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

by MCS Staff

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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