Montgomery Parks has outdoor interpretive panels throughout their parks, sharing stories about the history of places and people. For Women’s History Month, they have four recommendations of parks to visit to learn about women in the past.

Interpetive panel about mothers and children in Silver Spring 1861 to 1863.

Jesup Blair Local Park

Jesup Blair Local Park(opens in a new tab) features a panel about mothers and children in Silver Spring from 1861 to 1865. You learn about Elizabeth Blair Lee and her son, Blair Lee. The Lee’s plantation in Silver Spring had enslaved laborers. The signs also discusses lives of those unknown enslaved mothers and their children.

Interpetive panel about women's roles during the Civil War in Montgomery County

Little Bennett Regional Park

During the Civil War, Montgomery County women played vital roles. They volunteered to prepare meals, mend clothes, and nurse wounds. The interpretive panel at Zeigler House(opens in a new tab) in Little Bennett Regional Park(opens in a new tab)highlights historic photographs and first-person accounts.

Interpretive panel about sights along Rachel Carson-Greenway Trail in Burnt Mills West Special Park.

Information about environmentalist and author Rachel Carson on one interpretive panel near Rachel Carson-Greenway Trail

Burnt Mills West Special Park

Rachel Carson is the founder of the modern environmental movement and lived in Silver Spring. You can discover more about her at the interpretive panel at Burnt Mills West Special Park(opens in a new tab) near the head of the Rachel Carson-Greenway Trail.

An interpetive panel about Edith Throckmorton hangs on a metal fence at Edith Throckmorton Neighborhood Park. There is a park in the background.

Edith Throckmorton Neighborhood Park

Edith Throckmorton Neighborhood Park(opens in a new tab) has a received a temporary panel honoring its namesake. Edith Throckmorton was an award-winning educator who taught for twenty-five years in public schools. She was the first African American to serve on the Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations. Throckmorton was president of the Montgomery County Chapter of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for sixteen years. The permanent panel will go into place later this spring.


Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, announces its March line-up of special events. March will be an exciting month with activities for the whole family. Join us for Acoustics and Ales at Acorn Urban Park, as well as the Parks Ale Trail at Lake Needwood.

These two festive celebrations boast craft brews, food, and live music. There will also be opportunities to learn how to RainScape Your Yard along with Garden Day, where you will be able to pick up information about invasive and native plants, pollinators, and gardening for wildlife. Lastly, imagine yourself as a majestic bird and complete The Great Migration Challenge and make a craft to help birds in your neighborhood.

Update: The Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit at Brookside Gardens will be cancelled again this year due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. We encourage you to take the opportunity this summer to visit Brookside Gardens outdoor butterfly garden and sharpen your observation skills and learn about local butterfly species. You can enjoy butterflies in your own garden or in many nearby public places, too.

March Events at Montgomery Parks Include:

RainScape Your Yard – Sessions I, II, III – Session I: Rethinking Your Yard | Thursday, March 3| Brookside Gardens

Join the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for Session I: Rethinking Your Yard. Session II be held Thursday, March 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Session III will be Thursday, March 31 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. These three sessions are intended to help homeowners create a RainScape design plan. Session I: The first step to planning a RainScape project is to evaluate your site and determine what project(s) are both possible and desirable for you. Learn how to look for places to soak up water on your site, what projects fit where, and how big they need to be. This class is a recommended prerequisite to the Stormwater Solutions and the Plants and Planting Design classes. Intended for ages 18+. Fee $12 for each session. Register using Active Montgomery PBG0015-100001.

Acoustics and Ales | Friday, March 4 Acorn Urban Park

Warm-up from the inside out at Montgomery Parks’ Acoustics and Ales winter happy hour at Acorn Urban Park, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Enjoy Craft Beer from Silver Branch Brewing, delicious food from Big Greek Food Truck, and musical guest Ted Garber. A representative from Montgomery Energy Connection will be tabling at this event to provide residents with an opportunity to swap out their old incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs for energy-efficient LEDs. Switching to LEDs helps lower your utility costs and keeps money in your pocket so you can buy more ale and food at our events!

The Great Migration Challenge | Sunday, March 6 | Maydale Nature Classroom

Migrating birds face a lot of obstacles! Join us from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to learn about some of the challenges, as you pretend that you are a bird on your journey north in our Great Migration Challenge game! Then we will return to the Nature Classroom and make a craft to help birds in your neighborhood! Intended for ages 3 to 12. Fee $3. Register using ActiveMontgomery.

Parks Ale Trail  | Saturday, March 12 | Lake Needwood Trails

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us, so celebrate outdoors with a good local beer at our Parks Ale Trail! On Saturday, March 12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., start your celebrations at the Hiker-Biker trail parking lot at Lake Needwood, Rock Creek Regional Park. True Respite Brewing will offer various beers for purchase, both at the main event area AND as a refuel option at the halfway point of the hike! Spend the rest of the afternoon dancing to live music from Capital Effect. Additional food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase from O’Boy Pizza & Ice Cream.

Garden Day | Saturday, March 19 | Black Hill Visitor Center

Discover the joys and benefits of gardening! Drop by the Visitor Center from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to ask questions about gardening and get your Gardening Info Pack about invasive and native plants, pollinators, and gardening for wildlife. Included will be a take-home activity for kids. Register using Active Montgomery for this FREE program so that we can prepare enough Gardening Info Packs (one per family). PBHVC0005-100001

Visit the Spring 2022 Montgomery Parks Program Guide to view a complete list of special events and programming, as well as how to sign up using Active Montgomery.


Dinosaurs are coming to Gaithersburg., when Jurassic Wonder visits the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Jurassic Wonder is an animatronic (robot) dinosaur show where dinosaurs come alive right before your eyes, moving around and making real dinosaur sounds.

The event, which is a suitable for ages 1-12, is experienced from the safety of your car. Included in the car your is a free educational audio tour that you can stream from your phone or car radio.

The event is taking place on Saturday, March 12 – Sunday, March 13 and costs $12 per car. It is recommended to buy tickets early as supply is limited, per the company website.

Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 501 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg MD, 20877


Bunnyland returns to Butler’s Orchard in Germantown.

“We are so excited for our first festival of the 2022 season, running April 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 23, and 24!”

9 am – 6 pm
(Last entry 4 pm)

(Children Under 12 Months Free)

This family-friendly event to celebrate Spring offers:

10 Acres of Farm Park Fun:
– Egg Hunt (Runs Continuously – Eggsare NOT Filled & Must Be Returned)
– Goodie Baskets For Children Under 12
– Giant Slides
– 2 Hilltop Hop Jump Pads (StrawberryJump Pad For Children Under 40″ H)
– Farm Animals & Baby BarnyardBuddies in our Hayloft
– Pedal Tractors
– Playground
– Combine Tractor Slides
– Straw Pyramid
– Farm Fun Zone (Ball Tosses, Corn Hole,Horse Hoop Toss)
– Hayride Through Our Decorated DayTrail
– Country Bunny
– Face Painting $
– Pony Rides $ (10:30 am – 4:30 pm)
– The Farmer’s Porch $ (9:00 am – 5:00pm) Will Be Serving Breakfast, Lunch, & Delicious Treats!

Bunnyland is a weather dependent event. Check the Butler’s website or social media for daily updates. 

Inclement Weather Policy: 
If Butler’s Orchard cancels activities dueto weather, a coupon code will be e-mailed to all ticketed guests to rebookfor another day of Bunnyland or farmadmission during the Summer and Fallseasons (including Pumpkin Festival).  

Refund Policy:
Full refunds including ticket price andfees will be processed upon requestwhen Butler’s Orchard cancels activitiesdue to weather.  All other refunds will beprocessed for ticket price only. Rescheduling your visit does not incuradditional fees.

Tickets are available at


The FRIENDS™ Experience is coming to Washington D.C. on March 17th. Friends is a sitcom created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from September 22, 1994, to May 6, 2004, lasting ten seasons. The show received critical acclaim throughout its run, becoming one of the most popular television shows of all-time, eventually becoming the #1 show in the county during its 8th season.

The FRIENDS™ Experience, began in New York at 130 E 23rd St (corner of 23rd St and Lexington Ave) and has a new location opening later this month in Phoenix with the DC location opening in March.

The DC location will allow fans to explore 12 rooms of set recreations that include, Joey and Chandler’s apartment, Monica and Rachel’s kitchen, Central Perk, the famous fountain, and more. The walk-through exhibit takes between 30 and 45 minutes to complete.

The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One in Washington D.C. will be located at 1025 F Street NW and tickets went on sale earlier this week with general admission tickets going for $42.

Photos courtesy of The FRIENDS™ Experience.


Maryland Cricket Premier League and Montgomery Parks is hosting the 5th Annual MCPL Rang Aur Patang Utsav 2022 on April 23rd, 2022 – 11am Onwards @ Black Hill Regional Park

“Please join us with your friends and family for this fun filled event which includes, Live Entertainment by DJ, Kids Activities, Non-Toxic Colors, Indian Kites and Manjha (without glass powder so safe for all) and lot more…!!!

If you have young children, then do not worry because we will have tons of entertainment for our little ones!!!”

Kites, Colors and Indian Snacks will be available for purchase at reasonable price.

MCPL asks any interested parties to contact them for more information, vendor inquiries and sponsorship opportunities.

[email protected]

Tickets can be purchased here.


Celebrate Black History Month with virtual and in-person programs throughout the month of February.

Explore Montgomery Parks’ historical sites, discover African American cooking traditions, and learn about prominent figures in Maryland Black History.

Below are Montgomery Parks’ Picks for celebrating Black History Month:

Cooking with History

Join Montgomery Parks for a virtual discussion and celebration of traditional African American cooking on Saturday, February 12, from 1 to 2 pm. Panelists will discuss the lives of enslaved cooks, the impact of racial systems on foodways, and ongoing efforts to engage with African American culinary heritage. Appropriate for ages six and up. Free, but all participants must register in advance.

Table with plates and bowls of food.

Black History Month Family Day

Bring the whole family for a self-guided exploration of Montgomery County’s Black history at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park. Drop in at the visitor center to pick up take-home activities (for ages five to twelve) and trail maps to explore the Underground Railroad Experience Trail on your own. This is a great opportunity to connect, learn, and get exercise as a family. Free. No registration is required.

Wooden trail marker with green grass, white fence and trees with colored leaves in the background.

Meeting of the Minds

Celebrate the paralleled legacies and experience of our Maryland Black history titans–Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Reverend Josiah Henson–during this virtual conversation by first-person re-enactors about the life of these leaders on Saturday, February 26, from 11 am to 12:15 pm. The re-enactors will talk about their contributions while shedding light on where their paths have crossed throughout their lives. Following the discussion, there will be a question and answer session. Appropriate for ages six and older. Free event, but please register to get the program link.

Learn about the lives of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Josiah Henson during our Black History Month Meeting of the Minds virtual program.

Educational Resources

Learn more about Josiah Henson and his role in African American history with educational resources on the Josiah Henson Museum and Park website. Complement your visit to Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park with videos, online resources, and reading lists for all ages about the Underground Railroad and related topics.

A copy of Reverend Josiah Henson’s biography dated 1876.

History in the Parks

Visit for more about Montgomery Parks’ historic sites, volunteer opportunities, and programs.

Log cabin onsite at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park.


The Wheaton Urban District and Montgomery County Recreation will celebrate Valentine’s Day with “I Love Wheaton” an afternoon filled with free outdoor fun and activities from noon-4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, at Marian Fryer Town Plaza, located at 2424 Reedie Drive in downtown Wheaton, MD.

The celebration will include:

  • ice skating
  • cupcake and cookie decorating
  • hot chocolate
  • arts and crafts
  • face painting
  • balloon art
  • lawn games.

There will also be outdoor heat lamps, a fire pit, and a DJ. The activities will be outdoors, but masks are encouraged for all attendees by event organizers.


SILVER SPRING, MDMontgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, announces the best sledding hills in parks for kids and adults to enjoy. You’re never too old for sledding!

Approved locations for sledding in Montgomery Parks include:

  • Avenel Local Park
  • Ayrlawn Local Park
  • Damascus Recreational Park (hillside near tennis court parking lot on Kings Valley Road)
  • Hillmead Neighborhood Park
  • Long Branch-Wayne Local Park (off of University Blvd.)
  • Norwood Local Park
  • Pilgrim Hills Local Park
  • South Germantown Recreational Park (hill behind Field F and hillside between Mooseum and TennisPlex)
  • Stratton Local Park
  • Tilden Woods Local Park
  • Woodacres Local Park


“We want residents to enjoy our parks year-round, in all weather, and snow provides another opportunity for fun outdoor recreation,” said Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks. “We encourage everyone to be safe and use caution while sledding because snow can hide rocks, limbs, and other hazards.”

About The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Montgomery Parks Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 421 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high-quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems.


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.


Santa’s Schedule Across MoCo

Santa may be visiting your Gaithersburg/Washington Grove, Rockville, Poolesville, Damascus, Hillandale, Sandy Spring, Cabin John, Takoma Park, Laytonsville neighborhoods as fire departments across the county will be guiding Santa through all the neighborhoods listed as well as surrounding neighborhoods.

Below, you’ll see Santa’s schedule for each of these areas:


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