Happy Holidays from The Playful Parent! Here’s a spectacular list of Holiday Festivals and Lights Displays for the Southern Maryland Family.
ANNMARIE GARDENS IN LIGHTS
Date: December 1, 2017- January 1, 2018 (6-9 PM ) *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas*
Place: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons
Price: $6 for ages 5 and over, FREE for kids younger than 5.
Information: Walk through the wooded path and enjoy lighted vignettes of famous people, places and works of art. Look for hidden treasures in the trees and green shamrocks in each vignette.
BROOKESIDE GARDENS GARDEN OF LIGHTS
Date: November 25-January 1 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas*
Place: Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, Maryland
Price: $25 per vehicle Sun.-Thurs.; $30 per vehicle Fri.-Sat.
Information: Walk thru this beautiful display of holiday lights that features more than a million colorful lights. Following your walk among the lights, warm up inside the Conservatory and enjoy a colorful display of holiday poinsettias, flowering plants and evergreens.
BULL RUN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Date: Thanksgiving 2017 -January 1, 2018 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas*
Place: 7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville, VA 20121
Price: $20-$25 Depending on what night you go.
Information: Every year from Thanksgiving until just after New Year’s Day, you can experience the Bull Run Festival of Lights, 2.5 miles illuminated by holiday light displays. Drive the festival route from the comfort of your car; turn out your headlights and just follow the magical glow. After viewing the lights, bring your family and friends to the holiday village to enjoy rides, refreshments, and of course, photos with Santa Claus (holiday village open select nights). The festival happens annually at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Virginia. Monday – Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday – Sunday and Holidays 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Holidays include November 23, December 24, 25, 31, and January 1).
BUSCH GARDENS CHRISTMAS TOWN
Date: November 25, 2017 -January, 2018
Place: Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA
Price: Cost of Admission to park
Information: Christmas shines brightest at Busch Gardens Christmas Town in Williamsburg, Virginia. The world’s most beautiful theme park is aglow with over 8 million Christmas lights, making it the largest Christmas light display in North America. Enjoy kid-friendly, thrill rides, merry entertainment and dining options. Stay warm with a mug of the park’s signature peppermint fudge hot chocolate, meet Santa Claus in the North Pole and capture an unforgettable memory with a Christmas photo. Most of all, enjoy this most wonderful time of year with friends and family. CHRISTMAS TOWN PLAYFUL PARENT GUIDE
CHRISTMAS DOLLS AND TRAINS EXHIBIT AT ST CLEMENTS
Date: December 1-January 1 (12:00 PM – 4:00 PM) *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas*
Place: St. Clements Island Museum, 38370 Point Breeze Road, Coltons Point, MD
Price: $3 Adults/ $1.50 Children 6 – 18, FREE Children 5 and under.
Information: Exhibits will feature special doll collections from the Black-eyed Susan and Southern Maryland Doll Clubs. Dolls will be arranged to depict Christmas scenes and vignettes of Chesapeake coastal living in the early 20th century.
CHRISTMAS ON THE POTOMAC
Date: November 2017 – January 1, 2018
Place: National Harbor
Information: Enjoy the region’s most beautiful Christmas decorations. With thousands of twinkling lights and a 55-foot tall Starlight Christmas tree suspended over our indoor garden atrium, you’ll be filled with holiday cheer. Extras such as: ICE display, train rides and Build A Bear have a fee.
FLAT IRON FARM CHRISTMAS
Date: December 14, 2017 – December 24, 2017 *Closed Christmas*
Place: 45850 Flat Iron Farm, Great Mills, MD
Information: Enjoy a drive-through lights display that the whole family will enjoy. The lights display is free, additional cost for pictures with Santa and pony rides.
LIGHTS ON THE BAY
Date: November 2017 – January 1, 2018 (5pm – 10pm) *Including holidays*
Place: Sandy Point State Park
Price: $15 Per Car
Information: Head to Sandy Point State Park from November 19th to January 1st. Not only will you see Christmas lights, but 3D glasses are available to make your experience even more amazing.
SIX FLAGS HOLIDAY IN THE PARK
Date: November 2017- January 1, 2018
Place: 13710 Central Ave, Upper Marlboro, MD
Price: Park Admission
Information: This dazzling, winter spectacular will make your holiday shine with more than a million glittering lights, holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats, visits with Santa and theme park rides! PLAYFUL PARENT GUIDE
SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS
Date: November 2017 -January 1, 2018 (5:30 PM-10PM)
Place: Symphony Woods at Merriweather Park, Columbia, Maryland
Price: Wed.-Fri. and Sun. $20, Sat. $25 (cash only)
Information: The Symphony of Lights is a time-honored Howard County holiday tradition. This family-oriented spectacular is a dazzling display of more than 100 larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations, made up of more than 250,000 bulbs. Proceeds from the event benefit Howard County General Hospital. Lots of new elements this year to include: new course design, new displays, 100% LED lighting, laser show.
WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT WATKINS REGIONAL PARK
Date: November 25-January 1
Place: Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Price: Tickets range from $5 per car or van to $30 per bus, see website for details.
Information: Join in celebrating the 30th anniversary of Watkins Park’s Winter Festival of Lights by driving thru a spectacular holiday display of more than one million lights and one of the tallest tree displays in Maryland. Participants are encouraged to bring a canned or nonperishable good to be donated to a local food bank.
Date: November 25 to January 1 *Except Christmas Eve & Christmas)
Place: Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC
Price: Free admission
Information: Join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights a part of their annual holiday tradition. A free event, ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats, and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland complete with a dazzling light show set to music!
40TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT THE MORMON TEMPLE
Date: December 1, 2017-January 1, 2018
Place: Washington, D.C., Temple, 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, Maryland
Information: The Festival of Lights is one of the D.C. area’s great community traditions. Beginning December 1st, the Festival features free performances nightly in the comfortable, state-of-the-art theater located in the Visitors’ Center. A different performing artist or group is showcased each night, including bell ensembles, choirs, orchestras, and more! Each performance is presented twice nightly.