When the calendar flips to December, Southern Maryland’s holiday celebrations go into high gear! Historic sites, cultural institutions, and government agencies are planning festival events to help you get into the season. Here are 8 annual Southern Maryland events you don’t want to miss.
Winter Festival of Lights
Now in its 30th year, Watkins Park’s annual Winter Festival of Lights is a magical drive-through light display in Prince George’s County. See more than one million lights and one of the tallest tree displays in the state!
When: 5 to 9:30 p.m. nightly, now through Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017
Where: Watkins Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive in Upper Marlboro
Cost: $5 per car or van, $15 for a three-visit pass, $30 for limousines and minibuses (13-24 passengers), and $30 for buses (25 or more passengers)
Garden in Lights
Take a magical tour through the woods at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center’s annual Garden in Lights. Unique light displays will be scattered throughout the garden’s grounds. Play the Holiday I Spy Game, enjoy live music, or shop the Ornament Show and Sale.
When: 6 to 9 p.m. most nights from Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, to Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017
Where: Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, 13480 Dowell Road in Dowell
Cost: $6 age 5 and up; free for members and children under 4
Enjoy music, refreshments and period decorations at The Dr. Mudd House Museum at its annual Victorian Christmas Celebration. Take a tour of the historic home and meet Santa Claus!
When: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4, 2016
Where: The Dr. Mudd House Museum, 3725 Dr. Samuel Mudd Road in Waldorf
Cost: $8 for adults, $2 for children
Kris Kringle Christmas Market
Shop for unique gifts and meet your neighbors at the annual Kris Kringle Christmas Market! Modeled after the famed German markets, you can find great gifts from local handmade vendors as well as other area small businesses. There will also be a light display, live nativity, music and entertainment, and more. Don’t miss the tree lighting and Santa’s arrival at 5 p.m. on Friday night!
When: 4 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9, 2016; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016
Where: Charles County Fairgrounds, 8440 Fairground Road in La Plata
Cost: $1 or a non-perishable food donation for the Southern Maryland Food Pantry
Family Plantation Christmas
Sotterley Plantation will be decked out for the holidays! Take a mini-tour of the home, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, go on a horse-drawn carriage ride, and enjoy festive music. Make reservations to have breakfast with Santa Claus. It’s all part of Sotterley’s annual Family Plantation Christmas event.
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016
Where: Sotterley Plantation, 44300 Sotterley Lane in Hollywood
Cost: $8 per person, free for children under 2. There is an additional charge for Breakfast with Santa.
Stroll the candlelit National Colonial Farm during this gorgeous holiday event. You’ll also find live music, warm refreshments, and unique presents in the gift shop. Decorate your own holiday wreath!
When: 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016
Where: National Colonial Farm, 3400 Bryan Point Road in Accokeek
A Colonial Christmas
Ring in the season at the Thomas Stone National Historic Site’s A Colonial Christmas! Thomas Stones home, Haberdeventure, will be decorated for night tours. You can also participate in a nighttime astronomy program.
When: Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016
Where: Thomas Stone National Historic Site, 6655 Rose Hill Road in Port Tobacco
The Retreat House, home of General Smallwood, is celebrating a Colonial Christmas! Tour the decorated home, watch a cooking demonstration, or try your hand at candle making. Warm up by the bonfire in the evening.
When: 1 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016
Where: Smallwood State Park, 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury
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