December Activities to do with Out of Town Guests (by Montgomery Parks)

Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews are coming for the holidays. You barely have time to plan menus or do laundry. What will you do with everyone for fun? We’re here to help. Check out these activity suggestions for your out-of-town guests in this week’s Parks’ Picks.

Garden of Lights 

Garden of Lights(opens in a new tab) twinkles and dazzles at Brookside Gardens. The walk-through outdoor exhibition offers a glowing winter experience for all ages. Open nightly except December 24 and 25. Plan ahead because tickets are booking quickly.  

Three children dressed for cold weather sit on a bench with light displays in the background at Garden of Lights.

Public Skating 

Enjoy winter indoors at our ice centers(opens in a new tab). Bring everyone to daily public ice skating sessions at Cabin John Ice Rink(opens in a new tab) and Wheaton Ice Arena(opens in a new tab).

Closeup shot of a person’s feet wearing ice figure skates while skating at one of our public skating sessions at our indoor ice centers.

Open Parkways(opens in a new tab) 

Run, walk, bike, skate, or scoot together on our car-free streets. Sections of Beach Drive, Little Falls Parkway, and Sligo Creek Parkway will be open Thursday, December 23, to Sunday, December 26, and Thursday, December 30, to Sunday, January 2.  

Couple and small child in winter coats walk along a wet car-free street with snow on the sides of the road.


If your family wants more nature, go into the woods! Montgomery Parks has about 280 miles of trails for all hiking abilities. Check out our website(opens in a new tab)and find trails to explore.  

Older adult dressed warmly for cold weather blows milkweed pod seeds from her hand into the air.

Parents with preschoolers may enjoy more organized trail activities, like Brookside Nature Center’s Nature Search on December 22(opens in a new tab) and December 29(opens in a new tab) from 10 am to 11 am, or Locust Grove Nature Center’s Reflections(opens in a new tab) special programs through December 31. 

Parents with young children and toddler walk along a trail through the woods.

Winter Solstice  

Celebrate the first day of winter and light up the longest night of the year at Locust Grove Nature Center’s Winter Solstice Labyrinth Walk and Campfire(opens in a new tab) on Tuesday, December 21, from 4 to 7 pm. Best for families with children six and older.  

Families dressed in winter coats light candles inside a labyrinth made from pine boughs.

Before leaving home, please visit our website and check for facility holiday hours.

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week. To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

 1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

 2. How has it been working at Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

 3. How has working at Well-Paid Maids benefitted you?

Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

 4. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

 5. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

Submit your own Announcement here.

Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:

This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.


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