The tune “Here Comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus Lane,” is playing in my mind as I write this years annual holiday Guide.  It almost seems too early to be posting about winter festivities. Ever year it sneak ups on us fast; and believe it or not Christmas is already less than a month away and many festivities have begun. This guide will highlight winter festivities, holiday happenings, lights displays and Santa sightings for Southern Maryland Family’s. Happy Holidays from The Playful Parent!


SPECTACULAR HOLIDAY DISPLAYS


ANNMARIE GARDENS IN LIGHTS
Date: November 26, 2021– January 1, 2022 (5-9 PM ) *closed Nov 29 & 30 and Dec 6, 7, 24, 25*
Place: Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, Solomons
Price: ADVANCE TIMED-ENTRY TICKETS REQUIRED for everyone! Annmarie Members: FREE (must reserve tickets); Non-members: $10/12 (depending on night); Ages 2 & under: FREE; SNAP card holders, call 410-326-4640 to reserve your reduced price tickets
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.

B&O RAILROAD HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDES
Date: November 19, 2021– December 31, 2021 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas*
Place: B&O Railroad in Baltimore, MD
Price: $ Price Depends on adventure
Information: Nothing is more magical than a holiday train ride. Weather you take an adventure on the Polar Express or visit during the Holiday train display you are sure have a memorable time.

BOTANICAL GARDENS HOLIDAY DISPLAY
Date: November 24, 2021– January 2, 2022 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas*
Place: US Botanical Garden- Washington, DC
Price: FREE
Information: The United States Botanic Garden will feature an outdoor holiday display in 2021. Festive adornments, winterberries, lighted trees and shrubs, and conifers and greenery on display. Don’t miss the popular train display!

BROOKESIDE GARDENS GARDEN OF LIGHTS
Date: November 19, 2021– January 2, 2022 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas*
Place: Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, Maryland
Price: $10 per person/ Ages 3 and under FREE
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: November 11, 2021 to January 2, 2022 *Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas*
Place: 7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville, VA 20121
Price: $30-$40 Depending on what night you go. Take advantage of the discount for purchasing online. For more savings take advantage of our Early Bird savings by using promo code EARLY21 on November 11-19 for an additional $10 off. Use promo code LIGHT21 for an additional $5 off Monday-Thursday on November 22-December 16 and December 27-30
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 12,  2021 -January 2, 2022
Place: Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA
Price: Cost of Admission to park/ FREE to Season Pass Holders
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 ON THE POTOMAC 
Date: November 26, 2021 – December 31, 2021
Place: National Harbor
Price: FREE
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. Enjoy Free activities: Nightly Tree lighting, Sunday Holiday movies on the Potomac and more.  Extra activities such as: ICE display, train rides and Build A Bear have a fee.

ENCHANT DC
Date: November 26, 2021 – January 2, 2022 (5PM – 9PM) *Closed Christmas*
Place: National Park – Washington, DC
Price: Admission $
Information: Unwrap new traditions and make memories big and small as you wind your way through a luminescent land of beautiful arches, larger-than-life sculptures and decadent delights. Welcome to Enchant. Where magical memories are made.

FLAT IRON FARM CHRISTMAS
Date: November 25-27, 2021 (5-9PM)/ November 28, 2021 (5-8PM)/ December 10, 11, 17, 18 & 23 (5-9PM)/ December 12, 19 & 24 (5-8PM) *Closed Christmas*
Place: 45850 Flat Iron Farm, Great Mills, MD
Price: FREE admission
Information: Flat Irons lights display will be partial this year; both horse barns will be open and the local tack shop. Additional fee for photos with Santa, crafts and pony rides.

HOLIDAY TRAIN GARDEN 
Date: November 27, 2021– January 1, 2022 (5pm – 10pm) *Including holidays*
Place: Main Street Ellicott City Shops
Price: FREE
Information: The Holiday Train Walk returns to Main Street this year for an encore performance thanks to hundreds of volunteer hours by our friends from Howard County Fire & Rescue, Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department, and their hard working friends and families.

LIGHTS ON THE BAY
Date: November 24, 2021– January 1, 2022 (5pm – 10pm) *Including holidays*
Place: Sandy Point State Park
Price: $20 Per Car
Information: Head to Sandy Point State Park from November 24th to January 1st. Not only will you see Christmas lights, but 3D glasses are available for purchase to make your experience even more amazing.

MONTPELIER FARMS- CHRISTMAS ON THE FARM
Date: November 26, 2021 – December 19, 2021
Place: Montpelier Farms- 1720 Crain Hwy. Upper Marlboro, MD
Price: $8 per person
Information: Glide through the woods and cornfields on a peaceful Wagon Ride while enjoying our delightful trimmings, lights and holiday decorations (unlimited rides)! A blazing bonfire is available all evening to roast s’mores and to warm your tootsies & footsies! Receive one FREE steaming cup of hot chocolate, coffee or hot apple cider, as well as a complimentary candy cane for everyone! Enjoy a different Holiday Movie Screening each night. Ho, Ho, Ho! Bring your cameras for FREE pictures with “Santa”!

SIX FLAGS HOLIDAY IN THE PARK
Date: November 20, 2021- January 2, 2022
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

SOMD HOLLY JOLLY LIGHTS TRAIL
Date: December 10, 2021-December 26, 2021
Place: All over Southern Maryland
Price: FREE
Information: ENJOY CHRISTMAS lights this holiday season. Register your home if you have a lights display up. Registration is Nov. 19- Nov. 28. Routes for the trail will be available starting Dec. 10. The community will be able to vote for their favorite light display starting Dec. 10- Dec. 26. The top 5 winners will be announced on Dec. 27. You will find a map of the residential home lights displays by visiting their site  www.somdxmaslights.com

ST CLEMENETS CHRISTMAS DOLLS AND TRAINS EXHIBIT
Date: December 1, 2021– January 3, 2022 (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.

SYMPHONY OF LIGHTS 
Date: November 25, 2021- January 2, 2022
Place: 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia, MD
Price: The price is $20 per vehicle, except for walk-thru nights
Information: The Symphony of Lights has been a time-honored Howard County holiday tradition enjoyed by many for over 25 years. Set in historic Merriweather Post Pavilion and made up of more than 300,000 bulbs, this family-oriented spectacular is a dazzling display of larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations. With the addition of new lights (and a 150 foot screen!), your time through our refreshed course guarantees a night to remember.

WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT WATKINS REGIONAL PARK
Date: November  26, 2021- January 2, 2022
Place: Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Price: $8 Per Car Advanced Purchase/$10 Per Car On-site (Free admission November 29 & December 25 in appreciation to the residents of Prince George’s County for their year-round support of the Department of Parks and Recreation programs! Make a difference this season! Please bring canned goods for donation to local Food Banks.)
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.

WINTERFEST- KINGS DOMINION
Date: November  20, 2021- January 9, 2022
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


WINTER EVENTS


This is a list of the all the holiday festivals and events discovered in our area. I will continue to add to this list and keep it updated. Some of these events are weather contingent so always check event sites before attending. The best way to stay up to date with planning your family fun is by using the calendar for detailed information, event links, etc.


VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT SANTA RUNS


One of the things my boys look forward to every year around the holiday season is seeing Santa drive past our house on a fire truck! The following Fire Departments host a Santa run schedule each year. The dates and times will be announced over the next few weeks and I will update this article to keep track of it here!!! Keep in mind inclement weather and emergencies can cause delays or schedule changes.

BEL ALTON- SCHEDULE LINK

2021 Santa Run will be Saturday December 18th starting at 5:30 pm in Bel Alton Estates and ending with Sodus Manor off of South Faulkner Road. Only one night this year.

BENEDICT VFD- SCHEDULE LINK

  • December 17th ~Maxwell Hall and Teagues Point
  • December 18th ~The Neighborhoods off 231 from Eastern Hills to the Benedict Bridge
  • December 19th ~The town of Benedict, Sea Gull Beach and the Industrial Park Neighborhoods.

BRANDYWINE VFD- SCHEDULE LINK

To kids from 1 to 92, here’s the post that everyone’s been waiting on! The schedule for the Brandywine VFD Santa Runs 2021! As always, stay tuned to our Facebook page for updates due to weather, call volume, and of course THE SANTA TRACKER on the days of the event. Santa will be leaving the Firehouse at 11:30 AM both days.

Day 1: Saturday, December 4th, 2021

  • Villages of Savannah
  • Piscataway Landing
  • Yellow Popular
  • Lakeview at Brandywine
  • Pleasant Springs
  • Woodhaven Estates
  • Danville Estates
  • Lavender Dream Lane
  • Desert Peace Court
  • English Point Lane
  • Dawn Chorus Lane
  • Chaddsford
  • Timothy Branch
  • Brandywine Heights
  • Missouri Acres
  • Oak Barrel Court
  • Williams Drive

Day 2: Sunday, December 5th, 2021

  • Bank Street
  • Tower Road
  • Old Indian Head Rd
  • North Keys Rd
  • Martin Rd
  • Plantation Drive
  • Cross Road Trail
  • Cherry Tree Crossing
  • Prince William Drive
  • Cheltenham Drive
  • East Shelby Lane
  • All neighborhoods off Frank Tippet Rd from Crain Highway to Angora Drive.
  • Dyson Road
  • Tayman Farm Road
  • Lusbys Lane
  • Hampton Farm Lane
  • Stoney Creek Lane
  • Hampton Village Way
  • Gwynn Park Court
  • Moore’s Road

Day 3: Saturday December 11th, 2021- make up date

BRYANS ROAD- SCHEDULE LINK 

Santa will be making his way around town Dec 18 &19, 2021.

COBB ISLAND- SCHEDULE LINK

Cobb Island VFD is working out the details and will post soon.

DENTSVILLE- SCHEDULE LINK

Santa Runs are posted and scheduled for Dec 7th, 10th and 16th.

HUGHESVILLE- SCHEDULE LINK

The volunteers at Hughesville Fire and EMS are gearing up for the holiday season and are excited to announce the upcoming Santa Run schedule. Santa can’t wait to see everyone in our community.

INDIAN HEAD 10TH DISTRICT- SCHEDULE LINK

Indian Head VFD announced Santa will be on his rounds December 23, 2021 starting at 6PM.

LAPLATA VFD – SCHEDULE Link

LEONARDTOWN VFD- Schedule Link

LVFD Santa Run schedule has been published. Good ole St. Nick will make his rounds December 3-18, 2021 on select nights.

MECHANICSVILLE VFD- SCHEDULE LINK

The Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad will be bringing Santa Claus into your Neighborhood through the dates of December 2 to December 17. Santa will be riding on a big red firetruck sleigh! An Ambulance will occasionally lead, playing Christmas songs on their PA system. Santa Runs will begin between 5:30 – 6:30 PM and may last up until 9:00 PM. Their crews will cover the streets listed on their site.

NANJEMOY VFD- SCHEDULE LINK

Nanjemoy Santa runs are scheduled to take place December 10-11, 2021. See schedule below…

NEWBURG VFD- SCHEDULE LINK 

Santa Runs are taking place December 18 & 19, 2021. See flier for schedule…

POTOMAC HEIGHTS SCHEDULE LINK

Potomac Heights VFD&RS will have the honor of escorting Santa Claus around our neighborhoods on Sunday, December 19th. We will begin in Hunters Brooke around 5:00 PM and then proceed to Potomac Heights.

SOLOMONS VRD- SCHEDULE LINK

Solomon’s VFD will host Santa Runs December 16-19, 2021. Please visit the events section of their Facebook page to see the route schedule.

TENTH DISTRICT VFD- SCHEDULE LINK

Santa will make his rounds on December 18, 2021, see schedule below…

WALDORF VFD COMPANY 3- SCHEDULE LINK

NOT AVAILABLE YET

WESTLAKE STATION 12-  SCHEDULE LINK

The schedule was posted without a lot of warning this year. Here is Waldorf 12 Schedule…

  • Friday December 3rd starting at 6PM- EUTAW forest, TWINBROOK, heritage crossing, cartegna highlands, BROOKWOOD estates, spring valley, Torrington place, ROBIE manor.
  • Saturday December 4th starting at 3PM- Charles crossing, pine grove estates, Windsor mill, Middletown woods, Avalon, berry valley, Leighland meadows, briarwood, somerset, Scotland heights, WOODLEY manor, settle woods, brentwood, linden grove, Coachman’s landing, deer wood, oak wood, new forest, Central Park, autumn hills, fox chase, dorechester greens, dorechester mews, SOUTHWINDS, aspen woods, hunters run and green haven.
  • Friday December 10th starting at 6PM- Old farm, oak hill, billingsley park, settle woods, brentwood, and linden grove
  • Saturday December 11th starting at 3PM- Berry hill, Laurel branch, friendship estates, stone ridge, north pointe, Avalon west, King Charles manor,Dorechester, Hampshire, Lancaster, Camelot, Columbia park, Avon crest magnolia plantation, pleasant hill, green acre

***Santa Claus runs are being developed and updated as frequently as possible. Remember emergency calls take priority over Santa runs.***

Thank you for following The Playful Parent. All Information in this article is my own non-biased opinion. The Playful Parent is not paid to endorses organizations. All content is property of The Playful Parent. I hope that the resources continue to help and bless your family.  From our family to yours… Happy Holidays!