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publisher’s note I karl teel

Maximize your greatest possession — YOUR time

There’s no better month for a romantic holiday than February. Think about it. You’re getting tired of the cold. Why not counter the cold with a little cuddling by a fireplace? Bring on the romance and pair it with a glass of wine and watch the snow fall out the window; maybe even hear a little howling of the wind. There’s so much you can do. Don’t have a fireplace? Visit a cabin in West Virginia or a lodge at Deep Creek Lake. They all have them. Not really a fireplace type of person? Why not take advantage of all the restaurant specials around or take the time to enjoy one of the numerous museums we are so fortunate to have in the region. Of course, you can also do the crisp outdoors thing with skiing, snowmobiling, or hiking.

We have a ton of ideas at the Recreation News Media Group for you to make the most of your time and, just as importantly, we have a ton of ways to tell you about them. You’re using one of them right now as you are reading our monthly newspaper, or maybe it’s the digital magazine version you can link through at RecreationNews.com. And, while you are on Recreation News.com, enjoy additional content including more text, photos, or videos. You can read our calendar of events in the paper or in the online version and learn more about the events with our hot links and maps. In the hustle-and-bustle world we live in today, spontaneity becomes a requirement to get the most of your time and make the optimal choice for what to do. How many times have you said something like, “Wow, I wish I knew about that (event), I would have gone. I stayed home and organized my closet because I was bored!” Well, even if you don’t have the paper in hand, you can always snag the information by visiting RecreationNews.com. Better yet, it is formatted for your smart phone, so you can do it on the fly. But you don’t have to come to us, we come to you. Are you on Facebook? So are we. Like us. Add us to your feed. Not only will you find out more on what’s going on, we give away lots of tickets and other prizes. Join us on Twitter with RecNewsTweet. Want to know what is going on during the upcoming weekend? Sign up for The Weekend Update. Every Wednesday, just after lunchtime on “hump day,” we send out an email of about a dozen events coming up, many with discount opportunities, and all of

TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 ~ Publisher’s Note 4 ~ Editor’s Note 6 ~ Cruise Corner 8 ~ Travel Line 10 ~ Spring comes to Harford County 12 ~ House of Cards tour 13 ~ Underground Railroad experiences 14 ~ Family Travel 15 ~ Spotsylvania’s African American Heritage Trail 16 ~ Celebrate The Homestead’s 250th 18 ~ Ski Blue Knob 20 ~ Calendar of Events 24 ~ Presidents Day Weekend events 25 ~ Ocean to Bay Bike Tour 26 ~ Berks Jazz Fest 27 ~ Culture 28 ~ Adventures in Taste 29 ~ Wine Doctor 31 ~ Classified them with hotlinks. Not getting it? Email events@ RecreationNews.com and we’ll sign you up right away! Have a great February and a memorable Valentine’s Day. We are here to help you maximize your greatest possession — your time. Enjoy!

On our cover Escape the winter blues on a cruise from the Port of Baltimore.

How do you #liveplaydo?

Share a photo on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag and be entered to win lift tickets!

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editor’s note I marvin bond

Sharing memories made through travel

Studies show the most common reason for Americans to travel is visiting family and friends. This recent holiday season, a record 100 million of us made a trip of 50 miles or more. A few weeks before the holidays I headed to Richmond, Va., for a belated 100th birthday visit with my last surviving aunt. Our families had been close in my youth; we even lived together for a short time when I was about 9 years old. The two families made a month-long cross-country trip in 1962 and visited the great national parks, such as Yosemite, Sequoia, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore, as well as the relatively new Disneyland and

the Seattle World’s Fair. We also took several trips to cabins in the Boone, N.C., area. They visited us when we lived in Virginia Beach and we visited their summer cottage on the Rappahannock River. The hilarious events on those trips created memories just as vibrant as the parks and monuments we visited. My aunt’s eyesight has long since faded, but her laugh remained strong as we dredged through the memories of those trips and other common experiences unique to our families, prompting each other with stories and names and places. Travel is an important part of creating the kinds of experiences that bind families together from generation to generation. Summer beach vacations, theme park vacations, day trips, and holiday visits are all fraught with moments to savor, creating memories to share long into the future. Whether it’s a once-in-a-lifetime

cruise or a simple day on the beach, we remember not just the places, but also the people we shared the experiences with and with whom we will share the memories. Please be sure you make those memories in 2016. And, make time to share some memories with family and friends you visit.

Travelers’ toolbox u The Anderson Design Group is saluting the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service with a 160-page book (available in hardcover or softcover) that features the group’s original poster art, which is a take on early-20th-century travel posters. Specifically, the art’s inspiration comes from the 11 surviving National Park travel posters created by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. The 70 illustrations represent all 59 of our national parks, but there also is a lot of information about each park. And, there’s a timeline that starts with the creation of Yellowstone National Monument — 44 years before the park service was born — to the creation of Pinnacles National Park in 2013. (adgstore.com) u Worldwide terror attacks have led to an increase in questions to travel insurance specialists about terrorism-related coverage and cancellation for any reason provisions. Typically, terror-related cancellation coverage extends only to acts that occur within a certain number of days of departure and not all providers offer the coverage, so be sure to check with your provider.

Coming next month Railroad attraction round-up Civil War section Fishing in the Mid-Atlantic Pennsylvania campgrounds

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RUISE

orner michelle & karl teel

c c RUISE orner c c

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with these romantic cruising tips Remember The Love Boat? Most baby boomers and a few Gen Xers probably have the opening tune memorized. For a lot of Americans, The Love Boat was their first glimpse at cruising for people other than millionaires. Cruising has been closely associated with romance, and the television series certainly wove many a plot around various romantic themes. Sometimes, a little help can take a so-so cruise and make it a memory maker for years to come. The key to that can be found in little moments you create for yourself and your special someone. Some are free, while others may cost a little bit. Why not cruise from Baltimore and use the airline savings to do them all? Here are our Top 10 tips:

Ditch the kids for a night Children bring a lot of love into the family, of course, but they aren’t exactly the formula for a romantic evening. If you opted to take the family on a cruise, make sure you take a night for yourselves. Virtually all cruise lines have well-staffed, affordable programs and babysitting services. Check it out in advance and plan ahead for a special date night.

Star-lit deck walks

It always amazes us how few cruisers we see at night while strolling around the top deck. Perhaps the crowds are in the theater, lounge, or casino. The stars are often much brighter at sea without the light pollution near the coast. It’s generally warm, and if not, walking closely with your arms around each other helps. Take an open lounge chair and ponder and talk. And remember, this one is free!

Take a dance class You can’t be much more “together” then when dancing. Learn something new together and have a great excuse to go out and practice later on. These classes are either free or very low cost and pay dividends for a lifetime. Your friends will ask, “Where did you two learn to dance like that?” The romance can become habit forming. Be the couple others are envious of at any wedding party.

Take a martini or cooking class These are often free or low cost. The martini classes are typically the cost of two cocktails (and you get four). The best part is that you learn some-

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thing to share and do together in the future. You have to eat and drink every day, so learn to make it more enjoyable. This learning promotes togetherness, which is the foundation for romance.

Have flowers and champagne sent Everyone loves these surprises. It’s not just limited to your spouse, either. Surprise another couple. Most cruise lines offer this service online. As long as you know their name, the cruise ship’s name, and the departure date, you can set this up. Surprisingly, it’s as inexpensive as your local florist. Many cruises are planned around anniversaries, birthdays, and other celebratory times. Make it special!

Upscale dining reservations Everyone knows you are going to eat pretty well on any cruise, but let’s up the ante. Main dining areas have you paired with many others which can be fun and engaging. Tables for couples aren’t always in the more desirable locations. Most cruise ships now have one or more upscale restaurants that are a true bang-for-the-buck. For a fee ranging from $10 to $50 a person,


you can upgrade to a high-end, white-glove service, seven-course meal that would run $300 to $400 a couple if you were to do it near home. We’ve never met anyone who regretted this decision and have received countless thanks for this advice.

Balcony night Sometimes, quiet and simple is the key. If you have a balcony room, this is superb. Get a bottle of wine and room service, dim the lights, and sit on the balcony slowly savoring your meal as conversation weaves its way through the evening. We often begin our day with room service breakfast

on our balcony. It’s even better if you are facing a sunset. Either way, the quiet simplicity of sharing a meal with the one you love is memorable.

Play your song Slide a note and a tip to the musicians and have them dedicate your favorite nostalgic song to you and that special someone. This little show of thoughtfulness can take a plain nightclub moment and make it yours. Don’t feel awkward, because the entertainers are used to it. Or, try singing a karaoke duet. Have a cocktail first to give you both a little liquid courage and feel the love as you croon to one another while staring

lovingly into each other’s eyes.

Special excursions Do some research and plan in advance. Depending on the ports of call on your particular cruise, there can be a wide variety of options to fit every taste, every budget, and every flavor of romance. A private sail for two on a sloop? A picnic in a sublime location? A horse-drawn carriage ride? The possibilities are endless.

Hit the spa Splurge a little and spend a day at the spa together. Hot tubs, saunas, and a couple’s massage (hot stone is our favorite) create a memory that

will long outlive the brief pain in the checkbook. Pamper the relationship as you pamper yourselves. Show your sweetheart how much you care by sharing the romance of a cruise together. A cruise can be the most exciting, fun, relaxing, delightful, fulfilling, or romantic time you can have. Do some research by contacting one of the travel agents in these pages or by visiting any cruise line website. There is sure to be a cruise that fits your personality, budget, or ideal itinerary. Your Valentine will be sure to thank you. Bon voyage!

Celebrity tempts your bucket list with seven continents, 10 ships What’s on your bucket list? Tasting the local marinara in Rome? Trekking the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska? Sipping tropical drinks in the Caribbean? Something more exotic? Explore all seven continents with Celebrity Cruise Line’s 10 modern luxury ships. Choose from more than 280 destinations in 75 countries. Discover cities after sunset with Celebrity’s overnight stays in more than 50 ports, including favorites Barcelona, Cartagena, and Singapore — and soon-to-be favorites Boston, Madeira, and Valencia.

Extend your vacation with a City Stay package in any departure port — take a tour, see a show, lounge in luxury. Pair a river cruise or land tour with your ocean sailing by adding an Explorations package. Signature Event Sailings place you amid iconic happenings such as the French Open in Paris and sailing races in Bermuda. These new events join old favorites like the British Open, Cannes Film Festival, and others worldwide. Experience inspired design, stylish staterooms, intuitive service, and up to 12 distinctive restaurants. The readers of Travel Weekly just voted

Celebrity Cruises as Best Premium Cruise Line for the eighth consecutive year.

Special deals Military discounts bring you closer to accomplishing your mission — modern luxury vacationing. To learn more and book, contact Philip Jacobs, government-employee specialist, at pjacobs@celebrity.com.

You can also choose from Classic Beverage Package, Unlimited Internet Package, Prepaid Tips, or $150 to spend on board. See the terms and conditions for these packages at celebritycruises.com. Go big: Pick one perk and go. Go better: Pick two perks for just a little more. Go best: Get all four perks, plus upgrade to premium beverages.

Celebrity Cruises

It’s hard to beat a day at the spa on your romantic cruise. Celebrity Cruises

Today’s cruisers want luxury on the inside and balconies on the outside. The Celebrity Solstice delivers.

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travel line I carol timblin

Finding romance from Jekyll Island to the Mid-Atlantic A large crowd gathered in mid-November at the ruins of Horton House (circa 1743), the first home to be built on Jekyll Island, Ga., for the rededication of the state park, which encompasses the entire island off the Georgia coast. Among the assembled were historical interpreters portraying Maj. William Horton and Gen. James Oglethorpe and their families. (In charge of troops on nearby St. Simons Island, Horton raised cotton and brewed the first beer in Georgia.) The two leaders, who played a key role in the settlement of the Georgia colony in 1732, welcomed guests as they approached the tabby ruins, awash with candlelight, and its walks outlined in luminaries. Guests passed through the walls of the shell on their way to the backyard where an evening of food, musical entertainment, and a glass-blowing demonstration awaited. The party marked the first time ever that an event was held at the ruins, and it served as a vivid reminder of the key roles early colonists played in the formation of our country. The next evening, the celebration continued at The Westin Jekyll Island, a brand new 200-room luxury hotel overlooking the Atlantic, and at the shops in the adjoining village. Over the next two days the focus shifted to the Jekyll Island Club, an exclusive club for America’s millionaires from 1886 until 1942. (Munsey’s Magazine, at the time, described the club as “the richest, the most exclusive, and the most inaccessible in the world.”) The celebration culminated with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and other dignitaries presiding over the re-dedication of Jekyll Island State Park, one of the most desired vacation spots on the East Coast

thanks to ongoing preservation and conservation efforts. All 5,700 acres of secluded beaches and maritime forests are included in the park near the Florida state line, easily accessible from I-95. Jekyll Island is truly an outdoor paradise, with unlimited recreational offerings, including fishing, camping, birding, nature walks, hiking, canoeing/ kayaking, golf, tennis, croquet, horseback riding, dolphin tours, swimming, a seasonal water park, geocaching, and bicycling. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which rescues and releases endangered sea turtles, is located on the island. History abounds, too. The National Landmark Historic District, which includes the restored Jekyll Island Hotel and surrounding cottages, covers about 200 acres of the island. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, the historic hotel offers 157 beautifully appointed rooms and suites and a full array of amenities, including a day spa and salon, fitness room, baby-sitting, afternoon tea, cooking classes, and many special packages, including those devoted to romance. Named one of the “Top 10 Romantic Spots in the World” by Coastal Living, the island hosts more than 240 weddings a year at the Jekyll Island Club, The Westin Jekyll Island, and at locations such as Plantation Oak, Driftwood Beach, and Faith Chapel. (jekyllisland.com)

Romancing in the Mid-Atlantic Since “Virginia is for Lovers,” why not spend Valentine’s Day in the Mid-Atlantic state? Virginia. org offers suggestions for “10 Ways to Get Romantic in Virginia”: 1. Treat your five-star someone to one of Virginia’s five-star stays. 2. Dine upscale while tasting the local flavor. 3. Surprise your love with a special bed-andbreakfast stay or cozy cabin all to yourself. 4. Take your relationship to new heights at Virginia’s tallest peaks. 5. Give the gold medal treatment with samples of award-winning craft beverages or head to a couples-only winery for a quiet tasting together. 6. Relax in luxury with a couples massage at a Virginia spa. 7. Cuddle by the fire at a Virginia mountain resort.

family event

Learn about the Underground Railroad from the comfort of your living room before you go on an adventure. National Geographic offers a 3-D simulation (great for tablets) that asks students to visualize a journey on the Underground Railroad and the difficult situations freedom seekers faced. (education.nationalgeographic.org/media/ underground-railroad-journey-freedom) Scholastic takes you back to the year 1860, where you can follow a young slave as he flees a Kentucky plantation for Canada along the Underground Railroad. Write a secret letter in the code used by “conductors” or watch a slideshow on the Underground Railway. (teacher.scholastic.com/ activities/bhistory/underground_railroad/index. htm) — ami neiberger-miller

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8. Plan a proposal at a Virginia LOVEwork sculpture. (Be sure to capture the moment, tag it #LOVEVA, and share it socially.) 9. Share a kiss at a kissing bridge, of course. 10. Head to any of Virginia’s many romantic destinations and make your own romance. Another place to consider for the holiday is romantic Philadelphia. The “City of Brotherly Love” invites lovers to rekindle their relationships at cultural sites, romantic eateries, outdoor attractions, and other spots in the city. Check out visitphilly. com for Valentine’s Day dining options, hotel specials, and romantic attractions. If you’re spending Valentine’s Day in Metro D.C., plan something around theater, dance, and musical events. Log on to culturecapital.com for a guide to The Arts Valentine’s Day Weekend 2016 in the nation’s capital. Certainly a fitting place to visit during Valentine’s weekend is The Valentine Museum, which has more than 900,000 artifacts in its general collection that relate to life in Richmond, Va. Among its permanent exhibitions are the 1812 John Wickham house, a Federal home that tells the story of one of the city’s most prominent families. Also on site is Edward Virginius Valentine’s 19th-century studio, where he created masterpieces such as the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee at Washington & Lee University in Lexington and the statue of Thomas Jefferson at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. The studio features his original works, tools, photographs, and personal effects. The Valentine First Freedom Center, dedicated to religious freedom and located in Richmond’s Shockoe Slip, is also a part of the museum. The Valentine hosts a number of changing exhibits throughout the year. Currently on view are “Edith Shelton’s Richmond,” through May 8, which features photos by the 20th-century amateur photographer, and professional photographer Alyssa C. Salomon’s “A Chicken in Every Plot,” through Sept. 5. (thevalentine.org)

Other travel news Regent Seven Seas Cruises will launch the Seven Seas Explorer, its newest ship, this summer. Book early and save up to $4,000 on these inaugural cruises: Monte Carlo to Venice, July 20;

FREE IN D.C.

Ever hear of “sound art?” Experience Emeka Ogboh’s Market Symphony exhibition, which features sounds from a Nigerian open-air market, Feb. 3–Sept.24 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art (africa.si.edu) The National Museum of Women in the Arts has a free community day on Feb. 7 — check out the current exhibition, Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today. (nmwa.org) Commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday at the Lincoln Memorial with a wreath-laying ceremony and a dramatic reading of “The Gettysburg Address” at noon on Feb. 12 — the beginning of Presidents Day weekend. (nps.gov/linc/index.htm). — gwen woolf


Venice to Rome, Aug. 3; Rome to Lisbon, Aug. 13; Lisbon to Barcelona, Aug. 25; Barcelona to Rome, Sept. 4; Rome to Venice, Sept. 14; Venice to Monte Carlo, Sept. 24; Monte Carlo to Athens, Oct. 4; Athens to Istanbul, Oct. 12; Istanbul to Jerusalem, Oct. 22; Jerusalem to Rome, Nov. 2; and Rome to Miami, Nov. 16. (ssc.com) Check it out! The “Top 15 Places to Go in 2015,” according to Conde Nast Traveler, were Cartagena, Columbia; Santa Teresa, Costa Rica; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Mexico City; Rwanda; Myanmar; Nassau, The Bahamas; Belgrade, Serbia;

Helsinki; Berlin; Cape Town; Houston; Cuba; Mitford Sound, New Zealand; and Guangzhou, China. The best places to spot celebrities were Italy, Japan, The Maldives, Russia, Brazil, Greece, and Australia. Available through March on travelzoo.com are large one-bedroom suites with full kitchens at The Historic Powhatan Resort, convenient to Colonial Williamsburg, for $59 on weekdays and $69 on weekends.

Valentine History Center

Explore Richmond’s past at the Valentine History Center through the lens of photographer Edith Shelton.

Carol Timblin welcomes travel news at ctimblin@gmail.com.

travel line

MARYLAND

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Need to Drive A Message? This space can tell over 100,000 readers about your great travel destination and package plans. For only $3 per thousand people, it’s an economical way to reach a great audience! Our readers are upwardly mobile, highly stable workers, who enjoy travel and leisure, and are looking for fun and a good value for their recreation and travel needs. To find out how, call us at 410-638-6901 or email Publisher@RecreationNews.com for details!

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maryland I jade nicolette

Spring awakens the senses in Harford County, Maryland Gardens, parks, and history beckon you to the top of the Chesapeake Bay Experience the best that northeastern Maryland has to offer as spring comes to Harford County, Md. At the renowned Ladew Topiary Gardens, there’s something in store for visitors of all ages. Inspired by extensive travels to England and Italy, Harvey Ladew re-created an exquisite topiary garden of his own. Sprawling more than 22 acres, the gardens include fountains, vibrant flowers, and a Harford Co. Tourism

butterfly house, which all capture the essence of his visits to Europe. Families can explore the mysteries of Maple Magic at Ladew, Feb. 20–21. Guests will enjoy a guided hike and learn the step-by-step process of making maple syrup. Come hungry and ready to enjoy the tasty delights of homemade Ladew syrup, maple candies, and a pancake snack. In the springtime, you’ll see a colorful array of tulips, azaleas, shrubs, and flowering. On May 7, visitors can enjoy the eighth annual Garden Festival, showcasing rare perennials and offering a selection of garden ornaments for sale. Although the gardens are filled with perennials throughout the seasons, the best time of year to see the most blooms is usually during the beginning of May. The Manor House of Harvey Ladew and the gardens will officially reopen to the public April 1. Ladew Topiary Gardens has been recognized as one of the Top 5 gardens in North America by the Garden Club of America and given the distinction as one of 10 incredible topiary gardens around the world by Architectural Digest. (ladewgardens.com)

Check out the parks

Ladew Topiary Gardens is an amazing place to visit, especially in springtime.

Just 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., Harford County is home to some of the area’s finest hiking trails. Lush, expansive views and beautiful scenery are just a few of the best reasons to visit places such as Susquehanna State Park, one of the most cherished state parks in Maryland. Visitors can enjoy a wide array of recreational pursuits, including fishing, flat water canoeing, and camping. Susquehanna State Park also includes 15 miles of winding trails, through creek bottoms and across hay fields. These horseback-friendly trails offer beautiful views of the Susquehanna River Valley. In addition to Susquehanna State Park, the county includes other of Maryland’s most prized natural areas, such as Gunpowder Falls State Park, Rocks State Park, and Falling Branch Falls. Today, Gunpowder Falls State Park is one of Maryland’s largest, encompassing more than

18,000 acres in Harford and Baltimore counties. Falling Branch Falls, or Kilgore Falls, is Maryland’s second-highest free-falling waterfall. There are miles of pet-friendly developed hiking trails in the parks, including paved trails, which provide easy access to some of the most scenic views. Take a short day hike or spend a relaxing late afternoon enjoying the sunset. Or, for a more relaxing visit, just sit back and enjoy the scenery along the beautiful scenic drives in these notable state parks or along the area’s scenic byways.

Authentic history, too History buffs will appreciate Jerusalem Mill Village, an 18th-century testimony to the community’s earliest industries and one of the most intact mill villages in Maryland. The atmosphere makes for a perfect setting for historical reenactments and storytelling events. Volunteers and historical interpreters create an accurate portrayal of traditional life from the 1770s through the 1930s. Throughout the year, visitors can enjoy familyfriendly live action Civil War-era demonstrations and battle reenactments. The Colonial Craftsmen, a special artisans’ weekend, is a must for those who appreciate unique handmade items. You can even watch vintage baseball played with 1860s rules about once per month, from March through August. The McCourtney Building is one of the more popular tourist sites, while the gristmill was later revamped to become the Gunpowder State Falls Park headquarters and visitors center. (jerusalemmill.org) The region’s rich maritime heritage is on display at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum and the Decoy Museum. You’ll learn all about the generations of inhabitants, from the earliest Native Americans to European Colonial history. For those with a penchant for folk art, the Decoy Museum allows visitors to appreciate the beauty of decoy making and waterfowling traditions at the top of the Chesapeake Bay.

Learn more Harford Co. Tourism: visitharford.com

Dave Gigliotti

The King and Queen’s Seat is a famous formation in Rocks State Park that offers great views.

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maryland I staff

Tour House of Cards sites

The popular Netflix series House of Cards traces the rise of a Washington power couple played by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and begins its fourth season in March. Produced in Maryland, the series has generated a lot of local interest, especially in Harford County which has been a prominent location for filming sequences for the series. Although not all of the Harford County film locations are accessible due to privacy restrictions,

fans can still follow along with the action by taking a self-guided tour of some of the major sites. There are currently 10 sites on the tour. “We’ve had people from all over the Mid-Atlantic taking the tour,” said Greg Pizzuto, who promotes the county. “You can download a tour map from our website or stop in at the visitor center and pick one up. We’ll have an app as well available to coincide with the start of Season 4.” Harford County has stood in for locations ranging from China to South Carolina. In Season 2, the Harford Co. Tourism

site of a garden meeting in Beijing, China, was actually a pagoda constructed for the shoot at Ladew Topiary Gardens. “It was beautiful,” the garden’s Julie Gilbert told The Baltimore Sun. “But we couldn’t keep it because we are a historic garden, so we cannot make (permanent) changes such as this.” The church where characters Claire and Francis renewed their vows in Season 3 is actually Union United Methodist Church in Aberdeen. The elegant home in a fundraiser scene from Season 2 was actually the immaculate historical mansion Liriodendron, which dates back to 1897 and is definitely worth a visit. Downtown Havre de Grace stands in for Gafney, S.C., in three seasons and locations in Aberdeen and Havre de Grace served as sites for campaign events. The EZ Tobacco Shop in Havre de Grace was transformed into a campaign headquarters. Check out the Visit Harford website for more sites on the fun-filled tour. “If you stop in at the visitor center you can even get a Frank Underwood for President campaign button,” said Pizzuto. (visitharford.com/house-of-cards-self-guided-tour) Netflix

Harford Co. Tourism

Downtown Havre de Grace stands in for Gafney, S.C., in the Netflix series.

Union United Methodist Church in Aberdeen is where the Underwoods renewed their vows.

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Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright play a Washington power couple in House of Cards.


maryland I staff

Take in the Underground Railroad experience in Maryland A free guided hike is offered on Saturdays from April through October. The hike lasts 2 and a half hours and is led by volunteer “conductors” who take groups on a 2-mile simulated Underground Railroad experience demonstrating the techniques used to avoid slave trackers and find food along the way to the North. A trail map is also available for self-guided tours. (montgomeryparks.org) The Button Farm Living History Center is tucked within Seneca Creek State Park in Montgomery County and is the state’s only living history center that depicts 19th-century slave plantation life. While the farm was not a stop on the Underground Railroad, it offers an Underground Railroad Immersion Experience. This hands-on history program guides you through slave life, the auction block, and the flight

Dorchester Co. Tourism

to freedom. (buttonfarm.org) Lifelike images of a number of people associated with the Underground Railroad help to fill the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore. There, figures of Henry “Box” Brown, Hannibal, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, and Bessie Coleman are joined by likenesses of Harriet Tubman and Thomas Garrett, as well as anti-slavery advocates Banneker and Douglass. Easton, Md., unveiled a statue of Douglass in 2011. The statue depicts the orator delivering one of his fiery abolitionist speeches. Douglass was born near Easton in about 1818. The 17-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center, adjacent to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, marks some important milestones this spring. Construction of the visitor center should be complete by March, although the interpretive exhibits and orientation film will not be complete until 2017. An open house is planned

for March 11–12 at which the exhibit designs will be on view. The exhibit building will include the main interpretive experience and exhibits focusing on Tubman and the Underground Railroad from the Maryland perspective, as well as the orientation film.

Harriet Tubman Byway

Maryland offers many touchstones to the Underground Railroad. The Banneker-Douglass Museum, located in Annapolis, is a gem of information and inspiration. Learn about Benjamin Banneker, Thurgood Marshall, and many other famous African-American Marylanders. Hear a speech by Frederick Douglass. See a reward poster for capturing Harriet Tubman or an advertisement for the slave auction that involved Kunta Kinte of Roots fame. The free museum is typically closed on Sundays and Mondays. (bdmuseum.maryland.gov) The Underground Railroad Experience hikes at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park commemorate the involvement of Montgomery County, Md., residents in the Underground Railroad and celebrate the Quaker heritage and traditions of Sandy Spring.

Harriet Tubman was called the “Moses of Her People.”

Construction of the visitor center at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park is nearing completion.

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family travel I ami neiberger-miller

Exploring the Underground Railroad Throughout the Region a system of safe houses and aides helped many flee enslavement and find freedom. To learn more about Tubman, pick up a map at the Dorchester County Visitor Center or online (harriet tubmanbyway.org). There are 32 locations to explore on a 125-mile driving tour known as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. A free audio guide is also available online for the tour. On the driving tour, learn about the daring Christmas Eve escape Harriet Tubman of Jane Kane with Tubman and see One of the most well-known the Buttons Creek site. You can also “conductors” on the Underground drive past the home of Jacob and Railroad, Harriet Tubman was born Hannah Leverton, which was a station in Maryland and escaped from slavhouse on the Underground Railroad. ery on the Eastern Shore. She boldly In the process, you’ll learn valuable returned to the state several times to lessons in U.S. and African-American free others, including several memhistory. bers of her own family. Her detailed At the Harriet Tubman Museum instructions, use of disguises, and and Education Center in Cambridge you can watch the film, learn about both Tubman and the Underground Railroad, and hear from the wellinformed and passionate docents. The free museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. You can see both sides of the The Bucktown Village Store is a location closely slave story at the associated with Harriet Tubman’s youth. Harriet Tubman Byway

History buffs with an interest in the Underground Railroad will find plenty of sites to explore in the MidAtlantic. Two of the most prominent people involved in the Underground Railroad and the fight for equality — Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass — were both born in Maryland and escaped from slavery there. Now you can follow in their footsteps and find other sites that helped conduct slaves to freedom.

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Seaford Museum in Seaford, Del. An exhibit depicts Tubman’s only known trip into Delaware, a daring escape with her charge, posing as passengers on an actual train. Then, meet Patty Cannon, whose reign of terror in Southern Delaware lasted 30 years and included kidnapping free blacks and selling them into slavery in the South. (seafordhistoricalsociety.com)

Frederick Douglass Born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Frederick Douglass escaped at a young age to freedom in the North. He settled in Rochester, N.Y., but his footprint remained large as Douglass became the editor and publisher of The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper, and was active in the Underground Railroad. The St. Michaels Museum in Talbot County, includes an exhibit, “Frederick Douglass: His world 18181895.” The museum’s signature tour “Frederick Douglass, a slave, in St. Michaels 1833-36,” gives an even more detailed view of the early life of St. Michaels’ most famous 19thcentury resident and probably the most important African-American abolitionist in the Civil War era. The tours are generally scheduled in late summer and early fall. (stmichaels museum.org) After the Civil War, Douglass went to Washington, D.C., where he served as the marshal of the District of Columbia and was appointed recorder of deeds for the city. His home, Cedar Hill, is located at 1411 W St. SE and now known as the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. While Douglass did not live in the house during his days with the Underground Railroad, the home and its exhibits share about his life, as well as his tireless advocacy and passionate devotion to civil rights. Walk in the library where Douglass wrote and studied, see his dumbbells and panama hat in his bedroom, and walk in the footsteps of other civil rights pioneers who visited him at Cedar Hill. You can also learn about our changing way of life — see the kitchen with a coal stove, considered revolutionary for its time — and consider how the family and their guests lived without indoor plumbing in the historic 14room house. You can only enter the house while on a guided tour (offered at intervals throughout the day) with National Park Service rangers. Reservations are recommended and

can be made by calling 877-4446777. There is a $1.50 fee for each reserved ticket. Reservations must be made at least one day in advance. If available, unreserved tickets are free to the public and may be claimed on a first-come, first-served basis. The historic house is on top of a 51-foot hill offering lovely views. It can be reached either by climbing 85 stairs or by taking a ramp. A visitors center offers restrooms and a film about Douglass. Parking is available on-site and the location can be reached by public transit. In the summer months, the Smithsonian shuttle will bring you to the site from the National Mall/Smithsonian area at no charge.

A Northern connection With Maryland remaining a slaveholding state, Pennsylvania was the first true abolitionist state along the Underground Railroad and every county in the state has at least one site of significance to the effort. The Kennett Square Underground Railroad Center teaches about 16 nearby sites that aided slaves making their way North. In Reading, the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum building was once a stop on the way to freedom. You can spend the night at the Across the Way Bed and Breakfast in Reading, a restored Victorian that was once an Underground Railroad safe house, or at the Pheasant Field Bed and Breakfast in Carlisle, Cumberland County, which was also a station along the “trackless railroad.” Indiana County, Pa., offers a three-hour self-guided Underground Railroad tour of sites that have existing structures or markers. Indiana County was a hotbed of abolitionist activity and held a well-known collection of stops along the Underground Railroad. The tour starts at the Underground Railroad History Center in Blairsville and its “Freedom in the Air” exhibit. Along the route, a marker tells the story of Richard Newman, who escaped slavery and settled in Blairsville. When a bounty hunter and deputy U.S. marshall arrived in town seeking Newman, a mob ran the two out of town. There’s an annual reenactment of the 1858 rescue. You’ll also see numerous homes and commercial buildings that were stops along the Underground Railroad’s path to the North.


virginia I sue bland

Beyond Solomon Northrup: Twelve years an education New African American Heritage Trail opens in Spotsylvania County In the 150 years since the Civil War, we in America have had time to listen and learn, time to hunger for details in our collective story. Thanks to historians who keep unearthing buried treasures, we know a lot more about our American experience. A Preserve America grant administered by the National Park Service helped Spotsylvania County, Va., open an African American Heritage Trail and share untold tales of civil war and civil rights, emancipation and education. Eleven road signs now reveal regional and national stories we didn’t learn in history class.

Driving Spotsylvania’s trail The John J. Wright Museum and Cultural Center is the place to begin the trail. This was the first school in Spotsylvania that gave AfricanAmericans more than seven years of education. Museum director Roger

Braxton, who led the creation of the heritage trail, said, “I wanted to preserve the material history of AfricanAmerican education in my hometown because it was in danger of being lost.” Braxton returned to his Spotsylvania home after a career in the U.S. Army piloting planes and leading multicultural educational programs. In 2007, with Terry Miller, he authored the Arcadia Press-published African Americans of Spotsylvania. “Once schools became integrated, collections of AfricanAmerican students’ sports trophies, yearbooks, and photos were taken down,” said Braxton, who’s making it his mission to collect and share this personal heritage. He and assistant director Denise Benedetto have interviewed senior residents whose oral histories can now be seen and heard at the Wright Museum. Braxton recommends visiting the

Spotsylvania Courthouse, which has some of the most complete public records of any courthouse in America. Confederates buried the records during the Civil War so they wouldn’t be looted or burned as they were elsewhere. The Spotsylvania County Jail holds enough stories for several feature-length films. Learn about two slave sisters, servants to a local judge, who were jailed here and eventually released. The old jail will soon become a museum. By the mid-1900s, one-room schoolhouses were still used to educate African-American children in Spotsylvania. Leaders from 12 churches calling themselves the Spotsylvania Sunday School Union pooled resources, bought land, built structures, and hired teachers. This four-score-plus history with still-standing tiny schoolhouses is right down I-95, a little more than an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C. Braxton and his classmates who

attended the Wright School were the first to graduate with 12 years of schooling in 1962. He and Benedetto, together with cultural leaders in adjoining Stafford County and Fredericksburg, are telling stories that go beyond Kunta Kinte of Roots fame, including those of Henry Box Brown who shipped himself to freedom, and Solomon Northrup, whose story was told in the book and film Twelve Years a Slave. You can see sites related to all these characters in Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Fredericksburg, but the Spotsylvania African American Heritage Trail also provides insight into the struggles and achievements of African-Americans in more modern times. Take the drive. You’ll get an education.

For more information Spotsylvania Co. Tourism: visitspotsy.com/ african-american-heritage-trail

John J. Wright Museum

The pathway of African-American education, from one-room schoolhouses to a 12-grade system, is highlighted along the trail. John J. Wright Museum

The untold role of African-American soldiers in the Civil War is part of the story along the Spotsylvania trail.

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virginia I roberta soslow

Celebrate The Homestead’s 250th anniversary in Bath County The Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead Resort provides activities that are great for couples or families throughout the year.

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A different cake for every day of the year and a roster of activities so long that it could fill a book — this is how to throw a party. Visit The Omni Homestead Resort, Virginia’s historic resort tucked in the Allegheny Western Highlands, during its 250th anniversary and you’ll enjoy more than cake. “Allegheny,” in Algonquin, means “endless,” which describes Bath County’s vistas and pleasures. These include natural springs that stay warm — even hot — year-round. Named for England’s city of Bath, famed for healing waters since ancient Roman times, the county and its mineral springs have attracted travelers for centuries. In 1766, the first Homestead Resort was built in the community of Hot Springs by a military officer who was paid with a 300-acre land grant. Eventually expanding to 2,300 acres and acquired by the Omni chain in 2013, the resort consistently appears on lists of top-rated resorts. Guests have included two dozen presidents and other celebrities. Today, Bath County attractions include fine restaurants, galleries, Garth Newel Music Center, bed-and-breakfasts, and outdoor fun. About 89 percent of the county is still forest. The Homestead is a manmade jewel amid the trees and slopes. Here are some favorite things to do.


Springs eternal Located in The Homestead’s spa garden, the natural springs that earned the town of Hot Springs its name run a constant 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotel’s indoor pool and water park are hydrated by natural springs. Now part of The Homestead, the Jefferson Pools’ crystal-clear, mineral-rich waters stay 98.5 degrees year-round. The pools are named for Thomas Jefferson, who for three weeks in 1818 took the waters for rheumatism. The pools are housed in octagonal wood buildings. Considered America’s oldest spa structure, the men’s was constructed 1761. The ladies’ opened in 1836.

Tour the resort The Homestead’s 483 rooms fea-

ture remarkable fabrics, furnishings, and Virginia-inspired artwork. Take a docent tour covering the architecture, landscaping, and mural-filled rotunda. Be sure to indulge in a self-guided tour of the resort’s dining venues, starting with the famous and seemingly boundless breakfast buffet. Attentive staff happily share tidbits related to history and cuisine.

Go play outdoors Golf enthusiasts love both the Cascades Course, which is the resort’s championship mountain course, and the Old Course, which boasts the nation’s oldest tee in continuous use. Your many other options include skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hiking, or playing tennis. Places to

The Homestead Resort

play with kids include an immensely fun 18-hole miniature golf course and, in warmer weather, Allegheny Springs’ 100-foot water slides and a 400-foot lazy river. Take a guided hike of Cascades Gorge, a series of waterfalls tumbling along a 3-mile trail near The Homestead. Other nearby recreation spots include George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Douthat State Park, Lake Moomaw, and Warm Springs Mountain Preserve.

Year-round color A fall foliage favorite, Bath County displays color year-round. Scenic Route 39, running between Lexington and West Virginia, offers views of Appalachian woodlands, fog-shrouded peaks, and ice-laced leaves. Love art? Western Highlands Artisan Trail stops include Warm Springs Gallery, which displays locally inspired landscapes. The Homestead’s spa menu features a range of choices. Some incorporate regional ingredients, while others employ high-tech light therapies. Of course, spring water is integral to the offerings. Here, you can play in a winter wonderland and stay as warm as you’d like or enjoy myriad outdoor activities the rest of the year.

Join the party The Omni Homestead, dubbed “America’s first resort,” is commemorating its 250th anniversary for 366 days throughout 2016. Activities include parties, a monthly speaker series, fireside chats, historic dishes in the Main Dining Room, classic cocktails, concerts, and fireworks. Afternoon anniversary celebrations begin each day at 2:50pm. “Our pastry team has a calendar of 366 cakes, so we have a different flavor every day of the year,” says the resort’s Lynn Swann. For example, Feb. 3 is National Carrot Cake Day. “We invite people to blow out the candle each day,” Swann says, noting these folks include guests celebrating milestones of their own and guests with ties to the resort’s history. The Omni Homestead celebration is also a county celebration. “Were it not for the early hoteliers that built The Homestead in this lovely mountain community, we would look very different today,” says Bath County tourism director Maggie Anderson. “I am personally waiting for the white cake with chocolate frosting!”

Learn more Bath Co. Tourism: discoverbath.com The Homestead: thehomestead.com 250th Celebration: omnihomestead250.com

The Homestead’s Old Course includes the nation’s oldest tee in continuous use.

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ski resorts I michelle and karl teel

Blue Knob has highest skiable mountain in Pennsylvania It’s great that so many ski slopes are within a few hours’ drive of Washington and Baltimore because each has its own flavor and claim to fame. Blue Knob, in Claysburg, Pa., is the highest ski-

able mountain in Pennsylvania. With 1,072 feet of vertical drop, Blue Knob offers some of the most challenging slopes in the Keystone State, as well as some of the longest and sweetest rides for skiers and snowboarders. Blue Knob has 34 trails: 10 percent of the trails are expert level, 35 percent are advanced, 35 percent are intermediate, and 20 percent are beginner. That’s a pretty good variety and some really nice blues. Experts

should check out the glade skiing that meanders through the trees. While West Coast skiers take this for granted, East Coast skiers find this a special treat. Blue Knob also offers snow tubing and groomed Nordic skiing. Blue Knob seems to have a softer personality, perhaps because it is farther from the major metro areas of Philadelphia and New York. It’s the kinder, gentler resort, so to speak, with fewer crowds and shorter lift lines helping to generate the easygoing vibe. Another standout is the woodsy feeling. With smaller crowds, you don’t need as broad a slope, so you truly feel as though you are gliding through your own personal state park.

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The budget conscious will find Blue Knob’s housing options to be really affordable places to stay. “Stay and ski” rates are available from as low as $69 per person. All condos are furnished with fully equipped kitchens and fireplaces — great for saving a buck on family meals, and you can’t beat a fireplace after a day of skiing. Guests are also entitled to the use of indoor pools, hot tubs, and saunas located in Alpine Village. For the warmer seasons, there are tennis courts, a golf course, and an outdoor pool. Another option is to stay in nearby Bedford or Altoona, each within an easy half-hour drive.

Altoona is a sizeable town with many attractions of its own. Or, while it ups the budget a few notches, consider staying at the Omni Bedford Springs. It has a very nice spa featuring the namesake springs and fine restaurants. It’s one of the grand old historic hotels in America — it is where the first transAtlantic telegram was received by a president — and has been magnificently restored. There are also many covered bridges in the area begging to be explored.

For more information Blue Knob Resort: blueknob.com

Blue Knob

Blue Knob, Pennsylvania’s highest skiable mountain, offers commanding views from the top.

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JAMES AND DOLLEY MADISON Feb. 13, 3:00pm. Montpelier, President James Madison’s home, marks Valentine’s Day with a program on the private relationship and public partnership of James and Dolley Madison. Montpelier.org WINE AND CHOCOLATE WEEKEND Feb. 13–14. Join Dona and Chateau Morrisette’s oenologist, Bryan Smyth, in exploring the intricacies of pairing wine with chocolate. Chateau Morrisette, 287 Winery Road SW, Floyd, Va. 540-593-2865, thedogs.com

February 2016 February 14 – Valentine’s Day February 15 – Presidents Day

HOLIDAYS

BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION Feb. 5, 5:00–8:00pm. Special evening focused on black history throughout the region featuring music, live jazz, performances, and fun for the whole family. National Aquarium, 501 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. aqua.org A WORLD APART Feb. 6, 20, 27. A series of programs and tours exploring the lives of African-Americans who lived in slavery and servitude at the home of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States and “Penman of the Revolution.” The John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, Del. 302739-3277, history.delaware.gov VALENTINE’S BEER DINNER Feb. 11, 7:00–10:00pm. Five-course dinner paired with Blue Mountain beers hosted by brewmaster Taylor Smack. 9519 Critzer Shop Road, Afton, Va. 540-456-8020, bluemountainbrewery.com CHOCOLATE DINNER Feb. 12, 6:30–10:00pm. Start off the night with a scrumptious chocolate-making demonstration and refreshing cocktails in the Vaughan Lobby, followed by a decadent four-course meal. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, Va. 703780-0011, mountvernon.org/inn DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES Feb. 12–15. Celebrate love and romance with a tasting for two paired with a selection of cheeses, Wockenfuss Chocolates, and fruit. Linganore Winecellars, 13601 Glissans Mill Road, Mount Airy, Md. 301-831-5889, linganorewines.com TRUFFLE MAKING AND WINE TASTING Feb. 13. Enjoy a unique and environmentally friendly Valentine’s experience. Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia, Md. 410-313-0400, howardcountymd.gov THE HERO’S FIGHT Feb. 13. Patricia Fernandez-Kelly from Princeton University discusses the links between race, poverty, and joblessness within Baltimore’s African-American community. Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, Md. 410-727-4808, thebmi.org AFRICAN-AMERICAN IMPRINT Feb. 13, 9:00am–5:00pm. Show features performances and activities highlighting African musical heritage in America. Permanent gallery exhibits highlight the culture of the first recorded Africans in Virginia in 1619. 2110 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, Va. 757-253-4838, historyisfun.org

WASHINGTON BIRTHDAY ACTIVITIES Feb. 13–15. Mount Vernon celebrates Presidents Day weekend with free admission, wreath-laying ceremonies, country dancing and military demonstrations, and living history. mountvernon.org A TURKEY POINT VALENTINE Feb. 14. Enjoy a 2-mile round trip stroll to the Turkey Point Lighthouse and indulge in sparkling juice, chocolate-covered strawberries, and treats with your best friend. Elk Neck State Park, North East, Md. 410-287-5333, dnr2.maryland.gov AUSTRIAN VALENTINE CONCERT Feb. 16, 7:00pm. The concert will feature Mozart’s Serenade No. 9 in D Major and Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C Major for a night of lush romance. 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, Va. 540231-5300, artscenter.vt.edu

MID-ATLANTIC QUILT FESTIVAL Feb. 25–28. A Merchant’s Mall with more than 250 vendor booths will showcase everything from quilting supplies to sewing-related craft items, clothing, textiles, books, and antique quilts. Hampton Roads Convention Center, 1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, Va. 757-315-1610, quiltfest.com

NOW SHOWING

HOME AND GARDEN SHOW Feb. 12–14. Enjoy creative ideas, shopping, all types of home services, garden displays, food, spirits, demonstrations, and workshops. Hampton Roads Convention Center, 1610 Coliseum Drive, Hampton, Va. coastalvirginiahomeandgardenshow.com CAMPING RV EXPO Feb. 12–14. With dealers from all over Virginia, you can find just about anything you are looking for, from Winnebago to Keystone and Thor products. There will also be educational seminars and some children’s activities. Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, Va. 804-337-6479, gsevents.com POLAR BEAR HORSE SHOW Feb. 13–14. Enjoy a hunter winter schooling show to prepare for the spring show season. Virginia Horse Center, 487 Maury River Road, Lexington, Va. 540-464-2950, horsecenter.org

OTHER VOICES OF THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Feb. 25. In honor of Black History Month, Carolina Chocolate Drops member Rhiannon Giddens and her cohorts explore the rich history of protest songs. Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, Md. 301-600-2828, weinbergcenter.org

AMERICAN CRAFT COUNCIL SHOW Feb. 19–21. The show will feature more than 650 of the country’s top contemporary craft artists presenting their latest handmade creations in jewelry, clothing, furniture, and home décor. The Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. craftcouncil.org/baltimore

PORTRAITS OF PROGRESS Feb. 27. Celebrate major achievements and advancements by African-American scientists and inventors with original productions on Science on a Sphere and Digital Dome Theater at the James E. Richmond Science Center. 5305 Piney Church Road, Waldorf, Md. 301-934-7464, ccboe.com/sciencecenter

RICHMOND BOAT SHOW Feb. 19–21. The show features the latest in industry advancements, as well as all the models you are looking for. There also will be many marinas on hand, and products and accessories available for you to purchase. 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, Va. 804-337-6479, gsevents.com

BLACK HISTORY TOURS Feb. 27–28. The weekend will feature free guided tours, PBS’ Time Team America documentary The Search for Josiah Henson, and the Spoken Word Poetry Event. Josiah Henson Park, 11420 Old Georgetown Road, Rockville, Md. 301-650-4373, montgomeryparks.org

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

COLUMBIA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS Weekends, Feb. 4–21. A multicultural arts festival with 10 major events, including music, plays, and exhibits at various locations in Columbia, Md. columbiafestival.com BACCHUS WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL Feb. 5, 7:00–10:00pm. Enjoy delicious samplings of fine wine, craft beer, local restaurant fare, and an eclectic mix of live music. Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, Va. 757-595-1900, thevlm.org OAKLAND WINTERFEST Feb. 13–15. Celebrate the cool of winter with ice-carving demonstrations, illuminated ice sculptures, and an ice bowling alley and slide in the mountains. 200 S. Second St., Oakland, Md. 301387-4386, agreatsmalltown.com VIRGINIA WINE EXPO Feb. 17–21. Enjoy an unparalleled opportunity to taste Virginia and Italian wines, craft beers, whiskeys, ciders, artisan burgers, smoked cuisine, and specialty food. 403 N. Third St., Richmond, Va. 804-349-6909, virginiawineexpo.com

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OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES WINE LOVERS 5K Feb. 13, 8:00am–4:00pm. The race starts and finishes in the vineyard and winds its way through some of the most scenic back roads in central Virginia; walker-, stroller-, and dog-friendly. Cardinal Point Vineyard and Winery, 9423 Batesville Road, Afton, Va. 540-456-8400, cardinalpointwinery.com THE GREAT CHOCOLATE RACE Feb. 13. Starting in downtown near the iconic Virginia Air and Space Center, the course offers stunning views of the Hampton River, historic homes, and historic Phoebus. After the run, enjoy a catered chocolate post-race party. 700 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, Va. runsignup.com/race/va/hampton/chocolate10miler5k ANTIQUE SHOW AND SALE Feb. 13–14. Features antique dealers from the Mid-Atlantic region; refreshments available. La Plata High School, La Plata, Md. 301-259-2411, laplataantiqueshow.nova-antiques.com “KNOW YER BIRDS” Feb. 20. Fly in for some winter bird fun at the park’s feeders and beyond as you help identify birds for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum, 300 Oella Ave., Oella, Md. 410-887-1081, benjaminbanneker.wordpress.com APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB Leads hiking, bicycling, canoeing, and conservation events in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. amc-dc.org


BALTIMORE ANNAPOLIS SAILING CLUB Year-round. Offers day-sailing events and seminars in Baltimore and Annapolis, Md., and Washington, D.C., and sailing excursions on the Chesapeake Bay. Membership free. 410-394-9483, mdsailing.com CENTER HIKING CLUB Various hikes and locations in the D.C. metropolitan area. 703751-3971, centerhikingclub.org FREESTATE HAPPY WANDERERS Various walking trails and locations in Maryland. 410-437-2164, ava.org/clubs/freestate MOUNTAIN CLUB OF MARYLAND Leads weekly day hikes, overnight backpack hikes, bike and canoe trips, cabin, car, and tent camping, and the maintenance of trails. mcomd.org POTOMAC APPALACHIAN TRAIL CLUB Leads weekly hikes and work trips in greater Washington, D.C., area. Contact PATC for more information. 703-242-0965, patc.net QUANTICO ORIENTEERING CLUB Hosts map and compass activities most weekends in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Suitable for all ages and skill levels; free beginner instruction. qocweb.org WASHINGTON AREA ROADSKATERS Year-round; check website for dates and times. Skaters leave from the White House, Washington, D.C. meetup.com/washington-area-roadskaters WANDERBIRDS HIKING CLUB Sundays. Various hikes and locations in Virginia. 703-242-0315, wanderbirds.org

MUSIC Orchestra/Band/Classical/Choral REJOICING IN THE SPIRIT Feb. 6. Enjoy the illustrious sounds as the Morgan State Choir performs the traditions of African-American spirituals and gospel music. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland AfricanAmerican History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. 443-263-1875, lewismuseum.org GIL SHAHAM AND THE KNIGHTS Feb. 14. Gil Shaham and The Knights chamber orchestra perform works by Beethoven, Sarasate, and Jonathan Leshnoff. Shriver Hall Auditorium, Baltimore, Md. 410-516-7164, shriverconcerts.org 2CELLOS Feb. 17. An international sensation, 2Cellos plays everything from Bach to AC/DC, all on the cello. Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, Md. 301-600-2828, weinbergcenter.org GUITARIST KEVIN JACKSON Feb. 18. Enjoy a mix of acoustic renditions, rock, contemporary Christian, jazz, and soulful rhythm and blues. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture, 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. 443-263-1800, lewismuseum.org ROCKBRIDGE SYMPHONY Feb. 20, 7:30pm. Enjoy the symphony’s winter concert. Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va. 540-464-3247, rockbridgesymphony.com

Popular/Other ARLO GUTHRIE ANNIVERSARY TOUR Feb. 3, 8:00pm. Arlo Guthrie celebrates the anniversary of Alice’s Restaurant. Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. 301-581-5100, strathmore.org MANDOLIN ORANGE Feb. 4. Enjoy the breakout Americana duo NPR calls “effortless and beautiful.” Pay-what-you-want admission. Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, Md. 301-600-2828, weinbergcenter.org SOLAS ANNIVERSARY TOUR Feb. 5–6, 8:00pm. This Celtic-folk quintet’s diverse repertoire includes innovative original songs, as well as Irish classics. The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna, Va. 703-255-1900, wolftrap.org

Mount Vernon

Theater UNDER THE SKIN Through Feb. 21. A funny and moving new play explores the curious nature of family dynamics, and the true meaning of giving a part of yourself away. Everyman Theatre, 315 W. Fayette St., Baltimore, Md. everymantheatre.org A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM Through March 6. Fresh staging of Shakepeare’s timeless romantic tale. Folger Theatre. 201 E. Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C. folger.edu THE SECRET WAR OF ELIZABETH ARDEN AND HELENA RUBINSTEIN Feb. 4–28. A stinging comedy based on the personal and business rivalry of two 20th-century female icons by Venezuelan Gustavo Ott. The Gala Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-234-7174, galatheatre.org MARK LOHR, PHYSICAL COMEDIAN Feb. 5. A perfect family date for laugh-out-loud entertainment. Lohr’s unique style is inspired by Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Greensboro Elementary School, Greensboro, Md. 410-4798120, carolinecounty.org ROMEO AND JULIET Feb. 5, 7, 9. A coproduction with Opera Carolina, sung in French with English supertitles. 160 W. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk, Va. 757-623-1223, vaopera.org

The Nellie Custis bedroom at Mount Vernon will be re-opened to the public as part of the Washington’s Birthday celebration Feb. 22.

COMEDIAN BIG JAY OAKERSON Feb. 18–21. His stand-up includes crazy stories from his rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and lots of top-shelf crowd work. DC Improv Comedy Club and Restaurant, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-296-7008, dcimprov.com

ADULT DROP-IN DANCE CLASSES The Dance Institute of Washington, 3400 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-371-9656, danceinstitute.org

FESTIVAL OF LAUGHS Feb. 12, 8:00–10:30pm. Ted Constant Convocation Center, 4320 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, Va. 757-683-5762, constantcenter.com FINIAN’S RAINBOW Feb. 12–13. Enter the irresistible world of two Irish immigrants who come to America and live with poor, good-hearted American farmers, Southern bigots, and even a leprechaun. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis, Md. 410-2631906, marylandhall.org JEFF DUNHAM PERFECTLY UNBALANCED Feb. 12. An internationally acclaimed comedian and ventriloquist, Dunham has carved a unique corner in the comedy world that’s as funny as it is popular. Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Md. 844-854-1450, arenabaltimore.com ROMEO AND JULIET Feb. 13–14. A sensational success from the very start, this gorgeous opera is filled with dramatic duets and awe-inspiring arias, which are exemplary of French Romantic period music; sung in French, with English supertitles by Virginia Opera. George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, Va. 888-945-2468, cfa.gmu.edu

DANCE PROGRAMS Weekends, 7:30–11:30pm. Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Md. fridaynightdance.org

Exhibits Resources and Institutions Directory AMERICAN CIVIL WAR CENTER AT HISTORIC TREDEGAR 490 Tredegar St., Richmond, Va. 804-788-6480, tredegar.org AMERICAN UNIVERSITY MUSEUM AT THE KATZEN ARTS CENTER Ward Circle, at Massachusetts and Nebraska avenues, Washington, D.C. 202-885-1300, american.edu/cas/katzen AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, Md. 410-244-1900, avam.org THE BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, artbma.org CARRIAGE HOUSE GALLERY AT EMLEN PHYSICK ESTATE 1048 Washington St., Cape May, N.J. 609-884-5404 or 800-2754278, capemaymac.org

BLAIRSVILLE CDA COMEDY NIGHT LIVE Feb. 27. Dinner buffet, show, cash bar, and chances to win cash and prizes. Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort and Conference Center, 132 Pine Ridge Road, Blairsville, Pa. 724-459-8588, visitindianacountypa.org

Dance DANCE ABOUT LOVE, LOSS, AND LIFE Feb. 6. High-energy dance touches issues that affect us all: family struggles, societal inequalities, and the power of art and community to heal. Full Circle Dance Company, Chesapeake Center for the Arts, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park, Md. 410-636-6597, chesapeakearts.showare.com SUNDAY BALLROOM DANCE One Sunday of each month from 4:00–6:00pm. A dance lesson with great dance instructors teaching you specific dances, followed by an open dance session where you can practice what you’ve just learned or refine steps you may already know. Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory, 9419 Battle St., Manassas, Va. center-for-the-arts.org

EVENING OF SEA MUSIC Feb. 25, 7:00–9:30pm. One of the leading experts on seagoing musical traditions, Bob Walser brings sea chanteys, sailors’ songs, pub songs, and ballads to the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum. 100 Lafayette St., Havre de Grace, Md. hdgmaritimemuseum.com JANET JACKSON Feb. 29. Jackson brings her Unbreakable World tour to Baltimore. Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Md. 844-854-1450, arenabaltimore.com

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NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART National Mall between Third and Seventh streets at Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 202-737-4215, nga.gov NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CIVIL WAR MEDICINE 48 E. Patrick St., Frederick, Md. 301-695-1864, civilwarmed.org THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION 1600 21st St. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-387-2151, phillipscollection.org REGINALD F. LEWIS MUSEUM OF MARYLAND AFRICANAMERICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE 830 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, Md. 443-263-1800, africanamericanculture.org SHAKESPEARE GALLERY Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 E. Capitol St., Washington, D.C. 202-544-7077, folger.edu SURRATT HOUSE MUSEUM TOURS Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, Md., 301-868-1121, surratt.org THE TEXTILE MUSEUM 701 21st Street NW, Washington, D.C. 202-994-5200, museum.gwu.edu Calvert Marine Museum

Learn about the paleontology of Calvert Cliffs through February in an exhibit at the Charles County Library in La Plata, Md. CARROLL ARTS CENTER TEVIS GALLERY 91 Main St., Westminster, Md. carrollcountyartscouncil.org

410-848-7272,

HIRSHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW, Washington, D.C. 202-633-1000, hirshhorn.si.edu LADEW TOPIARY GARDENS 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, Md. 410-557-9570, ladewgardens.com MARYLAND HALL FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS 801 Chase St., Annapolis, Md. 410-263-5544, marylandhall.org MONTPELIER ARTS CENTER 9652 Muirkirk Road, Laurel, Md. 301-953-1993, arts.pgparks.com

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

Featured Exhibitions DELAWARE AND THE WAR OF 1812 Ongoing. Designed to raise awareness of the important role that the state played as the front line in the defense of the economically vital Delaware Valley, the exhibit utilizes maps, illustrations, and artifacts from the state’s collections to examine the history of the war within Delaware and its surrounding waters. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes, Del. 302736-7400, history.delaware.gov PALEONTOLOGY OF CALVERT CLIFFS Through February. Unique fossils from the Calvert Museum collection highlight Calvert Cliffs history. Charles County Library, LaPlata, Md. calvertmarinemuseum.com

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SEVEN CONTEMPORARY CUBAN ARTISTS Through March 10. Featuring some of Cuba’s most acclaimed young artists, the exhibit will showcase a selection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and installations. Inter-American Development Bank, 1300 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-623-1410, iadb.org/cultural RODIN Through March 13. Organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée Rodin in Paris, this exhibition features more than 200 works by the greatest sculptor of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Auguste Rodin. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N Blvd., Richmond, Va. 804-340-1400, vmfa.museum THE SAINT JOHN’S BIBLE Through March 27. This international exhibition features 70 pages of The Saint John’s Bible, the first monumental hand-illuminated bible to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in more than 500 years. The Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St., Dover, Del. 302-674-2111, biggsmuseum.org JAMIE WYETH RETROSPECTIVE Through April 5. A major retrospective exhibit features six decades of the work of artist Jamie Wyeth. Brandywine River Museum of Art, Route 1, Chadds Ford, Pa. brandywine.org PEANUTS ... NATURALLY Through April 24. The exhibit takes a light-hearted look at Charles Schulz’s exploration of the natural world through Peanuts’ comic strips, videos, objects, and interactive stations. The Bel Air Library, 100 E. Pennsylvania Ave., Bel Air, Md. 410-9600230, hcplonline.org. LOUISE BOURGEOIS: NO EXIT Through May 15. Works in the exhibition, either drawn from the collection or promised to the Gallery, reveal Bourgeois’ intensely personal approach to art-making and explore her grounding in surrealism and ties to existentialism. The National Gallery of Art, National Mall between Third and Seventh streets at Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 202-737-4215, nga.gov ART QUILTS Through June 19. These intricate art quilts include examples of works by the foremost proponent of the art quilt, Michael James, whose stunning Metamorphosis plays with color transitions and the transformation of space. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, artbma.org


MATISSE PRINTS AND DRAWINGS Through July 3. Approximately 20 prints and drawings demonstrate the continuing legacy of the BMA’s relationship with the Matisse family. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, artbma.org INTRODUCTIONS Feb. 1–26. Artist members’ winter show. Artists’ Gallery, Columbia, Md. 410-740-8249, artistsgallerycolumbia.com SEEING NATURE: LANDSCAPE MASTERWORKS Feb. 6–May 8. Featuring 39 masterpieces spanning five centuries, this exhibition draws from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection to explore the evolution of European and American landscape art. The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-387-2151, phillipscollection.org THOMAS R. SCHIFF: VIRGINIA 360° Feb. 6–June 19. Combining Schiff’s passion for photography and his love of architecture, the works on display in this exhibition provide a fresh new perspective for these notable Virginia landmarks. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Blvd., Richmond, Va. 804-340-1400, vmfa.museum FREE COMMUNITY DAY Feb. 7, noon–5:00pm. Free admission to the museum. Take this opportunity to explore the collection and current exhibitions. National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 202-783-5000, nmwa.org MARYLAND ARTISTS Feb. 7–May. 8. An exhibition of approximately 20 recently acquired artworks by Raoul Middleman, John Waters, and others. The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, artbma.org Ladew Gardens

ADULT ART COURSES Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-573-1700, artbma.org GALLERY TALKS Thursdays, 1:00pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 2:00pm. Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, Md. 443-5731700, artbma.org SECOND SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT TALKS Second Sunday of every month, 2:00pm. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Md. 410-547-9000, thewalters.org STAINED-GLASS CLASS Ongoing. Mat About You Gallery, 3774 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City, Md. 410-313-8860, mataboutyou.com TRADITIONAL ART CLASSES Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster, Md. 410-386-3880, carrollcountyfarmmuseum.org

TOURS GREAT BALTIMORE FIRE TOUR Feb. 7 1:00–4:15pm. Historians lead a motorcoach tour through the area of the third-worst fire in U.S. history. The tour includes an A/V presentation and post-tour refreshments. Fire Museum of Maryland. firemuseum.org GHOST TOUR AND PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION Feb. 19. The Paranormal Research and Investigation Society of Maryland explains the methodology used by professional paranormal investigators and leads visitors on a search for the ghostly and the paranormal at the BMI. Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, Md. 410-727-4808, thebmi.org CAPE MAY, N.J. Historic district, moonlight trolley, and Cape May sampler tours. Cape May, N.J. 800-275-4278, capemaymac.org MARITIME HISTORY WALKING TOURS Second and fourth Saturdays, 10:00am. Fells Point Visitor Center, Baltimore, Md. 410-675-6750, preservationsociety.com

O THER FOCAL POINT Through Feb. 27. The Maryland Federation of Art’s sixth annual juried all photography exhibition and competition. 18 State Circle, Annapolis, Md. 410-268-4566, mdfedart.com GROUNDHOG DAY BREAKFAST Feb. 2. Food, fun, and fellowship. St. Andrew’s Village, 1155 Indian Springs Road, Indiana, Pa. standrewsvillage.org

Experience the process of making maple syrup at Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, Md., Feb. 20–21.

History CAMP LIFE OF THE COMMON SOLDIER Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28, noon. See what Civil War soldiers were doing when they weren’t fighting. Living history includes a black powder firing. Historic Tredegar, 500 Tredegar St., Richmond, Va. acwm.org MERCY STREET-INSPIRED EXPERIENCES Feb. 20, 1:00pm. Hear the true stories of “contrabands,” as seen in the PBS drama Mercy Street. Special behind-the-scenes access is granted to areas not normally open to the public. LeeFendall House, 614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, Va. 703-548-1789, leefendallhouse.org WASHINGTON’S 284TH BIRTHDAY Feb. 22, 9:00am–4:00pm. Visit Mount Vernon on his birthday for special wreath-laying ceremonies throughout the day and watch as newly naturalized Americans take the oath of citizenship. George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, Mount Vernon, Va. 703-780-2000, mountvernon.org OLD MARYLAND FARM ACTIVITIES Old Maryland Farm, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, Md. 301-218-6770 or 301-699-2544, pgparks.com MONTPELIER MANSION TOURS Sundays, 1:00pm and 2:00pm. Montpelier Mansion, Route 197 and Muirkirk Road, Laurel, Md. 301-953-1376

Lectures/Workshops/Classes NATURE CONNECTIONS Feb. 28, 1:00–4:00pm. Preserved animal skulls can be “read” to reveal the history and lifestyle of an animal. Find out how to read these clues as you examine a large variety of skulls on hand. 6908 Belair Road, Baltimore, Md. 410-882-5376, marylandnature.org/nature-connections

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice comes to Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena Feb. 3–7. BREWMORE BALTIMORE Feb. 4. This feature-length documentary about beer brewing chronicles the rich history of one of the largest industries in the U.S. and explores its re-emergence in Baltimore. Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, Md. 410-7274808, thebmi.org MAPLE MAGIC! Feb. 20–21. Guests of all ages are invited to experience the process of making real maple syrup. Participate in an indoor presentation, followed by a nature hike where you will learn to identify maple trees and boil down the sugar. Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton, Md. 410-557-9570, ladewgardens.com

DISNEY ON ICE Feb. 3–7. Relive magical moments in this ultimate Disney animation celebration. The Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Md. 844854-1450, arenabaltimore.com

PRO SPORTS WASHINGTON WIZARDS AT HOME Wednesday, Feb. 3, vs. Warriors, 8:00pm Friday, Feb. 5, vs. 76ers, 7:00pm Friday, Feb. 19, vs. Pistons, 7:00pm Tuesday, Feb. 23, vs. Pelicans, 7:00pm Sunday, Feb. 28, vs. Cavaliers,1:00pm Monday, Feb. 29 vs. 76ers, 7:00pm

The Wizards play home games at the Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. (202-661-5050, nba.com/wizards)

WASHINGTON CAPITALS AT HOME Tuesday, Feb. 2, vs. Panthers, 7:30pm Thursday, Feb. 4, vs. Islanders, 7:30pm Sunday, Feb. 7, vs. Flyers, noon Tuesday, Feb. 16, vs. Kings, 7:00pm Saturday, Feb. 20, vs. Devils, 7:00pm Monday, Feb. 22, vs. Coyotes, 7:00pm Wednesday, Feb. 24, vs. Canadiens, 7:00pm Friday, Feb. 26, vs. Wild, 7:00pm

The Capitals play home games at the Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. (202-397-SEAT, washingtoncaps.com)

BALTIMORE BLAST AT HOME Friday, Feb. 19, vs. Comets, 7:35pm Sunday, Feb. 21, vs. Heat, 5:05pm

The Blast play home games at the Baltimore Arena, 201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, Md. (baltimoreblast.com)

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presidential sites I jane and marvin bond

Mark Presidents Day weekend with a variety of special events Presidents Day weekend brings to mind how many sites and activities in the area bear the footprints of the relative few who have led our nation. We needn’t go far to begin at the beginning. George Washington’s Mount Vernon and nearby Alexan-

dria, Va., mark his birthday with a host of activities. Alexandria celebrates most of the month of February with free admission to historic sites and a selfguided walking tour tracing Washington’s footsteps in town. There’s a Montpelier Foundation

James and Dolley Madison’s public and private lives are the subject of a Valentine’s weekend program at Montpelier, their home in Orange County, Va.

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cherry-themed competition among local restaurants through Feb. 11, a 10K run on Feb. 14, and the milelong Washington’s Birthday Parade on Feb. 15. (visitalexadriava.com) Mount Vernon holds its birthday activities Feb.13–15 and Feb. 22, including free admission each day. The Feb. 13–14 events include wreath-laying ceremonies at the New Tomb at 10:00am and 3:00pm. You can meet George Washington all day and costumed characters sharing their memories of him 11:00am–1:00pm. Country dancing demonstrations take place on the Bowling Green at 1:45pm. On Feb. 15, there’s a presidential wreath-laying ceremony at 10:00am and military demonstration by the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps at 11:15am. The country dancing demonstration returns at 1:45pm. On the traditional Feb. 22 Washington’s Birthday, you can meet the great man himself 10:00am–2:00pm, attend a noon wreath-laying at the New Tomb, and enjoy birthday cake

celebrating Washington’s 284th birthday. In the mansion, the Nellie Custis bedchamber will be reopened and George Washington’s swords will be on display in the museum. (mountvernon.org) George Washington’s Birthplace National Monument near Fredericksburg, Va., will hold celebrations and special living history programs Feb. 15. (nps.gov/gewa) Other nearby presidential homes include the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, D.C. (Wilson was the only president to live in Washington after he left office.) Montpelier, in Orange County, Va., the home of James Madison, will take advantage of the joint Valentine’s Day-Presidents Day weekend with a program on the private relationship and public partnership of James and Dolley Madison. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, near Charlottesville, offers a special program Feb. 13 at 3:00pm on Jefferson’s penchant for gadgets that will include re-creations of many of his inventions.


delaware I staff

Cycling from beach to bay through Southern Delaware Southern Delaware may be best known for its beaches and tax-free shopping, but the flat terrain and less-traveled country roads are ideal for cyclists. That’s why the annual Ocean to Bay Bike Tour has grown to more than 2,000 participants in the past quarter-century. The Bethany Beach-Indian River area is the scene for the April 16 event. Registration is now open and the earlier you register, the lower the fee. The event is open to riders of all ages and skill levels. There are 5-, 30-, and 50-mile rides, plus a metric century of 62.5 miles. New this year is the Beebee Healthcare 100-mile Century Ride. Completing the route is optional and discounts are available for teams of six or more participants; check for details during registration.

Along the way Salt air and a welcome spring are good reasons to shake off the winter doldrums with the Ocean to Bay ride, but there is much to see along the route as well. There are great scenic vistas of the Indian River at Holt’s Landing State Park or the wildlife at Salt Grass Point. Holt’s Landing is a rest stop on the 30-mile and longer routes. Support is available there 8:00 to 11:30am. Bishop’s Landing Club House is a stop for 30mile riders from 8:30am to noon. Those making the 50- and 100-mile rides have stops at the PNC Bank in Selbyville from 9:00am to 1:00pm and the Bayside Clubhouse in Oceanview from 9:30am to 1:30pm.

These official support stops aren’t the only places you may want to pause. The mostly flat countryside is dotted with farmhouses, chicken houses, turn-of-the-century buildings, and neat shops. Marshland and waterways are home to beaver, deer, bald eagles, egrets, herons, and hawks.

options with the code INT-OTB at the time of reservation.

Learn more Bike tour: oceantobaybiketour.com

Start and finish All routes, regardless of length, begin and end in Bethany Beach. A “Show & Go” ceremonial start is at 7:30am. Registered cyclists receive bibs and event shirts at check-in, and must be wearing their bib numbers to have access to support services. From 8:00am to 3:00pm, a sag wagon provides the necessary support services, in addition to the designated rest stops which are equipped with restrooms, food, music, door prizes, and beverages. The routes and rest locations are strategically located to break up the trip into reasonable segments and to help keep you energized. The traditional after-party provides an opportunity to relax after the ride. Again this year, the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and local businesses offer a “Continue the Tour” bonus. Riders receive a $5 voucher attached to their bibs that can be used any time following registration and packet pick-up in many participating businesses. Offered specials are geared toward cyclists’ needs. It’s easy to make it a weekend getaway because supporting sponsor ResortQuest (resortquestde. com) is offering a 10 percent discount on lodging

Bethany/Fenwick Chamber of Commerce

Choose from 5- to 100-mile rides that take in the scenery of Southern Delaware during the Ocean to Bay Bike Tour, April 16.

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music festival I gwen woolf

Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest brings big names and crowds to Reading, Pa A new major venue and the rich harmonies of The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 — two of the most acclaimed vocal groups in pop music — will highlight the 26th annual Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest in Reading, Pa. This year’s event, which includes an impressive lineup of artists, is scheduled for April 1–10. The four-star DoubleTree by Hilton Reading, which recently opened downtown, will host six concerts in its 1,200-seat grand ballroom, as well as six more events in its smaller ballroom. The Jazz Fest is “a truly unique 10-day festival featuring numerous venues, large and small, and a marvelous medley of genres encompassing contemporary jazz, straight-ahead jazz, blues, gospel, and more,” said the festival’s Mike Zielinski. The Reading festival annually draws more than 35,000 fans from many states and Europe to the southeastern Pennsylvania town in Berks County, a 140-mile drive from Washington.

What’s the appeal?

“Our fest is a magnet for music lovers,” said Zielinski. “Fans flock to the festival because the venues are intimate and the artists are quite accessible. Musicians, in turn, return to the festival because the fans are knowledgeable and appreciative of the music.” The festival’s John Ernesto agrees. “One of the most gratifying things for me is that people enjoy coming here and they come every year,” he said. “The lineup means something, but a lot of people want to come no matter who’s here.”

Big names on tap The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, whose styles include jazz, swing, gospel, and R&B, will perform separately and — for the first time — together on opening night at the DoubleTree in a concert called “The Summit.” Between them, the groups have won 20 Grammy Awards. Four artists who are nominated for 2016 Grammy Awards are among those performing at the Jazz Fest.

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They include: u Joey Alexander, a 12-year-old piano prodigy, nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo and Best Jazz Instrumental Album u Kirk Whalum, nominated for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album u Mavis Staples, nominated for Best American Roots Performance, and u Bela Fleck and his wife, Abigail Washburn, nominated for Best American Roots Performance and Best Folk Album Other Jazz Fest highlights this year include concerts by Keb’ Mo’ with a new show band and special guest Gerald Albright, Chick Corea and Bela Fleck in a special duo concert celebrating their CD Two, Boney James, Robben Ford, Popa Chubby, Kim Simmons & Savoy Brown, and The Devon Allman Band (Devon is Gregg Allman’s son). For the fourth year, “The Gospel According to Jazz Celebration,” hosted by Kirk Whalum and his band, will be the fest finale on April 10. Donnie McClurkin and Jonathan

Butler will be back to reprise the first celebration in 2012. In a change in venue, four Gerald Veasley Midnight Jams will move to Building 24 Live, a larger space than in the past. Other concert venues include the Crowne Plaza Reading, Scottish Rite Cathedral, Miller Center for the Arts, Inn at Reading, and Abraham Lincoln Hotel. Also new this year is an educational project called GetJazzED Day on April 2 at DoubleTree. Daylong activities include local and regional school band performances, workshops, seminars, and music-related vendors. Overall, there will be 63 ticketed major events and multiple nonticketed events at smaller venues around the county. The festival website, berksjazzfest. com, has a complete schedule, profiles on all the artists, an interactive map with concert venues, and ticket information. Zielinski marvels at the “sheer logistics” of putting on such a huge continued on page 31


culture I gwen woolf

the National Building Museum is a work of art How would you like to spend Presidents Day in a grand building where many U.S. presidents have danced? The National Building Museum in Washington has hosted 18 inaugural balls, from Grover Cleveland’s in 1885 to Barack Obama’s in 2009. It’s definitely worth a trip to take in the building’s magnificent architecture and rich history on 45-minute docent-led tours. Inside, the first glimpse of the Great Hall on the ground level is breathtaking — the view is even more dramatic from higher floors. The 316-foot-long rectangular central hall — about the size of a football field — is supported by eight massive Corinthian columns and lined with arcades of columns and arches. Gallery and office doors face an interior courtyard with a central fountain. Natural light floods in from multiple windows. In pre-air conditioning days, three bricks were stacked to prop each window open for ventilation. The exterior of the building at 401 F St. NW is composed of 15 million red bricks, which makes it stand out in a city dominated by white marble and limestone. It was the largest brick building in the world in its day. Decorative and symbolic elements adorn the façade. The museum, dedicated to the building arts, recently observed its 35th anniversary, but the structure itself was constructed between 1882 and 1887. Civil War veteran Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, U.S. Army quartermaster, engineer, and architect, was given the job by Congress to create a federal office building to manage pensions for Union (and eventually Confederate) veterans, plus serve political and social functions. For years it was called the Pension Building. Although two Italian Renaissance palaces and a Roman church inspired Meigs’ designs, the building serves a very American purpose — as a monument honoring those who fought on the Union side in the Civil War. Look closely at the building exterior and you’ll see a terra-cotta frieze, sculpted by Caspar Buberl, depicting infantry, artillery, naval, medical, and quartermaster units in various scenes. Interestingly, Meigs was also behind the creation of Arlington Cemetery, which engulfed

the home of his former foe, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The Great Hall — decorated in bunting and patriotic symbols — has been chosen by 12 presidents in recent decades as one venue to celebrate their inaugurations and to take their first ladies for a spin on the dance floor. (Check out the first ladies’ inaugural gowns in the National Museum of American History.) Although you can still view it, the Great Hall is closed for walkthroughs through Feb. 10 due to lighting repairs and carpet replacement. The exhibitions remain open.

The museum today The building was used by the Pension Bureau until 1926, and later by various government agencies, including the General Accounting Office, Civil Service Commission, and D.C. Superior Court. By the 1960s, the deteriorating building was threatened with demolition. In 1980, however, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation designating the building as a new cultural institution for the building arts. After renovation, the structure opened to the public in 1985 and was named the National Building Museum in 1997. Operated as a private, nonprofit institution, the museum offers a variety of ongoing and changing exhibits and educational programs about the “built” environment, defined as the fields of architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning. Current exhibitions include The New American Garden, about landscape architecture, and House & Home, about the history of American homes. Opening May 21 is Small Stories: At Home in a Dollhouse. The museum also has the Building Zone — a play area for children — and a highly rated museum shop. The daily historic tours are presented at 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 1:30pm, subject to docent availability. A docent tour is the only way to see the normally inaccessible fourth floor. The tour is free, although there is a museum admission fee. A variety of custom tours, including inaugural ball and ghost tours, also can be arranged.

Learn more National Building Museum: nbm.org

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adventures in taste I reed hellman

The Mystery and Appeal of Scrapple The regional delight that’s loved or hated According to my unofficial poll, about half the people born and raised in Southern Delaware prefer their scrapple fried crunchy all the way through; the other half prefer theirs mushy (that’s the “official” term) in the middle. But, everyone I talked with, born and raised in Southern Delaware, enthusiastically extolled the virtues of this often maligned “meat.” “It’s an acquired taste: You absolutely adore it, or you don’t,” said Patrick Staib, general manager of the upscale, oceanfront Bethany Beach Ocean Suites, and a self-professed scrapple lover. “Scrapple is a part of Southern Delaware heritage. … We just opened this hotel in July. I still have room on the breakfast menu for a protein, and think that I will look at scrapple.” The earliest roots of scrapple grew from preRoman Europe and crossed to America via the Northern German dish called panhaas, made by colonists settling near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pa., in the 17th and 18th centuries. “Every couple of months, I’ll go to a local diner in Millsboro and get my scrapple fix,” continued Staib, describing his guilty pleasure as “white Wonder bread, mayo, and scrapple.” Traditionally, scrapple is made from a mush of pork scraps, trimmings, and offal such as the head, heart, and liver, boiled with any bones attached, and combined with cornmeal, buckwheat flour, and spices, typically sage, thyme, savory,

and black pepper. People not raised with scrapple often have problems understanding its attraction. “I like it crunchy on the outside, but it’s gotta be a little chewy,” said Anna Brady, a guide at Trap Pond State Park. She mentioned that Surf Bagel in Lewes serves a culture-bending scrapple on a bagel.

Competition recognition Scrapple’s allure has gone beyond Delmarva and the Mid-Atlantic. In 2015, Thomas Breads, makers of Thomas’ English Muffins, invited 135 chefs from across the country to compete in the annual Hometown Breakfast Battle, cooking a signature breakfast dish using their muffins. Chef Ryan Cunningham, of Abbot’s Grill on Broad Creek in Laurel, entered his Apple Scrapple English Muffin and finished in the top five. His award-winning breakfast sandwich starts with a split and toasted English muffin. He coats the bottom piece of the muffin with homemade apple butter then layers on thin slices of local apples sautéed with onions in bacon fat, a slice of Haas scrapple, melted Cheddar, a fried duck egg, and the top half of the muffin. The resulting breakfast sandwich, garnished with fresh greens, is hearty, filling, and offers several different and sometimes contrasting flavors and textures. If you intend to work hard before lunchtime, this might be the ideal breakfast for you. “Scrapple is almost a country-style pate … it’s the scraps after the Cadillac cuts are taken away,” said Cunningham. Aside from his breakfasts, he also uses scrapple as an ingredient in a number of dishes including an apple scrapple flatbread, stuffed quail, and a scrapple hash with ligonberry. “Scrapple is such a food group in Sussex,” said Sarah Dickenson, of 16 Mile Brewery in Georgetown. Kirby & Halloway of Harrington use 16 Mile’s Old Court Ale in a Courthouse Scrapple. “It’s a good pairing, malty and sweet,” said Dickenson. “The malty flavor of the beer compliments the scrapple’s flavor.” In Bridgeville, Rapa is the world’s largest scrapple producer. Founded in 1926, the company still uses the same recipe for its pork product. Rapa makes other scrapple products including chile chipotle, bacon, Greensboro Brand, turkey, and

beef. Bridgeville is also the home of the annual Apple Scrapple Festival on the second weekend of October.

Apple Scrapple English Muffin Chef Ryan Cunningham, 2015 Hometown Breakfast Battle 1 Thomas’ Original English Muffin 11/4-inch slice Haas scrapple 1 slice white cheddar 1 farm egg Apple butter: 1 pound butter 3 Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean 1 tablespoon sugar Apples and onions: 1 Spanish onion, julienned 1 Gala apple, cored and julienned 2 bunches scallions, cut on bias 1 tablespoon bacon fat 1 tablespoon sugar Kosher salt to taste Small squeeze of fresh lemon To make apple butter, melt butter with apples and cook on very low heat until soft. Add vanilla and sugar, and blend until smooth. Refrigerate. This should make 1 quart and should be smooth and pliable. To make the apple and onions, add bacon fat to pan. Sweat onions on low until soft. Add sugar and apples. Turn up heat to medium and cook until apples soften slightly, and then remove from heat. Toss scallions, lemon, and salt, then reserve. Cook scrapple until crisp on flat griddle about 3 minutes on each side. Top scrapple with cheese and melt. Cook egg to desired preference, preferably sunny-side up or over easy. Split and toast English muffin. Spread apple butter on muffin, filling all nooks and crannies. Top with scrapple and cheese, apples, onions, and the egg. Sprinkle with sea salt. Reed Hellman is a professional writer living in Alberton, Md. Visit his website at reedhellman wordsmith.com or email your questions and comments to rhway2go@yahoo.com.

Reed Hellman

The Apple Scrapple English Muffin was chef Ryan Cunningham’s entry in the 2015 Hometown Breakfast Battle, sponsored by Thomas’ English Muffins.

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wine doctor I edward finstein

Selecting real Champagne FOR your Valentine Champagne is perhaps the only wine that is synonymous with romance: I’m talking about the “real thing” here. Made specifically in the Champagne region of France under very strict control of what grapes are allowed (chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier) and how it’s made (Champagne method), Champagne is the ultimate sparkler. Other sparkling wines in the world are often made using the “Champagne method” and, in some cases, even called Champagne, but they are not Champagne, no matter what they might say on the bottle. When buying Champagne, terminology on labels can be varied and confusing. If a specific vintage year appears on the bottle, it means it was made from a blend of wines all from the same year. No year on the bottle implies a blend of wines all from different years; as many different years of wine went into its production, one particular year cannot be put on the label. Generally, vintage Champagne is more expensive and longer lived than non-vintage. Then, there are terms that can indicate style. Sometimes “blanc de blanc” is there. Literally translated from French, this means “white from white.” More specifically in Champagne, this means “a white wine made from white grapes.” As the only allowable white grape used in Champers is chardonnay, a “blanc de blanc” version indicates a wine made 100 percent from this grape, no other, and generally will probably be more elegant than one including red grapes. The term “blanc de noirs” on a Champagne label means the opposite. Literally translated it means “white from dark,” but more specifically here “a white wine made from dark grapes.” Since the only allowable dark grapes in Champagne are pinot noir and pinot meunier, a “blanc de noirs” style suggests a wine made from a blend of the two or pinot noir straight up. (There are

no Champagnes made from 100 percent pinot meunier.) This style tends to be a fuller and richer. There may be some producers who don’t use these terms on their labels even if they do apply, but one can assume that if either are not there, then the wine in question is made from a blend of red and white grapes. These terms sometimes spill over onto still wine labeling as well. Other terms that might appear and make the bubbly more expensive are “Grand Cru” and “Premier Cru.” A “cru” system says that one vineyard is better than another because it’s a superior site and creates quality fruit and, ultimately, great wine. A Champagne labeled “Grand Cru” means all the fruit that went into that wine was harvested from vineyards rated at 100 percent (veritably perfect). “Premier Cru” says all the fruit came from vineyards rated 90 to 99 percent. The final bit of info that will appear on Champagne labels are sugar codes, and they can be very confusing. The extreme driest of all Champagne is labeled “Brut Zero,” “Brut Nature,” or “Extra Brut” — literally drier than dry. Next up would be “Brut” (dry), the most common sweetness designation in this part of the world. Occasionally you will see some called “Extra Dry” or “Extra Sec.” Contrary to what they actually say, these are not extra dry, but more medium-dry in sweetness. Numerous other designations exist, but are not usually seen here. These sugar designations are often used on other sparkling wines, as well. © Edward Finstein, “The Wine Doctor” 2016. “The Wine Doctor” is Edward Finstein, award-winning author, TV/radio host, renowned wine journalist, international wine judge, professor of wine, and consultant. For more information, visit winedoctor. ca, twitter.com/drwineknow, thewinedoctor.blogspot.com, winedoctor. ca/docs-grapevine.html, or facebook. com/edwarddocfinstein?fref=ts.

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govemployee.com I advertorial

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GovEmployee.com 3012 Gold Mine Road, Brookeville, MD 20833 Phone: 301-221-3977 Email RSragner@GovEmployee.com 2016 RECGOV President: Ruth Sragner Advisory Panel: Renee Bolden, Clement Jackson, Karl Teel, Jessica Smith and Ted Tepper Publisher - Recreation News: Karl Teel

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MUSIC Festival continued from page 26 festival, which brings $5 million in tourism dollars to Berks County each year. “A festival of such dimension requires remarkable synchronization by general manager John Ernesto, Berks Arts Council staffers, and a hearty army of approximately 400 volunteers — with sponsorships and community partnerships as the support beams,” Zielinski said.

The Reading music scene Music lovers will find much to choose from in the Reading area, with venues of various sizes, according to Lisa Haggerty, who promotes the area. Three of the larger facilities are Santander Arena, Santander Performing Arts Center, and Miller Center for the Arts at the Reading Area Community College. “There are many small venues across Greater Reading that offer a stage for folk, country, and bluegrass bands,” Haggerty added. “Classical guitarist and Grammy winner David Cullen is a regular at VIVA Bistro and Lounge.” Karen Haver, of the Berks Arts Council, also points to Building 24 Live, which presents national tour-

Berks Jazz Fest

Keb’ Mo’ is among the headliners at this year’s Berks Jazz Fest. ing club acts, including a jazz series. She says that many local restaurants have ongoing music series, citing as examples Sofrito Gastro Pub, which has live local jazz musicians every Wednesday, and the Ukrainian Club, which has monthly music jams. “We have over 100 ‘local events’ at restaurants, clubs, churches, and other organizations leading up to and during the 10-day Jazz Fest,” she said.

About the festival What: Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest When: April 1–10 Where: Various venues in Reading and Berks County, Pa. Tickets: 800-745-3000 or 866-448-7849 (automated), ticketmaster.com Info: 610-898-1930, berksjazzfest.com

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