Below is a list of ten of our favorite things to do in Montgomery County during the holiday season. Did we leave any of your favorites out? Let us know in the comment section!
10. Holiday Street Fest & Fireworks at Rio
Date: Saturday, December 10
Location: Grand Corner Avenue in Gaithersburg
“1-5 PM: Join us on Grand Corner Ave (from Dick’s Sporting Goods to Barnes & Noble) for a Holiday Street Fest presented by Novavax!
- Festive Music, Artisan Market, Pop Up Bar, S’mores Lounge, Wreath Making Workshop, Family Activities & More!
5-7 PM: The festivities continue on the Boardwalk Stage (By Guapo’s) with a DJ, Games/Prizes and a Pop Up Bar!
6:45 PM: Enjoy a Dazzling Fireworks show over the lake!* Perfect viewing all along the Boardwalk and Fire Lounge.
HOLIDAY POP UP BARS
Adults ages 21+ can indulge in a festive and boozy holiday beverage and light bites at the following pop-up bars:
- True Food Kitchen: Grand Corner Ave,1-5 pm
- Dave & Busters: Boardwalk Stage, 5-7 pm
- Nando’s ‘Deck the Bar’ (on their patio), 5-7 pm
* Please note: The playground and portion of the lake path will close prior to the fireworks display.
Pro Tip! Parking is free and plentiful at rio – beat the crowds and park in the garages near Kohl’s and Target!
Firework show will be visible throughout the lakefront and last approximately five minutes. There are plenty viewing options throughout rio – along the Boardwalk, on Restaurant Patios, Fire Lounge, etc.!
Date: Now through January 1, 2023 (Closed December 24-25)
Time: 5:30pm to 9:30pm nightly
Location: 1800 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton
The Garden of Lights display transforms Brookside Gardens into a magical winter wonderland. Stroll through the one-half mile, outdoor, walk-through exhibit and enjoy the twinkling lights and glimmering one-of-a-kind displays adorning the flowerbeds and grounds throughout the 50-acre horticultural gem in Wheaton.
- Tickets are $10 per person(opens in a new tab), age five and older, and are only available to purchase online at Eventbrite.com.
- Every person five and older must have a ticket.
- Tickets are timed entry with a specific day and entrance time for your arrival.
- Please print a hard copy of your digital tickets to bring with you to the event.
- You must arrive within thirty minutes of your ticketed time slot to redeem your ticket.
- Tickets are non-refundable.
- Garden of Lights is an outdoor, rain or shine event. Please dress accordingly.
Date: Now through March
Time: Sun 10am-10pm, Mon through Thurs 12pm-10pm, Fri 12pm-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm
Location: 131 Gibbs St, Rockville
The ice-skating rink at Rockville Town Square opens to the general public every year in November. Reservations are required and are available two weeks in advance. You will need to reserve your arrival time. Non-skaters who wish to enter the fenced rink area are also required to pay admission and need to make reservations as well. Click here for more information on pricing, holiday hours, group rates, events and lessons.
“At 7,200 square feet and 120 feet long, the rink is the largest outdoor rink in Montgomery County and has been an annual winter attraction for more than a decade.”
7. Holiday Lights in the Town of Poolesville
Location: 19721 Beall St, Poolesville
Make the trek to Poolesville this December and see the fantastic light display in front of Town Hall. The official tree lighting event took place on December 2 and the lights will be displayed nightly throughout the month. While in Pooleville, grab dinner at one of the great local restaurants like Basset’s or Cugini’s. Visit www.poolesvillemd.gov/439/Holiday-Lighting-Ceremony for more information.
6. ‘The Nutcracker’ Presented by the Rockville Civic Ballet
Date: Saturdays, Dec. 3 and 10; Sundays, Dec. 4 and 11.
Time: 2pm & 7pm
Location: 603 Edmonston Dr, Rockville
Tickets cost $17; $13, children 12 and younger and seniors 60 and older.
“Join Clara on her magical journey. Directed by Eleanor Simpson and Erin Kwong. The Rockville Civic Ballet consists of 85 adult and children dancers. Since 1974, the company has annually performed the Nutcracker. The company also annually performs spring and summer production. Learn more about the Rockville Civic Ballet at friendsrcb.org.”
❄️ Get into the holiday spirit this weekend with Rockville Civic Ballet's presentation of The Nutcracker at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre! 🩰 Tickets can be purchased online at https://t.co/Lms1WsmCny or in person at the F Scott Fitzgerald Theatre Box Office. pic.twitter.com/lUzm9BLlqE
— City of Rockville (@Rockville411) December 1, 2022
Montgomery County is home to several great craft breweries, many of which offer heated tents, patios, and yurts during the winter. Lone Oak Farm Brewing Company at 5000 Olney Laytonsville Rd in Olney offers comfy tents that include a private server will that deliver anything you order off the Lone Oak menu – right to your tent! Visit www.loneoakbrewingco.com for more information and pricing.
Waredaca Brewing at 4017 Damascus Rd in Gaithersburg is all about the yurts! Yurts are set for groups of 10 with room to accommodate more guests if you double up or reserve additional tables. They are heated and can be purchased with additional amenities like a fire pit, s’mores kit and pre-ordered food. Reservations are for two hours and start at $65! Book yours online today at orderwaredaca.com! For more information, and to make a reservation, visit www.waredacabrewing.com
Date: Every Sunday
Location: 2801 Olney Sandy Spring Rd, Olney
The Olney Farmers & Artist Market is one of the only markets in Montgomery County that is open year round. Here you will find traditional market staples like produce, baked goods, flowers, as well as dozens of local artists selling everything from hand-carved cutting boards, scarves, mittens, hats, face masks to stained glass and bird-themed wallets. During the holiday season there are vendors selling fresh cut Christmas trees and wreaths.
“The Market runs year-round, rain or shine, from 9 am to 1 pm. We’re located on the Medstar Hospital Thrift Shop site, at 108 and Prince Philip Drive. There’s plenty of parking, both in the lot adjacent to the Market along 108 and opposite the Thrift Shop on Prince Philip. Special provisions for disabled customers. Anyone elderly or disabled will be able to park closer in. If you’d like to make arrangements in advance, call 202 257 5326.”
3. The Jingle Lounge at Montgomery Mall
The festive Jingle Lounge, located on the lower level next to Lego, opened on November 21st. “Westfield Montgomery invites guests for a full lineup of festive activities including live holiday music, complimentary cocktails with purchase popups prepared by Cocktail Curations, and holiday arts and crafts by the center’s new non-profit arts center, Creative Outlets and Lego.” Schedule of events below:
Sunday, December 4th from 11 am to 1 pm | Holiday Craft and build with Lego and Creative Outlets Arts Center
Friday, December 9th from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM | Holiday Music with the 42nd Street Carolers
Sunday, December 11th from 11 am to 1 pm | Holiday Craft and build with Lego and Creative Outlets Arts Center
Friday, December 16th from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM | Holiday Music with Keyboardist Jordan Mills
Saturday, December 17th from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Sip with Purchase event! Spend $75 at any Westfield Montgomery store and redeem for a complimentary holiday cocktail or mocktail.
Sunday, December 18th from 11 am to 1 pm | Holiday Craft and build with Lego and Creative Outlets Arts Center
Friday, December 23rd from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM | Holiday Music with the 42nd Street Carolers
2. ‘Festival of Lights’ at the Washington D.C. Temple
Date: Now through January 2, 2023
Time: Dusk to 9pm
Location: 9900 Stoneybrook Dr, Kensington
The annual Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. Temple returned this year after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cancelled the display in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns and to focus on the temple’s open house and rededication, which took place this past spring.
“It’s that time of the year again! Mark your calendars because the Festival of Lights is coming back this Christmas! Bring your friends and family and make some memories!
Date: Now through December 31(Closed December 25)
Time: Sun-Thurs 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fri & Sat 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: 11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg
“The City of Gaithersburg’s Winter Lights Festival is getting ready to welcome visitors for another spectacular season. The wondrous display of lights at Seneca Creek State Park will be open nightly November 25 through December 31. The festival is closed on December 25 and last entry for December 24 & 31 is 8:30 p.m. The 3.5 mile drive through the enchanted setting of Seneca Creek State Park takes you past more than 450 illuminated displays and beautifully lit trees that light up the night. The park is located at 11950 Clopper Road, conveniently accessible from I-270. Advanced purchase of tickets is required and one ticket is required per vehicle and pricing/additional information can be seen below:
- Monday – Thursday: $15
- Friday – Sunday: $25
- 15+ Passenger Vehicles: $30
Before you leave your home:
- Check traffic to estimate your wait time. WTOP provides traffic updates and WAZE & Apple Maps provide estimated travel times.
- Make sure you have plenty of fuel in your gas tank.
- Bring a car phone charger, especially for mobile ticketholders.
- Use the restroom before leaving home; port-a-johns are located just beyond the park entrance & in the admissions booth loop.
- Bring snacks & drinks, or grab dinner on the way to enjoy in your vehicle.
During your trip to the Festival:
- Arrive early & as close to 5:30 p.m. as possible.
- Follow all traffic laws; do not block intersections.
- Have your tickets ready as soon as you enter the park.
During your visit:
- For your own safety & to keep traffic moving, do NOT exit your vehicle and do NOT stop along the route.
- Tune in to 97.1 WASH FM for holiday music.
- Enjoy this special holiday memory with your loved ones. Happy Holidays!