Winter Break Activities for Families and Individuals by Montgomery Parks

Winter break for Montgomery County Public School students starts Thursday, December 23, and Montgomery Parks has a full schedule of programs and events that families can enjoy together. Here are this week’s Parks’ Picks for family fun over winter break!

Garden of Lights

There are only a few weeks left to see the dazzling lights at this year’s Garden of Lights(opens in a new tab). Walk through Brookside Gardens and enjoy more than one million colorful LED lights handwoven into original works depicting animals, flowers, and other natural elements. All visitors over the age of three must have a timed-entry ticket. Plan ahead because some dates are filling up quickly.

Two adults and two children walking through Garden of Lights display at Brookside Gardens.

Ice Skating

Sign up your school-age children (ages six to twelve years old) for School’s Out Skate Days(opens in a new tab). The kids will spend the day participating in a group ice skating lesson, practicing their new skills, doing arts and crafts, and playing fun games with their friends. The program runs from Monday, December 27, through Thursday, December 30. Spaces are still available for the program at Wheaton Ice Arena. Separate registration is required for each date.

Want to go for a skate with family and friends? Lace up your skates for a public skating session at our indoor ice rinks. Visit Cabin John Ice Rink(opens in a new tab) and Wheaton Ice Arena(opens in a new tab) websites for schedules. Register on in a new tab).

Two kids skating at Wheaton Ice Arena.

Open Parkways

Take the children for a bike ride, walk, or run on our car-free streets(opens in a new tab) during the holidays. Sections of Sligo Creek Parkway, Beach Drive, and Little Falls Parkway will be closed to vehicle traffic from Thursday, December 23, through Sunday, December 26, and from Thursday, December 30, through Sunday, January 2.

Two adults walking a stroller and dog on Open Parkways.

Family Programs

Montgomery Parks has many fun, family-friendly programs scheduled during winter break that still have spaces open.

Use your senses and “look closely” at the winter landscape with special programs, exhibits, and self-guided hikes at Locust Grove Nature Center. Register on in a new tab) to receive a program schedule by email.

Bring your little one for story time during Beyond the Book: The Gingerbread Baby(opens in a new tab) at Maydale Nature Classroom on Tuesday, December 28, at 10 am.

On Wednesday, December 29, search for hidden treasures in Maydale Conservation Park during the Family Geocache Adventure(opens in a new tab) program at 10:30 am. Also, join a park naturalist for a winter scavenger hunt at Wheaton Regional Park during our Nature Search(opens in a new tab) program at 10 am.

Pick up a scavenger hunt sheet and head out to look for signs of winter then join a park naturalist around a campfire for marshmallow roasting and hot chocolate during the Winter Scavenger Hunt and Campfire(opens in a new tab) program on Thursday, December 30, from 10 am to 12 pm.

Adult showing child an item that was picked up off the ground outdoors.           Roasting marshmallows on campfire.

Before leaving home, please check our website(opens in a new tab) for facility holiday hours.

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