Montgomery Parks Announces December Special Events and Programs

by MCS Staff

Montgomery Parks has a festive lineup of special events and programs in December, including the continuation of the holiday favorite Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens, Holiday Barket, a dog-themed holiday market, several winter solstice celebrations and the return of our Urban Wood Sale. There are many ways to celebrate the holiday season at Montgomery Parks.December events in Montgomery Parks include: 

Garden of Lights | Through January 1, 2023 (closed December 24 – 25) | 5 – 9:30 p.m.

Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902

Garden of Lights continues through December. The holiday light display transforms Brookside Gardens into a dazzling winter wonderland. The one-half mile outdoor exhibit features one-of-a-kind light displays decorating flower beds and the grounds. Visitors can buy unique seasonal items at the gift shop. Hot chocolate and light snacks will be available for purchase. Pedestrians and cyclists can enter the exhibit at the pedestrian gate at 1800 Glenallan Avenue or via a half-mile path beginning at 2000 Shorefield Road, near the Wheaton Regional Park Adventure Playground. Advance timed-entry tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite. $10 (ticket required for everyone age five and older).

 Holiday Barket | December 3 | 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cabin John Regional Park, 7400 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817

The Holiday Barket is a dog-themed holiday market where visitors can buy unique gifts for their pooch and get information on local pet businesses and organizations at a fun and festive event where both pet owners and their dogs are welcome. Free.

Deck the Halls | December 3 | 1 – 3 p.m.
Black Hill Visitor Center, 20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, MD 20841

Help decorate Black Hill Visitor Center for the holidays. Bring an ornament to donate or hang on the center’s tree or just help to decorate with the center’s own nature-themed decorations. Attendees will also make snowflakes to hang in the windows. Drop by anytime during program hours. All ages. Free.

Night Hike | December 7 | 5 – 6 p.m.
Black Hill Visitor Center, 20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, MD 20841

Join us for our Night Hike and take a post-sunset stroll to look and listen for creatures that are most active at night. Registration required. $6 ($5 FOBH).

Montgomery Parks’ Urban Wood Sale | December 10 – 11 | 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Montgomery Parks Green Farm Maintenance Facility, 8301 Turkey Thicket Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Our Urban Wood Sale is back! Shop for kiln-dried, planed and air-dried wood. The walnut, cedar, pine, poplar, oak, beech, cherry, cypress, and ash slabs are different sizes and thicknesses. All sales benefit Montgomery Parks’ urban wood waste recycling and green waste recycling programs. Credit card only. Prices vary.

Candy Cane Woods | December 10 | 1 – 1:30 p.m.
Meadowside Nature Center, 5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD 20855

Hike the self-guided winter wonderland trail, find the hidden candy canes and discover nature’s red and white treasures. Registration required. All ages. $3.

 Christmas Bird Count | December 14 | 7 – 10 a.m.
Meadowside Nature Center, 5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD 20855

Join Meadowside Nature Center and Audubon to collect data in this long-running wildlife census, that runs from December 14 through January 5, to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation action. The exact meeting location and details will be emailed before December 14 to all registered participants. Registration recommended. Free.

Eagle Watching at Conowingo Dam | December 14 | 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. 
Black Hill Visitor Center, 20926 Lake Ridge Drive, Boyds, MD 20841

Visit Conowingo Dam, in Harford County, Maryland, to observe bald eagles. Travel by van with a park naturalist to enjoy a day of bird watching along the Susquehanna River. Binoculars and viewing scopes will be provided but participants are welcome to bring their own. Registration required. Ages 18 and older. $50 ($48 FOBH).

Solstice Guided Labyrinth Walk and Campfire | December 16 | 4 – 7 p.m.
Locust Grove Nature Center, 7777 Democracy Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20817

Light up the night sky on one of the shortest days of the year. Take a moment to slow down, reflect and give thanks during the bust holiday season. Choose a guided activity in the meditation labyrinth, then warm up by the campfire and toast a marshmallow. Registration in half-hour blocks required. All ages. $6.

 Winter Solstice Lantern Making | December 17 | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Maydale Nature Classroom, 1638 Maydale Drive, Colesville, MD 20905

Celebrate the winter solstice by making a lantern.  Registration required. All ages. $7.

Cabin John Winter Ice Show | December 17 | 6:15 – 9:30 p.m.

Cabin John Ice Rink, 10610 Westlake Drive, Rockville, MD 20852

The holiday season is the perfect time to enjoy a figure skating show. Our talented figure skaters will perform in solo and small group performances. Performers will include Jasmine Clarke, David Lu and Noah Ryu, who train at Cabin John Ice Rink and competed at the Eastern Sectional Championships. All ages. Free.

Nature Ornaments | December 18 | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Maydale Nature Classroom, 1638 Maydale Drive, Colesville, MD 20905

Celebrate the holidays by making a nature ornament. Ages three-eight. Registration required. $7.

Winter Scavenger Hunt and Campfire | December 30 | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Maydale Nature Classroom, 1638 Maydale Drive, Colesville, MD 20905

Explore the great outdoors with a naturalist-led hike and scavenger hunt. After the hunt, gather around a campfire for roasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. Ages three and older. Registration required. Free.

Happy Noon Year’s Eve | December 31 | 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Meadowside Nature Center, 5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville, MD 20855

For non-night owls who want to celebrate the New Year before midnight stop by Happy Noon Year’s Eve as guests do an activity every 15 minutes until the clock strikes noon. Bring your favorite juice to toast the new year. Activities and a small snack provided. All ages. Registration required. $7.

Smokey Bear’s New Year’s Eve Countdown | December 31 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Maydale Nature Classroom, 1638 Maydale Drive, Colesville, MD 20905

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Smokey Bear! There will be various activities, a campfire with s’mores and a noon countdown to ring in the New Year. Drop by anytime during program hours. Ages three to 12. Registration required. $8.

Brighten Your Winter Nights Campfire | December 31 | 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Brookside Nature Center, 1400 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902

Learn why winter nights are so long and how cultures around the world celebrate this time of year with light. Create a lantern made from recycled materials to brighten your home. Afterward, enjoy s’mores and roasting marshmallows. All materials provided. Ages five and older. Registration required. $7.

Montgomery Parks is a co-sponsor of the following event taking place in parks during the month of December:

Santa in the Park: December 17 @ Flower Avenue Urban Park

Visit the Winter 2022 Montgomery Parks Program Guide. Registration is open for Ice/Tennis Winter Term I which runs from December 20, 2022 through January 3, 2023. Go to Montgomery Parks event calendar to view a complete list of special events and programming and to learn how to sign up using ActiveMontgomery.

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