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With the weather getting warmer, Gaithersburg has a variety of places to explore ranging from art to family-friendly activities. Here are a few places I recommend visiting the next time you are in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

RIO Washingtonian

Rio Washingtonian is a great family-friendly place to walk around the lake, ride the carousel or express trains, go paddle boating, watch a movie at the AMC Theater, and play on the playground! If you’re feeling hungry, there are a variety of restaurants to choose from including Guapos and Uncle Julio’s. One of my favorite places to eat is California Pizza Kitchen. I recommend the tostada pizza and the spinach and artichoke dip. There are also plenty of places to shop. If you’re feeling creative, but need a little help creating a painting, join a Muse Paintbar session.

Gaithersburg Community Museum

The Gaithersburg Community Museum, located in Old Town Gaithersburg, offers many activities for kids and their parents including scavenger hunts, weekly challenges, and an interactive school room. There is also a passenger train that is a perfect reading nook for a good book. I also recommend checking out historical exhibits currently on display including Gaithersburg in World War 1 and First National Bank of Gaithersburg. The museum is a great place to visit Tuesday through Saturday from 10 A.M to 3 P.M.

Kentlands Mansion

The Kentlands Mansion was previously used as a farm estate but now serves as a perfect venue for a variety of social events including weddings. The interior is beautifully decorated with chandeliers and wooden floors. I recommend scheduling an appointment to visit the Art League of Germantown exhibit, which is currently being featured.

Kentlands Market Square

Kentlands Market Square is a great place to walk around and eat. I recommend trying some Mediterranean food at Vasilis Mediterranean Grill. One of my favorite events that occurs in the summer time is Kentlands Under the Lights which is where you can eat at picnic tables in the middle of market square and enjoy food, music, and entertainment.

Arts Barn

What previously served as the stables for the Kentlands Mansion, the Arts Barn now features art exhibits on display including paintings, sculptures made out of recycled computer circuit boards, glass works, and handmade quilts. The resident artists also hold workshops and classes. If you’re interested in attending a play, I recommend watching the musical comedy Altar Boyz in the Arts Barn’s 99-seat theater.

Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm

Whether you’re interested in going down the 250-foot slide at the water park or skateboarding in the 12,300 square foot skate park, there is fun for everyone at Bohrer Park. There is also a place to play 18 holes mini golf, hold a picnic in the pavilions, or play basketball in the activity center.

Downtown Crown

Downtown Crown has many options for family-friendly fun including Amazing Art Studio where you can create your own pottery or mosaics, and the Little Gym! There are also a variety of cool spots to eat at including Ted’s Bulletin and Coastal Flats.

Author’s Bio: Tara Doddapaneni is a senior at Northwest High School. She interned with Visit Montgomery, MD during the 2017-2018 school year.

The post 7 Places to Check Out the Next Time You’re in Gaithersburg, MD appeared first on Visit Montgomery County - Conference and Visitors Bureau.

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The rich history of the cherry blossom trees of our nation’s capital is a shining example of patriotism and international friendship. They are largely the product of Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (1856-1928); an avid writer, photographer, and geographer. She later became the first woman on the Board of Directors at the National Geographic Society. Her love of Asian culture is what inspired her to push for the importation of cherry trees to the United States.

For 24 years, she was a regular sight in the office of public buildings and grounds, petitioning the superintendents for the cherry tree project. For 24 years, she was rebuffed. Her efforts were finally rewarded in 1905 when she hosted a cherry blossom viewing and caught the attention of David Fairchild. The following year, Fairchild imported 1,000 trees from Japan for use on his property in Maryland. The Fairchilds were one of Scidmore’s largest supporters for the Washington project. They donated hundreds of trees to their hometown and to several schools in the Washington, DC area. On Arbor Day in 1908, Scidmore once again put forth her dream of a “Field of Cherries” around what is now known as the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC.

In 1909, she reached out to First Lady Helen Herron Taft, and the two collaborated on where to plant the trees. By happy circumstance, Scidmore was introduced to Jokicki Takamine, a chemist from Japan. He offered 2,000 trees to the First Lady on behalf of the people of Tokyo. On January 6, 1910, the trees arrived in Washington, DC. Upon inspection, they were found to be infested and were destroyed to protect the local flora. From a diplomatic standpoint, this was a disaster for which the Japanese Ambassador expressed his deepest apologies. The Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, promised a second shipment of trees.

On March 26, 1912, new trees arrived in The Nation’s Capital. The shipment was comprised of 3,020 cherry trees of 12 different varieties. The following day, the First Lady and the wife of the Japanese ambassador planted the first two trees on the northern edge of the Potomac River. The United States responded in kind with a gift of dogwood trees to the gracious people of Tokyo.

From this simple planting, witnessed by only a handful of people, the National Cherry Blossom Festival was born. Every year, the festival is celebrated in late March and is by far the largest tourist attraction in Washington, DC with hundreds of thousands of people in March and early April.

If this is your first visit during cherry blossom season, Destination DC offers an excellent guide on what to expect during the festival. But, if you are looking for an alternate place to view cherry blossoms, consider visiting Kenwood Park. This quiet suburban neighborhood in Montgomery County, Maryland boasts over 1,200 cherry trees. The first cherry trees in this development were planted in the 1920’s, ahead of the new homes that were about to be built. Some of the original trees are over 90 years old. Residents of the neighborhood welcome visitors during cherry blossom season. Here is a handy guide: things you should know before your visit.

The post History of the Cherry Blossoms of Washington, DC appeared first on Visit Montgomery County - Conference and Visitors Bureau.

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In this special St. Patrick’s Day edition, we are sharing a few reasons to wear green and explore Montgomery County, Maryland this weekend.

Shamrock Skate

March 16 | 4:45 pm – 6:15 pm | $7

Wheaton Ice Arena | 11717 Orebaugh Ave | Wheaton, MD

Wear some green or Irish-related attire and receive $7 admission which includes a free skate rental for the session! Learn more

Irish Heritage Month with Irish Dance

March 16 | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm | Free

Silver Spring Library | 900 Wayne Ave | Silver Spring, MD

Come enjoy the splendor and grace of Irish dance at the Silver Spring Library! The local Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance will help celebrate Irish Heritage Month with Irish dance, music, and some simple dance lessons. The event is free and all are welcome. Learn more

Montgomery County Brewery Tour

March 17 | All Day | $69.79

Various Breweries | 1 Helen Heneghan Way | Rockville, MD

Join Maryland Brewery Tours and check out Montgomery County’s finest breweries without the hassle of driving and enjoy the added perks of behind-the-scenes experience, with a pint of your choice at each stop, swag, good times, and more! Learn more

Your Lucky Day! St. Patrick’s Day Family Workshop

March 17 | 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm | $7

Gaithersburg Arts on the Green | 311 Kent Square Rd | Gaithersburg, MD

Parents and children are invited to create fun St. Patrick’s Day projects while drinking green juice and enjoying sweet treats. All supplies are provided. Learn more

Kegs and Eggs

March 17 | 8 am -11 am | $25

Old Town Pour House | 212 Ellington Blvd | Gaithersburg, MD

Indulge in a St. Patrick’s Day brunch at Old Town Pour House in Gaithersburg. Featuring a breakfast buffet and an array of beverages, there is something for everyone to taste. Learn more

St. Patrick’s Day Street Festival 2018

March 17 | 9:00 am – 2:00 am | Free

Finnegan’s Wake | 100 Gibbs St | Rockville, MD

Take part in a St. Patrick’s Day street festival with live music, Irish dancers, pipes and drums, an outdoor bar, and food. Activities for kids will also be available. Learn more

St. Patrick’s Day with Rocklands Farm

March 17, 2018 | 5:00pm – 8:00pm | Free

Rocklands Farm | 14525 Montevideo Rd | Poolesville, MD

A St. Patrick’s Day Special Event! Live in the Rocklands Farm heated Tasting Room, local Americana group Captain Krunch and the Taste Brigade (banjo/fiddle/guitar) performs on Saturday, March 17th from 5 pm to 8 pm. Watershed Cafe serves special Irish-themed food menu. Opens at 11 am, food service begins at 12 pm and music goes from 5 pm to 8 pm. Rocklands wine by the glass and bottle all day! Learn more

Giveaway Alert!

Here’s your chance to win TWO tickets to the Montgomery Brewery Tour. The Montgomery Brewery Tour tickets are good for the St. Patrick’s Day tour on March 17 or April 7 Brewery Tour.

Enter by doing one, two or all three of the following activities before 9 am (EST) on Friday, March 16.

  • Post a comment to this article below.
  • Head over to Facebook and post a comment on our Love the Beer post.
  • Share this Facebook post with your friends.

All entries will be tabulated, and one lucky winner will be randomly selected on Friday, March 16. The recipient will receive a confirmation with instructions via email.

Fine Print: Entrants must be over 21 years of age and reside in the United States. No purchase necessary.

The post St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Round-Up appeared first on Visit Montgomery County - Conference and Visitors Bureau.

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Looking for something interesting to do this weekend? From reaching new heights with yoga to wine classes, there’s plenty to do in Montgomery, MD.

Lantern Festival

March 2 | 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm | Free

Westfield Montgomery | 7101 Democracy Blvd | Bethesda, MD

Join Westfield Montgomery as they celebrate the Year of the Dog with a Lunar New Year Community Event featuring live traditional entertainment, dragon dances, arts and crafts, and more! Learn More

Words Out Loud Spoken Word Series

March 2 | 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm | Free

Artist and Makers Studios | 11819 Parklawn Dr #210 | North Bethesda, MD

Outstanding poetry by widely-published Martin Shapiro and Ellen Aronofsky Cole is featured during Artists and Makers’ monthly open studios, in the Words Out Loud spoken word series. Check out the art exhibit openings and hearty refreshments, all free, as is ample on-site parking, before and after the reading. Read your own work, poetry, or otherwise during open mic after the featured readers. An all-round great Friday night experience. Learn More

Wine Camp: The Other Cabernet

March 3 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm | $25 – $30

Rocklands Farm | 14525 Montevideo Rd | Poolesville, MD

Welcome to Wine Camp: a periodic explorative and interactive tasting! Featuring guest presenter Shawn Eubank, Co-Founder of Rocklands Farm, join the Rocklands winery team to explore “The Other Cabernet” …the lesser known Cabernet Franc. Shawn will be featuring a selection of different Cabernet Franc wines from around the world (along with multiple examples from Rocklands) to taste how place and winemaking techniques can play a role in both the similarities and differences of wines all made with the same grape. Learn More

Wine 101

March 3 | 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm | $30

Olney Winery | 18127 Town Center Dr | Olney, MD 20832

Olney Winery’s Head Winemaker Chris Lanning will lead their first wine education class at the tasting room. In this initial session, Chris will cover the basics of wine …from A to Z. You will learn more about the different types of wine, the best ways to present and taste wine, and its complex characteristics. For the last 30 minutes, Chris will engage the “wine students” in a Q&A session. Learn More

Climb ‘N Yoga

March 4 | 2:45 pm – 5:15 pm | $50

Earth Treks Rockville | 725 Rockville Pike | Rockville, MD 20852

Calling anyone who would like to get a vertical perspective! Head over to Earth Treks to apply the power of the yoga practice to rock climbing. No climbing experience? Even better. The time is here to play and explore! No yoga experience? No problem! This outing will include a 20-minute gentle flow to warm up the body and still the mind as a preparation for climbing. After a few hours of climbing, attendees will close the evening with a soothing restorative yoga practice. Learn More

Intro to Aerial Yoga

March 3 | 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm | $25

UP – Healing, Wellness, Adventure | 8083 Georgia Ave | Silver Spring, MD 20910

Students will learn the seven fundamental wraps in this class, specifically where to place the fabric for maximum comfort, support and compression benefits. Aerial inversions will be covered step-by-step and with spotting, if necessary. Time spent upside down will be brief for each occurrence to build up tolerance. This class will also reinforce the benefits of feeling heaviness in the fabric so students gain proprioceptive awareness of feeling grounded while flying. All safety elements will be reinforced for beginners or those needing a refresher. Learn More

Find more events on our calendar here.

The post Weekend Events: March 2 – 4, 2018 appeared first on Visit Montgomery County - Conference and Visitors Bureau.

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It’s going to be a rainy weekend! Check out a few of the indoor events happening around Montgomery, Maryland.

Winter Cabaret & Cocktails

February 23 | 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm | $25

Sandy Spring Museum | 17901 Bentley Rd | Sandy Spring, MD

Relax with friends in a smooth cabaret-esque environment at Sandy Spring Museum. An evening of hot music and signature cocktails are the perfect remedy for a cold winter night. Admission price includes one free cocktail and hot hors d’oeuvres. Music by: Dave Chappell and Friends. Learn More

Tapping into Faux-Calligraphy

February 24 | 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm | $40

Modern Market | 1627 Rockville Pike | Rockville, MD

Join Katy, the owner of Lewes Lettering Co. for a fun night learning the basics of Faux-Calligraphy at Modern Market in Rockville, MD! Learn a new skill perfect for decorating irregular surfaces like chalkboards, canvas, pumpkins and large signs! Faux-Calligraphy is done with pens, not a nib and ink, but gives similar results without all the fuss. You will receive instruction, all supplies and an alphabet exemplar – all yours to keep. After the instruction, Katy will guide you in creating your own personalized quote on canvas! Learn More

Kids Pizza Party at Matchbox Rockville

February 24 | 10:00 am – 11:30 am | $30

Matchbox Rockville | 1699 Rockville Pike | Rockville, MD

Become a real pizza maker at Matchbox Rockville! Their hands-on pizza making classes will please any small chef. Attendees will receive: A chef hat, crayons, and coloring page; a tour of the kitchen and pizza ovens; a pizza class where each child will make a customized personal pizza; a make-your-own sundae bar stocked with chocolate chips, sprinkles, whipped cream, and more; and a fun takeaway gift for the chefs! Learn More

Winter Cask Classic 2018

February 24 | 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm | $35

Denizens Brewing Co. | 1115 East West Highway | Silver Spring, MD

Get out and have a ball (or a puck?) at the Denizens Brewing Co. Winter Cask Classic! Casks from Denizens Brewing Co will be joined by casks from Atlas Brew Works, Bluejacket, The Brewer’s Art, DC Brau Brewing Company, District ChopHouse & Brewery, Oliver Brewing Company, Pub Dog – Columbia, Manor Hill Brewing, and UNION Craft Brewing. It wouldn’t be a Winter Classic without some hockey, so there will also be a (friendly) shoot-out competition outside. Learn More

Strong + Yoga + Beer

February 24 | 12:00 pm | $20

7 Locks Brewing | 12227 Wilkins Ave | Rockville, MD

Join extendYoga and 202strong at 7 Locks Brewing for a strength training and yoga combo class like no other! In this class, enjoy a 30-minute StrongCircuit followed by a 30-minute yoga flow, stretch and cool down. After class, relax and enjoy delicious beers from a local brewer. Learn More

Glow for Good Black Light Yoga Class

February 25 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm | $25

Clarksburg Yoga and Wellness | 22705 Clarksburg Rd | Boyds, MD

Taking place in the Clarksburg Premium Outlets’ VIP Suite 314 (near Kate Spade New York), Clarksburg Yoga and Wellness is offering a Glow for Good Black Light Yoga Class. Wear your neon and get prepared to stretch. Additional glow in the dark accessories will be provided prior to the flow so that yogis will ‘glow’ as they move through practice. As the group winds down, a guided mindfulness practice will immediately follow the class. Once the mats are rolled up, hang around to mingle and meet other community friends and enjoy some treats from local retailers! Learn More

The post Weekend Events: February 23 – 25, 2018 appeared first on Visit Montgomery County - Conference and Visitors Bureau.

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