ends.
Smith said ballooning is an experience for the young and young-at-heart, those looking for a unique way to celebrate a special occasion or anyone with the spirit of adventure -- "people like us," he said. Riders must be at least 8 years old.
Wear jeans and a comfortable T-shirt or sweatshirt, Smith said -- clothing that's appropriate for landing no matter where the wind takes you.
If you really liked tree houses and monkey bars as a child,
The company offers zip lining, a canopy tour, a giant swing and other outdoor activities at its facility in
"The idea is to give these people a sense of adventure and to get them up high," said owner operator
The course can be adjusted to be more or less thrilling, according to the guests' tastes, Flegate said. Guides can offer activities with a greater perceived risk for the more adventurous and activities for those who would like a more relaxed experience.
Programs are by appointment only and pricing varies according to the number of people in the group, starting at about
At the aptly named
Rides like The Scrambler, a roller coaster and bumper boats pair with mini golf, go karts, faux gem mining and a helicopter simulator for an action-packed afternoon outdoors. These attractions are open daily
And never fear!
For an adventure closer to the ground,
Riders can pick from a variety of trails, from the farm's own trail to a tour of the
There is also an indoor riding ring, where people can ride while staying out of the elements.
"We just want (guests) to have fun. We want everybody to have fun and enjoy," manager
Maybe you need a swift kick to leave your normal routine; maybe you prefer your usual Saturday to be a little, well, unusual. But no matter your price range or comfort level,
Tailwinds Over Frederick
Hot air balloon rides;
240-415-8094 or email email@example.com
Outdoor activities; prices vary
www.upwardenterprises.com or 301-834-6140
Rushing Winds Farm,
Amusement park with games and rides; 3-hour pass,
301-865-6800, www. adventureparkusa.com
5100 Buckeystown Pike Suite 174,
This bar and grill's standard meat is organic beef, but oddities include elk, boar, bison and ostrich. Head for the Big Bleu Bacon burger made with none other than kangaroo (
Middle Eastern small plates include some of
Authentic Mexican dishes include lengua al vino, slices of beef tongue in sherry wine sauce (
The Trail House
Hunting Creek Outfitters
Learn to Fly Day
Weekends, May through October; special events, year round
Unique dinner rides and murder mysteries in vintage 1920s passenger cars and open flatcars, as well as Easter trains, Santa trains, a ghost train, three weekends of steam locomotive operation,
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