One million bricks. That's what remained of The Maryland Theatre after a fire damaged it in 1974 and it subsequently fell into disrepair. Luckily a local businessman, a funeral director, and a group called Citizens to Save The Maryland Theatre joined forces to rescue it from the scrap heap and revive its 1915 glory. Not only did they polish its arabesque proscenium arches, curved orchestra boxes, and medallion moulding, they straightened up all the other neoclassical and art-deco elements that fill its five stories. Today, thanks to their efforts and the fact that Americans haven't gotten bored with entertainment, the venue is once again a go-to spot for musicals, bands, and standup acts.
Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties by Parents magazine in 2010, Pump It Up's Frederick location sprawls across 11,000 square feet of play areas and party rooms teeming with inflatable fun. A stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings that populate the indoor arena, including a regal throne for celebrating birthdays or announcing edicts that mandate dessert for breakfast. The ascending wall of the Vertical Rush challenges climbers with a hump-shaped obstacle, and attached dueling slides send victors careening into fun. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play and lectures on refinancing treehouse mortgages, or they can tote along their own mini entourage for birthday party packages complete with private rooms, complimentary invitations, and a veritable stockpile of extras to customize the celebratory shenanigans.
Starting in the mangrove swamps of South Florida as Tarzan’s Cup, The Jungle Cup tests runners’ warrior instincts and brute strength with a bevy of jungle-inspired challenges. Lone wolves, coed pairs, or teams of four take on the 5K course’s rivers of mud and swinging vines with the hope of winning the coveted Jungle Cup—or at least a finisher’s medal. Obstacles vary based on the run’s location, but contestants can rest assured that their endurance will be put to the test through primal trials such as leaping over fire pits, hurling javelins, and swimming through water hazards. After the race, athletes cool down with a frosty beverage at the Jungle Party, which celebrates their victories with fire shows, hula hoop-offs, and costume contests.
Two former preschool teachers banded together to create Explore & More Hands-On Children's Museum, a space designed to engage visitors?specifically, those between the ages of 2 and 8?with educational play. Located in a vintage 1810s house, the museum consists of seven themed rooms. Guests can glimpse into the past by entering the 1860s room, which houses a historical general store, or learn about hermit crabs, frogs, and other creatures in the nature area. Children experience the power of magnets first-hand in the exploration room, where they can also stand inside a giant soap bubble.
At Allstar Family Amusement Complex, Go-karts race around a circular track or hug the twists and turns of a grand prix?style course. Lasers zip throughout a 4,000-square-foot black-lit laser-tag arena, and blips and bleeps sound from an arcade complete with a potpourri of video and redemption games. Towering windmills don't obstruct holes in one on Allstar Family Amusement Complex's two 18-hole miniature golf courses. Instead, babbling brooks and verdant trees surround natural obstacles such as sharp turns and rock patterns. Mini golf is one of many attractions encompassed on the year-round fun park.
The paranormal investigators and tour guides of After Dark Investigations specialize in small-group tours that provide customers with hands-on experience and equipment. Ghost tourists utilize EMF detectors, dowsing rods, and infrared-video cameras to capture any potential appearance of apparitions. The tours stretch to locations such as cemeteries or abandoned amusement parks near the location of the Battle of Gettysburg.