Doing Something a Little Different This Holiday Season

Doing Something a Little Different This Holiday Season
by Jennifer Leese

Most farms are relatively quiet during the month of December, but this year there is one notable exception: Crumland Farms on Willow Road is having a Holiday Lights Spectacular!
The Crum Family had been dairy farmers since the 1940's. In the late 1990's, they sold off their cattle to concentrate on agritainment, a fast-growing trend worldwide wherein farm families open their land to suburban and city dwellers so that they can enjoy the quickly disappearing "farm experience".
Their 2000 Corn Maze was the first in the area, and quickly helped establish Crumland Farms' reputation for unique, entertaining, and educational agritainment activities. In the spring of 2006, the family opened the area's first Pizza Farm.
Elizabeth and John Crum, since deceased, were the original owners of Crumland Farms. John Denham "Denny" Crum and his wife Judy are the current owners, who run the farm with the assistance of youngest son Chris and his wife Heather Crum.
With the intention of helping children understand that all their favorite goods originate on a farm, Crumland became the first and only place in the area to grow Pizza!
Picture a one-acre circle cut into 8 wedges, each planted with a pizza ingredient: wheat, tomatoes, herbs, onions, & peppers. There's even a dairy grazing to represent the cheese, and some sausage & pepperoni on the hoof, of course!
Guided tours last about an hour, but visitors are free to enjoy the rest of the grounds, too, including the giant slide, corn cannon, goat walk, mini-barnyard, pedal carts, and mega-trikes. You can even arrange for pizza to be delivered to one of their covered picnic areas for a snack or meal.
The Pizza Farm is perfect for scouts, birthday parties, school trips, and day camps. The Pizza Farm at Crumland is open April, May, and June for groups of 20 or more and is by reservation only.
Denny and Judy Crum are saying Merry Christmas this year with another area "first." The family has created--with the help of a nationally known professional lighting company--the Holiday Lights Spectacular at Crumland Farms for the enjoyment of area families.
Every Wednesday through Sunday night from 6-10pm until Saturday, January 3, 2009 [with the exception of Christmas Eve], visitors to the Holiday Lights Spectacular may view a mile-long wonderland of over one million lights arranged in dozens of delightful, animated scenes, including Rudolph's Flight School, Holiday at the Zoo, Toyland, Victorian Holidays, and a Winter Wonderland Tunnel.
Visitors, says Crum, can enjoy the Holiday Lights Spectacular from the warmth and comfort of their own car, truck, van or bus. Groups of twenty or more can make advance reservations to enjoy the lights aboard a hay wagon under the stars.
"As far as we can remember, there's never been anything quite like this in Frederick County," said Chris Crum. "We're really happy to be able to bring this attraction to Frederick. We're especially glad to be partnering with WFMD/WFRE Radio to support their Christmas Cash for Kids program. A portion of the proceeds from admissions will help make the holidays happier for some of Frederick's neediest kids in their families "
Visitors receive $3 off the $20/carload price when they bring canned food items to donate. A portion of every admission is donated to the Christmas Cash for Kids program, which helps assure that everyone in the area has a little bit of Christmas this year, no matter what their circumstances may be.
With the harvest in October comes the famous Corn Maze, featuring the farm mascot "Mazey" in a different theme each year. The huge pumpkin patch is available by hay wagon to individuals, families, and school tours. Colder weather will now bring the Holiday Lights Spectacular through early January. During the coldest months of the year, the business lies fallow until spring, when they prepare for Pizza Farm season. In April, May, and June, the Pizza Farm is ready and open for business, drawing in hundreds of people! The hottest months of summer July, August, and September find the family preparing for autumn, when thousands of visitors come back to Crumland to start the agritainment cycle once again.
For all the details, visit or call 301-845-8099.