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Volume 32/Number 12



The best of winter across the Mid-Atlantic


Getaway for 2 to Kingsmill Resort or Ski Lift Tickets from Big Boulder, Blue Mountain, Jack Frost, and Shawnee Mountain


Civil War section • Area ski clubs • Fredericksburg celebrates the season • Maryland arts districts • Holiday music • Cruise Corner • Mid-Atlantic ski chart • Newport News celebrates historic holidays

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publisher’s note I karl teel

Rent the destination, own the memory

I spend a lot of time on the water and live to sail, but frankly, owning a sailboat is a pain in the butt, so I don’t own one. There’s too much maintenance and a countless array of parts that are at the mercy of Mother Nature’s constant wind, rain, salt, and sun. Then, to enjoy sailing, you need the right temperature range, the correct amount of wind, the time off — and a dose of sunshine helps, too! Let’s face it, the odds are stacked against you, and by my reckoning, the vast majority of sailboats will likely see two to three days of sailing per year or less. Many never make it out at all. Amortize the expense, and renting makes a ton of sense. Vacation homes have similar traits. The weather is less of a factor, and there’s a likelier return on investment than with a boat. But a vacation home, by nature, requires traveling a great distance, otherwise it wouldn’t be a getaway — after all, the whole purpose is to get away! No wonder the majority of vacation homes seem to be rentals. Here in America, the land where acquiring wealth seems so important, it feels counterintuitive to not want to own something. But with sailing, as with vacationing, guess what? You get to own the memory. It’s yours to keep forever and at no extra charge. So, here we are in the midst of the holiday season. Naturally, we are trained, in part by the relentless marketing of various retailers, to give gifts that people can “own.” Sometimes you get lucky

and a family member or friend really picks something nice for you, but the reality is that we usually make our own choices best. After all, nobody knows you as well as you know yourself. Over time, people tend to forget what they gave or what they got. This is where the experiential gifts of travel, destinations, or nights out come into play. And, they come in all price ranges. A night at the comedy club, a day at the aquarium, or a lift ticket for a day of skiing are all fairly inexpensive. The ski trip can become an overnight or weekend, or even a full week away if the budget allows. More robust budgets can incorporate more exotic venues, such as Europe or a cruise. The bottom line is you can “rent” the destination and your gift recipient will “own” the memory forever. I know many of my kids will never forget skiing in Canaan Valley, or those nearby day trips to Roundtop and Liberty Mountain, or day and weekend ski trips to the Poconos. Maybe I am a tad selfserving, trying to memorialize myself to them, but I really think I am on to something. No matter what your choice is, my holiday wish to you is simple. If it is a product you give or receive, may it be a winner like Citizen Kane’s Rosebud. If it is an experience, may it become a rocking chair memory and that happy place in your mind. Enjoy!


TABLE OF CONTENTS 5 ~ Publisher’s Note 6 ~ Editor’s Note 8 ~ Travel Line 10 ~ Winter in Garrett County 12 ~ Southern Pennsylvania ski resorts 14 ~ Area ski clubs 15 ~ Mid-Atlantic ski map 16 ~ Elk Mountain 19 ~ Family Travel 20 ~ Fredericksburg celebrates the season 20 ~ Orange County Civil War tour 22 ~ Plan for Appomattox 26 ~ Virginia ski resorts 28 ~ Cruise Corner 30 ~ Calendar of Events 35 ~ Historic holidays in Newport News 36 ~ Ski beyond the divide 38 ~ Maryland Arts & Entertainment Districts

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editor’s note I marvin bond

Don’t miss out on these two great opportunities There are two experiences I’d recommend for your holiday bucket list. Time is running out on one; the other is settled into brand new winter quarters with some great offerings for the darker months of the year. Winterthur, perhaps the best known of the Wilmington, Del.-area homes of the du Pont family, always dresses up for the holidays. But the big draw this holiday season has little to do with decorations. The Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit is entering the last month of its 10-month run and is smashing all attendance records at the museum. The exhibit closes Jan. 4, but is well worth seeing even if you’re not a regular fan of the PBS show. The staff at Winterthur did a magnificent job of using the popularity of Downton Abbey to show us how life at Winterthur (and the other grand American country houses) during the first third of the 20th century mirrored the great English country homes of the same period (represented by the real Highclere Castle in Downton Abbey). The exhibit follows a typical day, with its many changes of clothing for both family and staff, and matches costumes from the show with video clips and photographs that put the costumes in context.

While two of the costumes on display are actual vintage dresses from the time period, most were designed and created by London costumers in the seven weeks between receiving scripts and actual filming. Nearly all the costumes have some vintage elements that they are built around. Cleverly mixed into the exhibit are artifacts from Winterthur that show how the lifestyles of American and British aristocrats resembled each other. Henry Francis du Pont’s traveling trunk carried the many changes needed for a simple weekend party, including his favorite tux, and Mrs. du Pont’s traveling make-up case, even when empty, weighed 17 pounds. Naturally, a valet and maid were responsible for all of the luggage and the head butler was responsible for the large silver service used for afternoon tea — just as in the grand English country homes. Timed tickets are offered at Don’t miss out. The other bucket list item is a visit to the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s new home for a Shakespeare or non-Shakespeare production. The former Mercantile Deposit and Trust Company building, just two blocks from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, is one of the few to survive the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904. Inside, the double-walled construction and original columns, vaults, and ornate ceiling join with a thrust stage and comfortable

seating to create an intimate theater experience. The indoor schedule includes A Christmas Carol (through Dec. 23), Uncle Vanya (Feb. 13–March 1), The Importance of Being Earnest (Feb. 27–March 23), and Romeo and Juliet (April 10–May 10). The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company returns to its outdoor venue in Ellicott City, Md., for The Comedy of Errors, June 12–July 19. Tickets and information are available at

Travelers’ toolbox u There are all sorts of products to protect you from other people’s germs while traveling. The battery-operated Air Tamer personal air purifier hangs or clips on you and uses negative ions to help clean your personal space. ( u Sourcebooks publishes personalized stories and has a new children’s book, Santa is Coming to Maryland, in which Santa manages to visit several local landmarks while making sure Maryland’s children get their presents. ( Enjoy a safe and wonderful holiday!

Coming next month Encore weddings in Smithfield West Virginia winter getaways Family-friendly skiing


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travel line I carol timblin

Seasonal events plentiful in the Mid-Atlantic region this year Holiday celebrations are well underway in the Mid-Atlantic, with spectacular light displays, Europeanstyle Christmas markets, lavishly decorated homes, musical concerts, and plenty of other activities. Maryland’s capital city of Annapolis is brimming with holiday fun. A popular light show with more than 60 animated and stationary light displays continues evenings through Jan. 1 at Sandy Point State Park, near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Downtown Historic Annapolis hosts a block party with music, food, and shopping on two Thursdays, Dec. 4 and 11, until midnight. A Hogshead Holiday takes place on the evening of Dec. 5. That’s when visitors can step into the candlelight to experience an 18thcentury Christmas celebration at The Hogshead, with costumed interpreters telling stories of the past. Food and drink, including “switzel” — a concoction of apple cider vinegar, water, cinnamon, and sweetener — will be served. All tickets will be entered in a raffle to win an elk-skin shoulder bag crafted by a Colonialstyle craftsman. The U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club joins the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and soloists from the Metropolitan Opera Company for the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Naval Academy’s Main

Chapel on Dec. 6–7. On the evening of Dec. 18, there’s a flotilla around the Annapolis City Harbor. And, ringing in the New Year on Dec. 31 at Susan Campbell Park is a family event, featuring children’s activities, “Dancing Under the Stars” to big band music, and fireworks at 7:30pm and midnight. ( The Gaylord National Harbor presents its annual ICE! event through Jan. 4, featuring a Frosty the Snowman theme carved out of 2 million pounds of ice. There are free nightly holiday fountain shows featuring the hotel’s 60-foot-tall glass “candy” tree and an indoor snowfall, as well as special packages with other activities. ( The B&O Railroad Museum, located in Baltimore, hosts its Holiday Festival of Trains & Toys through Dec. 31. The event features operating model train layouts, train rides with Santa and Frosty, and an indoor carousel. ( After a successful debut last year, Baltimore’s Christmas Village, patterned after German markets, is making its second appearance through Dec. 24. Located at West Shore Park on the Inner Harbor, it features German-style wooden huts clustered around the Walter Sondheim Fountain, a heated tent for shoppers, a huge Christmas tree,

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and Deutschlander foods such as waffles, gingerbread, bratwurst, and gluhwein. International holiday gifts, ornaments, jewelry, and arts and crafts are also available for purchase. “It’s the spirit of the traditional Christkindlesmarkt,” said founder Thomas Bauer, a native of Nuremberg, Germany. The resort town of Ocean City, Md., is dazzling visitors with more than 1 million lights at Northside Park. Visitors may view the lights aboard the Winterfest Express and then enjoy refreshments and shopping at the Winterfest Village through Dec. 23. ( Also on the Eastern Shore, Christmas in St. Michaels takes place Dec. 12–14, with a parade, great food, home tours, a gingerbread house display, and lots of music. ( The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Wilmington, Del., and the surrounding Brandywine Valley. All can be experienced in day excursions through Dec. 24. Begin your tour at the Hagley Museum and Library, also known as Eleutherian Mills, the 1802 original home and estate of the du Pont family. Enjoy holiday decorations, French interpretations of exchanging gifts, and a Twelfth Night celebration. Next, take time for lunch and shopping at Greenville Center, Greenville Crossing, and Powder

Mill Square. In the afternoon, visit Winterthur, the premier museum of American decorative arts founded by Henry Francis du Pont. It focuses on Christmas traditions of the past and dazzling Yuletide displays through Jan. 4, which also marks the end of its popular Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit. Another option in Wilmington is the Nemours Mansion and Gardens holiday tours, featuring Christmas trees, a gingerbread replica of the mansion, toys, and more, through Dec. 31. At Longwood Gardens, in nearby Chester County, Pa., you can see more than 500,000 lights, dancing fountains, and floral displays, with special performances throughout the season. ( Called “one of the top 10 places to experience the arrival of Santa Claus during the holiday season” by USA Today, West Chester, Pa.’s OldFashioned Christmas takes place Dec. 5–7. The weekend event kicks off with a Christmas parade on Friday, followed by a holiday home tour on Saturday. The tour features 10 decorated homes, plus Tanglewood, the home of West Chester University presidents. (downtownwestchester. com) In Virginia, the Middleburg Hunt Christmas Parade takes place on the afternoon of Dec. 6. It’s a colorful sight, with more than 100 horses, riders attired in red coats, and dozens of hounds, plus floats, marching

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Marvin Bond

The popular Costumes of Downton Abbey exhibit continues through Jan. 6 at Winterthur Museum.

bands, and more parading through town. You’ll also find crafts, food, hayrides, and wine tastings — plenty to do for the entire day. ( Dec. 6 is also a big day in Alexandria, where hundreds of Scottish clansmen march through Old Town. There will be pipe and drum bands,

Scottish dancers, re-enactors, Scottie dogs, and Santa Claus. In the evening, there’s the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, featuring more than 50 boats decked out for the holidays traveling on the Potomac River. ( continued on page 45



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maryland I reed hellman

Garrett County’s activities will warm up the coldest winter day While Garrett County is home to Wisp Resort, Maryland’s premier ski venue, not everyone enjoys skiing, and even the most ardent skier occasionally enjoys a change of scene. Wisp also offers snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating, along with an exciting Mountain Coaster that runs year-round, conditions permitting. ( And, Garrett County also offers many “off-slope” activities that can warm up the coldest winter day. The snow-bound winter landscape lends itself to horse-drawn sleigh

rides. “This is a good relaxing way to enjoy time with the whole family,” said Dana Richard of Circle R Ranch Sleigh Rides. Circle R has offered horseback riding for years and recently added carriage and sleigh rides. Enjoy a classic “one-horse open sleigh,” drawn by the ranch’s majestic Percherons and Clydesdales, as you snuggle down under the warmth of blankets with friends and family. Private sleigh rides are available, too, as well as horseback riding if

weather permits. ( For a different kind of ride, try Husky Power Dogsledding at Mountain Maryland Kennels, only eight minutes from Wisp. You can enjoy dog-sled rides through the snow or a “dog-sled-on-wheels” for drier conditions, both of which are pulled by teams of hard-working Siberian huskies. “We believe the total dog-sledding experience should not only include exciting rides, but also a chance to see how the huskies live, play, and train,” said owners Mike

and Linda Herdering. “All tours beginning at Mountain Maryland Kennels will start with a kennel visit along with a presentation of dog-sledding tidbits, lore, and facts.” Husky Power Dogsledding is open all year and offers private tours and rides every day by reservation. (

Take it indoors

Garrett County also offers some intriguing indoor attractions. The Garrett County Arts Council operates The Gallery Shop in Oakland to showcase the fine arts and

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You can take a dogsled ride in Garrett County even if there’s no snow.




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crafts of regional artists. More than 150 artists and artisans currently participate in gallery displays, exhibiting paintings, photographs, pottery, porcelain, line drawings, wall hangings, knit goods, glass, jewelry, wood, ornaments, note cards, baskets, iron work, literary publications, and handmade soap. “There is never a lack of something to do related to the arts in Garrett County,” said the council’s Karen Reckner. “Our artists have been juried, and we change our main gallery exhibit three times each year and rotate special exhibits in our Backroom Gallery, showcasing solo artists, every six to eight weeks. From Dec. 1 through mid-January, we are featuring an exhibit of ‘Gifts for the Kitchen.’” ( FireFly Farms Creamery & Market in Accident calls itself “your one-stop destination in Garrett County for delicious cheeses and specialty food and drink items.” FireFly Farms makes and ages superb goat cheeses that are free of additives, preservatives, or stabilizers. FireFly’s staff is very helpful and readily offers samples of the many cheeses made on-site. You can watch apprentices make the cheeses, as well as make a reservation for a “Tasting & Pairing Experience,” which presents cheeses and wines along with a selection of charcuterie meats, nuts, olives, tapenades, and antipasto items. “We make cheeses seven days each week, so there is always something going on here,” said FireFly’s Michael Koch. “It’s a great way for families to learn the process for making cheeses. We carry everything that goes with cheeses and wines, so you can take home all that you need for a good meal.” (

To add to the pleasure, Garrett County has numerous spas — including some that offer inhome massages. Four museums encourage you to explore the region’s natural and cultural history. And, Spruce Forest Artisan Village in Grantsville features artisans creating pottery, metal sculpture, stained glass, and more in historic structures. (

Winter in Garrett County does not have to be all about skiing. Even indoor activities abound. But, be sure to call in advance for hours and availability.

For more information Garrett County Tourism:

Wisp Resort

Wisp Resort offers great tubing, in addition to skiing and other winter sports. I december 2014 I recreation news 11

ski resorts I stephanie kalian-metzger

Check out the nearby slopes in southern Pennsylvania Ski Roundtop

Instructors at Ski Roundtop help families master the slopes.

Snow lovers will tell you that this is their favorite time of year. For skiers, snowboarders, and tubing enthusiasts, the fun has just begun. A variety of ski resorts in southern Pennsylvania are within driving distance for those who want to start plotting their escapes to the nearest winter wonderland. The only difficult decision will be deciding which one to choose. Roundtop Mountain Resort in Lewisberry recently celebrated its 50th year in business. This is an impressive achievement, especially when you consider that the number of ski resorts in the United States has dropped from roughly 1,000 in 1964 to fewer than 500 today. Roundtop offers slopes to accommodate all levels of skiing ability, with terrain that ranges from very easy, to steeps that will test the most seasoned skiers. Ethan Grove, of Red Lion, Pa., visits Roundtop often. The 26-year-old said, “If you can ski there, you can ski anywhere in the world. The most advanced slope, called the Gun Barrel, will challenge anyone and the diverse trails appeal to all skill levels.” If you prefer snow tubing, you will enjoy any of the 14 tubing lanes available at Roundtop. The little ones can even get in on the action at the kid-

Come Home

to Franklin County. Save these dates! December 5 & 6 Renfrew Museum & Park in Waynesboro A 19th Century Christmas on the Farm December 5 Candle Night in Chambersburg Hundreds of luminaries line the streets, carolers & yuletide festivities December 5 & 12 Heritage Christmas in Greencastle – Carriage rides, Santa, children’s activities & family fun

For great holiday moments:

Or call 717-552-2977 • 866.646.8060 | |

12 recreation news I december 2014 I

die tubing area designed for children ages 2 to 4. Snowboarding is also available, and the resort offers a variety of youth and adult development programs, all designed to get visitors “upright and vertical.� After an exhilarating day on the slopes, guests can retire to the Fireside Pub & Grill to sit back and relax with a hot meal. (

learn as part of a group experience. The Woodside Lodge was built by Morris Carl in 1925 on the south side of Spring Mountain. Several years ago, new owners took over the lodge, investing $1.5 million in the property. Guests can choose among eight two-room suites,

or rent a bunk room for 10. After a day on the slopes, visitors can relax with a drink at the pub or be treated to a fine dining experience at the onsite restaurant. ( If you plan well, you may have time to visit each resort. After all, there’s plenty of winter ahead.

Ski Roundtop

Convenient locations Located in the scenic Carroll Valley near the Catoctin Mountains, Liberty Mountain Resort is convenient from both the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., metro areas, as well as all of south-central Pennsylvania. Fifteen lanes are open for snow tubing at Boulder Ridge starting in December and Pebble Ridge is designed to accommodate the smallest skiers, ages 2 to 4. Trails for skiing and snowboarding range from easy to difficult and lessons are available onsite. Lodging is located conveniently across from the slopes at the Liberty Mountain Hotel for those who want to prop their feet up and relax at the end of a fun-filled day. ( Located in Mercersburg, Whitetail Resort also provides a diverse set of trails for skiers of all levels. Snow tubing is a delight for both young and old and skiing and snowboarding lessons are taught by seasoned instructors. Those who work up an appetite during a day on the slopes can choose from an array of onsite dining. ( Closer to Philadelphia is Spring Mountain Resort, which offers tubing, skiing, and snowboarding. Individuals can sign up for private lessons, or

Skiers can get big air when taking to the mountain at Ski Roundtop. I december 2014 I recreation news 13

ski clubs I roland leiser

Area ski clubs offer great trips and fun social opportunities Elk Mountain

Ski clubs are a good way for regular skiers to enjoy different slopes.

Despite differences in size, the winter programs of the Ski Club of Washington, D.C. (with its 1,500 members) and the Baltimore Ski Club (with 244 members) operate similarly. Both clubs offer trips for skiers and snowboarders, focus on member communication, and hold ski-themed events prior to the snow season. Most people probably join ski clubs to utilize group-buying power for trip deals. But there are other reasons, too, such as skiing with others at the same level, apres-ski parties, and on-mountain social activities. The Washington group’s planned trips this season include 15 across the United States and Canada, plus six in the Mid-Atlantic (including cross-country skiing in West Virginia). The Baltimore club offers seven trips, with three by bus, four by air, and a day trip to a local ski resort. Both belong to the Blue Ridge Ski Council, made up of 26 ski clubs in the Mid-Atlantic region. For the current season, the Washington members can join the BRSC-sanctioned Eurofest in Mayrhofen, Austria, and the Western Carnival in Mt. Bachelor, Ore. The Western Carnival is also on the BSC’s list, and Eurofest is open to Baltimore members if they go with another club.

Additional benefits Some SCWDC members are certified ski and snowboard instructors who often offer no-cost lessons. Each EachWinter, Winter,ananamazing amazingtransformation transformationtakes takesplace placeatatRoundTop RoundTop The BSC provides rebates of $20 a day, up to Each Winter, an amazing transformation takes Mountain MountainResort. Resort.With Witha a600’vertical 600’verticaldrop dropand andtop topelevation elevationofof place at RoundTop Mountain Resort. With a four days, for instruction, but some instruction is 1355’our snowmaking slopes, 1355’our100% 100% snowmaking covered slopes,offer offersafety, safety,fun, fun,and andtakes place at RoundTop Each Winter, covered an amazing transformation 600’vertical drop and top elevation of 1355’our free, says the club’s LuAnn Snyder. learning learningopportunities. opportunities.The Themountain mountainoffers offersEasy EasytotoExtremely ExtremelyDifficult Difficult Mountain Resort. a 600’vertical 100% snowmaking coveredWith slopes, offer safety,drop and top elevation of fun, and learning opportunities. The mountain 1355’our 100% snowmaking covered slopes, offer safety, fun, and help visit and one! helpmake makeyour your visittotothe themountain mountain andarea, area,a agreat great one! offers Easy to Extremely Difficult slopes. Our learning opportunities. The mountain offers Easy to Extremely Difficult courtesy staff is here to answer all your questions Our visit courtesy staff is Packages here to answer and helpslopes. make your to the mountain and Starting Packages Starting all your questions and area, a great one! At Slopeside Whitetail Condos At help make your visit to the mountain and area, a great one!

Each club keeps in touch with members through websites, e-newsletters (or a hard copy at extra cost), special events, and social media. Trip leaders are trained before taking on the responsibility of a complex itinerary. Both clubs require new leaders to start at the bottom of the ladder on relatively easy day trips. Post-trip, participants evaluate the leaders, the lodging, and transportation for future guidance. Of course, some trips fill early and wait lists are created, but rarely are trips cancelled for lack of participation. If a trip fills to capacity (which sometimes can be expanded), the leader travels free as a benefit for the hours that he or she spends on pre-trip work and on the mountain. But the clubs can’t guarantee the best weather, since advance planning requires long lead times. Leaders often schedule pre-trip parties where participants can schmooze and trade travel tips. One skier’s suggestion saved me a few bucks on airline baggage fees to Italy, where I rented equipment for less than the $200 round-trip cost of the second bag; my boot bag became a carryon. Dues won’t break the bank. Besides single memberships, the SCWDC offers a family deal for $73 and renewal for $53; the BSC offers deals of $55 for families and $50 for renewal. That’s a small price to pay for the value received and the friendships made.

Learn more Baltimore Ski Club: Ski Club of Washington, D.C.:

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14 recreation news I december 2014 I








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Lake Harmony, PA 570-722-0101 Scranton


Blue Mountain

Palmerton, PA 610-826-7700

Pittsburgh I-70



I-68 Morgantown I-79 I-81



Washington, DC



Tannersville, PA 570-629-1661


Coudersport, PA 814-435-2115

Elk Mountain

Union Dale, PA 570-679-4400

Hidden Valley





Blue Knob

Bedford, PA 800-458-3403




Big Bear

Lackawaxen, PA 570-685-1400

Big Boulder

i i

Macungie, PA 866-754-2822

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Jack Frost

Blakeslee, PA 570-443-8425

i i

Liberty Mountain

Carroll Valley, PA 717-642-8282

Montage Mountain

Scranton, PA 855-754-7946

Mystic Mountain

Farmington, PA 866-344-6957


McHenry, MD 301-859-3159

Bryce Resort

Mount Jackson, VA 800-821-1444


Hot Springs, VA 540-839-1766

Liberty Snowflex


Lynchburg, VA 434-582-3539

Morris, PA 570-353-7521


Seven Springs

Mount Harrisonburg, VA 540-289-9441

Seven Springs, PA 800-452-2223

Shawnee Mountain

Shawnee on Delaware, PA 570-421-7321

Ski Roundtop

Lewisberry, PA 717-432-9631


Wintergreen, VA 434-325-2200


Canaan Valley

Spring Mountain

Davis, WV 800-622-4121

Tussey Mountain

Snowshoe, WV 877-441-4386

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Pennsylvania’s Highest Vertical Drop of 1,082 Feet 39 Illuminated Trails Tubing Park with 21 Thrilling Slides 6 Terrain Parks 100% Snowmaking Capability Learning Center for All Ages & Skill Levels I december 2014 I recreation news 15

ski resorts I roland leiser

Pristine Elk Mountain is ranked a favorite ski resort You aren’t likely to see elk at Elk Mountain Ski Resort in northeast Pennsylvania, but skiers and boarders will find a respectful amount of snow, easy-to-follow trails, and well-groomed cruising runs. The single-face mountain’s 27 trails include 40 percent expert, 35 percent intermediate, and 25 percent novice. There are also two snowboard parks, Stomping Grounds and Little Foot. On average, the north-facing, 660-acre mountain receives up to 50 inches of the natural stuff a year, and the resort’s snow guns can cover up to 95 percent of the trails. Privately owned Elk hosts thousands of day-trip visitors and overnight guests every year, and the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau can help with information on stay-and-ski packages. Readers of SnowEast! magazine ranked Elk fifth among their favorite classic resorts in 2014. Insider tip: There is lodging as close as 2 miles from the resort, but at least 16 hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and country inns are located within 30 minutes of the resort, which is about 4-1/2 hours from Washington, D.C.

Elk Mountain

Skiers glide down the slopes at Elk Mountain in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania.

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16 recreation news I december 2014 I

Endless M ountains of Northeas tern Pennsylva nia


Elk Mountain’s amenities

the tougher challenges at Elk Mountain. The two mogul fields are named for Native American tribes, a practice that extends to most of the other trails.

For a Mid-Atlantic mountain, Elk has a lot to offer. “People drive by several Pennsylvania mountains that are closer to home just to ski Tunkhannock, probably the best bump run in the state,� one skier commented. Tunkhannock and a short mogul field, Chippewa, are considered among

Built in the early 1960s, Elk Mountain’s lodge shows its age well. It’s still modern, airy and spacious; the cafeteria’s grub is tasty and reasonably priced. Outside, visitors can bring food to a small

lodge for indoor picnics, which is a thoughtful touch. Among my favorite runs was the Mahican, starting from the 2,700-foot summit down to Kickapoo with curve after curve to the bottom of the lift. Another winner was Tecumseh, with a long steep pitch and slightly groomed. The Seneca heads down from the summit below the towers of the east chair double and, except for a few icy patches, isn’t too tough. To start the day, get your ski or snowboard legs on the Delaware, a mellow intermediate, then tackle Wissahoneck, another long cruising run. There is no on-mountain real estate, which adds to Elk’s appeal. If isolation is your thing, Elk’s pristine location is far from I-81 and any major commercial development. On the access road to Elk are the Idlewild Ski Shop, Guenthers Ski Haus, an inn, a convenience store, and a gas station, but not much else. An adult mid-week lift ticket costs $53 to ski from 8:30am to 4:30pm; the half-day rate is $39 to ski until noon. Prices are slightly higher on weekends and holidays. Elk offers night skiing after Dec. 26 through the end of the season. For the 2014-2015 season, the mountain expects to open Dec. 12, weather permitting.

Learn more Elk Mountain: Endless Mountains Tourism:

Elk Mountain

Taking a bump at Elk Mountain, where the mogul fields are named for Native American tribes.

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d OTHER NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA SKI AREAS TO CHECK OUT THIS YEAR Blue Mountain: There are 39 trails and 16 lifts, plus six snowboard parks and 21 snow-tubing lanes. New this year is the “ez-slope,� which is a six-hour flex ticket; the clock starts when visitors board a lift. The weekday adult rate is $55; weekends and holidays are $65. ( Jack Frost: This resort in Blakeslee, Pa., has improved snowmaking which now covers 100 percent of its 21 trails. Seven lanes for snow

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tubing are available to expand the experience. In nearby Lake Harmony is the affiliated resort Big Boulder, which has also upgraded snowmaking and added Head equipment to its rental inventory. ( Shawnee Mountain: This season the Delaware, Pa., resort has upgraded its snowmaking process on its 23 trails and has introduced online ticket sales. (

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-DFN)URVW -DFN)URVW0RXQWDLQ5RDG %ODNHVOHH3$ I december 2014 I recreation news 17 I advertorial member companies: To have your event or company featured on this page, contact or Karl Teel at 410-638-6901.

Special Hilton Head discounts available to military members, federal employees, and contractors In an effort to give back to those who serve in the military and in our government, Hilton Head Accommodations has teamed up with Government Vacation Rewards to provide discounted vacation getaways to Hilton Head Island for: u Active/retired military or their dependents u Government/military employees, past and present u Government reimbursement contractors u Members of certain government/military associations Whether you are a golf nut, tennis bug, or beach bum, the Hilton Head Accommodations Government Appreciation Program will afford you the opportunity to “save big” on a Hilton Head Island vacation stay of three, four, or seven days at a fabulous island property. Appropriate identification will be required upon check-in. Simply call a reservationist at 843-686-6662 to explore what Hilton Head Accommodations has to offer. When you call, please identify the fact that you are a participating member and make your preparations for your island vacation by referring to promo code “HHAGAP.”

Accommodation options include: u The Village at Palmetto Dunes Spend your three-, four-, or seven-night vacation in a cozy studio that sleeps four, located directly across from the beach. Walk to the beach, golf, or the tennis center. Special pricing includes a three-night stay for $237 (regularly $387), a four-night stay for $316 (regularly $516), or a seven-night stay for $555 (regularly $903). Check-in day options include: For a three-night stay, check in Saturday through Wednesday; for a four-night stay, check in on Tuesday or Saturday; and, for a sevennight stay, check in on Saturday. Check-out day options are: For a three-night stay, depart Tuesday through Saturday; for a four-night stay, depart on Wednesday or Saturday; and for a seven-night stay, depart on Saturday. Additional fees include a $50 reservation fee paid to the resort at booking, plus a 10 percent state and local tax. u Spinnaker at Shipyard Enjoy a three-, four-, or seven-night golf and tennis getaway in a two-bedroom villa near the beach that sleeps six. Free golf is available for up to four players daily, along with a pool, a playground, a putting green,

and an amazing amenities center. You just pay cart fees. Special pricing includes a three-night stay, including golf, for $406 (regularly $657); a four-night stay, including golf, for $541 (regularly $897); and a seven-night stay, including golf, for $947 (regularly $1,553). Check-in day options include: For a three-night stay, check in on Wednesday or Saturday; for a four-night stay, check in on Tuesday or Saturday; and for a sevennight stay, check in on Saturday. Check-out day options are: For a three-night stay, depart on Tuesday or Saturday; for a four-night stay, depart on Wednesday or Saturday; and for a seven-night stay, depart on Saturday. Additional fees include a $50 reservation fee paid to the resort at booking, plus a 10 percent state and local tax. To qualify for HHAGAP, you must be an active-duty or reserve military member, retired military member, National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, or eligible spouse dependant, with appropriate military identification and over the age of 18, or a government employee or contractor. Hilton Head Accommodations reserves the right to disqualify anyone from the HHAGAP who does not fulfill the membership requirements at any time.

Sail over to your dream home with a Realtor who understands the needs of government employees Paris Niesterowicz is a military wife (30 years, Coast Guard-retired) who understands the needs of military families, federal employees, and government contractors. A Realtor at the Annapolis Plaza Office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, she serves all of Maryland and southern Pennsylvania and can assist with buying, selling, leasing, and renting homes and investment properties. Recently, Paris found a beautiful large home for an Army family. After she worked with the family for four months online, they found their dream home within a week of returning to the states. “You serve our nation. Let me assist in finding your

dream home,” Paris says. Here’s why Coldwell Banker is a good choice: u Coldwell Banker is the largest real estate company in the world. u If all other U.S. real estate companies were added together, Coldwell Banker would still be larger. u Your home is featured on 725 websites in 65 countries. Coldwell Banker has virtual tours and slide shows featuring your home at u Paris’ marketing plan, 30/60/90, strives to sell your home at the highest market price. u Coldwell Banker has 98 percent brand awareness. Contact Paris Niesterowicz in the office (410-2242200), on her cell (410-303-9317) or by email (

THE RECREATION NEWS MEDIA GROUP Recreation News • Weekend Update E-mail The Travel Radio Show and Podcast Visit us on Facebook! E-mail: 1607 Sailaway Circle, Baltimore, MD 21221 Phone: 410-638-6901 • Fax: 410-638-6902 © 2014, Indiana Printing and Publishing Co., Inc. Recreation News (ISSN 1056-9294) is the official publication of and, and is published monthly by the Indiana Printing and Publishing Co., Inc. Subscriptions by mail are $15 per year (12 issues). Corporate and bulk employee subscriptions are free. Contact the publisher at the address or telephone number listed above. Items in Recreation News may not be reproduced without the publisher’s written consent. Publisher - Karl Teel Editor - Marvin Bond Calendar Editor - Jessica Bosse Account Executive - Lynn Talbert Copy Editor - Andrea Ebeling Cover Design - Debbie Palmer Web Support - Ron Yarnick Layout & Art - Beth Wood Accounting - Bev Peterson Accounting - Leanne Weaver Chief Financial Off. - Barb Sullinger

Production - Eric Smith Printing - Joe Naman Shipping - Sam Parisee Mailing - Gerrard Wilson Marketing - Debbie Palmer Data Mgt. - Carolyn Grover Social Media - Karen Falk Intern - Emily Cox

18 recreation news I december 2014 I




discounts•destinations•deals 3012 Gold Mine Road, Brookeville, MD 20833 Phone: 301-221-3977 Email 2014 RECGOV President: Ruth Sragner Advisory Panel: Renee Bolden, Clement Jackson, Karl Teel, Jessica Smith and Ted Tepper Publisher - Recreation News: Karl Teel We are a co-op of more than 40 recreation associations and MWRs working together to better serve our members

family travel I karen graham

trees and lights HELP EVERYONE GET into the holiday spirit Jingle bells, jingle bells, the holiday season is here. As the nation turns its attention to the holidays, here are a few festive activities for the whole family to put everyone in the holiday spirit. The National Christmas Tree Lighting and Pageant, Washington, D.C. The 2014 National Christmas Tree Lighting will be held Dec. 4 on the Ellipse near the White House. Now in its 92nd year, the event has grown into a nationally televised production with musical performances and a presidential message of peace. Visitors can enjoy the tree and surrounding displays the entire month of December, 10:00am– 10:00pm. In addition to the large national tree, there is the Pathway of Peace, made up of smaller, decorated trees representing each state and territory of the United States. Performances by volunteer choirs, bands, and dancers will be held nightly throughout the month. (thenationaltree. org)

Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights, Vienna, Va. Meadowlark’s magical walk of lights is now in its third year. The half-mile walk through the botanical garden has a display of more than a half million lights, which brings a lot of smiles and excited reactions from children of all ages. “We sold 40,000 tickets last year. It was very popular,� said Keith Tomlinson, garden manager. The show starts Nov. 14 and runs through the

first Sunday in January. There are big “fountains� of lights made to look like water, with animation to music. New this year is the tunnel of lights. There is also a nature walk, a flowing stream, and bird and water sounds. Insider tip: Tomlinson recommends visiting during the week to save money, and to buy tickets online. At the end of the trail, there is hot chocolate and a bonfire for roasting s’mores. (

Prince George’s Parks

Festival of Lights, Upper Marlboro, Md. With new, original animated displays every year, this 2-1/2-mile drive-thru view of more than a million holiday lights in Watkins Regional Park is a popular destination. Admission to the park is $5 per car, and the festival is collecting non-perishable food to donate to local food banks. The lights will be on display Nov. 28–Jan.1, every night, 5:00–9:30pm. (

family event

Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro, Md., hosts a drive-thru animated display of more than 1 million lights.

Old Town Alexandria is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, but it is especially charming during the holidays. The weekend of Dec. 6 features a full schedule of holiday activities, ending with a Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on the Potomac River. Festivities begin at 3:00pm. Santa will arrive by boat at 4:15pm, and the parade begins at 5:00pm. The parade then will go down the river to Washington, D.C., and end at Seventh and Water streets SW. (


Find us in the National/ International Unaffiliated Section of the CFC booklet

— karen graham

Free in D.C.

Enjoy nightly entertainment while being inspired by the National Christmas Tree and Pathway of Peace through Jan. 1. ( ... Look for animal figures in lighted silhouettes, a light show set to music, live musical performances, ice-sculpting demonstrations, and winter treats in “ZooLights� at the National Zoo, nightly through Jan. 1. ( ... Check out a model train display and a nautical wonderland, including 33 lighthouses, sea creatures, mermaids, and a pirate ship, all created with plant parts, in “Seasons Greetings� at the U.S. Botanic Garden through Jan. 4. (


The CFC is the only campaign authorized to solicit and collect contributions from federal employees in the workplace on behalf of charitable organizations.




— gwen woolf I december 2014 I recreation news 19

virginia I jane and marvin bond

Fredericksburg rolls out the welcome mat in December Perhaps no month displays Fredericksburg’s varied history better than December. The Vir-

Fredericksburg Tourism

The sign shows the many bullet holes the Innis House suffered during the 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg.

ginia city reveals its Colonial charm and Civil War conflict with the 44th annual Candlelight Tour of historic homes, Dec. 13–14, and events commemorating the December 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg. Seven homes are on the weekend house tour, which includes regular daytime tours and a special Saturday evening candlelight tour and reception. The Welford House at 1501 Caroline St. is open for the evening tour only. Built between 1785 and 1789, it dates to immediately after the Revolutionary War. The first resident was Dr. Robert Welford, who came to America with the British army in 1776 as a surgeon. He was to be in charge of American prisoners, but within two years he resigned his commission and set up a private practice in Philadelphia. Col. John Spotswood, an American whose life he saved, influenced his decision to move to Fredericksburg and George Washington himself provided a letter of introduction to a prominent local citizen. While the home remained with the Welford family for 180 years, it also played a role during the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg, which included

the first street-to-street fighting for the U.S. Army. The home was struck by shell fire 30 times and was pillaged by Union troops during the December 1862 battle. Tour tickets are available at and include admission to all properties, entertainment, refreshments, and a tour booklet. You get a discount with the ad in the November Recreation News. Insider tip: Day-of-tour tickets can be purchased at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center, 706 Caroline Street, or the Candlelight Tour Gift Shop, 1414 Caroline St., where you’ll find the annual tour ornament, other gifts, and free refreshments.

New battle exhibits The Fredericksburg Battlefield visitor center on Lafayette Boulevard is celebrating its first major exhibit renovation since the 1960s, featuring artifacts never before displayed. Among those unseen gems are a spur and three surviving cigars that were taken from Union Maj. Jacob Babbitt and a continued on page 21

civil war I gwen woolf

Mix Civil War history with scenery in Orange County, Va. The Orange County Civil War Driving Tour features the war’s biggest players (Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant), some of the war’s most savage fighting (Battle of the Wilderness), and a wartime

hospital that treated 70,000 wounded soldiers from both sides. The self-guided tour follows a pleasant route through two small towns and the rolling central Virginia countryside, less than 100 miles away from Washington, D.C. Sponsored by Orange County Tourism for three years, the tour has been

“quite popular,” says Leigh Mawyer, who promotes the county. Phil Audibert, the author, videographer, and tour guide who developed the “All Four Years” tour, explained that, unlike some communities continued on page 21

Orange Co. Tourism

Where 19th-century culture mingles with the ghosts of the Lincoln assassination story. 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735 Phone: 301-868-1121

The Exchange Hotel, located in Gordonsville, Va., served as a Civil War hospital.

20 recreation news I december 2014 I


Battle of Battle of Marye’s Heights in Fredericksburg.

continued from page 20

Also in Fredericksburg

stone from the original stone wall that protected the Confederates in front of the Innis House. An image of the house is etched into the stone, probably the work of a Confederate rifleman. You can see the aftermath of the battle in old stereoscope photographs, or even build a model of a pontoon bridge. Greg Mertz, of the National Park Service, suggests doing the house tour on Dec. 13 and checking out the Civil War activities on Dec. 14. “From noon–2:00pm you can take a walking tour in the footsteps of the Irish Brigade,” he says. “The tour ends with a 2:00pm ceremony at the memorial to Sgt. Richard Kirkland, a Confederate soldier called the ‘Angel of Marye’s Heights.’” Kirkland risked his life carrying water to wounded Union troops during the December 1862

The Rising Sun Tavern holds an open house Dec. 5, 6:00–8:30pm, with Celtic music, holiday decorations, and treats. A Christmas open house at the James Monroe Museum on Dec. 6, 3:00–5:30pm, precedes the annual Fredericksburg Christmas parade. On Dec. 7, 4:30–7:00pm, the Mary Washington House, home of George Washington’s mother, hosts a candlelight tour. George Washington’s boyhood home of Ferry Farm presents its annual gingerbread house exhibit Dec. 7–30, though the site is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Orange County “You can jump in and out of this thing wherever you want,” says Audibert about the six-stop tour. Besides the history, he thinks tour-goers will enjoy a “hassle-free” rural experience, the “spectacularly beautiful” landscape, and the shops and restaurants in Orange and Gordonsville. Audibert has expanded his tour booklet into a 12-episode video documentary on the county’s Civil War history. He’ll unveil part of it during a Blue and Gray Christmas observance Dec. 20 in Gordonsville. Events include a service at Gordonsville Presbyterian Church (where Confederate

continued from page 20 where one-time battles were fought, the war had a presence in Orange throughout the entire conflict. The county’s geography made it important — the Rapidan River served as the Confederacy’s de facto northern boundary in the region, a wall of low mountains formed a rampart for the rebels, and the area’s railroads were a vital means of transport. Pick up a tour booklet at the Orange County Visitor Center, housed in a 100-year-old train station in Orange, or download the route from

Learn more Fredericksburg Area Tourism: Fredericksburg Candlelight Tour:

continued on page 41

A BLUE AND GRAY CHRISTMAS Downtown Gordonsville, VA Saturday, December 20, 2014 | 4:30 – 10:00 p.m.

JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AS THEY WOULD HAVE DURING THE 1860’S. Event includes: • Civil War era church service • Downtown Gordonsville walking tours • Ghost stories • “All Four Years” Civil War documentary showing • Music & Children’s activities at Gordonsville Fire Hall • Civil War era Santa Claus • Gordonsville Holiday Ball

Downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia invites you to sample its independent and chef-owned restaurants for Restaurant Week 2015.

January 16th-26th

Registrants are encouraged to come and participate in the ball. Cost: $5 per person, $8 per couple, children 12 and under free For details, call 540-661-5328.

2 course prix fix lunches for $10.15 3 course prix fixe dinners for $20.15

1-800-678-4748 I december 2014 I recreation news 21

civil war I sue bland

The Best Part of the Civil War … The End: On to Appomattox When Virginia created the first self-guided Civil War trail in America — “The Route of Lee’s Retreat” — it ignited a national conversation about the most seminal time in American history. The conversation continues and, in 2015, scores of travelers will visit the hallowed battlegrounds near Appomattox, Va., to witness re-enactments and experience the places where northern and southern armies battled to the bitter end 150 years ago. Now’s the time to make reservations for a trip to south-central Virginia, where the Civil War Sesquicentennial culminates this spring. You’ll find lots of lodging choices, whether you like log cabins, historic bed-and-breakfasts, campgrounds at state parks, national chain hotels, or resorts. Two great places to learn more about the lives of the local people during the Civil War are Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park near Farmville and the American Civil War Museum at Appomattox. New exhibits in both places tell riveting stories. Here are the major events in late March and early April leading up to the sesquicentennial anniversary of the surrender at Appomattox.

Karen Fulcher

Stacked rifles at Appomattox symbolize the end of America’s Civil War nightmare.

Twin Lakes State Park near Farmville March 20–April 3 From 1861 through 1865, Virginia stood at the

In April 1865, the fall of Richmond and surrender at Appomattox brought freedom, reunification, and great uncertainty for all: soldier and civilian, free and enslaved. Hear their stories and explore the legacies that still shape our world today. Visit the American Civil War Museum, in Richmond and Appomattox.

150th Commemorative Events in Richmond April 2-4, and Appomattox April 8-12

For information about exhibits and programs visit

22 recreation news I december 2014 I

center of a military and social revolution. The exhibit “An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia� encourages visitors to consider how American society was reshaped by the Civil War and what it means to Americans today. Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park March 28 From 9:00am–1:30pm, the Overton-Hillsman Farm House, circa 1780, will be open to the public for guided tours. The restored farmhouse depicts 1865 conditions, when the house served as field hospital. Visitors learn about the Hillsmans and the soldiers who were treated by medical personnel on the lawn and in the house. Then, from 2:00–4:00pm, experience the Battle of Sailor’s Creek on the terrain where it occurred 150 years ago. Living History units, known as Campaigners, will execute a tactical demonstration portraying both Confederate and Union armies as they fought across the fields of the Hillsman family farm. Spectators will be able to see the armies move across the actual battlefield, hear the officers’ commands, and feel the reverberation of artillery and musket fire. The re-creation of the last major Civil War battle in Virginia ends after campaigners cross Little Sailor’s Creek. After the fording of

Little Sailor’s Creek, visitors will see the aftermath of the last major Civil War battle in Virginia. Campaigners will march to High Bridge and proceed to Farmville for rations as they did in 1865. The Sailor’s Creek visitor center will be open 9:00am–7:00pm. It showcases artifacts and research about the battles and the war’s impact on the citizens of southside Virginia. Visitors are transported to that wet spring day on April 6, 1865, when Confederate and Union soldiers and a galaxy of generals met at Sailor’s Creek for what would be the last major battle of the American Civil War in Virginia. As darkness settled over the battlefield, Gen. Robert E. Lee pondered his losses, reportedly saying, “My God! Has this army dissolved?� More than 7,700 men of the Army of Northern Virginia were gone. This would be one of the largest surrenders of a military force in the field without the men being paroled during the war. Exhibits showcase the three engagements at Sailor’s Creek: the Hillsman farm, Marshall’s Crossroads, and the Lockett farm, which took almost a quarter of Lee’s effective strength away. About 72 hours later, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. There is no admission fee, but


special event parking fees of $10 per car or $50 per bus apply. ( Prince Edward and Cumberland counties March 29 Spectators will have the opportunity to explore the historic structure

of High Bridge and watch as campaigners make their way across the bridge toward Farmville, finding relief from the Union advances. Guided Civil War tours will take place along the High Bridge Trail at spots where skirmishing occurred in 1865. continued on page 41

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Virginia’s ski resorts gear up for super season of snow and fun Virginia is on tap for snow this winter — lots of it, early weather forecasters say. But whether the snow blasts from snow guns or plops down gratis of Mother Nature, Virginia’s ski resorts are brimming with snow, new gadgets to enhance slope fun, and new attractions. Each of the resorts offers something a little different to enjoy. Massanutten Resort, 2-1/2 hours south of Washington near Harrisonburg, Va., is a full-service resort with enough activities to keep a diverse group busy all week. There’s the ski slope, ice skating, tubing, two thrill-

ing terrain parks, and a spa. What really sets the resort apart isn’t on the slopes at all, though — it’s an indoor water park that allows you to enjoy skiing and waterpark fun in the same day. The resort has expanded its kids’ zip course twice in the past several years and will keep it open this winter, along with the popular 800-foot Mega Zip Dual Racer line. Nearly everyone can enjoy sliding on snow at the Family Adventure Park, too. Massanutten’s tubing park has a 900-foot-long hill that’s gained lots of plaudits. The resort also has started

construction on a new, multi-milliondollar, 13,000-square-foot ski school center. ( On Wintergreen Resort’s projected opening date of Dec. 13, new snow guns will be blanketing the resort’s slopes with white powder,

while the Terrain Park will dazzle with 15 new features, bringing the total to well over 50. Insider tip: Check out the stair step. New rental equipment is on tap, including boots, skis, snowboards,

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Ski lessons for youngsters are all in a day’s work for Massanutten instructors.

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26 recreation news I december 2014 I

and helmets, at this mountaintop resort just three hours from Washington, D.C. Ski packages start at $83 per person for lodging, lift tickets, and early access to the slopes on weekends. Wintergreen’s Discover Skiing and Riding Program makes it easy and affordable to learn to ski or snowboard in just three visits. With 25 slopes, Wintergreen offers skiing and snowboarding, as well as competitions for all levels of skill. The Terrain Park hosts rail jams and

slope-style competitions, plus Terrain Park parties. Off the slopes, guests can relax in the spa, ice skate, or pick up an indoor tennis lesson. You can even play a round of golf much of the year. ( Bryce Resort, 1-1/2 hours outside of Washington, is the closest of the Virginia slopes and strives to maintain an uncrowded atmosphere with no lift lines and ample room on the slopes — especially

important to novices and families. With new snowmaking guns in just the right places, Bryce now boasts 100 percent snowmaking coverage on its trails. The learning and children’s centers have expanded, allowing the famed ski school to serve more skiers and snowboarders. continued on page 40

The Homestead

Victoria Bellrose

Teaching little ones at Bryce Resort.

The Homestead Resort offers lots of winter activities in addition to skiing.


MORE SNOW. MORE TERRAIN. Winter Escape Package starting at $83 For reservations call 877-290-0607

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Oceania’s offers luxury On a Mediterranean Sea cruise “This is how the other half lives!” How often have you heard that phrase and wished, if only for a day (or what the heck, a week), you too could be “the other half”? While cruising is always an upscale experience, there is a way to up the ante even higher. Try an Oceania cruise. The differences are noticeable, but surprisingly pronounced given the not-so-large price differential. Immediately, the modern elegance strikes your eye as you enter the central foyer of the Oceania Marina. The rich dark hardwoods paired with marble, granite, and polished metals of complimentary hues are found throughout the ship. Weary from jet lag, we efficiently made it to our stateroom — and we mean efficiently. Nowhere did we expe-

rience the cattle lines you find on lower-end cruise lines. The upscale decor continued in our stateroom with granite bathroom counters, floors, and tub surrounds. There was a separate shower and fullsize bathtub. Our concierge-level balcony room was appointed with, as you could guess, rich hardwood walls, an upholstered headboard, a 42-inch wall-mounted flat-screen TV, and numerous amenities. Our package included unlimited Internet access, all tips, and even a $100 per cabin credit. From the dining rooms, appointed with linen and crystal, to the marble-lined hallways, the topnotch touches found everywhere combined to create a consistently tasteful, understated elegance. On the upper deck, by the outdoor pools and









sun deck, queen-sized lounge beds and chaise lounges were in such abundance, you could always find one available. There was no need to “reserve” poolside lounges by placing towels, books, or clothing on them at dawn — the sort of game playing which creates a constant shortage of lounges and provides a source of frustration on some cruise lines. Surprisingly, our on-board expenses were the lowest we’ve experienced. There were no surcharges for mini-bar soft drinks, gym beverages, cappuccinos, espressos, high tea, water, or any of the five specialty restaurants. Top-shelf food, such as lobster tail and filet mignon (even at the buffet), crème brûlée, and other delicacies, could be found everywhere. The food throughout the ship was exceptional. There are not enough superlatives to describe the excellence of the gastronomic offerings on the Oceania line. We didn’t feel like we were being nickeled and dimed at every opportunity by anyone pushing over-priced art, charging exhorbitant bar tabs, or constantly taking photos to sell you later. On Oceania, all of the beverages are free, and the line realizes its more discerning group of travelers has no interest in pushiness or tchotchke memorabilia. Clearly, Oceania caters to the veteran cruiser, a well-heeled, genteel traveling set. Cruisers can even bring their own wine aboard. There is a nominal corkage fee should you choose to bring a bottle with you to the restaurant.


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The mountains of Monaco as seen from the upper deck of the Oceania Marina. Karl Teel

allowed us to savor the memory of our excursions and the day’s adventures. Our ship, the Oceania Marina, had a remarkable 1.56-1 ratio of passengers to staff. As a result, the outstanding service matched the level of decor. We also found the Marina to be the perfect-size ship. It was big enough to have the amenities we like, yet small enough to maintain a boutique feel. It also was easy to navigate. And, we found it to have the best bedding of any of our last 35 cruises! In cruising, there can never be a “one size fits all.� Perhaps Oceania is not the best choice for those traveling with children. There wasn’t the abundance of child-specific areas and programs similar to those found on Carnival or Royal Caribbean lines. In fact, this is precisely what many cruisers like about it. This is an experience best kept for the company of adults seeking tranquility, culture, and sanctuary. Numerous itineraries, themes, and destinations are available via Oceania. We opted for a tour of the Mediterranean focused on wine and vineyards, gourmet foods to pair with the wine, and delightful ports. Our hosts, Paul and Bonnie Cullen, led our group on their Tune Your Palette “Cullen-ary� cruise. Paul, former bass player for the iconic rock group Bad Company, is a gourmet chef with Italian roots and a background in wine, including his own wine label. The couple selected great itineraries and themed gatherings, often with Paul gently playing a jazzy Latin selection on his acoustic guitar. Our cruise’s ports of call included: Rome, with an optional pre-cruise stay and tour; Livorno, Italy, with vineyard tours or optional side trips to Florence, Pisa, and other Tuscany venues; Monte Carlo, the playground of the rich, where $5 million dollar yachts and $150,000 Twin Turbo Porsches are considered pedestrian; Marseilles, France, with optional excursions to numerous vineyards and villages throughout the Provence countryside; Barcelona and Cartegena, Spain, each replete with historical sights and excursions; and, finally, cruising through the straits of Gibraltar to Lisbon, Portugal, with numerous post-cruise options. Clearly, this will not be our last voyage on Oceania. To find out more, consult any of the trusted travel agents listed on these pages, or visit Stay tuned for our next group opportunity by reading Recreation News and visiting Bon voyage!


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The old center of Cartegena, Spain, features streets paved in marble and classic architecture in remarkable condition. I december 2014 I recreation news 29

December 2014 Christmas Day Dec. 25 Hanukkah Dec. 16-24 Kwanzaa Dec. 26 New Year’s Jan. 1


BRISTOL CHRISTMAS PARADE Dec. 4, 7:00–9:00pm. Community Christmas parade providing fun for the whole family, with floats, bands, dances, and fun. State Street, Bristol, Va. 276-644-9700 DICKENS OF A CHRISTMAS Dec. 5, tree lighting ceremony; Dec. 12, parade; and Dec. 19, pet costume contest. Downtown Roanoke, Va. HARBOR HOLIDAY FESTIVAL Dec. 5–7. A fantastic, fun-filled family festival offers handmade crafts, one-of-a-kind gift items, great holiday décor, wonderful wines and foods, entertainment, and kids’ activities. 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Md. 410-878-9900, CANDLELIGHT TOURS OF MONTPELIER Dec 5, 6, 12, and 13. Tour James Madison’s home and learn about holiday traditions, customs, and period entertainment. Montpelier, Orange, Va. FARMER’S CHRISTMAS Dec. 6, 1:00–5:00pm. Craftsmen will demonstrate, carolers will sing, storytellers will entertain, and cooks will create on a woodstove at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, 866 N. DuPont Highway, Dover, Del. HOLIDAY PARADE AT THE BEACH Dec. 6, 5:30pm. The parade features giant balloons, marching bands from area schools and the community, lighted floats, equestrian units, fire trucks, performing dance groups, and motorcycles. 15th Street and Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, Va. 757-491-7866,

CHANUKAH CONCERT Dec. 6, 8:00–11:00pm. A concert opens the 20th Jewish Folk Arts Festival, the Mid-Atlantic’s largest celebration of Jewish art, music, and culture. 14330 Travilah Road, Rockville, Md. 301-5871739,

CHRISTMAS IN ST. MICHAELS Dec. 12–14. Weekend-long celebration, including the Christmas parade, Santa’s Workshop, gingerbread house display, marketplace, house tours, and choral concert. St. Michaels, Md. 410745-0745,

CECIL COUNTY CHRISTMAS PARADE Dec. 6. Bands, floats, and Santa. Main Street, North East, Md. 410-287-5801,

HAMPTON HOLLY DAYS PARADE Dec. 13, 7:00pm. Enjoy an evening of enchantment at the peninsula’s largest illuminated holiday parade. The fun includes music from marching bands, spectacular floats, and the man of the hour, Santa. “Joy to the World” goes from Eaton Street and Settlers Landing Road to Darling Stadium. Hampton, Va.

HOLIDAY MAGIC Dec. 6, 10:00am–3:00pm. Hands-on crafts for kids include magic kits and wands. Visit Santa in the carriage museum. The Children’s Museum of Rose Hill Manor Park, 1611 N. Market St., Frederick, Md. 301-600-1650, CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Dec. 6–7, 11:00am–4:00pm. Enjoy tours of the historic farmhouse decorated for the holidays, as well as Christmas music and cookies and cider. The museum store will be open for shopping. No admission charge for this event. Steppingstone Museum, 461 Quaker Bottom Road, Havre de Grace, Md. 443655-7790 CANDY CANE EXPRESS Dec. 6–7. Enjoy train rides, family-friendly activities, and model train displays, plus take your own pictures with Santa and decorate an ornament for your tree. Virginia Museum of Transportation, 303 Norfolk Ave. SW, Roanoke, Va. 540-342-5670, CAPE MAY’S HOLIDAY SEASON Dec. 6, 13, and 27. Forty-first annual Christmas Candlelight House Tours, plus Lamplighter Christmas Tours, Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides, Physick Family Christmas Tours, Holiday Inns Tours, and Holiday Lights Trolley Rides. Cape May, N.J. 800-275-4278, HOLIDAY TRAIN GARDEN Saturdays, Dec. 6, 13, and 20, plus Dec. 26–27 and Dec. 29–30, 10:00am–4:00pm. While you wait for your photo, join kids of all ages as they enjoy the Holiday Train Garden. The garden features the new Underground Subway, the Bromo Seltzer Tower, and a burning building, complete with fire engines and firemen on the ground. Fire Museum of Maryland, 1301 York Road, Lutherville, Md. 410-321-7500 GARDENERS’ HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Dec. 7, noon–4:00pm. Treat yourself to a day of holiday fun. Enjoy free refreshments as you view an operating vintage Lionel train display, eclectic doll collection, and gingerbread house contest submissions. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, Va. 703-642-5173, A DICKENS CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA Dec. 7–9. Join world-renowned Charles Dickens lecturer Dr. Elliot Engel and acclaimed actor and storyteller Quinn Hawkesworth, and immerse yourself in the storied world of Dickens, with lectures and performances offered daily. Cape May, N.J. 800-275-4278, JACKSON MANSION CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS Dec. 12–13, 4:00–9:00pm. The Victorian mansion will be decorated with rare ornaments, feather trees, live garlands, topiaries, live flowers, and more. There will be refreshments and live entertainment. Jackson Mansion, 344 Market St., Berwick, Pa. 570-759-8020,

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR Dec. 13, 11:00am–3:30pm, bazaar; 5:30–7:30pm, dinner and Christmas carolers. A fun day of shopping, with vendors selling unique gifts, handmade crafts, gift baskets, holiday floral arrangements, wreaths, center pieces, handmade jewelry, and candles. The Orthodox Church of St. Matthew, 7271 Eden Brook Drive, Columbia, Md. KWANZAA CELEBRATION Dec. 27, 1:30–3:30pm. Bring the whole family to learn about Kwanzaa and celebrate this holiday that honors family, community, and culture. 300 Oella Ave., Catonsville, Md. 410-887-1081 NEW YEAR’S ANNAPOLIS Dec. 31. A family-oriented event based on the “First Night” concept that provides attendees with a fun-filled and safe environment for all ages to celebrate New Year’s Eve. 100 State Circle, Annapolis, Md. 410-767-6275 BIG NIGHT D.C. Dec. 31. Roam freely from ballroom to ballroom, with 15 enormous party areas featuring retro dance of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Mardi Gras, a Vegas casino lounge, and more. Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., Fort Washington, Md. 301-965-2000, MIDNIGHT NOON Dec. 31, 10:00am–2:00pm. Baltimore’s own Grammy-nominated kids’ band, Milkshake, will light up the stage starting at 11:30am and will continue rockin’ and rollin’ right into the year “2015,” leading up to a ball drop at noon. Visitors will also enjoy handson holiday arts and crafts, projects, and interactive science activities. Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., Baltimore, Md. 410-685-5225, A BRANDYWINE CHRISTMAS Through Jan. 4. Experience the O-gauge train display and marvel at thousands of “critter” ornaments displayed throughout the museum. Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pa. HOLIDAYS AT HAGLEY Through Jan. 6. Eleutherian Mills, the first du Pont family home built in America, will be festively decorated with dried flowers, greenery, fruit, and other natural materials. Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Del. 302-658-2400,

LUMINARY WINTER LIGHTS Through Dec. 31, 6:00–9:00pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 6:00– 10:00pm. Seneca Creek State Park, 11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, Md. 301-258-6350, KOZIAR’S CHRISTMAS VILLAGE Through Jan. 1. Entertaining families for 65 years, the village includes outdoor light displays and buildings with more to explore. Named a top 100 destination by the American Bus Association. Bernville, Pa. WINCHESTER WINTER WONDERLAND Through Jan 4. Walk through the light display in Clearbrook Park and stop in the cabin for refreshments and a visit with Santa. Winchester, Va. NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING Dec. 4, 5:00pm. Tickets are only required for the lighting ceremony. Performances by volunteer choirs, bands, and dancers will be held nightly through most of December. Washington, D.C. FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS, BLUE SPRUCE PARK Dec. 4–7 and Dec. 11–31. Look at more than 80 light displays, including animation, as you drive through the park around a 2-mile lake. Visit with Santa and stop in the festival gift shop. Blue Spruce Park, 1128 Blue Spruce Road, Indiana, Pa. 724-4638636, FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS Dec. 4–Jan. 1. More than 600,000 lights, international crèche exhibit, 18 indoor decorated trees, outdoor life-sized nativity, and live performances nightly. Mormon Temple, 9900 Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington, Md. 301-587-0144,

Hampton Tourism

Hampton’s Holly Days Parade on Dec. 13 is the Virginia Peninsula’s largest illuminated holiday parade.

30 recreation news I december 2014 I

LIGHT UP NIGHT! Dec. 5, 6:00–7:00pm. Annual Christmas tree lighting by Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Havre de Grace, Md. 800-851-7756,

ANTIETAM BATTLEFIELD ILLUMINATION Dec. 6, 6:00pm. See 23,000 luminaries placed on the battlefield to represent each soldier who was killed, wounded, missing, or captured during the battle on Sept. 17, 1862. A driving tour is 5 miles long. 5831 Dunker Church Road, Sharpsburg, Md. 301733-7373,

MICA ART MARKET Dec. 10–12. Some 300 students, alumni, faculty, and staff at Maryland Institute College of Art will sell fine art and handmade objects such as illustrations, paintings, prints, sculptures, jewelry, toys, and even wrapping paper. Brown Center, 1301 Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, Md.

PARADE OF LIGHTED BOATS Dec. 6, 3:00–6:00pm. Brightly lit boats are creatively decorated as they compete in categories such as “Best in Show,� “Best Thinking Outside the Christmas Box,� and “Hardiest Souls.� Old Town Alexandria, Alexandria, Va.

WINTER WONDERLAND TRAIN SHOW Dec. 10–14. Scale model train exhibit to enchant the whole family. Center for the Arts Candy Factory, 9419 Battle St., Manassas, Va.

HAMPTON LIGHTED BOAT PARADE Dec. 6, 7:15pm. Illuminated power and sailboats will be visible from anywhere along the Hampton River. Spectators interested in the narration will want to find a spot near the Hampton Maritime Center. Those who don’t have a vessel but want to join the action can board the Miss Hampton II tour boat, with reservations available by calling 757-722-9102. Hampton, Va.


FESTIVAL OF WREATHS Through Dec. 7. Bid on more than 150 unique theme wreaths in this magical holiday display. 91 West Main St., Westminster, Md. 410-848-7272, B&O MAGICAL HOLIDAY EXPRESS Through Jan. 4. There is something to see and do every day during this seven-week event, with train rides, brand new holiday decorations, hands-on crafts, contests, live entertainment, and appearances by Santa, Mrs. Claus, Frosty, and LEGO Man. B&O Railroad Museum, 901 W Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. 410-752-2490, FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AND CAROLS Dec. 6, 11:00am–9:00pm. Listen to live holiday music and enjoy s’mores and hot cider on the Civic Green in front of the Sherwood Community Center for free. Children ages 10 and under can enjoy lunch with Santa. Sherwood Community Center, 3740 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax, Va. 703-385-7858, THE HOLLY BALL Dec. 12, 7:00pm–midnight. Dance the night away to music by the Mood Swings. Proceeds will benefit patient care at Gilchrist Center in Towson. 700 Aliceanna St., Baltimore, Md. 443-8498245, SUGARLOAF CRAFTS FESTIVAL Dec. 12–14. The show is a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your holiday list while avoiding the hustle and bustle of the mall. Gourmet food exhibitors have delicious treats, perfect for holiday guests or as hostess gifts. Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center Drive, Chantilly, Va. 800-210-9900,

FAMILY TRAIN AND TOY SHOW Dec. 14, 9:00am–3:00pm. Old and new toy trains and layout accessories in standard, O, and S gauges. Repair and replacement parts and operating layout displays. Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire House, Route 2 and Earleigh Heights Road, Severna Park, Md. 301-621-9728 SALEM GUN AND KNIFE TRADERS SHOW Dec. 20–21. Buy, sell, or trade guns, knives, and militaria. Salem Civic Center, 1001 Roanoke Blvd., Salem, Va. 540-375-3004,

REINDEER 5K AND DASH Dec. 6. Includes a sensitive Santa parade and lighted boat parade. Rock Hall, Md. APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB Leads hiking, bicycling, canoeing, and conservation events in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. BALTIMORE ANNAPOLIS SAILING CLUB Year-round. Offers day sailing events and seminars in Baltimore and Annapolis, Md., and Washington, D.C., and sailing excursions on the Chesapeake Bay. Membership free. 410-394-9483, CENTER HIKING CLUB Various hikes and locations in the D.C. metropolitan area. 703751-3971, FITNESS CENTER SENIOR CLASSES Prince George’s County Sports and Learning Complex, Landover, Md. 301-583-2626, FREESTATE HAPPY WANDERERS Various walking trails and locations in Maryland. 410-437-2164,

MOUNTAIN CLUB OF MARYLAND Leads weekly day hikes, overnight backpack hikes, bike and canoe trips, cabin, car, and tent camping, and the maintenance of trails. POTOMAC APPALACHIAN TRAIL CLUB Leads weekly hikes and work trips in greater Washington, D.C., area. Contact PATC for more information. 703-242-0965, QUANTICO ORIENTEERING CLUB Hosts map and compass activities most weekends in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Suitable for all ages and skill levels; free beginner instruction. SENIORS EXERCISE FOR A BETTER LIFE Exercise for free Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30–11:15am. Cora B. Wood Senior Center, 3601 Taylor St., Brentwood, Md. 301699-1238, SWIMMING AND WATER EXERCISE PROGRAMS Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00–8:00am. Glenarden/Theresa Banks Complex Pool, 8615-A McLain Ave., Glenarden, Md. 301772-5515 WASHINGTON AREA ROADSKATERS Year-round; check website for dates and times. Skaters leave from White House, Washington, D.C. WANDERBIRDS HIKING CLUB Sundays. Various hikes and locations in Virginia. 703-242-0315,

MUSIC Orchestra/Band/Classical/Choral THE SICILIAN TENORS Dec. 5, 7:30–9:00pm. Combined with light-hearted fun, this concert is appropriate for all ages and musical tastes. 118 East Second St., Frederick, Md. 301-606-6561, VIRGINIA OPERA – H.M.S. PINAFORE Dec. 5–6. Filled with toe-tapping tunes, saucy satire, and nutty nautical humor, this is one of the opera world’s most popular works. Sung in English with English supertitles. George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Va. 888-945-2468,


MCLEAN HOLIDAY CRAFTS SHOW Dec. 5–7. Shop to your heart’s content at the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Va. Hampton Tourism


Enjoy the lighted boat parade in Hampton, Va., on Dec. 6.

*,9(7+(0:+$77+(<'(6(59(7+,6+2/,'$< *29(510(176+233,1*&20 I december 2014 I recreation news 31

CHRISTMAS WITH FCS Dec. 6, 7:00pm. The Fairfax Choral Society Symphonic Chorus, Master Singers, and Concert Choir will join together with a fivemanual pipe organ, percussionists, piano, harp, flute, oboe, cello, and handbells to bring you traditional Yuletide carols. National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, D.C. 703-642-3277,

CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE SERIES Dec. 1, 10:30am. Mr. Skip, who is all about music and movement, sings original and classic kids’ songs such as Old MacDonald Had a Farm to the 5-and-under crowd. Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive, Fairfax, Va. 703-352-2787,

DUKE ELLINGTON’S NUTCRACKER Dec. 6, 11:00am. This jazzy piece will delight the entire family with The Peanut Brittle Brigade, Dance of the Floreadors, and more. Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Md. 410-783-8000,

KENNY G SPECIAL HOLIDAY CONCERT Dec. 5, 9:00pm. Audiences will be treated to a special performance of Kenny G’s hits, as well as holiday tunes from the incomparable artist. Dover Downs Hotel and Casino, Dover, Del.


WINTER WONDERS HOLIDAY CONCERT Dec. 12, 7:30pm, All Saints Church, Sunderland, Md.; Dec. 13, 7:00pm, Christ Church, Chaptico, Md.; and Dec. 14, 3:00pm, Trinity Church, St. Mary’s College, Md. Performances are free, but donations are welcome. AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS ORCHESTRA Dec. 13, 8:00–10:00pm. This festive concert celebrates the season with cherished Christmas carols, holiday favorites, guest soloists, and a popular carol sing-along. George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Va. 888945-2468, HOLIDAY POPS Dec. 13–14, 7:30–10:00pm. The Frederick Symphony Orchestra presents two nights of its Holiday Pops concert. The concerts will feature guest conductor Andrew Rosenfeld and flute soloists Paulela Burchill and Linda Moss. 7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, Md. 301-685-3585, VIVALDI’S CHRISTMAS ROSE Dec. 14, 4:00pm. A choir of 80 and a children’s choir of 40, soloists, and professional musicians will perform. Schwartz Center, 226 S. State St., Dover, Del. 302-678-5152, A RENAISSANCE CHRISTMAS Dec. 16–23. Accompanied by voices, winds, and strings, the Folger Consort explores a variety of musical styles from Northern Italy and the courts of Florence, Ferrara, and Milan during the 1500s. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C. 202-544-4600, VIENNA BOYS CHOIR Dec. 20–21. The choir’s spirited performance features everything from ancient hymns and traditional Christmas carols to popular holiday favorites and songs from across the globe. George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Va. 888-945-2468,


Theater JULIUS CAESAR Through Dec. 7. Robert Richmond (Henry V, Richard III) returns to direct this classic drama. Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C. 202-544-4600, MARY POPPINS Through Feb. 22. Get swept up in the fun of this high-flying musical. Avalon Theatre, 40 E. Dover St., Easton, Md. 410-822-7299, THE NUTCRACKER Dec. 6–7. The Ballet Theatre of Dover will perform this holiday classic. Schwartz Center, 226 S. State St., Dover, Del. 302-6785152, DEATHTRAP Dec. 10–Jan. 11. Sidney and his wife concoct a deadly plan to make a manuscript their own. Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St., Baltimore, Md. 410-752-2208, MOSCOW BALLET’S GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER Dec. 19–20. Experience Tchaikovsky’s master score this Christmas with the magic of larger-than-life-puppets, growing Christmas tree, and life-sized matrushka dolls. The Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., Baltimore, Md. 410-837-7400,

Dance DANCE PROGRAMS Weekends, 7:30–11:30pm. Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Md. THE WASHINGTON BALLET Call for performances and times. 3515 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-362-3606,

Exhibits Resources and Institutions Directory

Sunday, Dec. 14 vs. Jaguars, 1:00pm

AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, Md. 410-244-1900, THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, CARRIAGE HOUSE GALLERY AT EMLEN PHYSICK ESTATE 1048 Washington St., Cape May, N.J. 609-884-5404 or 800-2754278, CARROLL ARTS CENTER TEVIS GALLERY 91 Main St., Westminster, Md.

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR CENTER AT HISTORIC TREDEGAR 490 Tredegar St., Richmond, Va. 804-788-6480,


AMERICAN UNIVERSITY MUSEUM AT THE KATZEN ARTS CENTER Ward Circle, Massachusetts and Nebraska avenues, Washington, D.C. 202-885-1300,


HIRSHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW, Washington, D.C. 202-633-1000, LADEW TOPIARY GARDENS 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, Md. 410-557-9570, MARYLAND HALL FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS 801 Chase St., Annapolis, Md. 410-263-5544, MONTPELIER ARTS CENTER 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, Md. 301-953-1993, NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART National Mall between Third and Seventh streets at Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 202-737-4215, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CIVIL WAR MEDICINE 48 E. Patrick St., Frederick, Md. 301-695-1864, THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION 1600 21st St. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-387-2151, REGINALD F. LEWIS MUSEUM OF MARYLAND AFRICANAMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. 443-263-1800, SHAKESPEARE GALLERY Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St., Washington, D.C. 202-544-7077, SURRATT HOUSE MUSEUM TOURS Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, Md., 301-868-1121, THE TEXTILE MUSEUM 2320 S St. NW, Washington,



TUDOR PLACE HISTORIC HOUSE AND GARDEN 1644 31st St., Georgetown, Washington, D.C. 202-965-0400, ext. 109, VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS 200 N. Blvd., Richmond, Va. 804-340-1400, THE WALTERS ART MUSEUM 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. 410-547-9000,

Historic Fredericksburg Foundation

The Ravens play home games at M&T Bank Stadium, 1101 Russell St., Baltimore, Md. Call 800-927-2795 or visit

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT HOME Sunday, Dec. 7 vs. Rams, 1:00pm Sunday, Dec. 20 vs. Eagles, 4:30pm Sunday, Dec. 28 vs. Cowboys, 1:00pm

The Redskins play home games at FedEx Field, 1600 FedEx Way, Landover, Md. Call 301-276-6050 or visit

WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT HOME Monday, Dec. 1 vs. Miami, 7:00pm Wed., Dec. 3 vs. LA Lakers, 7:00pm Friday, Dec. 5 vs. Denver, 7:00pm Monday, Dec. 8 vs. Boston, 7:00pm Friday, Dec. 12 vs. LA Clippers, 7:00pm Sunday, Dec. 14 vs. Utah, 7:00pm Tuesday, Dec. 16 vs. Minnesota, 7:00pm Sunday, Dec. 21 vs. Phoenix, 6:00pm Tuesday, Dec. 23 vs. Chicago, 7:00pm Saturday, Dec. 27 vs. Boston, 7:00pm

The Wizards play home games at Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. Call 202-661-5050 or visit

WASHINGTON CAPITALS AT HOME Tuesday, Dec. 2 vs. Canucks, 7:00pm Thursday, Dec. 11 vs. Blue Jackets, 7:00pm Saturday, Dec. 13 vs. Lightning, 3:00pm Monday, Dec. 22 vs. Senators, 7:00pm

The Capitals play home games at Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW, Washington, DC 20004. For more information, call 202-397-SEAT or visit washingtoncaps. com.

BALTIMORE BLAST AT HOME Friday, Dec.12 vs. Milwaukee, 7:35pm

The Blast plays home games at the Baltimore Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, Md. Call 410-347-2020 or visit

The Wellford House, on Fredericksburg’s House Tour Dec. 13 and 14, has an interesting connection to a British army surgeon and George Washington.

32 recreation news I december 2014 I

ENCHANTED CASTLES AND NOBLE KNIGHTS Through Jan. 4. A selection of Howard Pyle’s intricate, compelling pen drawings depicting Arthurian legends, and N.C. Wyeth’s romantic paintings for illustrated editions of The Boy’s King Arthur and The White Company, as well as works by Walter Crane, Elizabeth Shippen Green, Maxfield Parrish, Louis Rhead, and Frank Schoonover. Brandywine River Museum of Arts, Chadds Ford, Pa. IMPERIAL TREASURES FROM THE PALACE MUSEUM Through Jan. 11. This landmark exhibition features more than 180 works of art from the collection of the Palace Museum in Beijing, China. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Blvd., Richmond, Va. 804-340-1400, THE ART OF JAMES CASTLE Through Feb. 1. Features a representative selection of the artist’s immense oeuvre, including drawings, handmade books, texts, and constructions. Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and F streets NW, Washington, D.C. 202-633-1000, ANRI SALA AND MICHAEL FRIED Through Feb. 22. This exhibition will feature one of Sala’s recent works, selected by the art historian and the artist. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-5731700, DECODING THE RENAISSANCE Through March 1. This exhibition features the best collection ever assembled of early works on codes and ciphers. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C. FRONT ROOM: DARIO ROBLETO Through March 29. This exhibition features Robleto’s Setlists for a Setting Sun, a body of poetic sculptures, prints, and cut-paper works that weave together the histories of recorded light and sound. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700,

CELEBRATE WINTER Through Dec. 28. Some 17 artists celebrate the coldest season in a variety of media. Foundry Gallery, 1314 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

point. click. escape!

Featured Exhibitions TREASURES AND TALES OF ITALY’S ART RECOVERY TEAM Through Dec. 21. The exhibition unveils the story behind each ancient ceramic, mosaic, and statue, not only its creation, but also intimate details about its theft and recovery by the indefatigable agents of the Guardia di Finanza. Greater Wilmington, Del. 302-652-5577,

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ON PAPER: ALTERNATE REALITIES Through April 12. This exhibition presents 26 prints never before on view by a diverse group of artists who are playfully exaggerating and reimaging the visual language of popular culture — religious stories, myths, and folk tales — to consider larger issues of class, gender, and politics. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, OUTSIDE THE WALLS Through May. An interactive exhibition where visitors can explore daily life in imperial China. This hands-on exhibition will provide a glimpse into the home of a merchant-class family who lived in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Blvd., Richmond, Va. 804-340-1400, vmfa. museum

AMERICAN SCHOOLGIRL EMBROIDERIES Through May. The exhibition features more than 20 samplers and silk embroideries made by American girls who attended schools in Maryland and other East Coast states during the 18th and 19th centuries. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, PICTURING MARY Dec. 5–April 12. The exhibition brings together master works from major museums, churches, and private collections in Europe and the United States. National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-783-5000,

History OLD MARYLAND FARM ACTIVITIES Old Maryland Farm, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Md. 301-218-6770 or 301-699-2544,

Lewes Historical Society

MONTPELIER MANSION TOURS Sundays, 1:00pm and 2:00pm. Montpelier Mansion, Route 197 and Muirkirk Road, Laurel, Md. 301-953-1376

Lectures/Workshops/Classes AN EVENING WITH AUTHOR DAVID BALDACCI Dec. 2, 7:00–9:00pm. Baldacci talks about his recent book, The Escape, with Bethanne Patrick from The Washingtonian. Gaithersburg Public Library, 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., 2nd Floor, Gaithersburg, Md. STAINED-GLASS CLASS Ongoing. Mat About You Gallery, 3774 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, Md. 410-313-8860, ADULT ART COURSES Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, GALLERY TALKS Thursdays, 1:00pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 2:00pm. Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-5731700, SECOND SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT TALKS Second Sunday of every month, 2:00pm. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Md. 410-547-9000,

Festival of Lights

This scene of Lewes, Del., is on the cover of the guidebook for the Dec. 6 Christmas Tour of Lewes.

Visit M-NCPPC’s 28th Annual Winter Festival of Lights This spectacular holiday drive-through event features more than one million twinkling lights and many new displays!

TRADITIONAL ART CLASSES Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster, Md. 410-386-3880,


CHRISTMAS TOURS OF LEWES Dec. 6, 10:00am–4:00pm. Tour nine homes from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries in historic Lewes, Del. LOGAN CIRCLE HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR Dec. 7, 1:00–5:00pm. Enjoy a tour of traditional and contemporary homes, the always warming wassail party during the tour at Studio Theatre, and a variety of musicians and singers at many of the homes to get you in the holiday spirit. Studio Theatre, 14th and P streets NW, Washington, D.C. LOCK HOUSE MUSEUM’S CANDLELIGHT TOUR Dec. 13, 4:00–8:00pm. Streets illuminated by candlelight, Christmas carolers, and festive decorations are the setting while you tour selected historic homes and buildings. Havre de Grace, Md. 800-851-7756, CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT HOUSE TOUR Dec. 13. Take a holiday decor tour through 20 homes, bed-andbreakfasts, and churches. Horse and carriage rides and strolling Victorian carolers set the mood for this “Rockwellian” evening of Yuletide hospitality. Chesapeake City, Md. 443-553-0071, CANDLELIGHT TOUR Dec. 13–14. Ticket includes admission to homes, tour book, entertainment, and refreshments. Tour seven homes on Caroline Street. Fredericksburg, Va. 540-371-4504, CAPE MAY, N.J. Historic district, moonlight trolley, and Cape May sampler tours. Cape May, N.J. 800-275-4278, MARITIME HISTORY WALKING TOURS Second and fourth Saturdays, 10:00am. Fells Point Visitor Center, Baltimore, Md. 410-675-6750,

O THER SUMMIT POINT RACING Park features three road-racing circuits used for amateur automobile, kart, and motorcycle racing, high-performance driver education, and emergency training for local and federal law enforcement. Summit Point Motorsports Park, Summit Point, W.Va. 304-725-8444, S’MORES, STARS, AND THE WINTER SOLSTICE Dec. 20–21, 6:00–8:00pm. On this week, the Ursids meteor shower will be visible throughout the night. Gather around our campfire to learn about the solstice and the stars, and warm up while roasting s’mores. Robert E. Lee Park, 1000 Lakeside Drive, Baltimore, Md. 410-887-4156

To Submit an Event for the Recreation News Calendar:

CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT HOUSE TOUR Dec. 6. This self-guided tour, the main attraction of Cape May’s festive holiday season, features homes, inns, hotels, and churches decorated for the holidays, plus caroling, strolling musicians, and old-fashioned cheer. Hospitality centers offer warm beverages and traditional treats. Cape May, N.J. 609-884-5404,

Announcements must have the name of the event, name of the organization, date, time, and location of the event, a contact phone number, and a website if possible. Send announcements to: Calendar, Recreation News, 204 Greenwood Road, Linthicum, MD, 21090, or email to

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virginia I angela blue

Discover holiday traditions in Newport Newsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; historic settings guests to the 1861 holiday season. Children will be Festive dĂŠcor and twinkling lights are part of especially delighted to visit on Dec. 11â&#x20AC;&#x201C;12 to see the whimsy and nostalgia that make the holidays St. Nick. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a heartfelt occasion of giving and recome alive each year. History buffs traveling to ceiving, as parents are asked to bring two gifts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Newport News this December can celebrate the one wrapped for their own child and another new, season while indulging in some fascinating cusunwrapped present to be donated to the Marine toms of the past. Corps Toys for Tots program. ( Newport News, located near Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coast, is Another great way to dive into history is by home to Lee Hall Mansion, where affluent planter heading to The Marinersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Museum. Civil War Richard Decatur Lee once resided. The mansion was built between 1851 and 1859 and is one of the last remaining antebellum homes on the Virginia Peninsula. Throughout the year, visitors can step back in time to experience the Celebration in Lights, Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first drive-thru holiday light display, is mid-Victorian period at held Nov. 27â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Jan. 1. The spectacular 2-mile drive features more than 800,000 Lee Hall, but Antebellum individual lights, creating animated holiday and fanciful scenes. New this year Holidays (Dec. 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;31) is are the Lee Hall Depot Trail Station display and the Forest of Lights, as well as an especially magical additions to the Peace Garden. ( time to visit. Period decHollydazzle, the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most unique event, takes place on Dec. 5. This creorations bring an added ative fireworks and special effects show at City Center in Oyster Point is charm to the home and choreographed to holiday music, culminating in the lighting of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aniillustrate how Lee and mated, lighted holiday tree. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a unique way to kick off the season with dishis family celebrated counts from merchants, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities, live holiday entertainment, and the holidays in the years strolling performers. ( before the Civil War. ( Just a little more than a mile from Lee Hall sits Endview Plantation, which served as a ConAND federate hospital durTHE ing the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Visitors can tour the plantation yearround to learn about the families and local history that surround the home. During Christmas at Endview (Dec. 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;31), Over 30 Parks greenery and period decorations transport


Ships,History Great Outdoors

enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the rare figureheads, handcrafted models, and USS Monitor, but the museum holds programs and exhibits geared to all ages and interests. Through Dec. 24, young guests can stop by the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Explorers Theater to view The Light Before Christmas 3D, a story about two children who get lost on a cold, blustery Christmas Eve and are magically transformed into characters from the poem The Night Before Christmas. Also shown in the Explorers Theater this season through Jan. 31 is Jerusalem 3D, presented by National Geographic Entertainment. The film continued on page 40

Â?Â&#x160;Â&#x203A;ČąÂ&#x2DC;Â?ČąÂ&#x2DC;Â&#x2014;Â?Â&#x17D;Â&#x203A;Çą ¢Â&#x153;Â?Â&#x17D;Â&#x203A;¢ȹÂ&#x2DC;Â?ČąÂ?Â&#x2018;Â&#x17D;ČąÂ&#x2018;Â&#x203A;Â&#x2019;Â&#x153;Â?Â&#x2013;Â&#x160;Â&#x153;ČąÂ?Â&#x160;Â&#x203A; Â&#x160;Â&#x153;Â&#x17D;Â&#x203A;Čą Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2022;Â&#x2019;Â?Â&#x160;¢Â&#x153;Čą

Daytime Shows through Dec. 31 Evening Shows Dec. 13 & 20 Newport News 757-rUIFWMNPSH


Wishing all a bubbly New Year! Hollydazzle

Southern Virginia University is proud to welcome you to their Christmas Concert featuring the University Flute Choir and Orchestra as well as the vocal ensembles Bella Voce and Concert Corale. 7:30 p.m., December 5, 2014 Chandler Hall, 1 University Hill Drive Buena Vista, VA 24416

Virginia Living Museum

in Coastal Virginia 888.493.7386

For more information about the concert, visit or call 540-261-8405

This & more!

Plus Williamsburg & Virginia Beach. I december 2014 I recreation news 35

ski resorts I matthew graham

Visit the Mid-Atlantic’s snow belt for skiing, snowboarding Canaan Valley Resort

The fire pit at Canaan Valley Resort is a great place to take a break from winter fun.

Go west, snow lovers! Go west, beyond the Continental Divide — the Eastern Continental Divide, that is — for fantastic skiing and snowboarding. Running along the Appalachian Mountains, the Eastern Continental Divide separates the watersheds along the East Coast. On the west side of the divide, water flows to the Gulf of Mexico. On the east side, water makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean. More importantly, the mountains west of the divide in West Virginia, western Maryland, and Somerset County, Pa., are in the Snow Belt. Storms, crossing the country, pull in moisture from the Great Lakes, hit these high mountains, and blanket the region in fluffy white snow every winter.   An annual average of 160 inches of snow falls in the bucolic Canaan Valley of West Virginia. It’s the highest mountain valley east of the Rocky Mountains and includes three great ski resorts — Timberline, Canaan, and White Grass. It’s one of the rare areas in the country that offers as much crosscountry skiing as downhill skiing.  Timberline includes 39 slopes, two terrain parks, and a 1,000-foot vertical drop. More than one-third of the 91 acres of terrain is for advanced skiers. Long moguled runs, steep chutes, and six glades (free skiing areas within the trees) make for high-adrenaline fun. And, beginners aren’t left out, being able to cruise the 2-mile-long easy Salamander Trail — the longest trail in the Mid-Atlantic. In addition, there are 17 kilometers of marked Nordic (cross-country) trails. The resort features two pubs and a 22-room slope side lodge, with several Jacuzzi suites. ( Canaan Valley Resort boasts 43 trails, a terrain park, and an 850-foot vertical drop. Most slopes are wide and well-groomed and are designed more for intermediate skiers. For fun off the slopes, explore the 30 kilometers of Nordic ski trails, work on your double axel at the covered outdoor ice rink, or hop on a tube and skim down the runs on the 1,200-foot-long tubing hill. The bare bones “econo” hotel-style lodge is gone. The new 160-room lodge includes a bar, café, and a warm, inviting lobby with numerous spots to kick back and swap ski stories after a day on the slopes. ( Insider tip: To get the most out of both resorts, check out the Ski the Valley pass — an adult twoday weekend, high-season lift ticket that includes access to both resorts for $103. Between Canaan and Timberline is the renowned White Grass Touring Center. This mecca for cross-country skiers includes 20 kilometers of groomed trails on natural snow. And, while in the valley, don’t miss the Blackwater Falls Sledding Hill — a 200-foot high, 1/4-mile-long groomed sledding hill with a magic carpet lift.

Heading north To the north of Canaan, Wisp Resort (Maryland’s only ski mountain) is a winter playground. In addition to the 32 trails and two terrain parks, the resort offers snow tubing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and riding the mountain coaster — a gravitypropelled coaster that has riders zoom along a

36 recreation news I december 2014 I

metal track through twisting turns in individual cars. A ski-in/ski-out hotel includes 63 rooms, 103 suites, and an indoor pool. ( Nearby attractions include dog sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and ice fishing on Deep Creek Lake. Wisp Resort and Canaan Valley are each only about a three-hour drive from the Washington, D.C., area. Likewise, Seven Springs Resort (33 trails, and Hidden Valley (31 trails, hiddenvalleyresort.

com) in Pennsylvania are only a little more than three hours from the nation’s capital. Looking further south in the Snow Belt, the oft-overlooked Winterplace Resort (27 trails) in southern West Virginia is a five-hour drive. ( And, the area’s largest ski resort, Snowshoe Mountain (60 trails, a 1,500-foot vertical drop, and about 180 inches of snow each year) can be reached in less than five hours. (snowshoemtn. com)

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maryland I jane and marvin bond

Md. Arts & Entertainment Districts offer plenty of fun Maryland was among the first states to develop a statewide Arts & Entertainment District program that provides local governments with various tax benefits to help fill designated areas with artists and creative businesses. Today, 22 Arts & Enter-

tainment Districts scattered across the state are hubs for performing and visual arts, as well as shopping and dining opportunities. There are three districts close to Washington, D.C. Downtown Bethesdaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s galleries are home to local and

Wineberg Center

The Wineberg Center in Frederick, Md., anchors one of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 22 Arts & Entertainment Districts.



national artwork, including painting, photography, sculpture, and mixed media. In Silver Spring, the legendary Fillmore concert venue and the historic American Film Institute Silver Theatre anchor a growing arts district. The Fillmore has brought popular music to the area for four decades, while the AFI Silver Theatre is a great place to catch classic films and filmmakers. In Prince Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s County, the Gateway Arts District is comprised of the four municipalities of Hyattsville, North Brentwood, Brentwood, and Mount Rainier along Route 1. You can see the annual Prince Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sampler, an exhibition of artworks in all media by county artists, for free at the Brentwood Arts Exchange through Dec. 26. ( Just north on I-270, downtown Frederick is a booming arts destination, featuring public art, galleries, and performing arts venues. The Weinberg Center for the Arts presents a December full of holiday music, from the classic Messiah to a rock holiday musical special, as well as an Irish Christmas. There also will be a variety of adaptations of A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker Ballet. ( Wineberg Center director John Healey said the arts districts â&#x20AC;&#x153;are vitally important in recognizing the economic impact of the arts in Maryland and in helping the overall interpretation of a city like Frederick.â&#x20AC;? He

noted that visitors can park for $2, then enjoy Frederickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amazing culinary scene and a performance. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideal for an out-of-towner.â&#x20AC;? Downtown Annapolis has been a hub of culture and entertainment for more than 350 years. The Maryland Hall for Creative Arts brightens the holidays with a Holiday Pops concert, a celebration with the Annapolis Chorale, and performances of The Nutcracker and the Messiah. ( Linnell Bowen, who heads the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts, feels the district designation â&#x20AC;&#x153;really enhances peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view of a city and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s significant for a place like Annapolis thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a cultural center since the 18th century.â&#x20AC;? Havre de Grace is located at the junction of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, and has been an inspiration to artists for centuries. Decoy carvers replicate nature, water colorists capture the evening skies over the water, and writers find inspiration in the views. ( Bel Air and Elkton are the sites of other A&E Districts in the northeastern part of the state. Historic Leonardtown in southern Marylandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s County is home to several A&E District attractions including Crazy for Ewe, which carries colorful yarns and stylish patterns, as well as the Leonardtown Arts Center, Fenwick Street Used



Take a Day? Take a Weekend?



Check out exciting holiday events in Carroll County! CARROLL COUNTY FARM MUSEUM HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR December 1â&#x20AC;&#x201C;21 | 9 amâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;4 pm Holiday Teas Dec 3 & 10 | 11 am & 2 pm Dec 6 & 13 | 11 am


17TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF WREATHS November 29â&#x20AC;&#x201C;December 7 10 amâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;7 pm December 7 | 10 amâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;4 pm Carroll Arts Center, Westminster

CARROLL COUNTY FARMERSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; MARKET December 6 & 13 | 8 amâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;2 pm Agriculture Center, Westminster

Carroll County is chock-full of Christmas Tree farms! See our website for a complete list of locations to find the best Frasier Fir, Douglas Fir, White Pine, or Scotch Pine this season.

800-272-1933 | 38 recreation news I december 2014 I

Books and Music, the Opal Art Gallery, Wine and Design, and Yellow Door Art Studios. On the Eastern Shore, Denton’s A&E District showcases the 18th-century town, which is nestled on the banks of the Choptank River. The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore has quickly become a destination for area quilt and fiber art enthusiasts to view historic and recent works by artists from Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula. (fiberartscenter. com) Check out Berlin, voted the “Coolest Small Town in America” by readers of Budget Travel magazine. Visit the talented young artist Jeffrey Auxer in his glassblowing studio, which showcases his own work and also hosts classes for budding artists. Just a few miles from Ocean City, Berlin’s growing culinary scene, brewpub, and small-town shopping make this a great stop. ( Other Arts & Entertainment Districts on the Eastern Shore can be found in Stevensville, Cambridge, Salisbury, and Snow Hill. In Western Maryland, there are districts in Hagerstown, Cumberland, and Frostburg. Baltimore’s iconic Bromo Seltzer Tower anchors a district that includes the Everyman and Hippodrome theaters in addition to the Bromo Seltzer Clock Tower. The tower is home to art studios that you can tour on Fridays and Saturdays. There are two other districts in Baltimore, including the Station North District that is home to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and theaters and which hosts Artscape each summer. The third Baltimore Arts & Entertainment District is on the east side of the city and includes Highlandtown, Patterson Park, and portions of Canton and Greektown.

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Baltimore’s iconic Bromo Seltzer Clock Tower now holds artists’ studios.


Photo courtesy of e Moscow Ballet

Escape to


Plan your holiday weekend getaway in the Washington, D.C. area in nearby Montgomery County, Maryland! Winter Lights Festival

Seneca Creek State Park Gaithersburg, MD November 28, 2014–December 31, 2014

Festival of Lights

Washington DC Temple Visitors Center Kensington, MD December 4, 2014–January 1, 2015

moscow Ballet’s great russian nutcracker Music Center at Strathmore Bethesda, MD December 14, 2014

All events are listed on

Short drive, long memories.

Talbot County Office of Tourism 410-770-8000 | /events-caLendar

877-789-6904 I december 2014 I recreation news 39

Ski resorts

Wintergreen Resort

continued from page 27 A new streamlined rental system and an online check-in system for people who buy tickets online get skiers and snowboarders onto the slopes in record time. ( The Homestead, in Bath County, is synonymous with a luxury family vacation. The resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s partnership with Rossignol gives skiers access to skis that turn like knives on melted butter. The resort features 45 acres of ski trails as well as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. For apres-ski relaxation, adult guests seek the spa garden, featuring the resortâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic hot springs, a naturally-pressurized deluge shower, heated pool, whirlpool, Finnish sauna, and a host of other family activities. ( Liberty Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Snowflex Centre in Lynchburg harbors an innovative system of year-round ski/snowboarding/tubing slopes. A brand new feature, the BagJump, allows skiers and snowboarders to practice jumps and stunts while landing safely in an air bag. Groupon deals, party packages, and other offers allow visitors to try out Snowflex at a discount. ( Take your pick from luxury, year-round skiing, or nearby slopes, and enjoy skiing on a Virginia mountain.

Newport News continued from page 35 immerses audiences into the beloved city that holds great secrets and ancient rituals and offers a glimpse into the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s holiest sites, as well as rare and breathtaking aerial footage of the Old City and the Holy Land. ( Visitors can extend their museum experience further by visiting the Virginia Living Museum from Nov. 26â&#x20AC;&#x201C;Dec. 31 to relive the journey of the Magi in Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star, shown in the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s planetarium theater. Since 1965, visitors to the museum have followed in the footsteps of the Magi.

Tubing at Wintergreen can be a fun family affair. The changing scholarship about the area and what sign the Wise Men might have followed led to a complete revision of the show in 2008. It offers a truly immersive look at the journey of the Magi and the Star of Bethlehem. A second show, Laser Holidays, presents the music of the season and dazzling laser effects. Classic holiday favorites are presented in an animated Christmas light display that the whole family can enjoy, though the show is not recommended for those younger than 6 years old. The Wild Things Museum Store features nature-related items for all ages on your gift list. ( History is alive and ever-changing in Newport News, so connect with the past to make the present season all the more extraordinary.

Newport News Tourism

Lee Hall Mansion presents Antebellum Holidays Dec. 8â&#x20AC;&#x201C;31, demonstrating pre-Civil War holiday celebrations.


Walk the ground where Leeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men faced their final major battle. Tour the house turned makeshift hospital. Follow in the footsteps of soldiers who fought to possess the majestic High Bridge, rising 125 feet above the Appomattox River.

§0\*RGKDVWKHDUP\GLVVROYHG"¨ Pristine state parks now preserve this priceless land, purchased with the lives of those who fought and died here.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; GEN. ROBERT E. LEE

Walk the ground where Leeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s men faced their final major battle. Tour the house turned makeshift hospital. Follow in the footsteps of soldiers who fought to possess the majestic High Bridge, rising 125 feet above the Appomattox River. Pristine state parks now preserve this priceless land, purchased with the lives of those who fought and died here.

SAILORâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CREEK BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK 6541 Saylers Creek Road, Rice, Virginia 23966

HIGH BRIDGE TRAIL STATE PARK Access points at Pamplin City, Elam, Prospect, Tuggle, Farmville, Osborne Road, River Road, and Rice.


40 recreation news I december 2014 I

Appomattox continued from page 23 A Civil War fort and a tour on the Prince Edward side of High Bridge and its surrounding earthworks will be open, as will a tour to learn about the last general to die in battle, Union Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Smyth. ( Richmond, Va. April 2–4 The Future of Richmond’s Past, a consortium of cultural and history institutions, marks the final days before the fall of Richmond with a series of special events, exhibits, and reenactments that will commemorate the burning of the city, emancipation, and occupation by Union forces. Locations include Virginia Capitol Square, Museum and White House of the Confederacy, Historic Tredegar, and others to be announced. American Civil War Museum – Appomattox April 8–12 Perhaps better known as the Museum of the Confederacy, the museum will offer extended operating hours, 10:00am–8:00pm, and will host a series of re-enactment events and scholarly talks. Meet nationally known Civil War authors at morning coffees, attend a reception at a Civil War plantation home (tickets required), and hear local schoolchildren in concert. Scheduled events include: u April 8 — “In Search of the Battle of Appomattox Station” with Chris Calkins, 3:30pm at Liberty Baptist Church (free). u April 8 — Real time event: Battle of Appomattox Station. Renowned scholars narrate battle

scenes with Union cavalry versus Confederate artillery demonstrations. u April 9–12 — The 2nd Virginia Cavalry Company C and Stuart’s Light Horse Artillery encampment on the MOC grounds. Cavalry demonstrations and artillery firings daily, 10:00am– 6:00pm (included with museum admission). u April 9 — “Lee Surrenders to Grant” with David Palmer as Lee and Tony Daniels as Grant, 2:00pm (included with museum admission). u April 10 — Monologue by Grant (Tony Daniels), “Meeting with Lincoln at City Point,” 11:00am (included with museum admission). u April 10 — Dinner with Lee and Grant, Babcock House, 6:30pm ($35, reservations required). u April 11 — Monologue by Lee (David Palmer), “April First Before the Breakout,” 11:00am (included with museum admission).

Other area events, lodging, and dining In addition to Farmville and Appomattox, lodging, dining, and entertainment options are available in nearby Lynchburg, an important rail center during the Civil War. To view the events currently planned for the entire Appomattox area, including the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, visit and click on “Civil War 150.” Learn more about the Civil War’s legacy and commemoration events in south central Virginia by visiting Visit to find out more about events relating to the fall of Richmond and to learn about the American Civil War Museum’s three distinct locations. Learn more about the three locations of the American Civil War Museum at

Best Part of the Civil War

Orange County continued from page 21 Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson worshipped during the war), living history on Main Street, a Civil War Santa Claus, and a period band and dances at the fire hall.

Taking the tour On Orange’s Main Street, you can stand on the actual fighting ground of the Battle of Orange Courthouse. The courthouse, an 1859 Italianatestyle building, features a Confederate monument outside. You also can visit St. Thomas Episcopal Church, where Lee attended services. At the Zoar Baptist Church stop, a short walking trail leads to Payne’s Farm, where the enemies clashed in the Mine Run Campaign. Saunders Field is where fierce fighting and fires in the dense undergrowth caused terrible suffering during the Battle of the Wilderness. You can follow the earthworks for 3 miles on Hill-Ewell Drive. Widow Tapp’s Field is where Lee personally tried to lead Texas troops from the front, only to have them refuse with calls of “Lee to the rear!” A National Park Service kiosk has information on the1864 battle, which was significant because Grant then decided to push onward to Richmond. Nearby is Ellwood Manor, a 1790 plantation home used as a Union headquarters and Confederate hospital; Jackson’s amputated arm is in the cemetery. (Ellwood is open late April to October; visit for the schedule.) Gordonsville was an “extremely important” railroad crossroads that the Union repeatedly failed to capture, according to Audibert. The Civil War Museum at the Exchange Hotel is well worth a stop. A tavern from the 1840s, the Exchange was rebuilt as a grand hotel in 1860 after a fire. Trains still rumble by the three-story building, which features a wide veranda. During its use as a receiving hospital, thousands of wounded soldiers were hauled there on boxcars for treatment. The large rooms with tall ceilings have original wood floors upstairs and are furnished with period antiques. Each room has a theme, with exhibits relating to the building’s days as a train stop, tavern, hotel, Civil War hospital, and postwar Freedmen’s Bureau to assist former slaves. A sign tells the story of the “chicken vendors,” enterprising black women who served chicken dinners through the train windows. The tradition earned Gordonsville the moniker of “Fried Chicken Capital of the World.” The Montpelier encampments, where Confederate troops spent the winter of 1863-64, are near the Gilmore Cabin, built by a freed slave. Montpelier was President James Madison’s home and is open for tours.

Learn more Orange County Tourism:

It’s free! It’s fun! It will jump start your vacation planning!

The Overton-Hillsman House dates to 1790 but served as a field hospital in 1865.

Check out the free travel info on page 42. I december 2014 I recreation news 41

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music festivals I gwen woolf

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a rousing concert of holiday favorites, an inspiring rendition of Handelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Messiah, or a Christmas carol sing-along, there are plenty of opportunities to hear the sounds of the season this month in the Capital Region. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., kicks off its holiday season Dec. 11â&#x20AC;&#x201C;13 with the National Symphony Orchestraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pops concert, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Happy Holidays!â&#x20AC;? The show mixes classical music with the aerialists, jugglers, and illusionists of the Cirque de la Symphonie. Next, the Kennedy Center features Handelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Messiah, Dec. 18â&#x20AC;&#x201C;21. Other seasonal highlights at the Kennedy Center include NPRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Jazz Piano Christmasâ&#x20AC;? on Dec. 12; the Washington Chorusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Candlelight Christmas,â&#x20AC;? Dec. 14, 20, and 22; and The Choral Arts Society of Washingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Family Christmasâ&#x20AC;? on Dec. 20. ( The National Cathedral will present Messiah on Dec. 5â&#x20AC;&#x201C;7. It will feature the cathedralâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s combined choirs and Baroque orchestra and international soloists. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Joy of Christmas,â&#x20AC;? with traditional carols, follows on Dec. 13â&#x20AC;&#x201C;14. The DARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Constitution Hall will be the venue for holiday concerts by the U.S. Army Bandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pershingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Own,â&#x20AC;? Dec. 5-7 ( and the U.S. Air Force Band on Dec. 13. ( The Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University will come alive with the sounds of the Washington Revels during a holiday program with an Irish twist. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Christmas Revels,â&#x20AC;? featuring seasonal Irish music and dance, happens Dec. 6â&#x20AC;&#x201C;7 and Dec. 12â&#x20AC;&#x201C;24. ( Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find free holiday entertainment throughout December at the National Gallery of Art (; Tuesdays and Thursdays at the U.S. Botanic Garden (; through Dec. 23 at the historic Willard Hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lobby (; and nightly through Jan. 1 at the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse near the White House. (

Other seasonal fare In Virginia, the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas will feature the American Festival Pops Orchestraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Holiday Pops: Songs of the Seasonâ&#x20AC;? on Dec. 12, followed by the Manassas Chorale on Dec. 13 with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Joyful and Triumphantâ&#x20AC;? and a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Clint Black Christmasâ&#x20AC;? on Dec. 14. ( George Mason University Center for the Arts will host the American Festival Pops Orchestraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Holiday Pops: Songs of the Seasonâ&#x20AC;? on Dec. 13 and the Vienna Boys Choir, Dec.20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;21. ( Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center will hold a holiday sing-along on Dec. 6, featuring the U.S. Marine Band, Christmas carols, and Hanukkah songs. ( In Maryland, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore will host the Baltimore Symphony Orchestraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Messiah on Dec. 5; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Holly Jolly Pops,â&#x20AC;? Dec. 10â&#x20AC;&#x201C;14, with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society; and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jingle Bellsâ&#x20AC;? on Dec. 20. (bsomusic. org) The Music Center at Strathmore will present â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jingle Bellsâ&#x20AC;? and Messiah in separate performances Dec. 6 by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Messiah Dec. 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;21. Among other holidays offerings will be Mannheim Steamrollerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christmas show on Dec. 13, and a Washington Chorus concert on Dec. 23. ( The Evangel Multimedia and Arts Center in Upper Marlboro will offer its â&#x20AC;&#x153;Christmas Celebrationâ&#x20AC;? on three weekends, Dec. 6â&#x20AC;&#x201C;7, Dec. 13â&#x20AC;&#x201C;14, and Dec 20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;21. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Broadway-style musical production complete with live animals, a laser light show, and other special effects. (evangelchristmas Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something for every taste this holiday season, including Donnie and Marie Osmondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high-energy Las Vegas-style holiday show at the Warner Theater on Dec. 6. Enjoy the shows!

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culture I gwen woolf

Centuries of Chinese imperial art dazzle at Va. Museum of Fine Arts There’s something mysterious and irresistible about an exhibition called “Forbidden City.” And when you gasp at the first piece of art — a huge, 18th-century scroll with an emperor on horseback in full ceremonial regalia — you make a mental note to put a visit to China on your bucket list. “Magnificent” is the word that comes to mind when you view the new exhibition, subtitled “Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing,” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Nearly 200 works, including silk paintings, sculptures, costumes, armor, furniture, and ornate jewelry are drawn from the collections of 24 Chinese emperors from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Many of these works have never been seen outside of China. The large size of many of the works, the graceful craftsmanship, and the beautiful and symbolic decorative details are impressive. Obviously, it was good to be emperor. The Palace Museum is on the site of the Forbidden City, the imperial palace where the emperors lived and conducted government business away from public view. Models in the VMFA atrium and inside the exhibit use new 3-D printing technology to show the layout of the Chinese complex, where 1,000 wooden structures survive. The Virginia Museum is the first U.S. art museum to form an extensive partnership with its Chinese counterpart, in which exhibition exchanges and staff visits will be undertaken through 2016. “This is Virginia’s year to celebrate China,” says the museum’s Alex Nyerges. “Forbidden City” continues through Jan. 11. Soft Asian music puts you in the mood as you tour the exhibition, which is divided into four themes: rituals, court arts, court paintings, and religion. A long horizontal scroll with

soldiers and horses comes to life in an animated video in the rituals section. Other exhibition highlights include: throne-room furniture; ceremonial robes; depictions of historic events; life-size imperial horses; musical instruments; portraits of emperors and empresses; scenes of family life, animals, and botanicals; Buddhist and Daoist imagery; and various decorative arts. The museum is offering a series of educational programs to accompany the exhibition, as well as a “Beyond the Walls” exhibition with hands-on activities such as Chinese calligraphy. The gift shop has a wonderful selection of Chinese-style items, including scarves, jewelry, ceramics, and art books. Not to be outdone, the museum’s Amuse restaurant has a Chinese-inspired menu with items such as General Tso’s veal sweetbreads, kung pao beef, and the specially brewed Hardywood Park Craft Brewery’s “Forbidden” beer (also available at the museum’s Best Café). There’s something about “Forbidden” beer that sounds irresistible.

historic sites offering free admission and holiday festivities on Dec. 14 for “Court End Christmas,” a holiday tradition.

Recovering lost art For an offbeat exhibition, visit The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Del., for “Treasures and Tales of Italy’s Art Recovery Team.” It’s a collection of 120 masterpieces of Etruscan and Greco-Roman art dating from 2,700 years ago. The kicker is that the art was recovered from art thieves, and the stories of how that was done — sometimes dramatically — is part of the show.

The exhibition is hosted by the International Council of Delaware in partnership with Italy’s Art Recovery Team. The recovery team is a special unit of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, a military corps that fights financial crime. The show runs through Dec. 21.

Learn more Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: The Valentine: Art Recovery Team Exhibit:

The Valentine gets a makeover While you’re in Richmond, stop in to see The Valentine, the museum that reopened this fall after a $4.1 million renovation. The three row houses, Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio, 1812 John Wickham House, and garden have been visually connected, and once-shuttered windows on Clay Street have been unblocked to give the museum more light. Other behind-the-scenes improvements also have been made. Formerly known as the Valentine Richmond History Center, the museum was rebranded recently as The Valentine. The first private museum in Richmond, it opened in 1898. Its mission is to collect, preserve, and interpret the city’s cultural history. The museum also sponsors walking tours and is one of 10 Richmond

Palace Museum

Included in the VMFA show is a woman’s robe with dragonet designs.

Palace Museum

Palace Museum

See this tapestry of Emperor Qianlong in the “Forbidden City” exhibit.

This Chinese emperor’s seal features a dragon knob. I december 2014 I recreation news 43

adventures in taste I reed hellman

A foodie’s view of Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration Maybe a half-century ago, Maryland’s motor vehicle administration headquarters, located on Guilford Avenue in uptown Baltimore, shared space with a warehouse used by the old Department of Geology, Mines, and Water Resources. As a fledgling field tech, I spent considerable time in that dusty vault, surrounded by samples of earth from all over the state. Two elderly gentlemen also worked in that warehouse, and on a winter day they set up a portable hot plate and began shucking oysters. I had made a point of avoiding oysters, totally put off by their mucous-like appearance. How could people actually eat anything that looked that hideous? But, as the gentlemen dredged the oysters in egg wash and seasoned breadcrumbs and fried them on the hotplate, the seductive aroma got me to re-think my position. After a bit of cajoling, I actually tasted one and immediately joined the legions of people who relish the Chesapeake delight. Fifty years has done nothing to diminish my enjoyment, but those years have not been kind to Crassostrea virginica, the Chesapeake oyster. The combined pressures of disease, over-harvesting, and pollution reduced native Chesapeake Bay oyster populations to less than 1 percent of historic levels. At their peak, oyster harvests regularly exceeded 10 million bushels a year. However, the

1990s saw harvests of fewer than 100,000 bushels annually. “Last year’s harvest was 422,000 bushels,” said Mike Naylor of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “We don’t speculate on future harvest, but we expect [this year’s harvest] to be similar to last season.” Though paltry in comparison to historical harvests, last year’s oyster catch was actually an improvement. The Maryland Oyster Population Status Report’s 2013 Fall Survey states that “... oyster populations continue to thrive in many parts of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Most encouragingly, the 2013 Maryland Oyster Biomass Index, a combined measure of oyster abundance and sizes, increased for the third consecutive year, more than doubling the 2010 Index and reaching its highest point on record. ... As a result, oyster harvests have increased.”

Why the increase? Restoration efforts, driven by new laws and numerous public and private organizations in Maryland and Virginia, play a role in that upswing. Sarah Gross, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Baltimore District, explained: “The Maryland DNR is the non-federal sponsor for oyster restoration activities in Maryland. Additional project partners include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that maps available restorable water bottom ... and funds the production and planting of seed oysters. The Corps of Engineers constructs reef structure where none currently exists. The Oyster Restoration Project plants oyster spat [baby oysters] grown at the University of Maryland Horn Point Hatchery on restoration sites.” ORP has recorded planting more than 5 billion oysters on 1,600 acres of oyster reefs and recycling approximately 1,400 tons of oyster shell to Reed Hellman

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44 recreation news I december 2014 I

provide homes for new oysters. In Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Virginia Oyster Restoration Center operates from a property on Gloucester Point along the York River and on a small oyster farm a few miles away on Sarah Creek. The VAORC and associated programs have planted nearly 40 million oysters across Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay tributaries. VAORC’s small scale commercial oyster farm demonstrates the feasibility of oyster aquaculture. “In Virginia, oyster aquaculture farms are quickly growing in number,” said DNR’s Naylor. “They are doing millions [of dollars] every year, hundreds of thousands of bushels. It’s also rapidly growing in Maryland. “We are transitioning from wild caught to farm-raised oysters,” he continued. “In the last four years, the laws in Maryland have changed. Aquaculture can grow oysters like a farmer grows corn. They rent public bottom in the Chesapeake. The shucked oysters that you buy are pretty much farm-raised.” Oysters may have increased, but not nearly enough to rebuild an ecosystem similar to the Chesapeake before the oyster stock collapsed. Oyster reefs improve the health of the bay by filtering its water. At their population peak, oysters filtered the entire bay in just a few days. For more information about your role in oyster restoration, contact the Chesapeake Bay Foundation at 1-888-SAVEBAY or

The Original Oysters Guilford 1 pint select oysters with liquor 1 pint seasoned breadcrumbs Corn oil 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon fresh crushed black pepper For the cocktail sauce: Catsup Old Bay seasoning Fresh ground horseradish Fresh lemon wedge In a bowl, mix the oysters and liquor with a beaten egg and black pepper. Pour the seasoned breadcrumbs into a second bowl. Heat a 1/4-inch layer of corn oil in the frying pan. Using pincers or a fork, dip one oyster at a time into the bowl of breadcrumbs and coat thoroughly. Remove each coated oyster and place into the pre-heated corn oil. As the oysters cook, mix the cocktail sauce. Mix the amount you will need to the strength you like. Start with 1/4 cup of catsup and add 1/2 teaspoon of horseradish, a strong shake of Old Bay, and a big squeeze of lemon. Taste and correct the horseradish, Old Bay, and lemon accordingly. The oysters can cook anywhere from three to 10 minutes depending on their size and the heat of the oil. Remove the finished oysters from the pan and place on a paper towel. Serve with the cocktail sauce and lemon wedges. Reed Hellman is a professional writer living in Alberton, Md. Visit his website at or email your questions and comments to

wine doctor I edward finstein

Send your palate on a tasty South American holiday JOURNEY Signature grape varieties make headway here South America produces some wonderful wines. Most noteworthy are those from Chile and Argentina, and to a lesser degree, Uruguay. Chile and Argentina’s products are really hot right now. Uruguay is up and coming. There are certain grape varieties that have put these countries on the map, or with which the countries have become synonymous. Let’s examine them. There’s no doubt that Chilean wines are popular today. More than a decade ago, the country’s vintners started the ball rolling with decent quality, varietally labeled wines under cork for very reasonable prices. Of course, the prices have risen since, but the wines still represent good value for the dollar. Although Chile produces many traditional European varietals, carmenere has to be the claim to fame. This Bordeaux varietal (rarely seen in Bordeaux anymore) with its dark-fruited, tobacco, tarry, leathery, herbaceous, chocolaty, mediumbodied character has become a shining star. It’s great as a single varietal wine and fabulous when blended with cabernet sauvignon. Interestingly enough, carmenere looks a lot like merlot in the vineyard. It wasn’t until a French oenologist went to Chile and told them that the wine they were often bottling as merlot was indeed carmenere that the variety really took off. The rest is history. It’s great with grilled or roasted red meats, hearty stews and casseroles, vegetarian cuisine, seasoned cheese, and empanadas.

Red and white from Argentina


George Vanderbilt’s legacy in the western part of the state. Santa will be on hand at Antler Hill Village on the estate through Dec. 21. Guided tours of the winery are available, as well as free wine tastings and special wine seminars by reservation. In addition, there are free daily seminars on floral arranging and gardening through Jan. 11. Guests may enjoy tea and assemble a gingerbread house with the pastry chef at the Gingerbread House Tea on Dec. 18, 19, and 20. The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate offers several holiday packages, including Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve packages. (

continued from page 9 And, don’t forget that throughout the month of December you can always find many things (often free) to do in the nation’s capital. ( The Wolf Trap National Park Holiday SingA-Long, scheduled this year at the Vienna, Va., venue for Dec. 6, is always a popular free event. Appearing with the U.S. Marine Band are choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan area. Visitors to Wolf Trap may bring a candle and a bell for the candlelight processional, plus new, unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots program. Parking is free, but limited. ( Looking for a place to ring in the New Year? “A Jazz New Year’s Eve” at The Kennedy Center begins with a pre-concert feast, followed by a performance in the Terrace Theater, dancing to big band music, and a balloon drop in the Grand Foyer. (

Christmas at Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings continue at the Asheville, N.C., Biltmore Estate through Jan. 3, and Christmas at Biltmore daytime tours run through Jan. 11. This year’s Christmas displays draw inspiration from the theme “A Vanderbilt Christmas Celebration,” which reflects the Gilded Age and

Compared to Chile, Argentina is a wine giant, often in the top five volume producers in the world. Again, reasonably priced, quality wine was the country’s calling card and, like Chile, prices for wines from Argentina have risen. Also like Chile, many traditional European varieties are planted there. What makes Argentina unique are the red malbec and white torrontes. Malbec is traditionally from Bordeaux and used as a blending grape. It’s simply too cool in Bordeaux to ripen it enough to warrant it as a single varietal wine. However, in Argentina, warmer temperatures allow the grape to hang on the vine much longer, solving this problem, and wonderful, single varietal samples are produced. An inky black wine full of blackberry, cherry, plum, and chocolate, a malbec normally does not age long, but in Argentina, there are many that will stand the test of some time. Check malbec out with grilled beef, rich stews, savory spicy dishes, and older cheese. Empanadas love it, too. Torrontes is an interesting grape. It’s extremely aromatic, like Gewurztraminer or muscat. Peach, flowers, spice, lychee, good acidity, and an overall delicate disposition are what it’s all about. Unlike malbec, it is only produced in Argentina, making it a true Argentinean variety. Not as well known as it red partner, it is gaining notoriety very quickly. Try it with exotic cuisine such as Thai, Indian, Mexican, Hakka Chinese, and smoked fare. That brings us to Uruguay, a small country on

Cabin Stays in West Virginia If you’re hankering for a cabin in the woods, you might want to rent a cozy place at a discounted rate through Adventures on the Gorge. The company operates the TreeTops canopy tour, ranked one of the “Top 10 Zip Lines” in the country by USA Today, and the Bridgewalk, a 3,000-foot-long catwalk (the highest of its kind in the world) under the New River Bridge in West Virginia. Located in Fayetteville, it’s a five-hour drive from D.C. Winter-season lodging discounts of up to 48 percent off peak-season rates are available through March 31. Accommodations include luxury homes, cabins, and cabin suites, with some being pet-friendly.

the Atlantic Ocean bordering Brazil and Argentina. It has a very prolific wine industry, but has yet to make the scene here in a big way. Although it too produces numerous European varieties, the one that stands out is tannat. This red varietal, used a lot in France’s Madiran region, has found quite the home here in Uruguay and has become its signature wine grape. Generally, it is thick-skinned, producing chewy, tannic reds with dark red fruit, raspberry, and blueberry notes. Having judged wine competitions in Uruguay several times years ago and tasting hundreds, I found really approachable ones hard to come by. However, today, longer hang time on the vines and cold maceration of the fruit is rendering a tannat that is much more vibrant and fruity. It’s still a firm little number, but much easier to drink and divine with grilled or roasted red meats and hard, seasoned cheeses. With the holidays upon us, do yourself a favor. Include some of these South American signature grape varietal wines in your festivities and send your palate south for a vacation. © Edward Finstein, “The Wine Doctor” 2014. “The Wine Doctor” is Edward Finstein, award-winning author, TV/radio host, renowned wine journalist, international wine judge, professor of wine, and consultant. Contact him at: website,; Twitter,; blogspot,; “Doc’s Grapevine,”; Facebook, facebook. com/EdwardDocFinstein?fref=ts.

Rates are the lowest on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, and $20 per night higher Thursdays through Sundays. There is a two-night minimum stay for all cabins. Rates at Sunnyside cabins start at $99 per night; Deluxe cabins, $249-$269 per night; Outback cabins, $149-$239 per night; Mountaineer cabins, $129 per night; and luxury homes, $475-$675 per night. Upcoming events at the site include the New Year’s Eve Bash on Jan. 24 and Murder Mysteries on Feb. 21. “There is a serene quality to the New River Gorge region in the winter, and many winterseason guests like to immerse themselves in the beauty of our gorge by taking long walks or enjoying a meal in Smokeys on the Gorge, with milliondollar views of the New River and the New River Gorge Bridge,” said Dave Arnold. Arnold is cofounder of Adventures on the Gorge, named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by a National Geographic Adventure survey. “Adrenaline junkies won’t be disappointed, though,” added Arnold. “Two of our aerial adventures are open for business and extremely popular, and there are plenty of land-based past-times like hiking, bird watching, and disc golf.” ( Carol Timblin welcomes travel news at ctimblin@ I december 2014 I recreation news 45



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Name _______________________________________________________ Address Line 1 __________________________________________________ Address Line 2 __________________________________________________ City ________________________________ State _____ Zip Code _________ Phone ____________________ Email_______________________________ NOTE: Phone and email are required for notification purposes only. From the information in this issue of Recreation News, what is your favorite destination? We’ll mail you information on this spot at no charge, or check here___ to “go green” and have information emailed.

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48 recreation news I december 2014 I

Recreation News, December 2014  

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