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December 2016


Volume 34/Number 12



Hitting the slopes in the Mid-Atlantic AN ELK MOUNTAIN PACKAGE Includes 2-night stay at the Stone Bridge Inn & Resaurant and lift passes to Elk Mountain



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2 recreation news I december 2016 I I december 2016 I recreation news 3

editor’s note I marvin bond

Recreation News has wrapped up the holiday season for you

Like most folks, we here at Recreation News love the holidays and, fortunately, we’re able to help you enjoy them as well. Our November and December issues are full of special treats we’ve uncovered to help you get the most from the gift of a little extra time off that many receive at this time of year. There’s something about the season that makes

many of us look for that old-fashioned family holiday experience. We’re delivering the ideas you need in print and online. From the fantastic holiday light displays that dot the region and the small-town Maryland holiday celebrations that we covered in November, to the Pennsylvania small-town holiday feature in this month’s issue, we’ve given you the means to enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas. Nearby West Chester, Pa., has even been dubbed “one of the top 10 places to experience Santa’s arrival” by USA Today. Our columnists contributed as well. In our Family Travel column, check out the ideas for nearby fun, including outdoor ice skating, the National Christmas Tree, and the U.S. Botanic Gardens’ holiday tribute to national parks. You’ll find seasonal musical offerings in the Culture column, ranging from Messiah performances to various holiday sing-alongs. Travel Line offers a preview of holiday experiences in Tidewater Virginia, West Virginia, historic Odessa, Del., and elsewhere in the region. In his Adventures in Taste column, Reed Hellman explores the seasonings for the season to help with your holiday cooking. The Wine Doctor offers advice on how to host a wine party. And, as always, our Calendar of Events is full of ideas for December outings.

December is also the month we check out the region’s ski resorts, and in this issue we report what’s new both on and off the slopes, including the reopening of Pennsylvania’s Laurel Mountain, which has been closed since 2005. Skiers should be sure to look over the Elk Mountain ski packages offered by the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. All in all, it’s the best way we can say “Happy Holidays” to you!

Travelers’ tool box u AmeriBag is producing its Healthy Back Bag with a teardrop shape that is ergonomic and designed to be worn cross-body to distribute the weight evenly and minimize stress on your back, shoulders, and neck. There are outside pockets with magnetic closures and a host of pockets inside designed to hold everything from a pen to a bottle to larger items. And, the inside is a light silver color to make it easier to find the things you’ve packed. The bag comes in different materials and colors. (

Coming next month West Virginia winter Winter festivals Fun off the slopes

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4 recreation news I december 2016 I

publisher’s note I karl teel

Try giving the gift of memories this year This year, focus little on the gift-giving angle. Let’s face it, most people are happier with what they select for themselves than what you select for them. In years gone by, it was a big deal to get, say, a new sweater. Heck, it cost money and the average person couldn’t afford many. Today, we can really get all these minor things we want with little thought. This sort of gift has lost a lot of meaning simply because it no longer contrasts for you. You can afford to buy a sweater whimsically. Whether you have five sweaters or 25, it’s not that big a deal. On the other hand, it seems time together is a contrast. As we became more affluent, as technology and efficiencies made “things” more affordable, time has become scarcer ... and therefore, more valuable and more important. This holiday season, think less about products and more about time. If you can’t create memories from loved ones getting together, at least make plans to do something later to create these memories. Find that ski chalet for the weekend. Book that Manhattan weekend with a carriage ride. Arrange that family reunion cruise. I’ll guarantee that long after that sweater has been forgotten, what you gain from a gathering and group getaway will linger and become one of those cherished memories. I still recall trips to Connecticut sitting by a fireplace, Grandpa playing a banjo, me hanging with cousins and siblings, and parents and older relatives laughing ... much like our fire pit experience at the beach. Make plans. Make memories. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.

Memories. Good memories. Just last night another one was created. Old friends, and some family members, too, all sitting around the fire pit by the pond. Chilly air on the back contrasting with the heat on the faces from the blazing fire, and there’s laughter everywhere. I can only remember a few of the jokes, but clearly remember laughing to the point of tears running down the cheeks. Cocktails, finger food, perfect weather, deep friendships, and lots of love. An evening to kick off a weekend and serve for what a weekend was meant to be, a soul-charging contrast to the work week and its fatigue of mind and body. Why was that night so sublime? We all had to escape the workaday world. We all needed to be among friends, family, and loved ones, and we all needed a stark contrast to territory that carries the burdens of work and household chores. We really needed to get away — physically get away from that routine milieu and go to territory set for a recharge. The holiday season “The #1 Resort for Families in America” is upon us, and with it many extra days off and a festive atmosphere. You can kill that opportunity by going to a crowded mall and swap work stress for finda-parking-spot stress and deal-with-crowds stress. But let’s not focus on how things can go wrong. Let’s focus on opportunity for good times.

TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 ~ Editor’s Note 5 ~ Publisher’s Note 6 ~ Travel Line 8 ~ Trends at area ski resorts 10 ~ Garrett County winter 12 ~ Endless Mountains 14 ~ Snow at Canaan Valley 18 ~ Mid-Atlantic ski news 19 ~ Calendar of Events 22 ~ Lynchburg and the Civil War 24 ~ Pennsylvania holidays 25 ~ Brandywine Valley Christmas 26 ~ Family Travel 27 ~ Culture 28 ~ Adventures in Taste 29 ~ Wine Doctor 30 ~ Cruise Corner

On our cover Snowboarding is just one way to enjoy the slopes at Elk Mountain in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains region./Elk Mountain



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travel line I carol timblin

HOLIDAY Happenings in the Mid-Atlantic and elsewhere Christmas celebrations are in full swing all over the United States, as communities stage light displays, craft shows, musical concerts, theatrical productions, parades, dinners — even strolls — to mark the season. Boston’s Freedom Trail Foundation invites visitors to celebrate the season with historic holiday strolls led by 19th-century Dickensian-costumed guides, Thursdays through Sundays at 3:30pm through January. Strolls depart from the ArtsBoston Booth at Faneuil Hall and include a tour of holiday lights and Christmas trees along the Freedom Trail, as well as an exclusive visit to the Omni Parker House for signature refreshments and world-famous Boston Cream Pie. Following the stroll, participants receive discounts off museum store purchases at Freedom Trail sites and are entered to win a brunch for two at the award-winning Parker’s Restaurant at Omni Parker House. Tickets are $24 for adults and $19 for children, and reservations must be made 24 hours in advance. Call 617-357-8300, extension 207, to make a reservation. The Mid-Atlantic region also offers a plethora of opportunities for celebrating the holidays. Here’s a sampling of happenings this season: u DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA The 94th annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree by President Barack Obama and his family on The Ellipse near the White House on Dec. 1 marks the beginning of the month-long Pageant of Peace. Entertainers for this year’s lighting are James Taylor, Chance the Rapper, Kelly Clarkson, and Yolanda Adams, followed by other musical concerts during the month. “America Celebrates” features trees decorated by 56 different artists from every state and U.S. territory, as well as the District of Columbia. The National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting, Dec. 25 on the

Ellipse, celebrates the beginning of the eight-day Jewish holiday. u SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA More than “100 Miles of Lights” can be seen this season in Southeastern Virginia. Richmond’s “Tacky Light Tour” continues through Dec. 31. Colonial Williamsburg hosts the Grand Illumination, and the Williamsburg Lodge offers dinner with live music on Dec. 4. On Dec. 18, the Williamsburg Inn stages “Crooning Christmas Classics in the Sinatra Style,” featuring dinner, dancing, and Christmas songs. Nearby Yorktown celebrates Christmas with its Illumination and Christmas Tree Lighting and Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 3. Hampton stages its annual Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 9, followed by the Holly Day Parade on Dec. 10. Norfolk’s Dominion Garden of Lights continues through Dec. 31, and the Norfolk Botanical Garden offers “The Polar Express at Illumination Station” on Dec. 1, 2, 4, 9, 11, 15, 18, and 22. Newport News hosts “Hollydazzle,” a unique show featuring fireworks, theatrical lighting, ground-based pyrotechnics, and special effects at City Center at Oyster Point on Dec. 3, and “Celebrate in Lights” through Jan. 1. McDonald’s “Holiday Lights at the Beach” in Virginia Beach continues through Jan. 1. ( lights) u WEST VIRGINIA Oglebay’s Winter Festival of Lights, a 6-mile display of lights in Wheeling, including its Christmas Tree Garden that features a live Nativity scene, continues through early January. (304-2434000, 800-624-6988, During the weekend of Dec. 2–3, tours of five Victorian homes in Parkersburg’s Julia-Ann Square Historic District will be directed by costumed guides, and a lavish Victorian tea will be offered. Tours and teas begin at the First United Methodist

Escape to

Church at Julia-Ann and 10th streets. Sunday tours are self-guided and do not include tea. ( u PENNSYLVANIA The National Christmas Center in Lancaster County is a great place to soak up the spirit of past and present holidays. (nationalchristmascenter. com) Not far away, the Landis Valley Museum offers a great look at the local German Christmas heritage. ( Hersheypark’s holiday celebration, which continues through December in Hershey, includes a 2-mile display of lights. A visit to festive Candylane includes rides on the Twilight Express and a chance to meet Hershey characters. ( u MARYLAND Frederick’s Christmas celebrations this year include eight decorated homes on the Candlelight House Tours, Dec. 3–4, which depart from the Hospitality Center in the Talley Recreation Center. An added attraction in the center will be a display of the floral and gingerbread entries from the Scents and Sweets Competition on Dec. 1. Festivities continue with the Kris Kringle Procession, featuring Christmas characters Kris Kringle, Pelsnickle, Weinacht Man, Frosty, and Rudolph, on Dec. 9, and the Festival of Lights on Dec. 16. ( The Walkersville Southern Railroad Santa Train in Walkersville offers rides, along with hot chocolate and cookies in the museum, through December. ( The B&O Railroad Museum, where American railroading began on the first commercial mile of track in the country, offers rides on the “Magical Holiday Express” in Baltimore Dec. 3–Jan. 2, excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The museum offers “Mile One Ex-


Take a Day? Take a Weekend?

You need to escape, but not too far away! Check out exciting holiday events in Carroll County! 19TH FESTIVAL OF WREATHS November 25-December 3 10 am-7 pm December 4 | 10 am-4pm Carroll Arts Center Westminster

HOME AND FIRESIDE: CHRISTMAS ON THE FARM December 1-21 | 10 am-3pm Carroll County Farm Museum Westminster

CARROLL CHRISTMAS MERRY MAIN STREET FARMERS’ MARKET December 10 | Noon-4 pm December 3, 10 & 17 Sykesville Town House 8 am-2 pm Carroll County Ag Center Westminster

Make a Holiday memory! Visit one of our many 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.

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press” train rides Dec. 26–31. ( u DELAWARE The 52nd annual “Christmas in Odessa,” a self-guided tour of 18thand 19th-century private homes and public buildings, takes place Dec. 3. ( New to Winterthur’s Yuletide Tour, which features sparkling trees and American Christmas vignettes through Jan. 8, is an 18-room doll mansion, inspired by Queen Mary’s dollhouse and created by Nancy McDaniel. (

Ring in the New Year Gayot’s list of the Top 10 New Year’s Eve Destinations includes Las Vegas, Bangkok, Los Angeles, New York City, Sydney, Paris, Chicago, London, Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, and Rio de Janeiro. ( If these destinations are not in your travel plans this year, you might look closer to home for a special place to ring in the new year. Baltimore’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular at the Inner Harbor, 9:00pm– 12:30am, features party music by Super Bueno and fireworks at midnight, as well as skating at the Pandora Ice Rink. Metro service will be available one hour after the event is over. (

While the best known New Year’s Eve attraction may be the ball drop in New York City, a host of Mid-Atlantic locations have their own traditions. You can watch an apple drop in Winchester, Va., a rose drop in York, Pa., a mushroom drop in Kennett Square, Pa., and a crab drop in Easton, Md., among others.



Travel tip Did you know that CityPASS is now available in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay, and Toronto? CityPASS bundles prepaid admission to each city’s top attractions — based on annual attendance — into one easy-to-use CityPASS ticket booklet that costs approximately half of what it would cost to purchase those same admissions separately. And, because CityPASS limits the number of attractions on each city’s pass to five or six of the most popular sights, visitors have ample time to enjoy a destination, never feeling the need to rush frantically from attraction to attraction to get their money’s worth. The pass is valid for nine days, starting with the first day of use. ( Carol Timblin welcomes travel news at

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ski trends I matthew graham

New snow guns help make winter fun at six area resorts Largest tubing hill in the country now at Camelback These last few years have been a roller coaster ride in terms of snow and cold temperatures. We’ve had a blizzard here and there, but winters have been warmer and snowfall has been unreliable. This season, the ski resorts aren’t taking their chances with Mother Nature and the race is on for making the most snow the fastest way possible.

Making snow

Wisp Resort

Ski resorts are preparing to make more snow this year.

8 recreation news I december 2016 I

Whitetail Resort in Pennsylvania spent more than $2.5 million in the last couple of years to upgrade infrastructure, including major renovations to the snowmaking systems. Virginia’s Wintergreen Resort now boasts one of the world’s most sophisticated snowmaking systems, called Snowpower. It has a 5 milliongallon tank, 400 snow guns, and the ability to fill a football field with 37 feet of snow in a day. Also in Virginia, Massanutten is automating

existing guns and adding new fully automated snow guns. Timberline Resort — West Virginia’s holdout for natural lake-effect snow — has increased its snowmaking capacity by 30 percent. Neighboring Canaan Valley Resort has doubled the capacity of its systems. The largest ski mountain in the region, Snowshoe Mountain Resort, is so confident of its manmade snow that the resort guarantees more skiable terrain than any other resort in the Southeast, or you will get you a free lift ticket for your next day’s outing. In Pennsylvania, Seven Springs/ Hidden Valley has added four new state-of-the-art groomers and added five new Impulse Tower guns to the top of the popular North Face black diamond slope. Last season, this sisterhood of Pennsylvanian resorts manufactured more than 1,400 football fields worth of foot-deep snow.

Alternatives to skiing Area resorts have also realized that the winter experience isn’t merely about skiing and snowboarding. While tubing parks have been a fixture at most resorts, this season sees an expansion of tubing areas and facilities. Most hills now have dedicated snowmaking, nighttime lighted runs, and easy-loading, conveyor-style magic carpet lifts. Camelback Resort, in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, now has the largest tubing hill in the country, with 42 lanes. At Ski Liberty, also in Pennsylvania, the old rider drop-off

area is being transformed into an ice skating rink and additional outdoor seating has been added outside the tavern. Massanutten Resort leads the trend for seating with a new 5,000-square-foot deck. The deck features a retractable roof and walls and a heated “umbrella bar.” The enclosed, easily accessed round patio on the deck provides a warm shelter — with a full-service bar and floor-to-ceiling windows — that can accommodate 100 patrons. The biggest news for the MidAtlantic is bucking all of the trends

and involves the opening of a new ski resort — sort of. Laurel Mountain Ski Resort, in Central Pennsylvania, is reopening. One of the oldest ski mountains in the region, Laurel Mountain started in 1939 and went belly-up in the late 1980s. It reopened briefly twice in the early 2000s, but closed down again in 2005. A partnership between Seven Springs Resort and the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources is behind the reopening this legendary ski area. Renovations at Laurel Mountain include a new high-speed chair lift,

regrading and widening of trails, improvements to the lodge, and, of course, new snowmaking that doubles its previous snowmaking capacity. Originally designed by famed European skier Johann “Hannes” Schneider, one of the pioneers of the modern Alpine skiing method used today, Laurel Mountain features an 800-foot vertical drop and the steepest slope in the region, Lower Wildcat. The resort plans to offer 20 trails, 70 skiable acres, and night skiing. What’s old is new again for the 2016-17 season.

Massanutten Resort Shawnee Mountain

Everybody loves snowboarding at Pennsylvania’s Shawnee Mountain.

At Virginia’s Massanutten Resort, you can tube all day and visit the water park at night. I december 2016 I recreation news 9

maryland I reed hellman

There’s more than skiing in Maryland’s mountain resort Garrett County is home to Wisp Resort, Maryland’s premier ski venue, but the state’s winter playground also offers plenty of “offslope” activities that can warm up

even the coldest day. After all, even the most ardent skier occasionally enjoys a change of scene. If you want to enjoy people-powered sports, Wisp Resort — along

with its 32 slopes and trails — maintains terrain parks, a snow tubing park, an ice skating rink, and a Nordic center offering snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Thrill-seekers will enjoy the Mountain Coaster, which runs yearround as long as the track is ice-free. Two of Garrett County’s state parks also maintain groomed crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing trails. Herrington Manor State Park has 10 miles of beginning- to intermediate-level trails running into the adjoining Garrett State Forest. Also, a 5.5-mile trail connects through to

Swallow Falls State Park. The park trails are track-set when conditions allow. New Germany State Park has 10 miles of multi-purpose trails that can challenge cross-country skiers of all abilities. Beginners can enjoy the flat, open “turnpikes,” while winding hillside trails can give a workout to experienced skiers. During the winter months, the park’s lake house warming hut rents cross-country skis and snowshoes, and provides a place to relax after a day in the snow. Swallow Falls State Park is home

Wisp Resort

Kids master the sport of skiing at Wisp Resort.

Crystal clear memories at


Wisp’s Mountain Coaster is a different way to enjoy the winter.

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10 recreation news I december 2016 I

to the 53-foot-high Muddy Creek Falls, Maryland’s highest free-falling waterfall. A 1 1/4-mile trail takes winter hikers and photographers to some of Western Maryland’s most breathtaking scenery, made even lovelier by a cover of snow and ice. Savage River State Forest also maintains crosscountry skiing trails. Deep Creek Lake State Park, Swallow Falls State Park, Herrington Manor State Park, and the Potomac- Garrett State Forest offer snowshoe tours.

Take a sleigh ride

County Chamber of Commerce is offering a “3-21” lodging and activity promotion on its website, The promotion offers three nights’ lodging for the price of two, plus discounted activities, and runs until Dec. 15. Nine lodging companies, ranging from rental home properties to bed-and-breakfasts, cabins, a slopeside hotel, and log-cabin-style hotel suites, are participating in the promotion. Activity offers include discounted wine and beer tastings and discounted amusement center activities. The “3-2-1” promotion includes lodging offers

Garrett County’s snow-bound winter landscape lends itself to horse-drawn sleigh rides. Circle R Ranch has offered horseback riding for years, and recently added carriage and sleigh rides. Enjoy a classic “one-horse open sleigh” drawn by Circle R’s majestic Percherons and Clydesdales, as you snuggle down under the warmth of the sleigh blankets. Private sleigh rides are available, as well as horseback riding if weather conditions permit. At Pleasant Valley Dream Rides, you can take a step back in time by enjoying a carriage or winter sleigh ride through the countryside of Pleasant Valley. Enjoy a tractor-drawn hayride or tour the dairy farm. Winter in Garrett County does not have to be all about the outdoors. To cap off a strenuous day, try one of the numerous spas — including some that offer in-home massages. Four museums encourage you to explore the region’s natural and cultural history. Spruce Forest Artisan Village in Grantsville features artisans creating pottery, metal sculpture, stained glass, and other works in historic structures. Visitors to Garrett County and Deep Creek Lake have another incentive to stay a while. The Garrett

A skier at Maryland’s Wisp Resort gains some air heading down the slope.

from Blue Moon Rising on Deep Creek Lake, Cabin on Farm View, Deep Creek Lodging Company, Haley Farm Inn and Retreat Center, Joyce’s Deep Creek Rental, Ski Cove #3, Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations and Sales, The Lodges at Sunset Village, and Wisp Resort Hotel and Conference Center.

For More Information: Garrett Co. Tourism: Wisp Resort:

Wisp Resort 855.990.0250

Corduroy: Not just a pant style but a daily occurrence.

Wisp Resort offers a true winter experience in the Mountains of Western Maryland.

Give an experience this holiday! Holiday in the Mountains Package Starting at $94 pp/pn* Package includes 2-night’s lodging at the slope-side Wisp Resort Hotel, 2-day Lift Ticket & 1 Winter Adventure Combo (Combo includes snow tubing, mountain coaster ride & ice skating session). Call 855.990.0250 to book. *Package price is per person per night based on double occupancy & 2-night consecutive stay between December 19 - 22, 2016. Based on availability & advance reservations.

Book your winter group outing today! Groups of 20 or more receive discounts on lodging, lift tickets, equipment rentals, lessons, snow tubing, ice skating, mountain coaster & more. Call 855.990.0250 for qualifying details.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Snow Tubing

Cross Country Skiing

Ice Skating


Mountain Coaster I december 2016 I recreation news 11

ski I staff

Elk Mountain Ski Resort offers 27 trails in the Endless Mountains The Endless Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania host one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s premiere winter destinations, Elk Mountain. The resort offers skiers and snowboarders great conditions, amazing scenery, and the highest altitudes in the state. Each winter the hotels, country inns, and vacation rentals in the region welcome discriminating visitors who have discovered the excellent conditions and terrain variety on Elk Mountain’s 27 slopes and trails of varying degree of difficulty. Opened in 1959, Elk Mountain Ski Resort is an

ideal destination for every skill level of skier, from snow bunny to seasoned professional. The resort’s premier snowmaking equipment and lift chair system ensure that skiers can expect the highest-quality ski conditions that Mother Nature permits. Elk Mountain Ski Resort is a full-service destination priding itself on years of customer satisfaction. Open daily at 8:00am, Elk Mountain’s lodge, restaurants, and ski rental center offer everything skiers and groups need to gear up and get to the slopes. First-time skiers, experienced skiers, and

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snowboarders looking to learn or fine-tune their skills can take lessons offered by the seasoned professionals of the Elk Mountain Ski School. Insider tip: The Mountainside Café and Winter Garden Café offer skiers a variety of dining options in the Main Lodge against the panoramic views of the pristine Endless Mountains scenery. For the 2016/17 season, Elk Mountain Ski Resort is set to offer a full schedule of activities designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts. Check out these getaways and events to welcome skiers and winter travelers:


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■ Holidays/New Year’s getaways — With night skiing set to begin on Dec. 26, the holiday season is the perfect time to plan a family or group getaway to Elk Mountain. Nearby hotels, restaurants, and attractions offer their own seasonal events, making the December holidays a great time to get away to Elk Mountain. ■ Winter Fest, Jan. 13 and 27 — Arranged in cooperation with area ski shops, these Friday special events offer visitors a chance to enjoy Elk

Mountain’s award-winning terrain while learning more about the region’s premiere equipment providers. ■ Allegheny Ski Conference Race, Jan. 21–22 — Join the fun as some of the best college skiers compete over a fun-filled weekend on the slopes. ■ February races — The month of February brings a wide variety of races, from the Kilgore Memorial Race on Feb. 5 to the Elk Mountain Memorial Race on Feb. 26. Visit the Elk Mountain Ski Resort website event page at for the complete list of races.

■ February holiday getaways — Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day are two of the most popular reasons to plan a winter getaway. The lodging partners surrounding Elk Mountain in the Endless Mountains are waiting to welcome you. Also visit for weather and ski conditions.

For more information Elk Mountain Ski Resort: Endless Mountains Tourism: RecNews Government Agency Reach 2016 Advisory Panel: Renee Bolden, Clement Jackson, Karl Teel, Nadine Wright, Melissa Birdsall Publisher — Recreation News: Karl Teel We are a co-op of more than 50 recreation associations and MWRs working together to better serve our members.

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: 301-474-4600 • Fax: 410-638-6902

Elk Mountain

Elk Mountain’s high altitude is one thing that brings skiers to the slopes.



© 2016, Indiana Printing and Publishing Co., Inc. Recreation News (ISSN 10569294) is the official publication of, 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.

| (570) 679-4400

| TOLL FREE SKI REPORT: | 1-800-233-4131

Publisher — Karl Teel Editor — Marvin Bond Calendar Editor — Jessica Bosse Copy Editor — Andrea Ebeling Cover Design — Nate Miller Web Support — Ron Yarnick and Sam Pardee Layout & Art — Beth Wood Accounting — Kitty Henry Chief Financial Off. — Barb Sullinger Production — Dan Yasick Shipping — Sam Parisee Mailing — Gerrard Wilson Marketing — Nate Miller Data Mgt. — Carolyn Grover Webmaster — Ellen Matis

For information on where to stay, please contact the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau at 1-800-769-8999, or I december 2016 I recreation news 13

west virginia I matthew graham

Whiteout brings 4 feet of powder to the Canaan Valley

Canaan Valley Resort

New powder means great skiing at Canaan Valley Resort.

It snowed. It snowed and snowed and snowed. In a winter when it was 70 degrees over Christmas and New Year’s Day, I didn’t expect much in the way of great snow. Nonetheless, I journeyed out to West Virginia at the end of January to get in at least a few turns on the wide open slopes at Canaan Valley Resort. Canaan has 47 slopes, a vertical drop of 850 feet, and four lifts. I finally got the chance to stay in the new hotel built there in 2014. The 160-room lodge is a huge step up from the old motel-like building. The new lodge has a gift shop, an indoor swimming pool and fitness center, a large dining room, and a small café. The finely appointed rooms include large flat-screen televisions, refrigerators, microwave ovens, and coffee makers. Suites feature fireplaces and balconies. After checking in, I drove the couple of miles from the lodge to the ski mountain and hit the slopes for the last two hours of lift operations. The warm weather had caused the closure of some of the slopes. The main slopes of Valley Vista and Timber Trail had a decent base of more than a foot. While not exactly powder, the snow kicked off the edges of my skis as I easily glided down the mountain — I cranked out almost 20 runs on an uncrowded Thursday afternoon.

As the lifts closed down and I headed back to the lodge, I could see storm clouds coming in from the west. A large snowstorm was predicted. But after years of being disappointed by the local meteorologists hyping even a single flake of snow, I didn’t get my hopes up. After grabbing a bite to eat, I turned in early. A light snow had begun to fall.

And it snowed When I woke up, it was as though the world had fallen into an ice age. The previously clear roads and green lawns were covered in a foot of powder. It was a sea of white. In D.C., everything would have been shut down. But out here in the mountains of West Virginia, it was business as usual. I wasted little time on breakfast and took one of the shuttle buses over to the ski lodge. The groomers were still working to open up new terrain as I arrived and boarded the lift. I skied down the Valley Vista blue trail to warm up. My skis disappeared in the powder as it rose up to the middle of my boots. Ah … heaven. I cut clean serpentine tracks into the snow. continued on page 28 | 800-225-5982 #GoToWV |


YOU’LL FIND IT HERE. Winter excitement goes beyond the slopes, even in the Mountain State. Cross-country ski the backcountry, snowshoe, RZR and more. Discover the best of winter at

White Grass, Davis, WV

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skiing I roland leiser

Mid-Atlantic ski slopes expand snowmaking, upgrade facilities With last December’s snow drought still fresh in memory, operators of Mid-Atlantic ski resorts are preparing for the 2016-2017 season with expanded snow-making. Other changes include equipment upgrades in rental shops, and the debut of a ski resort closed for more than a decade. Expected openings of selected resorts range from midDecember to early January, weather permitting. Here’s what many of the resorts reported as new for the upcoming season.

acre mountain within Laurel Mountain State Park, and plans to replace a 40-year old double chair lift with a quad to handle 2,400 skiers an hour. The resort is adding 52 snow guns. ( u Liberty Mountain One of the three nearby SnowTime resorts that includes Roundtop and Whitetail, Liberty has converted a circle drop-off zone into the Alpine Courtyard Ice Skating Rink. Among other changes, it will provide high-end Volki skis, Marker bindings, and Dalbello boots for its rental shop. ( u Seven Springs In connection with its takeover of Laurel Mountain, this westernmost Pennsylvania resort will offer its Highlands Season Pass not only at Hidden Valley, which it owns, but now at Laurel, giving visitors a total of 79 trails, 465 skiable acres, and nine snowboard parks. The resort has acquired two snowcat grooming machines — one of which will be used to build a super pipe for snowboarders — and has added 30 snowguns. In addition, it has opened the Seven 10 Bistro next to the lodge’s bowling alley and increased its on-mountain lodging. ( u Shawnee Mountain This resort has built more than 3,000 feet of snow-making pipe on Tecumseh and Lookout trails

Pennsylvania u Big Boulder/Jack Frost Jack Frost will be configuring some of its gladed trails for those challenged by skiing through forested areas. ( u Blue Mountain One of the Poconos resorts in eastern Pennsylvania, Blue Mountain has expanded the number of snow-shaped features at its terrain-based learning center. These help students focus on speed control, turning, and body position. ( u Camelback For this season, a lighting show has been added to Camelback’s huge 42-lane tubing park. ( u Laurel Mountain After an absence from winter sports since 2005, the resort expects to reopen this season. Seven Springs bought a 10-year lease to operate the 75-



hot spots

and added snow guns at the Tomahawk lift base area. ( u Ski Roundtop Among the closest slopes to Washington and Baltimore, Ski Roundtop has added a groomer for steep slopes and expanded its beginner’s area. ( u Whitetail Also nearby, this ski area in south central Pennsylvania has enlarged its base lodge with a 300-seat full-service restaurant, Solstice. (

Maryland u Wisp The state’s only downhill mountain, Wisp has added a new grooming machine and has spruced up the Wisp Resort Hotel with a new check-in area, refurbished six floors, and set up a Rossignol Concept and Demo Center on the upper level of McHenry Lodge for the sale of skis, snowboards, and soft goods. (

Virginia u Massanutten Down in Virginia, this ski and snowboard area has improved its snow-making and updated its two snowboarding parks. ( continued on page 28

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18 recreation news I december 2016 I

CHOCOLATE BINGE FESTIVAL Dec. 4, noon–5:00pm. A dozen local chocolate vendors will be selling chocolate specialties. The afternoon includes familyfriendly entertainment, live music, holiday shopping, and the lighting of the newly expanded West Street Holiday Light Canopy. First blocks of West Street in downtown Annapolis, Md. 443-452-7321, A DICKENS CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA Dec. 4–6. Included in the extravaganza is a Dickensian-style feast, along with a wine tasting and a holiday tour of Cape May. Cape May, N.J. 609-884-5404,

December 2016 December 24 — Hanukkah begins December 25 — Christmas December 26 — Kwanzaa begins HISTORIC ODESSA CHRISTMAS Through Dec. 31. Special exhibits, events, and tours will be held throughout the season with the theme of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The Historic Odessa Foundation, Odessa, Del. 302-378-4119, ICE! Through Jan. 1, excluding Dec. 5–7. Will feature a new theme of “Christmas Around the World” to showcase different cultures and their Christmas festivities during its ninth annual Christmas on the Potomac celebration. Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. 301-965-4000, AVIATION CHRISTMAS TREE GARDEN Through Jan. 1. Model trains, planes, and railroad garden memorabilia will delight visitors of all ages Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11:00am–3:00pm, through the holiday season. The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum, 701 Wilson Point Road, Middle River, Md. 410-682-6122, SIX FLAGS HOLIDAY IN THE PARK Through Jan. 2. This dazzling winter spectacular will make your holiday shine with more than a million glittering lights, holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats, visits with Santa, and theme park rides. Six Flags America, 13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro, Md. 301-249-1500, APPALACHIAN COAL TOWN CHRISTMAS Dec. 2–3, 5:00–9:00pm. There will be underground mine tours, a marshmallow roast, horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling in the church, and an ornament workshop at the Youth Museum. Both gift shops will be open for holiday shopping. The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, Beckley, W.Va. SANTA’S CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE Dec. 2–3, 9–10, 16–17, 5:00pm. Children will write letters to Santa Claus, assist Santa’s elves in his workshop, try Mrs. Claus’ Christmas cookies, and even meet Santa Claus himself on this fun, one-of-a-kind experience. The Resort at Glade Springs, Daniels, W.Va. POLAR BEAR EXPRESS Dec. 2–3 and 9–10, 6:30–9:00pm. Ride the trolleys and enjoy the decorations and lights along the tracks, sing carols, and enjoy the campfire. Hot chocolate and cookies included in fare. Rockhill Trolley Museum, 430 Meadow St., Rockhill Furnace, Pa. 814447-9576, OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS PARADE Dec. 3. Enjoy the “Homes for the Holidays” home tour from 11:00am–4:00pm, have dinner in a local restaurant, enjoy holiday sounds by The Salt Marsh Ramblers at 6:00pm in Robert Reed Park, and then watch the parade step off at 7:00pm. Chincoteague, Va. 757-336-6161, OLD TYME HOLIDAY PARADE Dec. 3, 6:00–8:30pm. Enjoy the Mid-Shore’s best holiday parade along the streets of Easton’s historic district. 1 Dover St., Easton, Md. 410-690-4395, CHRISTMAS TOUR OF LEWES Dec. 3, 10:00am–4:00pm. This self-guided tour gives the Lewes Historical Society a chance to show off its historic houses decorated for the season. Various locations throughout Lewes, Del. THE B&O’S MAGICAL HOLIDAY EXPRESS Dec. 3–Jan. 2. Enjoy trains of all sizes, your favorite holiday characters, and a train load of fun for the entire family. B&O Railroad Museum, 901 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. 410-762-2462,

CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS Dec. 9. For many people, this concert, which has it all, kicks off their holiday festivities. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis, Md. 410-263-1906, CHRISTMAS IN ST. MICHAELS Dec. 9–11. Enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend for the whole family including a Christmas parade, Santa’s Wonderland, a display of gingerbread houses, and music from the Celebration of Choirs, all free of charge. St. Michaels, Md. 410-745-0745, CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE Dec. 9–11, 11:00am–4:00pm. Each of the rooms of the circa1747 Manor House will be decorated in festive holiday splendor. Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, Md. 410-557-9570, HAMPTON HOLLY DAYS PARADE Dec. 10. An evening of enchantment as you view the creative floats, listen to the high school bands, salute the military marching units and exciting drill teams, and wave at the beauty queens. Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, Va. 757-727-8311, NATURAL HOLIDAY ORNAMENTS WORKSHOP Dec. 10, 9:30–11:30am. Horticulturist Nancy Olney will lead you through creating a few natural decorations and ornaments that you can take home, and she shows you some of her favorite projects that you can recreate on your own. Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, Va. 703-642-5173, FAMILY PLANTATION CHRISTMAS Dec. 10, 10:00am–4:00pm. Enjoy Santa and Mrs. Claus, horsedrawn carriage rides, children’s crafts and activities, tractor rides, live seasonal music, and mini-tours of the decorated plantation house. Sotterley Plantation, Hollywood, Md. 301373-2280, THE SPIRIT OF KWANZAA Dec. 16–18. See Fabian Barnes’s celebrated signature holiday production. The Dance Institute of Washington, 3400 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. CHRISTMAS AT ELLWOOD Dec. 17, 9:00am–2:00pm. Celebrate a 19th-century Christmas at Ellwood Manor, presented by the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield. Features holiday decor, visits with Santa, and period music. Ellwood Manor, Locust Grove, Va. CHRISTMAS AT CHATHAM Dec. 18, noon–4:00pm. Experience Christmas during the Civil War at Chatham, on the Fredericksburg Battlefield. Visit a Knickerbocker Santa and reenactors describing 19th-century Christmas traditions. Fredericksburg, Va. NIA FEST Dec. 30, 6:00–9:00pm. Enjoy soul line dancing, face painting, culture and crafts, vendors, and fun activities to benefit the Boys and Girls Club. 1505 Competitor Court, Virginia Beach, Va. 757368-4445, NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION Dec. 31. Ring in 2017 with a free fireworks show and live entertainment. Ocean City, Md.

LUMINARY HOLIDAY LIGHTS SEASONAL WALK Through Dec. 30. Start/finish point is at Safeway customer service desk, 10541 Connecticut Ave., Kensington, Md. 301-9465496, WINTER LIGHTS Through Dec. 31. More than 350 illuminated displays and 65 animated vignettes that light up themed areas along a 3.8-mile drive. Seneca Creek State Park, Gaithersburg, Md. KOZIAR’S CHRISTMAS VILLAGE Through Jan. 1. The event has grown into a mammoth and extraordinary seasonal attraction drawing visitors from great distances, as well as local families who have made Koziar’s part of their Christmas tradition for three generations. Bernville, Pa. ANNMARIE GARDEN IN LIGHTS Through Jan. 1, 6:00–9:00pm. A magical walking tour through unique lighted displays created onsite. Annmarie Sculpture Garden, 13480 Dowell Road, Solomons, Md.

WINTERFEST OF LIGHTS Through Jan. 1. More than 1 million holiday lights sparkle throughout your favorite beach resort. Hundreds of animated light displays. 200 125th St., Ocean City, Md. 410-250-0125, LIGHTS ON THE BAY Through Jan. 1. The event features more than 60 animated and stationary displays, including traditional Marylandthemed favorites and holiday and children’s displays. Sandy Point State Park, 1100 East College Parkway, Annapolis, Md. WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS Through Jan. 1. One million glittering lights on a drive-thru tour. Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro, Md. SHADRACK’S CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND Through Jan. 8. Lights programmed to music at the Big Butler Fairgrounds, one of six East Coast locations. Butler, Pa. CHESAPEAKE CITY’S WINTERFEST OF LIGHTS Through Jan. 15. Enjoy the Victorian Candlelight House Tour, a horse-drawn carriage ride, Dickens carolers, and ice skating. Marvel at the holiday lighting displays. 108 Bohemia Ave., Chesapeake City, Md. 410-885-5298, DOWNTOWN HAMPTON LIGHTED BOAT PARADE Dec. 9. The event will kick off with live music by Full Spectrum, beginning at 6:00pm. More than 20 boats are expected to participate in this free nautical light show. 710 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, Va. 757-727-1271, EASTPORT YACHT CLUB LIGHTS PARADE Dec. 10, 6:00–8:00pm. Brightly decorated boats parade around the Annapolis waterfront in one of the city’s signature events. Thousands of lights and a host of jolly revelers make this a fun holiday event for the entire family. Annapolis Harbor and Spa Creek, Annapolis, Md.

NOW SHOWING ORNAMENT SHOW AND SALE Through Jan. 1. Unique and affordable ornaments are beautifully hung on trees displayed in the main gallery of the arts building. Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, 13480 Dowell Road, Dowell, Md. 410-326-4640, HOLISTIC AND SPIRITUAL ART EXPO Dec. 3–4. Learn from more than 100 exhibitors. Study at a workshop or attend free inspirational lectures, book yourself a psychic reading, buy an original art piece, try some body pampering soaps, lotions and oils, or attend a drumming circle session. 1000 19th St., Virginia Beach, Va. 757-288-4756, EMBASSY SHOWCASE Dec. 7, 11:00am–2:00pm. Free and open to the public, guests have the opportunity to travel the different continents and do some holiday shopping, all during the lunch hour. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. C&E GUN SHOW Dec. 10–11, 8:00am–5:00pm. The show offers the community an opportunity to purchase, trade, and sell guns, ammo, and related merchandise. 277 Expo Road, Fishersville, Va. 540-3372552

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES CHRISTMAS TOWN DASH 8K Dec. 4, 8:00–11:00am. Enjoy the sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas as you wind your way through the world’s most beautiful theme park. Busch Gardens, 1 Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg, Va. 800-343-7946, LIGHT UP THE NIGHT 5K Dec. 10, 5:00pm. This exciting 5K run through Uptown Martinsville is to celebrate the completion of the fall 2016 season. 3 Starling Ave., Martinsville, Va. 276-632-1772, NEW YEAR’S EVE GLOW RUN 5K Dec. 31, 5:00–6:30pm. Participants receive more glow paraphernalia than they know what to do with and the course is lined with flashy lights and DJs. Harrisonburg, Va. 757-478-0495,


Orchestra/Band/Classical/Choral HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Dec. 2, 7:00pm. The Roanoke Symphony Orchestra under David Stewart Wiley presents holiday favorites. 1001 Roanoke Blvd., Salem, Va. 540-375-3004, I december 2016 I recreation news 19

WSO WINTER CONCERT Dec. 3. The Westminster Symphony Orchestra will present music by the great masters as well as seasonal works. 2 College Hill, Westminster, Md. 410-386-8348 HAPPY HOLIDAYS CONCERT Dec. 10, 7:30pm.The National Chamber Ensemble performs at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre, 1611 N. Kent St., Arlington, Va. 703-685-7590, THE WOODBRIDGE FLUTE CHOIR Dec. 10, 3:00pm. An ensemble consisting of flute, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute, and contrabass flute will present its annual holiday concert. Greenwich Presbyterian Church, Nokesville, Va. HOLIDAY BRASS CONCERT Dec. 14, 6:00–9:00pm. With a variety of styles from classical to contemporary, you’ll delight in the sounds of the season. 900 Greenbrier Circle, Chesapeake, Va. 757-382-6411, HANDEL’S MESSIAH Dec. 17–18. Performance by the acclaimed National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale and world-class soloists, led by conductor Stan Engebretson. The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. 301-493-9283, VIENNA BOYS CHOIR PRESENTS “CHRISTMAS IN VIENNA” Dec. 18, 4:00pm. Celebrate the holidays with these extraordinarily talented young Austrian choristers in concert as they perform sacred hymns, holiday pop favorites, and Christmas carols. George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Va. 888-945-2468,

Popular/Other SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY & THE ASBURY JUKES Dec. 15–16. With their classic blend of hardcore rhythm and blues and street-level rock, Johnny and his Jukes continue to put their unique stamp on the Jersey Shore sound, while recalling the glory years of Otis Redding. Rams Head on Stage-Annapolis, 33 West St., Annapolis, Md. 410-268-4545,


VIRGINIA BALLET COMPANY NUTCRACKER Dec. 27, 28. Ernst Community Cultural Center Theater, NVCC Annandale Campus, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, Va. 703-249-8227,

Theater THE SECOND SHEPHERD’S PLAY Through Dec. 21. This magical retelling of the Nativity story combines beautiful music and a moving story for the holiday season. Folger Consort performs festive medieval English tunes against the backdrop of this engaging mystery play. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St., Washington, D.C. 202544-7077, SHAUN JONES AND BRENT BLAKENEY Dec. 1, 8:00pm. Comedy at AMP powered by Strathmore, 11810 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda, Md. FREAKSHOW Dec. 2–10. Mr. Flip’s traveling freakshow is in trouble: the “attractions” are tired of being displayed and gawked at. Carson Kreitzer’s gritty play looks at humanity’s outcasts, who seek not acceptance, but self-determination. Towson University Center for the Arts, Studio Theatre, Towson, Md. 410-704-2792, SCREENING OF KING LEAR Dec. 5, 7:00pm. Antony Sher returns to the Royal Shakespeare Company to play King Lear, one of the greatest parts in this, one of Shakespeare’s most epic and powerful plays. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St., Washington, D.C. 202544-7077, FANCY NANCY: SPLENDIFEROUS CHRISTMAS Dec. 11, 1:00 and 4:00pm. Vital Theatre from New York City presents this fun and splendiferous story based on The New York Times’ best-selling picture book by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. The Robert Ames Alden Theatre at the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, Va. DR. SEUSS’ HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS Dec. 13–31. Audiences will discover the magic of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale as it comes to life live on stage. The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-6286161,

Exhibits Featured Exhibitions SHAKESPEARE FIRST FOLIO Ongoing. Always on display at the Folger, the 1623 First Folio includes almost all of Shakespeare’s plays. It is also our only source for 18 of them, including Macbeth, The Tempest, and As You Like It, which would otherwise have been lost. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St., Washington, D.C. 202544-7077, BARTERING FOR A CONTINENT Through Dec. 10. The importance of trade between American Indians and English colonists, from the founding of Jamestown through the American Revolution, and the role of Virginia in the development of a new world of exchange in goods and commodities in North America is explored in this special exhibition. Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, Va. 888-593-4682, HOLIDAY SALON Through Dec. 11. Features works displayed in “booths” by various artists in many mediums, from paintings to sculptures, hand-bound journals to wood-burnings, practical fiber arts, and decorative holiday elves. Mattawoman Creek Art Center, 5565 Upham Place, Marbury, Md. WINE AND SPIRITS IN DELAWARE Through Dec. 31. The exhibit utilizes graphics and historical objects from the collections of the state of Delaware to tell the story of Delaware’s wine and spirits trade from the time of European settlement to the present day. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, Del. 302-645-1148,


DECO JAPAN Through Jan. 1. The exhibit explores how the Japanese interpreted art deco and transformed it through their own rich art and craft traditions. Hillwood Museum, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-686-5807,

UNRESERVED DANCE COMPANY CONCERT Dec. 3–11. Enjoy an evening of classical and contemporary dance that illustrates a commitment to preserving tradition and cultivating innovation. Towson University Stephens Hall Theatre, Baltimore, Md. 410-704-2760

MEMBERS EXHIBIT Through Jan. 3. This exciting exhibit showcases a variety of mediums and subject matter, and all art is offered for sale by contacting the artists. Todd Performing Arts Center, Chesapeake College, 1000 College Drive, Wye Mills, Md.

DANCESCAPES Dec. 8–10, 8:00pm. Choreography from across the country takes center stage as performed by the Virginia Repertory Dance Company. James Madison University, 147 Warsaw Ave., Harrisonburg, Va. 540-568-7000,

A BRANDYWINE CHRISTMAS Through Jan. 8. From the spectacular O-gauge model train exhibition with trains running on nearly 2,000 feet of track, to a gallery devoted to a delightful display of rare antique dolls dressed in exquisite period clothing, plus thousands of whimsical Critters displayed on towering trees soaring up through the museum’s three-story atrium. The Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, Pa. 610-388-2700,

Rediscover the wonders of the holidays.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT HOME Sunday, Dec. 4, vs. Dolphins, 1:00pm Sunday, Dec. 18, vs. Eagles, 1:00pm


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 Monday, Dec. 19, vs. Panthers, 8:30pm

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


• 2 or 3 Night Oceanfront Stay • New Year’s Eve Dinner & Dessert for Two

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

• Dance to the sounds of “That’s What She Said”(Top 40 & Classic Rock - • Open Bar 8:30pm to 12:30am & Late Nite Snack Bar • Champagne Toast as the ball drops with Festive Hats and Horns

Tuesday, Dec. 6, vs. Magic, 7:00pm Thursday, Dec. 8, vs. Nuggets, 7:00pm Saturday, Dec. 10, vs. Bucks, 7:00pm Wednesday, Dec. 14, vs. Hornets, 7:00pm Friday, Dec. 16, vs. Pistons, 7:00pm Sunday, Dec. 18, vs. Clippers, 3:30pm Monday, Dec. 26, vs. Bucks, 7:00pm Wednesday, Dec. 28, vs. Pacers, 7:00pm Friday, Dec. 30, vs. Nets, 7:00pm

WASHINGTON CAPITALS AT HOME Thursday, Dec. 1, vs. Islanders, 7:00pm Monday, Dec. 5, vs. Sabres, 7:00pm Wednesday, Dec. 7, vs. Bruins, 8:00pm Monday, Dec. 11, vs. Canucks, 5:00pm Saturday, Dec. 17, vs. Canadiens, 7:00pm Saturday, Dec. 23, vs. Lightning, 7:00pm Thursday, Dec. 29, vs. Red Devils, 7:00pm

Relive the magic of the holidays at Boardwalk Plaza Hotel and our Victoria’s Restaurant in Rehoboth Beach. Plan a one-night romantic getaway or hibernate in Victorian elegance for a week or more. Plus, our oceanfront banquet rooms fit holiday parties perfectly. Call or visit us online to learn more. 2 Olive Avenue & the Boardwalk Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

The Capitals play home games at Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. Call 202-397-SEAT or visit

BALTIMORE BLAST AT HOME Saturday, Dec. 10, vs. Tropics, 7:05pm

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

(800) 33 BEACH | (302) 227-7169

20 recreation news I december 2016 I

(8:30pm seating with reserved seating for the night) night

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THE NEW WORLD DISCOVERS ASIA Through Jan. 8. The first large-scale Pan-American exhibition to examine the profound influence of Asia on the arts of the Colonial Americas. Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Del. 302-888-4803, YULETIDE AT WINTERTHUR Through Jan. 8. Will highlight the holidays through a child’s eyes in the 19th and 20th centuries and feature the exquisite dollhouse as a central attraction. Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, 5105 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, Del. 800-448-3883, A FEAST FOR THE SENSES Through Jan. 8. This international loan exhibition brings together more than 100 paintings, tapestries, metalwork, manuscripts, and prints from museums in the United States and abroad, including masterpieces from the Walters’ collection. The Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md. 410547-9000, NO MAN’S LAND Through Jan. 8. Large-scale paintings and sculptural hybrids by 37 contemporary artists from 15 countries appear in this exhibition, organized by Miami’s Rubell Family Collection. National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-783-5000, ROMANTIC ECHOES FROM JAPAN’S GOLDEN AGE Through Jan. 15. The BMA presents an exquisite selection of late 19th- and mid-20th-century kimonos and obis that have never been shown before. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, JOHN WATERS’ KIDDIE FLAMINGOS Through Jan. 22. The 74-minute video shown on a continuous loop in the Black Box gallery features adorable kids wearing wigs and suggestions of the original costumes as they evoke the legendary performances of Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey, and others. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, THE ART OF JOHN SLOAN Through Jan. 28. Explores all facets of the artist’s long career: his work as an illustrator in Philadelphia, his famous depictions of New York City, his lively views of Gloucester, Mass., and his fascinating studies of Santa Fe, N.M. The Delaware Museum of Art, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Del. 302-571-9590, MATISSE/DIEBENKORN Through Jan. 29. More than 90 paintings and drawings by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) show the French modern master’s enduring influence on one of the greatest post-war American painters. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, JASPER JOHNS AND EDVARD MUNCH Through Feb. 20. Assembles more than 120 paintings, drawings, and prints in once-in-a-lifetime combinations to trace the route Johns traveled in relation to Munch’s work. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Blvd., Richmond, Va. 804-340-1400, POPUPS BY COLETTE FU Through Feb. 26. This focus exhibition presents works from her series Haunted Philadelphia, inspired by eerie historical sites in her hometown, and We Are Tiger Dragon People, her visual explorations of the culture in China’s Yunnan Province, her ancestors’ homeland. The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-783-5000,

FRONT ROOM: GUERRILLA GIRLS Through Mar. 12. This group of anonymous women artists have produced, over the course of 30 years, a body of work that includes posters, stickers, books, printed projects, and actions that expose sexism and racism in politics, the art world, film, and culture at large. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, FOUR SEASONS BY PHILIP HAAS Through Mar. 31. The lush foliage, colorful blooms, and vegetation native to each of the seasons, are spectacularly transformed into larger-than-life, three-dimensional portrait busts for this special exhibition. Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.

Lectures/Workshops/Classes 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,

ON PAPER: FINDING FORM Through Apr. 30. This exhibition celebrates one of the strengths of the BMA’s collection: contemporary drawings that combine an interest in pure, refined geometric form with a desire to use materials expressively. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700,

STAINED-GLASS CLASS Mat About You Gallery, 3774 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, Md. 410-313-8860,

ARTISTS STUDIO TOUR Dec. 3–4, 10:00am–5:00pm. Follow the Carroll County, Md., trail from Taneytown to Sykesville with 11 stops and 13 artists on the 10th annual open studio event. Wood turning, handspun yarn, and forged ironwork are among the less-common works displayed. Carroll County, Md.


CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN ART Dec. 18–June 18. Each artist offers pointedly political perspectives on the lives of Africans and their diasporic descendants. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700,

History A COLONIAL CHRISTMAS Dec. 1–31. Holiday traditions of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia are recalled throughout the month with special interpretive programs. Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Va., and Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg, Va. 757-253-4838, FREE BOOK TALK: JUSTICE AND VENGEANCE Dec. 4, 1:30–2:30pm. A marvelous work of historical re-creation, Justice and Vengeance is sure to fascinate anyone interested in crime drama, the Civil War and its aftermath, and the history of Virginia and the politics of the American South. The Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William St., Manassas, Va. 703-368-1873, CHRISTMAS IN THE HOSPITAL Dec. 17, 2:30pm. At the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, program coordinator Jake Wynn details how Christmas was celebrated inside downtown Frederick’s numerous wartime hospitals. National Museum of Civil War Medicine, 48 E. Patrick St., Frederick, Md. 301-695-1864

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

CAPE MAY CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT TOURS Dec. 3, 10, and 17. See a large selection of Victorian inns, homes, churches, and hotels all beautifully decorated for the holidays. Cape May, NJ. 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 MATHALIVE! Through Jan. 8. Forty immersive activities create fun experiences that bring to life the real math behind the things kids love most — video games, sports, design, music, entertainment, space, and robotics. The Virginia Air and Space Center, 600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, Va. THE ARMY-NAVY FOOTBALL GAME Dec. 10, 3:00pm. M&T Bank Stadium, 1101 Russell St., Baltimore, Md.

OLD MARYLAND FARM ACTIVITIES Old Maryland Farm, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Md. 301-218-6770 or 301-699-2544, MONTPELIER MANSION TOURS Sundays, 1:00pm and 2:00pm. Montpelier Mansion, Route 197 and Muirkirk Road, Laurel, Md. 301-953-1376

STUART DAVIS: IN FULL SWING Through Mar. 5. Carefully selected from the full range of Davis’s career, some 100 of his most important, visually complex, jazz-inspired compositions will be on view. The National Gallery of Art, National Mall between Third and Seventh streets at Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 202-737-4215,


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To submit an event for the Recreation News Calendar: Every announcement 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, 19 Clay Lodge Lane #201, Catonsville, Md. 21228, or email to

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civil war I su clauson-wicker

Lynchburg museums and historic sites recall its Civil War role Union Gen. David Hunter bore down on Lynchburg with fire in his eyes in June 1864, after his troops burned their way down Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He intended to destroy the city’s railroads and the munitions factories, bringing the Civil War to a halt. But, Hunter was outfoxed by Confederate Gen. Jubal Early, who ran a train back and forth through town, simulating the arrival of thousands of fresh troops. Despite his larger army, Hunter withdrew and Early gave chase, inflicting heavy casualties. “The Battle of Lynchburg was considered a Confederate victory — and Union forces never entered city limits,” notes Lynchburg Museum director Doug Harvey.

Cemeteries that are more than graves All the same, Lynchburg is a Civil War city, with war stories to tell. Lynchburg’s popular Civil War driving tour and guided walking tours point out a few remnants of the 30some soldiers’ hospitals, as well as entrenchments, heroes’ homes, and even former brothels. The popular “Bawdy Ladies” tour draws crowds to Old City Cemetery where madams were interred. Virginia’s oldest-operating cemetery also contains the graves of 2,200 Confederate soldiers, as well as several African-American Union soldiers. But, this cemetery is far more than a burial ground — it hosts plays, cultivates heirloom roses, houses a

Lynchburg Museum

The Lynchburg Museum displays a rare example of the first Confederate battle flag, the Stars and Bars.

We the People

goat herd, and maintains five small museums. The Pest House Museum features a contagious-disease hospital for soldiers and office for Civil War doctor John Terrell. Using things he had on hand — sand, lime, and linseed oil — Terrell lowered the hospital’s death rate from 50 percent to 5 percent. An ominously large hypodermic needle and bone saw still sit at the ready. Other museums include a hearse house, a mourning museum, an oldstyle chapel, and a station house museum. Cemetery strolling is popular in Lynchburg. At Presbyterian Cemetery, visitors can pay respects to Confederate generals Samuel Garland and Robert Rodes, as well folk artist Queena Stovall and a greatniece of George Washington. But, the grave of Edwin Emerson probably elicits the best story. Emerson, an actor, was in the cast at Ford’s Theatre the night Abraham Lincoln was shot. He looked so much like John Wilkes Booth that it ruined his acting career. He returned to Lynchburg, and opened a shop on Main Street. He died in 1922, on the anniversary of the assassination. Lynchburg lays claim to the only museum honoring both Union and Confederate chaplains. The National Civil War Chaplains Museum at Liberty University focuses on the role of some 3,600 chaplains, including Jewish chaplains and African-American

chaplains on both sides, and the war’s only female chaplain, Elvira Gibson Hobart. Museum director Kenny Rowlette can tell the stories behind the photographs of mid-battle blessings and absolutions, warera Bibles, and the windowed casket.

Homes with stories to tell Because no battle entered the city, visitors can still enjoy Lynchburg’s gorgeous old homes and riverside brick warehouses which now house shops and a hotel. Driving tours over the cobblestone streets of Lynchburg’s seven historic districts reveal more columns, colonnades, and cupolas than any other Virginia city of 80,000. The city’s most famous mansion, Point of Honor, built in 1815, was home to George Cabell, physician to Patrick Henry during his last illness. Home tours include a stop at the adjoining Diggs Gallery, which currently features the diseases of earlier Americans and their treatment. Historic Sandusky, a stately brick home on the western side of town, can brag about the most Civil War history, and it has the scars to prove it. In June 1864, Sandusky was seized by Hunter and used as a military headquarters for two days during the Battle of Lynchburg. A patch on roof marks where Union soldiers cut a hole for their sentries.

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9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, MD 20735 Phone: 301-868-1121

The house contains some original furniture, including a landscape painting slashed by Yankee sabers after the officers left the house. Historic Sandusky has won three regional Emmy awards for its documentary film, Hunter’s Raid: The Battle for Lynchburg. It is open for tours of the house and museum on weekends and by appointment on weekdays. In downtown Lynchburg, look for your Civil War fix in the Greek Revival courthouse at the top of Monument Terrace. Now housing Lynch-

burg Museum, the building served as Virginia’s capitol for four days between the fall of Richmond and the surrender at nearby Appomattox. Among Lynchburg Museum’s 25,000 objects — ranging from antique toys to quilts to enema products developed in town — are Civil War artifacts related to Lynchburg’s history. See a rare “Stars and Bars,” the Confederacy’s first official national flag, as well as artifacts from the Battle of Lynchburg and Early’s ornately carved beverage cooler. Beneath the Confederate soldier

statue across the street lies a time capsule containing photographs of local Confederates, CSA currency, and hair from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s famous horse, Traveller. If you have kids in tow, you might consider running off excess energy on the 139 steps of Monument Terrace, paying respects to the veterans

of various conflicts at each level. If you’re lucky, the little ones will soon be ready for a quiet meal at one of Lynchburg’s outstanding Main Street restaurants.

For more information Lynchburg Tourism:

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hether your interest is in the causes for Confederacy, the struggle for Union or the fight for Freedom, you’ll find it at The American Civil War Museum. In Richmond and Appomattox.

One great museum. Three distinct locations. ACWM.ORG I december 2016 I recreation news 23

pennsylvania I vanessa orr

Ten Pennsylvania towns invite you to celebrate the season There are so many wonderful things to do around the holidays, but if you’re looking for a traditional Christmas, Pennsylvania’s small towns are a great place to find it. Tuba players will converge on historic Lincoln Square in Gettysburg to play Christmas carols during the 21st annual Holiday Tuba Carol Fest on

Dec. 9. The next day, the 20th annual Holiday House Tour is your ticket to see the town’s most historic properties decorated for the holidays. ( Calling all night owls! Christmas has begun the same way in Glen Rock, Pa., since 1848 — with a group continued on page 31


Steam into History

Santa joins the O Tannenbaum Train in York County, Pa.

One truly unique holiday experience takes place at the Plain & Fancy Farm east of Lancaster, Pa. Using a wood and brass “magic lantern,” hand-painted images are projected onto a big screen, with tales narrated by a master storyteller who transports his audience back in time. “Magic lantern shows are just something that you don’t seen anymore,” said Brad Igou, of the Amish Experience, about the early technology that served as a precursor to movies. “Magic lanterns provided a way to project images to large numbers of people for entertainment as well as education.” The farm boasts the only permanent magic lantern theater in the world. The show runs Nov. 25–Dec. 31 (see website for dates) and includes The Night Before Christmas, A Christmas Carol, and the very unique Gabriel Grub and the Goblins tale, a little-known Charles Dickens’ story. (,

This Holiday Season

Celebrate the Holidays in Franklin County! PA Opry Country Gospel Christmas Nov. 16, 17, 30 Dec. 1, 8 Christmas on the Farm At Renfrew Museum Dec. 2, 3, 4


alendars c r u o y k r Ma

IceFest ‘17

Tiny World Shippensburg Nov. 25-Dec. 25

Cocoa Crawl in downtown Chambersburg Dec. 2

Greencastle Heritage Christmas Dec. 2, 9, 16th

Conococheague Institute Christmas Open House Dec. 10


In Downtown Chambersburg

866.646.8060 |717.552.2977 | 24 recreation news I december 2016 I

pennsylvania I jane and marvin bond

A top-10 Santa Claus arrival and 500,000 lights await you The Chester County, Pa., portion of the Brandywine Valley celebrates the holidays with parades, art, railroad excursions, and beautiful floral and light displays. It’s an old-fashioned family experience sure to put you into the holiday spirit. The West Chester Railroad’s Santa Express trains run Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18. The 90-minute ride travels through the Chester Creek Valley, and includes live music and photo ops with Santa Claus. ( Santa makes an official arrival in downtown West Chester on Dec. 2 during the annual QVC Christmas Parade. Insider tip: Far from a small-town event, this one has hundreds of participants, large floats, and has been called “one of the top 10 places to experience the arrival of Santa Claus during the holiday season” by USA Today. Eight beautiful homes in West Chester Borough are open for a holiday house tour on Dec. 3, 10:00am–3:00pm. The homes date from 1851 to 1984. There’s even a “hard hat” tour of the historic armory. Also on Dec. 3, at 2:00pm, you can see a production of The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told, off-Broadway’s improvised, interactive, musical pirate adventure that delivers laughs for kids and grown-ups alike. The Brandywine Ballet’s dancers present the seasonal classic, The Nutcracker, Dec. 9–11 and 15–18. It’s an opportunity to see one of Chester County’s signature holiday events. ( Throughout December, the Chester County Historical Society presents an exhibition by Adrian Martinez. Martinez is a Pennsylvania artist who reveals the world of Humphry Marshall, one of America’s 18th-century botanists and a native of the area. The artist uses 12 recently completed paintings to depict the evolution of Chester County from frontier land to farmland. Overnight accommodations are available at the Hotel Warner in West Chester, one of the Historic Hotels of America. The hotel blends the circa 1930 Warner Theatre lobby into a newly constructed wing with 80 rooms. It is within walking distance of 120 shops and restaurants.

Elsewhere in Chester County The sights and sounds of the season at Longwood Gardens’ Christmas display include more than 6,000 seasonal plants, with strolling carolers and performances bring holiday cheer to the gardens. Every night through Jan. 8, 500,000 lights illuminate the gardens and the colorful fountains dance to holiday tunes. Three fire pits are available to warm visitors. Timed admission tickets are required. ( Historic Kennett Square actually kicked off the holiday season with its holiday light parade Nov. 25, but holiday horse-drawn carriage rides are available Dec. 4, 11, and 18, noon–3:00pm. The First Friday Art Stoll is Dec. 2, and the Kennett Symphony’s Pop Goes the Holidays concert is Dec. 3. The Kennett Holiday Village market offers unique artisan gifts Dec. 3–4 and 10–11 at the Creamery. (

The Brandywine Valley’s greatest winter celebration is in West Chester. QVC West Chester Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 2, ranked by USA Today as “one of the top ten places to experience the arrival of Santa Claus.”

Also ...

Santa’s Express railroad experience, home tour, The Nutcracker, and more provide an old fashioned holiday.

For more information

Downtown lodging at

Downtown West Chester:

West Chester PA

Skating in Havre de Grace November 25 through January 8 Friday 4-8 Saturday 12-8 Sunday 12-6 Also open 12-8 everyday Dec 26- Jan 2

Join us in Havre de Grace this holiday season at Hutchins Park to feel the nostalgia of days gone by. The outdoor holiday skate rink arrives just in time to kick off the season with lights and music. Skate rentals are available and outdoor seating is plentiful for those that like to sit on the sidelines. Bundle up and bring your family and friends for skating this winter season! Each weekend a different nonprofit will be running the rink earning 70% of the admission and rental fees for their group.

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November 25-27 December 2-4 December 9-11 December 16-18 December 26-27 December 28-29 December 30- 31 Jan 1- 2 January 6-8

Shop Local this Holiday Season! Visit our stores in downtown Havre de Grace to find that unique gift for every person on your list! Start a new holiday tradition this year in Havre de Grace. Our Calendar of Events has something for all ages to enjoy. A Holiday Gallery Now through December 24 “Light Up Night” Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting December 2 Victorian Illumination December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18 Mommy & Me Christmas Tea @ Steppingstone Farm Museum December 4 Christmas Carol Tea December 10-11 Holiday Boutique @ the Lock House December 10-11 44th Annual Candlelight Tour December 10 Holiday Gift Shoppe @ the Concord Point Lighthouse December 10-11 Havre de Grace Church Tour December 31 New Year’s Eve Duck Drop & Fireworks December 31 I december 2016 I recreation news 25

family travel I ami neiberger-miller

holiday events commemorate the season in washington, D.C. area There’s a wealth of events to enjoy in the D.C. metro area during the holidays. Check out a few of these favorites, and have fun with your family. u A Christmas Carol Ford’s Theatre Nov. 17–Dec. 31 A Washington tradition for 35 years. Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace assumes the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a lavish Victorian-style production at America’s most famous theater. ( u Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical National Theater Dec. 13–31 The picture book about the true meaning of Christmas comes to life on stage featuring the songs You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch and Welcome Christmas from the cartoon. ( u Holiday ice skating Citywide Through March 20 Outdoor skating rinks can be


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magical. Try Washington Harbour in Georgetown, Canal Park, Reston Town Center, Silver Springs Ice Skating at Veterans Plaza, and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.

u Holiday Pops: Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana The Kennedy Center Dec. 9–10 The National Symphony Pops presents a family-friendly program of holiday classic carols and seasonal sing-alongs with Osnes and Fontana, notable for their star turns on Broadway in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Fontana will be familiar to many as the voice of the devious Prince Hans in Frozen. ( u Holidays at Tudor Place Georgetown Dec. 3, 6, 7, 11, 18, 20, 21 Tudor Place, Georgetown’s historic house museum, marks its bicentennial with a variety of holiday teas, children’s programs, candlelight tours, and wreath-making and “Gin-

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gerbreadpalooza” workshops. (

u ICE! Gaylord National Resort Nov. 19–Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 5–7) “Christmas Around the World” is the theme of this year’s holiday display. Bundle up to enjoy a winter wonderland sculpted out of 5,000 blocks of ice weighing more than 2 million pounds. u Mount Vernon by Candlelight George Washington’s Mount Vernon Nov. 25–Dec. 18 Take a character-guided candlelit tour of the first and second floors of the president’s mansion. Join in 18th-century dancing demonstrations, peek inside Martha’s holiday kitchen, enjoy fireside caroling, and say “hello” to Aladdin, the Christmas camel. ( u National Christmas Tree The White House Ellipse Dec. 1–Jan. 1 Traditionally lit by the first family during the first week of December, the National Christmas Tree is a camera-ready reason to visit President’s Park. After the lighting ceremony, tickets will not be needed to visit the display, which is lit nightly from 4:30–10:00pm and includes trees for each state and territory, as well as nightly entertainment. (

u National Menorah The White House Ellipse Dec. 25–Jan. 1 The lighting ceremony at 4:00pm on the first night of Hanukkah, Dec. 25, requires tickets for reserved seats and is free to all. The American Friends of the Lubavitch are joined by “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band, the Three Cantors, and Dreidelman and the Macabees for a celebration. Menorah kits and dreidels offered. (nationalmenorah. org)

u “Season’s Greenings” U.S. Botanic Gardens Nov. 24–Jan. 2 This year, the annual holiday show includes a collection of American landmarks made from plants. Inspired by the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, a model train will tour a landscape of iconic American parks and landmarks such as Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon. The gardens are open until 8:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. ( u Septime Webre’s The Nutcracker THEARC Theater, Nov. 25–27; Warner Theatre, Dec. 1–24 A beloved local twist on the holiday classic ballet that swaps the traditional setting of a European mansion for the Lincoln White House and the Sugar Plum Fairy for the Cherry Blossom Princess. (

family event

Start your holiday season off with merriment at Wolf Trap’s 2016 “Holiday Sing-A-Long,” Dec. 3 at 4:00pm at the Filene Center. Sing along to Christmas and Hanukkah songs with area choirs and vocal groups from the Washington area, and enjoy a performance by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band. Bring a candle, a bell, and holiday cheer. Admission is free; attendees are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots. Parking is also free, but limited, so early arrival is recommended. — ami-neiberger-miller

Free in D.C.

Find unique Christmas gifts made by 150 artisans at the Downtown D.C. Holiday Market on F Street between Seventh and Ninth streets through Dec. 23, noon–8:00pm daily. ( ... Enjoy the holiday decorations and the elaborate Norwegian Christmas model train display at Union Station ( ... ZooLights at the National Zoo includes 500,000 lights set to music, as well as animal-themed live performances, a choo-choo train, and a snowless tubing run. ( zoolights) — gwen woolf

Catch Recreation News on WFED AM 1500 or at

culture I gwen woolf

Do you hear what I hear? 12 places to catch the holiday spirit in music Are you in tune with the season? Whether you like your holiday music served with Christmas carols, pops concerts, or religious cantatas, the Capital Region has much to offer in the way of holiday music. One of the livelier celebrations is the annual “Holiday Sing-A-Long” on Dec. 3 at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna in Virginia. On tap on Dec. 4 at The Barns is “Christmas Bells Are Swingin’” with the Boston Brass. Here’s a sampler of other holiday concerts. Check the websites for details.

with the band Restless Heart, Dec. 11 ( u George Mason University Fairfax “Songs of the Season” with the American Festival Pops Orchestra, Dec. 10; “A Canadian Christmas,” Dec. 17; “Christmas in Vienna” with the Vienna Boys Choir, Dec. 18 u Convergence Alexandria “Reflections” with the Alexandria Singers, Dec. 9–10


Virginia u The Campagna Center Alexandria The 46th annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade, Dec. 2–3 u Hylton Performing Arts Center Manassas “Rejoice and Be Merry!” with the Manassas Chorale, Dec. 3; “Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season” with the American Festival Pops Orchestra, Dec. 9; “A Restless Heart Christmas”

u The Music Center at Strathmore Bethesda Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Dec. 3; “Holidays” with Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists, Dec. 7; “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas,” Dec. 11–12; Handel’s Messiah with the National Philharmonic, Dec. 17–18; “A Nat King Cole Holiday” with Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli, Dec. 15; “A Candlelight Christmas” with the Washington Chorus, Dec. 19 ( 410-638-6901 | fax: 410-638-6902 Mailing Address: 1607 Sailaway Circle, Baltimore MD 21221 S E R V IN G


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Washington, D.C. u National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse Free nightly performances throughout December by volunteer choirs, bands, and dancers ( u Washington National Cathedral Handel’s Messiah, Dec. 2–4; “Joy of Christmas” with the Cathedral Choral Society, Dec. 9–11 (cathedral. org) u The Kennedy Center “Irish Christmas: A Celebration of Carols” with Keith and Kirstyn Getty, Dec. 7; “A Merry Little Christmas” with Megan Hilton, Dec. 8–9; “A Holiday Pops” with the National Symphony, featuring Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana, Dec. 9–10; “A Candlelight Christmas,” featuring the Washington Chorus, Dec. 11–22 (selected dates); Handel’s Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra, Dec. 15–18; “A Family Christ-

mas” with the Choral Arts Society of Washington, Dec. 17; “A Choral Arts Christmas” with the Choral Arts Society, Dec. 18–24; the Messiah Singalong, Dec. 23 (kennedy-center. org) u DAR Constitution Hall “Spirit of the Season” with the United States Air Force Band, Dec. 10 ( u Lisner Auditorium George Washington University “A Nordic Celebration of the Winter Solstice in Music, Dance, and Drama” with the Washington Revels, Dec. 10–18 ( u Atlas Performing Arts Center Holiday Concert and Sing-along with the Capital City Symphony, Dec. 11 ( u Verizon Center “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Dec. 15 (

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adventures in taste I reed hellman

‘Tis the seasoning: Savor the tastes of the holidays Winter holiday cuisine has evolved its own distinct palette of spices and seasonings. “Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg — that evokes the holidays,” said Meg Whitlock, vice president of sales for Baltimore-based Vanns Spices. “And all the pumpkin pie spices, and apple pie spices, and ginger. And don’t forget sage for the turkey rub.” Scents and tastes are powerful memory triggers. For so many people, the tangy, aromatic mélange of exotic herbs, seeds, and spices conjures holidays past and sets the mood for this year’s festivities. At Vanns Spices, the months before the winter holidays are the year’s busiest. Two shifts of workers, working six days each week, turn out 45 bottles every minute of spices, spice blends, and extracts to meet the seasonal demand. Each year, the company packages and ships 2 million bottles of spices, herbs, chilies, peppers, salts, extracts, beans, and grains, primarily to food retailers, restaurateurs, professional chefs, food service operators, and food manufacturers, often with private labels and custom packaging. Despite Vanns’ largely wholesale business, customers can visit the plant to purchase a bottle of the newest spice blends or stock kitchen pantries. The atmosphere within the building is an added benefit. Entering Vanns’ operation gives immedi-

ate evidence of the power of the aroma generated by grinding, preparing, and packaging all of those spices. “Our most popular spice is ground cinnamon,” said Whitlock, “then Chesapeake Bay Seafood Seasoning.” She mentioned that cinnamon — the bark of a tropical tree — has a number of varieties, with much of it coming from Ceylon. Recently, cinnamon from Saigon entered the market with a spicier flavor. The latest trend is for Mediterranean spices and peppers, Middle Eastern chilies in particular. “A lot of ‘warm’ spices: bold but not hot; a full pepper flavor, but not spicy.” From adobo and allspice to wasabi and zahtar, Vanns purchases bulk ingredients in small lots, turning over inventory within three months to keep the on-hand supplies fresh and potent. Whole spices generally last longer than ground or powdered spices — only grind the amount that you need when you need it. Best practice calls for keeping open containers of spices away from heat, in a dark cupboard, because light can dull the seasonings’ colors. “Now is a good time of the year to restock your spice cabinet,” advised Whitlock. “Whole spices will keep three to four years, but with time, the aroma and potency declines. Ideally, use them within a year of purchase.” I usually purchase small lots of spices and always check the sell-by dates. I generally favor whole spices that I can grind as needed. A separate, inexpensive coffee grinder serves well to freshly prepare the toughest cinnamon sticks, cloves, or cardamom pods. For frequently used spices, such as black peppercorns, an inexpensive hand grinder or grinder-top jar can be a good investment. However, for coarse grinds and spice blends, a good mortar and pestle just feels right, enables easy adjustment of ingredients, and can send up waves of fragrance. This month’s recipe comes from “OvenBits: The Official Vanns Spices Blog,” written by Lydia Whitlock at The Raz El Hanout spice

Canaan Valley continued from page 14 At the bottom of the run I looked up and my tracks were already covered by a fresh layer of the white stuff. And that’s how it went for the rest of the day. I skied every open run — skied between the trees in the Weiss Meadows glades and watched the snow pile up foot by foot. The shuttles never stopped running and the sounds of plows could be heard in the distant background. It was almost 4 feet of snow by the time the

Ski slopes continued from page 18

West Virginia u Canaan Valley The resort has doubled its snow-making capability with additional snow guns, and bought

28 recreation news I december 2016 I

Reed Hellman

Mick and Meg Whitlock, owners of Vanns Spices, hold a huge piece of cinnamon. blend uses sweet spices to enhance Moroccan dishes such as couscous, or any dish that combines fruit and meat.

Raz El Hanout Roasted Squash Servings: 4 to 6 1 large (about 2 pounds) butternut or other winter squash 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon Vanns Raz El Hanout 1/2 teaspoon Vanns ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon Vanns kosher salt, or to taste 1/4 teaspoon Vanns black tellicherry peppercorns, freshly ground Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Place the squash cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle the Raz El Hanout, cumin, salt, and pepper on top. Toss with your hands to coat evenly. Spread the butternut squash cubes in a single, even layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and tender. Reed Hellman is a professional writer living in Alberton, Md. Visit or email storm ended the following evening. This made the skiing the next day even better. And, I should’ve stayed a few more days to enjoy this winter playground. However, the real world beckoned and I braced myself for a torturous drive back through the mountains to the Washington suburbs. The drive was actually a complete no-brainer. All of the roads and even the main highway, Route 48 (Corridor H) had been plowed. In West Virginia, they get the snow … and they know how to deal with the snow.

Learn more: Tucker Co. Tourism: $80,000 in new rental gear for skiers, boarders, and ice skaters. The tubing hill and skating rink should open over the Thanksgiving weekend for an early start of winter activity. ( u Timberline The other resort in the Canaan Valley will be increasing snowmaking by 30 percent from last year. (

wine doctor I ed ard fin tein

Ten rules for “wine schmoozing” Film and TV stars frequently attend them. Politicians and heads of state usually find themselves there. High society folk call these regular hangouts and celebrities of all sorts make this scene. What on earth is it that all these people go to, you ask? I’m talking about the “wine schmooze,” of course. What exactly is a “wine schmooze,” you may ask. The unabashed Wine Doctor dictionary defines a “wine schmooze” as a gathering where people chat, network, meet and greet, nibble, and otherwise socialize, all while sipping on a glass of vino. No other get-together is classier and more hip than this type of soiree. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? You don’t have to be famous, though, to enjoy this celebratory do. “Wine schmoozing” is for everyone. With the holiday season once again upon us, “wine schmoozes” will be popping up everywhere. Whether you are hosting or attending one, the “good doctor” has some tips on making the most of your holiday “wine schmooze.” The following are 10 golden rules for “schmoozing par excellence.” u First and foremost, keep it simple. Forget those old, rare, expensive, special bottles of vino you’ve been hanging on to. Enjoy them in a more intimate setting with fewer folks. Instead, pick young, fresh, fruity, crisp, robust wines to serve. Wines that work best will stand up to nibbles of all sorts, extraneous smells of perfume and after-

shave that most folks will be sporting, and loud, boisterous conversation. u Stay away from excessively oaky and tannic wines. These wines will only overwhelm the palate and make it difficult to properly taste any food. Also, avoid wines with bodacious alcohol, as these can numb taste buds and lead to too much of a buzz. u Have someone who is not indulging act as bartender, dishing out the pours. An open bar where folks help themselves is a mistake and leads to overdrinking. u Do not use plastic glasses, plates, or cutlery. Nothing is tackier. If God had intended us to sip wine out of plastic, he would have included a straw on our faces. Don’t chill stemware, either; chill the wine, if needed. u Serve only finger foods. These are easy and don’t involve all the paraphernalia required for full-fledged dining. Besides, it generally leaves your hands free to “press the flesh.” u Provide non-alcoholic drinks. Drinks such as soda, juice, and water are important for non-drinkers. u Ensure there is a designated driver on hand. Designated drivers are important in case any guests overdo it. If possible, even have an extra space where someone could spend the night.

u Stand instead of sit. Although chairs should be made available at a “schmooze,” it is better to stand, allowing networking and moving about freely to socialize. u Look good and dress sharp. This is a great opportunity to strut your stuff and let others see your great fashion sense. This is one of the main reasons for standing, as your clothes look much better when you’re vertical and not bunched up while seated. u Most importantly, always have a wine glass in your hand. The glass could contain juice, soda, water, or whatever, but it’s a vital part of the “schmooze” look. Keep it partially filled whether you’re sipping wine or not. Hopefully, these tips for “wine schmoozing” over the holidays will have you feeling like you’re at an Academy Awards after-party. Just remember to sip responsibly, ensuring your holiday festivities are safe. Have fun, and the best of the season to all. © Edward Finstein, “The Wine Doctor” 2016. “The Wine Doctor” is Edward Finstein, awardwinning author, TV/radio host, renowned wine journalist, international wine judge, professor of wine and consultant. (, drwineknow,,, edwarddocfinstein?fref=ts)

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30 recreation news I december 2016 I

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Pennsylvania continued from page 24 of caped carolers trekking through the small York County borough singing Christmas carols, followed by a crowd. It all begins at midnight on Dec. 25. ( Through Dec. 4, ride the rails through a winter wonderland on Steam Into History’s Tannenbaum Christmas Tree Train in New Freedom, then hop into a horse-drawn carriage to go to the Bricker Tree Farm. There, you can pick a tree that will be waiting for you back at the station. ( Step back in time during Bellefonte’s Victorian Christmas, Dec. 9–11, and you might even get a chance to meet Charles Dickens or some the characters right out of his books. If you’d like a close-up visit with Dickens himself, plan on attending Dinner with Dickens on Saturday, Dec. 10, to enjoy fine food, games, and merry skits. ( If you’re a big Dickens’ fan, don’t miss the 33rd annual Dickens of a Christmas on Dec. 3 in Wellsboro. It includes craft and food vendors lining the streets, strolling musicians, dancers, actors, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and Scrooge himself. Victorian

costumes are welcome. ( Franklin County celebrates the season with the Cocoa Crawl in Downtown Chambersburg on Dec. 2 and recommends the Tiny World miniature town in Shippensburg that features 20 different decorated homes and is open through early January. You can experience Christmas as it would have been in the 1800s at the historic Renfrew Museum and Park, Dec. 2–4, and enjoy horseand-buggy rides through downtown Greencastle on Dec. 2, 9, and 16. (explorefranklincountypa. com) Ring in the holiday season with the 37th annual QVC West Chester Christmas Parade on Friday, Dec. 2. Not your typical small-town parade, this one features hundreds of participants and was named USA Today’s “One of 10 Best Places to See Santa.” ( Indiana, the hometown of actor Jimmy Stewart, has something going on every weekend Nov. 18– Dec. 23, including photos with Santa and live reindeer, a Christmas home tour and sing-along, and the chance to pick out your tree in the Christmas Tree Capital of the World. There’s also a 24-hour It’s a Wonderful Life movie marathon for those hard-core Clarence fans who can’t wait to see him get his wings. ( I december 2016 I recreation news 31


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Recreation News, December 2016