Westminster, Maryland, is a scenic city with a population of 18,590 that's situated about 45 minutes from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and the Pennsylvania border. The seat of Carroll County, Westminster is a historic Maryland settlement dating to Colonial times. Many historic sites remain, and many indoor and outdoor kid-friendly activities occur throughout the year.
The Hashawha Environmental Center and windmill in Westminster is an educational and recreational destination for families. The site has a lake for multiple-use recreation, camping areas, sports facilities and a wildlife area. Hashawa also contains winter cabins with bunk beds for overnight trips in the woods. The center provides environmental education, recreation, lodging and food service ''while functioning in a self-supporting capacity," according to the website for the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks. It is a popular location for summer camps, too.
The Carroll County Farm Museum in Westminster is a popular destination for Marylanders and schoolchildren. Visitors can experience authentic exhibits of mid-19th century rural life while touring historical farm buildings and recreated examples of an 18th-century log barn, smokehouse, broom shop, saddlery, springhouse, wagon shed, general store, firehouse and one-room schoolhouse. The museum also teaches the history of agriculture in Carroll County using artifacts and is home to a variety of farm animals.
Westminster's Equestrian Center is a destination for horse enthusiasts and children with horse riding experienced. The center is available for trail rides and dressage competitions. Youth equine organizations can rent and use the facility. Youth organizations such as Girl and Boy Scouts participate in Trail Days at the center. Horse riding lessons are abundantly available for children in Westminster and Carroll County, which is still home to significant undeveloped and farmland.
Families can easily reach activities in the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C., region, including federal monuments and parks in Washington, D.C., the Inner Harbor in Baltimore and historic Annapolis, Maryland, the state's capital. Like Westminster, the nearby Carroll County town of Mt. Airy has a historic downtown street with shops and restaurants and is a scenic area for walks with the family.