Road Trip

Museums by Candlelight in Frederick

Sunday, December 7, 2008

WHERE: Frederick.

WHY: Gratis museums, orange ornaments and non-modern medicine.

HOW FAR: About eight miles from start to finish, and about 45 miles from Washington.

Everything will be illuminated in Frederick County for Saturday's Museums by Candlelight.

During the event, now in its 20th year, 22 museums and historic sites waive admission fees and host kid-friendly events. Venues include the Rose Hill Manor Park & Children's Museum, which features a collection of restored carriages and sleighs, and the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum, an authentic model of old German design, complete with an indoor-outdoor kitchen sink and a giant hearth.

A portion of the event is lighted by sunshine, but after dusk, guests can explore the museums and take part in such activities as cooking demonstrations and live music by the warm glow of wax.

If 22 places seems like too mad a dash, focus just on the city of Frederick, dense with attractions showcasing local history. Maryland's second-largest urban center has a dozen museums and sites participating in Museums by Candlelight this year. "Frederick is a microcosm of the American experience," says Liz Shatto, coordinator of the Frederick Historic Site Consortium. "We're fortunate in this way, and we want to preserve our history." Keep the flame alive.

-- Ben Chapman

Museums by Candlelight: Saturday, noon-7 p.m., at various locations in Frederick County. 800-999-3613. Free.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company