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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
HomeFunFun Stuff To DoThings to do over Christmas Break 

Things to do over Christmas Break 

Here are some fun things to do over Christmas Break 2022 that will keep your family happy and occupied. We are including a nice selection of indoor and outdoor activities so that you have options for all types of weather. 

Make Goo in the Kitchen

Too cold to play outside? Try making Salt Dough Play-Doh. You only need three ingredients. 

Supplies needed: 

  •  
    2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  
    1 cup salt
  •  
    1 cup cold water

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Add water slowly (a few tablespoons at a time) until the dough is smooth.

     

  2. Knead for 10 minutes.

     

  3. Let rest for 20 minutes.

     

  4. Dough can be played with as-is when soft. Dough can also be baked to a permanent finish so pull out your cookie cutters to make ornaments, keepsake hand prints, or anything else you want to create!

     

*If baking, pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place shapes on a baking sheet and cook until dry, about 2 hours. Cool completely before painting.

Source: allrecipes.com

Visit a Nature Center

The Chesapeake region boasts many nature centers ideal for families who want to get in touch with their natural surroundings. Each of the following Nature Centers offers something a little different. Kids can see turtles swimming around, watch bees at work, or discover how the fur of different kinds of animals is different. Check out our list below for an experience only Mother Nature can offer. 

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
1361 Wrighton Road, Lothian
410-741-9330, jugbay.org
Public Hours: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 9 am-5 pm. Closed Sundays Dec-Feb. Pets are not allowed. Glendenning Preserve open to the public daily, 9 am-5 pm. Dogs on a leash are allowed in the Preserve only.
Admission: $6 per vehicle.

SERC
647 Contees Wharf Road, Edgewater
443-482-2200, serc.si.edu
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9 am-4:30 pm. Closed federal holidays. Leave pets at home.
Admission: Free
For drop-in visitors, the SERC campus is open for hiking, biking and kayaking six days per week.

Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center
600 Discovery Lane, Grasonville
410-827-6694, bayrestoration.org
Hours: 9 am-5 pm daily.
Admission: Free
Dogs, with a current membership, are allowed on property on weekends.  For more information on Dog Memberships: bayrestoration.org/dogs.

Irvine Nature Center
11201 Garrison Forest Road, Owings Mills
443-738-9200, explorenature.org
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm (November-March) and 9 am to 5 pm (April-October.)  Irvine is closed on Mondays.
Admission: Cost is $5/person (age 6+). Members are free.  No dogs or bikes allowed. 


Irvine Nature Center

Robinson Nature Center
6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia
410-313-0400, howardcountymd.gov
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 9 am-5 pm; Sunday, noon-5 pm
Admission: adults $5; children 3-17 $3; under 3 free

Watkins Regional Park and Nature Center
301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro
301-218-6702 pgparks.com
Hours: Tuesdays-Sundays, 11 am – 4 pm.
Admission: Free

Flag Ponds Nature Park
1525 Flag Ponds Pkwy., Lusby
410-586-1477, calvertparks.org/fpp.html
Hours: Monday and Friday: 9 am-4 pm. Saturday and Sunday: 9 am-5 pm.
Admission: January – March/November-December: $5.00 for in-county resident or non-resident. April – October: $5.00 for in-county residents/$8.00 for non-residents. Walk-in/Bike: $2 person

Go Ice Skating

Indoor Skating Rinks

ice skating rinks

Bowie Ice Arena, Bowie
3330 Northview Dr., Bowie
Public skating: $6-$8. Skate rental, $3. DJ session, $9, includes skating, skates and a DJ.
Hours: vary; see website.

Capital Clubhouse Ice Rink, Waldorf
3033 Waldorf Marketplace, Waldorf
Public skating: $11. Skate rental, $5.
Hours: vary; see website.

Columbia Ice Rink, Columbia 
5876 Thunder Hill Rd., Columbia
Public skating: $8.75 facility member, $9.75 nonmember; Skate rental $4.25.
Hours: vary; see website.

Gardens Ice House, Laurel
13800 Old Gunpowder Rd., Laurel
Pre-registration is required.
Public skating: $7.70. Skate rental, $4.75.
Hours: vary; see website.

Herbert Wells Ice Rink, College Park
5211 Campus Dr., College Park
Open October 30 through April 2022.
Public skating: $5-$7 adults, $4-$6 kids; Skate rental, $2.
Hours: vary; see website.

Piney Orchard Ice Arena, Odenton
8781 Piney Orchard Pkwy., Odenton
Online registration required for Public Skate Sessions.
Public skating: $14. Skate rentals $4.
Hours: vary; see website.

Outdoor Ice Skating

Annapolis Town Center
305 Sail Place, Annapolis, MD.
January 6, 2023 – February 22, 2023
Prices: Skate rental is $4/person. Bring your own skates or rent a pair from us. NO RESERVATIONS NECESSARY – Admission is first come, first serve.
Hours: Mon – Fri 12 – 8pm; Sat – Sun 10am – 8pm. $11/person.
Experience Annapolis Town Center’s ‘coolest’ destination!

The Avenue at White Marsh
8139 Honeygo Blvd., Nottingham, MD.
Prices: $11, adults; $10, 12 and younger. Skate rental $5.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. Noon-10 p.m., Fri. Noon-11 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Check website for Holiday Hours and Extended Hours when school is out.

Canal Park, Washington, D.C.
200 M Street, SE, Washington, D.C.
Public skating: $12 adults, $10 kids and seniors. Skate rental, $5. Season and 10-visit passes available.
Hours: Mon. – Thurs. noon-10pm; Fri. noon-11pm; Sat. 10am-11pm; Sun. 11am-10pm.

Inner Harbor Ice Rink, Baltimore
Baltimore Inner Harbor top of the Amphitheater
Public skating: $10 adults, kids $9, skate rental $4.
Hours: Monday–Thursday: Noon–10 p.m., Friday: Noon–11 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink, Washington, D.C.
On the National Mall at 7th Street and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
Nov. 26-March 5.
Public skating: $13 adults; $9 ages 12 and younger, students with ID, military, and skaters over 60. Skate rental, $6. Season passes available.
Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11am-9pm. Fri.-Sat. 11am-11pm.
Free parking on Madison Drive weekends with three-hour limit weekdays. Meters on Constitution Avenue and 7th street; also accessible via Metro.

Quiet Waters Ice Rink, Annapolis
600 Quiet Waters Park Rd., Annapolis
Public skating: $7 adult, $6 for kids 12 and under and seniors. Skate rental, $3. Season passes are available. Only accepts cash or check. $6 per car to enter the park; free after 5:30 p.m. Season passes available.
Hours: Mon & Wed.- Fri., 3–9 p.m.; Sat & Sun, 9 a.m.–9 p.m.; 2-hour sessions start on the hour.

Rockville Town Square Outdoor Ice Skating
Prices: $11 adults; $10, 12 and younger. Skate rental $5.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. Noon-10 p.m., Fri. Noon-11 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Check website for Holiday Hours and Extended Hours when school is out.

Silver Spring Ice Skating at Veterans Plaza
8523 Fenton St. Silver Spring
Prices: $11 adults; $10, 12 and younger. Skate rental $5.
Hours: Mon-Fri. Noon- 10pm. Sat-Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m

Washington Harbor Ice Rink, Georgetown
Open until March 12
Public skating: $10 adults; $9 kids, military and seniors. Skate rental, $7. Season and 10-visit passes available.
Hours: Sun.-Thurs. 11:00am-8:30pm. Fri.-Sat. 11:00am-10:30pm
Parking garage at 3000 K St., NW

Indoor Activities

Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Columbia, MD
An indoor trampoline park with attractions including the foam zone, ninja warrior course and Skyclimb.

aquaticcenter_3

North Arundel Aquatic Center
Glen Burnie, MD
Indoor pool and water park with water slides, a splash down area, water buckets, a vortex and a poolside spa for adults.

Earth Treks Climbing Centers
Colulmbia, Timonium and Rockville, MD
Indoor climbing gyms for all ages and adults. The site has an occupancy counter so you can see how many climbers are currently at the gym before you head over. You can also make reservations.

Benfield Sportscenter
Millersville, MD
Drop-in soccer and volleyball for high school age and adults plus pickleball. There are also sports leagues and classes for various ages.

Libraries – Check your local library for storytimes, nature presentations, game playing, LEGO clubs and much more. 

Best Winter Hikes in Maryland

Hikes at the five parks listed below can be done year-round, though whether it be because of seasonal wildlife, enhanced vistas, or lack of usual crowds, they each hold special winter appeal.

Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary
11704 Fenno Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 | 301-888-1377
Bird’s the word—more specifically, goose is the word—at Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, where the fields and ponds play host to around 5,000 wintering Canada geese. If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, and just observing the strutting, preening and honking of this many geese could fill a short winter’s day.

Calvert Cliffs State Park
10540 H.G. Trueman Road, Lusby, MD 20657 | 301-743-7613
Even the most hard-to-impress kids (and adults) can’t help but find it just a little bit cool to hold in their hands proof of life from 15 million years ago. Over 600 different fossils have been identified so far; put your own eye to the test trying to guess what life-form left its mark on the shells and rocks you find.

Elk Neck State Park
4395 Turkey Point Road, North East, MD 21901 | 410-287-5333
When the winter wind kicks up the waves in the Chesapeake and they crash hard against the shores of Eastern Maryland, the highest lighthouse on the Chesapeake holds a particular power.

Rocks State Park.
3318 Rocks Chrome Hill Road, Jarrettsville, MD 21084 | 410-557-7994
The Susquehanna Indians found the 190-foot promontory that is the centerpiece of Rocks State Park to be fit for royalty, hence its current name of King & Queen’s Seat. The producers of the movie version of Tuck Everlasting thought it a pretty special place too, incorporating it into their film. You and your family will understand the appeal once you clamber up and over the many rocks for which the park is named and reach the renowned perch, from which the region spreads out in front of you.

Adkins Arboretum.  
12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely, MD 21660 | 410-634-2878
If your family can’t take a walk in the woods without making frequent stops to inspect the surrounding plant life and wonder just what you’re looking at, then head to Adkins Arboretum to take advantage of their free audio tour.

Nature Play Spaces

Nature play spaces—outdoor playgrounds that use only natural elements such as trees, sand and rocks—are growing in Maryland. Since 2008, 30 nature play spaces have been established and more are in development, according to the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature.

Paw Paw Playground at Adkins Arboretum 
12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely.  Adkinsarboretum.org
The First Light Village Playspace has a Native American theme that features two wigwams, a snake balance beam and a turtle-shaped tree stump ring. 

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary
1361 Wrighton Road, Lothian. JugBay.org
The nature play space at Jug Bay has a wetlands theme and includes stump jumps, balance logs and a digging area. Kids can build nests with sticks, play instruments from the musical mailbox or sit in a canoe, all surrounded by the natural beauty of Jug Bay’s ponds, marshes and 16 miles of hiking trails.

Patapsco State Park
8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City dnr.maryland.gov
The Hollofield area of Patapsco Valley State Park has a natural play space with a stump jump, willow tunnel and a natural staircase made of logs. Kids can climb on the many boulders that dot the space or hike along the bark trail that leads to more trails and a wooded area.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Here are 9 different New Year’s Eve activities that are perfect for families since the celebrations happen before bedtime. Locations include:

Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.
Everyone’s favorite ball drop before bedtime is back! Count down to the new year at the Maryland Science Center’s annual Midnight Noon celebration!

Anne Arundel County Public Libraries.
AACPL- Eastport-Annapolis Neck | Busch Annapolis Campbell | Discoveries at the Mall | Broadneck
Let little ones ring in 2023 a little early at noon on December 31! We will have books, dancing, noisemakers, and a countdown to noon! 11:30am-12:30pm.

The Yards Park
355 Water St SE, Washington D.C.
Ring in 2023 with complimentary family-friendly activities for kids of all ages, including train rides through The Yards, inflatable slide and bounce houses, glitter tattoo artists, carnival games, music by DJ Alex Love, crafts, a magic show, a performance from The Uncle Devin Show, and more. The event will culminate with a countdown and celebration at noon to ring in 2023. Free Event

Watkins Nature Center
Upper Marlboro
Enjoy nature tales and roasted marshmallows over a community campfire in the beautiful outdoors! Bring hot dogs, if you like! Start new friendships and make family memories. You don’t have to wait until midnight to celebrate the New Year. Join around the campfire, roast marshmallows, and countdown to noon to ring in the New Year.

Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Baltimore
Help Port Discovery ring in 2023 with the annual Noontime New Year Event. Participate in hands-on winter-themed activities such as Snow Fun and a Polar Bear Party. 

Symphony Woods
Columbia
Ring in the New Year with an exciting fireworks display at 7 p.m. Walk through the Symphony of Lights on their final walk of the year. $15; ages 3 and under free. 5:30–7:30 p.m.

First Day Hikes

Embrace the chill and take your family on one of these Maryland First Day Hikes to kick off the new year!

First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get active and enjoy the outdoors. On New Year’s Day, hundreds of free, guided hikes will taking place in all 50 states, including Maryland. It is a great time to enjoy the beauty of our state and county parks.

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