Harford County is rich in arts, culture, entertainment, outdoor recreation and shopping. This chapter will highlight some of the local offerings to get you started as you explore your new community, but in no way should this be considered a comprehensive list — it would take a book to cover everything!
The Celtic Festival is held in early June at the Steppingstone Farm Museum in Havre de Grace. The festival is a celebration of Celtic heritage, with pipe band music, Scottish food and drink, Irish step dancing and more. Cultural displays and demonstrations include sheepherding, spinning and weaving, woodworking, blacksmithing and baking. For more information, visit the Steppingstone Farm Museum’s event page.
Chocolate and Candy Festival
Sample local businesses’ delicious confections at the Chocolate and Candy Festival in downtown
Bel Air. Held in early March, the festival features a variety of chocolates, baked treats, candies and beverages. A children’s area with various crafts and activities entertains the little ones in between desserts. For more information on the annual event, visit the Downtown Bel Air Alliance’s website.
Darlington Apple Festival
The Darlington Apple Festival is held in the village of Darlington the first Saturday of October. The festival includes entertainment on an outdoor stage with hay bale seating, arts and crafts, hay rides, food, the fall harvest of mums, pumpkins and, of course, apples. A children’s area offers games and activities for kids. The festival also features an apple pie contest for both plain and crumb recipes. For more information, visit the event page.
Fall Harvest and Craft Festival
The Fall Harvest and Craft Festival is held in late September at the Steppingstone Farm Museum in Havre de Grace. The event features everyone’s favorite fall activities: apple bobbing, hay rides, straw mazes, pumpkin painting and more. Other festival activities include craft booths, apple butter making, square dancing and clogging, music, food and more. For more information, visit the Steppingstone Farm Museum’s event page.
Harford County Farm Fair
Held at the Harford County Equestrian Center in late July, the Harford County Farm Fair is a celebration of the county’s agricultural heritage. The fair promotes youth involvement in 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Harford County Public Schools’ Ag Magnet Program and other agricultural activities. The fair features educational displays, pig races, tractor pulls, talent contests, a straw maze, games, entertainment and more. For more information, visit the event page.
Havre de Grace Art Show
The Havre de Grace Art Show is held the third weekend in August at Tydings Park. The weekend includes the annual juried arts show, as well as live entertainment, food, wine tastings and a beer garden. Arts and crafts are also available for purchase. For more information, visit the event page.
Havre de Grace Seafood Festival
Held the second full weekend of August on the waterfront in downtown Havre de Grace, the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival is Chesapeake Bay’s premier seaside festival. Enjoy more than 180 mouthwatering foods and seafood delicacies from more than 30 vendors. The festival also features arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment, a classic car show, a silent auction and other events. For more information on the festival, visit the event page.
Mardi Gras Parade
Enjoy the fat Tuesday festivities of the Mardi Gras Parade in downtown Havre de Grace. The parade travels down Bourbon Street to Washington Street, ending at the American Legion on St. John Street. Jazz, beads, floats, music and more are sure to entertain the entire family. For more information, visit the Havre de Grace Office of Tourism website.
Maryland Faerie Festival
Held in May in the village of Darlington, the Maryland Faerie Festival is a weekend celebration of faerie folklore and literature. Festivities include a faerie fashion show, faerie godmothers’ teatime, a maypole, a treasure hunt, crafts, music and entertainment. For more information, visit the event page.
Maryland State BBQ Bash
The Maryland State BBQ Bash is a themed street festival featuring the Maryland State BBQ Championship. More than 50 competition teams from the mid-Atlantic area vie for $12,500 in cash prizes and the chance to compete in Jack Daniels’ World Championship Invitational Barbecue in Lynchburg, Tenn., and the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo. More than 30 amateur teams also compete in the tailgate challenge to see who has the best ribs. Held in downtown Bel Air in August, the festival draws crowds of nearly 30,000 for the two-day event. The bash also features live music, food vendors and entertainment. For more information, visit the event page..
Held in July in Havre de Grace, Pirate Fest features a pub crawl and a 5K run through the city’s historic neighborhoods and waterfront. A Pirate Gala includes dancing, fine dining, auctions and more under a big tent on the banks of the Susquehanna. Enjoy pirate-themed re-enactments, exhibitions, displays and more at the Pirate Encampment, held on the Susquehanna Museum grounds. For more information, visit the event page.
Summertime Blues Festival
The Summertime Blues Festival is an outdoor concert held in June at Steppingstone Farm Museum. Held in an orchard overlooking the Susquehanna River at the Music on the Noll stage, the festival features live entertainment along with food, beer and wine. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and settle in for some of the best entertainment in the area, rain or shine. For more information, visit the Steppingstone Farm Museum’s event page.
No matter what your interests, Harford County will keep you busy with a variety of attractions. From historic buildings to family-friendly fun parks, there’s something for everyone.
Concord Point Lighthouse
700 Concord St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-939-3213
1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April through October
Built in 1827 where the Susquehanna River meets the tidal flow of Chesapeake Bay, the Concord Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses in Maryland. The lighthouse is located across the street from the restored home of the lighthouse’s keeper, John O’Neill.
Darlington, MD 21034............ 410-457-5011
Housing one of the largest hydroelectric plants in the nation, the Conowingo Dam forms a 14-mile-long freshwater lake. The dam is a year-round angler’s dream. In spring, the fish lift gives migrating fish a ride over the dam.
The dam is also a great place to see gulls and bald eagles from mid-October through mid-March.
The Go-Kart Track
10907 Pulaski Highway
White Marsh, MD 21162......... 410-335-6393
Enjoy a day of racing and mini-golf at the
Go-Kart Track. Three unique go-kart tracks include a junior track for younger racers, a family track and a powder-treated drifting track. Birthday party packages are also available. Hours vary by season. For more information, visit the park’s website.
Historical Society of Harford County
143 N. Main St.
Bel Air, MD 21014.................. 410-838-7691
This nonprofit organization offers regular dinner meetings, lectures, tours, open houses, classes and other programs about the county’s heritage. The society currently preserves more than 250,000 documents of the county’s history, along with 500 artifacts. For more information on historical areas in the county, contact the historical society or visit its website.
Jerusalem Mill Village
2813 Jerusalem Road
Kingsville, MD 21087............. 410-877-3560
1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
This living history destination from the 1770s is one of the oldest, most intact mill villages in Maryland and features a blacksmith, a gun shop, a grist mill, a museum, a 1930s general store and a gift shop. Annual events include a Civil War re-enactment of Gilmor’s Raid and a fall Colonial craftsmen weekend. The village is also home to the Jericho Covered Bridge, the last remaining covered bridge in Harford or Baltimore counties. The 99-foot Burr truss bridge built in 1865 crosses the little Gunpowder Falls on Jericho Road about 300 yards downstream from Jerusalem Mill.
Lantern Queen Riverboat
100 Congress Ave.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-939-1468
Enjoy a cruise on the largest passenger vessel in the upper Chesapeake region. The Lantern Queen, a replica Mississippi riverboat, is paddle wheel propelled. The riverboat sails out of Frank J. Hutchins Memorial Park in Havre de Grace on a variety of private and public excursions, including firework cruises, fall foliage cruises, dinner cruises and even full-moon yoga cruises. For more information, visit the riverboat’s website.
502 W. Gordon St.
Bel Air, MD 21014.................. 410-838-3942
Built in 1898 by a prominent Johns Hopkins physician, Dr. Howard Kelly, the Palladian-style mansion — with art gallery exhibits throughout the year — features a terrace with wisteria-covered archways and a boxwood garden. For hours of operation, events and gallery information, visit the Liriodendron Foundation’s website.
Six Flags America
13710 Central Ave.
Upper Marlboro, MD 20721.... 301-249-1500
Experience a variety of thrilling rides, entertainment, food and fun. Speed-defying roller coasters, the kid-friendly Looney Tunes Movie Town and Whistlestop Park, and the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor water park means there’s something fun for everyone. Six Flags America is located just outside the nation’s capital, about 1.5 hours from Harford County. Hours vary by season. For more information, visit the park’s website.
Skipjack Martha Lewis
121 N. Union Ave., Suite C
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-939-4078
A floating museum, Skipjack Martha Lewis is one of the few remaining dredge boats of the Chesapeake Bay oyster fleet. The vessel serves as a reminder of Chesapeake Bay heritage, especially with seasonal themed public and private cruises, educational programs and more. For more information on available cruises and programs, visit the Chesapeake Heritage Conservancy’s website.
Get a real appreciation for the area’s cultural and historic contributions through the many local museums.
Havre de Grace Decoy Museum
215 Giles St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-939-3739
10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday
On the banks of the historic Susquehanna Flats, the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum houses a large collection of waterfowl decoy carvings gathered from the works of more than 300 regional artists. Other museum exhibits include boats, guns, textiles, photographs and more. Visit the museum’s website for information on admission fees, carving demonstrations and classes, group tours and events.
Havre de Grace Maritime Museum
100 Lafayette St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-939-4800
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where Chesapeake Bay meets the Susquehanna River, the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum features exhibits and programs interpreting the rich maritime heritage of the region. Exhibits highlight the travels of John Smith as he explored Chesapeake Bay, ice harvesting, the Coast Guard, watermen, shipbuilding, navigation and more.
Hays House Museum
324 Kenmore Ave.
Bel Air, MD 21014.................. 410-838-7691
1 to 4 p.m. the second and fourth Sunday of the month, March through mid-December
Built in 1788, the museum — named for Thomas A. Hays, a prominent lawyer, landowner and entrepreneur who purchased the house in 1811 — retains virtually all its original features including the staircase, weatherboards, mantels, woodwork and shutters. For more information on special events, visit the museum’s website.
461 Quaker Bottom Road
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-939-2299
9 a.m. to sunset daily
This once-working farm preserves and demonstrates the Harford County rural farming culture and arts and crafts of 1880 to 1920. Visitors can experience the daily life of a turn-of-the-century farmhouse; see replicas of the late 19th-century general store, veterinarian office and decoy carver workshop; view old restored hand tools; and see a collection of carriages, buggies and sleighs at the carriage barn. The museum also hosts a number of events, like Medieval Days, the Celtic Festival and the Summertime Blues Festival, as well as themed tea parties and other events.
Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House
817 Conesto St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-939-5780
1 to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, mid-April through early November
A historic home on the banks of the Susquehanna River, the Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House tells the story of 19th-century life along the S&T Canal. Exhibits feature an 1800s kitchen and bedroom, a toll collector’s office, the War of 1812 and railroad history in Havre de Grace. The museum also hosts a number of events, including War of 1812 re-enactments and Pirate Fest.
Harford County residents enjoy a wealth of artistic endeavors, from the ballet to fine arts and more.
Center for the Arts at Tudor Hall
17 Tudor Lane
Bel Air, MD 21015.................. 410-838-2177
The Center for the Arts is dedicated to nurturing art, artists and the community by providing quality arts education and presentations in the disciplines of music, dance, theater and the visual, traditional and literary arts. The nonprofit organization also maintains Tudor Hall, the one-time home of John Wilkes Booth and Shakespearean actors Junius and Edwin Booth. Tudor Hall serves as a dedicated home for the arts in Harford County until construction of the proposed art center is completed. For information on tours of Tudor Hall, visit the center’s website.
Harford Artists Gallery
503 E. Churchville Road
Bel Air, MD 21014.................. 410-420-9499
The Harford Artists Gallery, at the Rockfield Manor cottage, features fine art painting, photography, pottery, artisan jewelry, sculpture, painted oyster shells, prints and note cards created by local artists. For hours of operation, visit the gallery’s website.
Harford Ballet Company
701 Whitaker Mill Road
Joppa, MD 21085.................... 410-877-0777
A classical and contemporary dance company, the Harford Ballet Company presents two major productions each year. The company also performs at numerous outreach events and community festivals. The company’s interactive performances allow children in the audience to feel they are part of the show. For information on upcoming performances, visit the ballet’s website.
Havre de Grace Drama Guild
351 Lewis Lane
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
The Havre de Grace Drama Guild brings quality community theater and film to the northern Chesapeake region. The guild has one of the most extensive drama programs in the region, teaching acting, singing, dancing, stage management, directing and film making. For information on programs and upcoming shows, visit the guild’s website.
Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra
P.O. Box 963
Abingdon, MD 21009
The county’s premiere symphony for more than 30 years performs a season subscription of four concerts and is part of the Bel Air outdoor summer concert series. Using creative programming, education, rehearsal and public performance, the orchestra entertains and offers music to the masses.
From art galleries and unique boutiques to major department stores, there’s something for every taste and budget in Harford County.
Bahoukas Antique Mall
408 N. Union Ave.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-942-1290
Bahoukas Antique Mall features a variety of antiques and collectibles, including toys, tools, sports collectibles, art, arcade games, Elvis items and more.
Bel Air Downtown Alliance
37 N. Main St.
Bel Air, MD 21014.................. 443-823-1797
The businesses, shops and stores of Bel Air have created a vibrant downtown destination. For a business directory of local shopping destinations, visit the alliance’s website.
Harford County’s abundant agriculture means that its farmers markets are close to the source. The Havre de Grace farmers market takes place on Pennington Avenue and Washington Street from 9 a.m. to noon May through the end of October. Local offerings include produce, meats, baked goods, cheeses, and other home-grown and homemade products. Visit www.mainstreethdg.com/index.php/farmers_market for more information.
696 Bel Air Road
Bel Air, MD 21014.................. 410-879-9319
The county’s only enclosed mall features two department stores and more than 75 retailers, specialty stores and restaurants.
Havre de Grace Main Street Inc.
121 N. Union Ave., Suite D
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-939-1811
The historic Havre de Grace waterfront destination thrives on business, culture, and arts and entertainment. For more information on local businesses and shopping destinations, visit the Havre de Grace Main Street’s member directory at www.mainstreethdg.com/index.php/members.
Parks and Gardens
Check the parks and recreation listings in your community to find a spot of civic green to enjoy. Whether you want to relax on a blanket or take the little tykes to a playground, there are plenty of parks at your disposal.
Anita C. Leight Estuary Center
700 Otter Point Road
Abingdon, MD 21009............. 410-612-1688
Anita C. Leight Estuary Center is one of the few remaining large freshwater tidal marshes in the upper Chesapeake Bay accessible to
the public. The center is the research and education facility of Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve’s Otter Point Creek component. The center offers public programs including kayaking, canoeing, pontoon boating, nature hikes, animal encounters, crafts and more.
Cedar Lane Regional Park
1100 Cedar Lane
Bel Air, MD 21015.................. 443-807-1767
Cedar Lane Regional Park is a 110-acre multisport complex for local and regional use, featuring fields for lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, football and more. For more information on sports camps, leagues and tournaments, visit the park’s website.
Eden Mill Nature Center and Park
1617 Eden Mill Road
Pylesville, MD 21132.............. 410-836-3050
Eden Mill Park is a 117-acre county park with a nature center, agriculture center, historic grist mill museum and gift shop. The park boasts more than 5 miles of hiking trails and is open year-round. For information on park programs, guided tours and special events, visit the park’s website.
Gunpowder Falls State Park
2813 Jerusalem Road
Kingsville, MD 21087............. 410-592-2897
Gunpowder Falls State Park includes more than 18,000 acres in both Baltimore and Harford counties. The long list of amenities includes more than 120 miles of trails, fishing areas, the historic village of Jerusalem Mill (an 18th-century Quaker settlement), a multiuse rail trail, a swimming beach, picnic areas and a marina. The park is also ideal for kayaking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, tubing, windsurfing and hiking.
Ladew Topiary Gardens
3535 Jarrettsville Pike
Monkton, MD 21111............... 410-557-9570
Named one of the top five gardens in North America, the Ladew Topiary Gardens was created by self-taught gardener Harvey S. Ladew. His thematic garden rooms feature stunning topiaries and gardens, including the hunt scene garden, the sculpture garden, the Temple of Venus, a rose garden, a wildflower meadow and more. The property also features the Manor House, a rustic farmhouse Ladew converted into a comfortable and luxurious country home. Both the gardens and the house are on the National Register of Historic Places. The gardens are open daily April 1 to Oct. 31. For more information on admissions, visit the gardens’ website.
Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway
4948 Conowingo Road
Darlington, MD 21034............ 410-457-2482
The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway is 40 miles of continuous public trails connecting Harford and Cecil counties. To download a trail map, visit the greenway’s website.
MA & PA Heritage Trail
The walking, running and bicycle trail follows the former Maryland and Pennsylvania railroad corridor in two segments: Forest Hill (1.75 miles) and Bel Air (4 miles). A dog park is located at the end of the Bel Air Trail at Heavenly Waters Park. For trail access locations and a brochure of trail maps, visit the trail’s website.
Rocks State Park
3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road
Jarrettsville, MD 21084............ 410-557-7994
This 855-acre park features dense forests, Deer Creek, scenic trails and massive boulders. The park is ideal for rock climbing, picnicking, hiking, tubing, canoeing, fishing and seasonal bow hunting. Be sure to check out the King and Queen Seat, natural rock outcrops with breathtaking views. It is believed the 190-foot cliff was a ceremonial gathering place of the Susquehannock Indians.
The Falling Branch Area of the park is home to Kilgore Falls. The second-highest vertical drop waterfall in Maryland and its swimming area can be reached via a hiking trail. For directions to the waterfall, visit the park’s website.
Susquehanna State Park
4122 Wilkinson Road
Havre de Grace, MD 21078..... 410-557-7994
Susquehanna State Park sports some of the most popular mountain biking trails in Maryland and the Susquehanna River beckons fishers and boaters alike. The park is home to the Rock Run Historical Area with a working grist mill, the Archer mansion, Jersey Toll House, Susquehanna Tidewater Canal and a campground. The park’s 15-mile trail system winds through forests, river bottoms, hay fields and pine plantations. The trails are great for hiking and horseback riding.
Sports and Recreation
Whether you’re a spectator or star participant, there is a bundle of recreational opportunities for any sports lover in Harford County.
873 Long Drive
Aberdeen, MD 21001.............. 410-297-9292
Ripken Stadium is home to the Aberdeen IronBirds, Aberdeen’s own minor league baseball team. The stadium is also host to more than 200 public and private events each year, including the internationally televised Ripken World Series.
2304 Churchville Road
Bel Air, MD 21015.................. 410-734-7300
The Arena Club is a family fitness center with state-of-the-art cardio equipment, an indoor turf field, personal training services and more than 74 fitness classes. The club is also home to the largest water park in the county, with a 25-meter lap/recreational pool, a 12-person whirlpool with waterfall, a wading pool with waterfall, a heated saltwater therapy pool, and a family pool with a deep-diving well, a water basketball court, a free swim area and two waterslides.
For information on fitness classes, children’s programs and membership, visit the club’s website.
County Golf Courses
Harford County is Maryland’s premier golf destination, with seven public golf courses and one private course. Championship courses designed by renowned architects like Pete Dye and Tom Doak offer quality golfing opportunities for every skill level. The county is also home to the Bel Air Golf Center, a premier PGA golf learning center. The center offers
40 practice stations, lesson packages, an 18-hole championship mini-golf course, a pro shop and more. Lessons and golf club fittings are also available at the Churchville Golf Center.
For more information on golfing in Harford County, visit the Harford County Office of Tourism’s website.
Harford County Equestrian Center
608 N. Tollgate Road
Bel Air, MD 21014.................. 443-987-7761
Located at Heavenly Waters Park, the equestrian center features two barns, show rings, and open and closed pavilions on a 20-acre facility. The center also hosts special events, including car shows, flea markets, dog shows and the annual Harford County Farm Fair.
PlayAction Sports & Social Club
1 Meadow Springs Drive
Bel Air, MD 21015.................. 443-904-4998
The PlayAction Sports & Social Club offers year-round coed sports activities, including kickball, dodgeball, softball, football and more. The club also organizes pub strolls, charity events and Oktoberfest.