We searched far and wide to bring to you a variety of activities and attractions that you may not have known existed throughout Montgomery County, Maryland. Here are our top 22 hidden gems that we recommend adding to your next weekend itinerary in 2022.
Immerse Yourself in FOREST (for a thousand years) at Glenstone Museum
Hit the trails and step into nature to experience FOREST (for a thousand years), a sound sculpture by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Millers. As you’re walking through this unique exhibit, you’ll hear various sounds including explosions and recoding from historical battle reenactments. After, find your way indoors to explore the current exhibits inside the Gallery and the Pavilions.
Local tip: Take the Montgomery County Ride On bus along the 301 route for guaranteed entry into the museum. Admission is always free, and all visitors must be 12 or older.
When to go: Glenstone Museum is open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Catch an Independent Film at the South Asian Film Festival
The 9th annual South Asian Film Festival brings together film enthusiasts for a weekend of celebrating alternative cinema from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The festival screens features, documentaries, and shorts, as well as hosts panel discussions, networking events, and exclusive media presentations.
When to go: The year’s festival will be held virtually from January 16-30.
Live Like a Lock Keeper along the C&O Canal
If you’re looking for a digital detox that will bring you and your loved ones closer to nature, then a night in a lockhouse is exactly what you need. Lockhouses 6, 10 and 21 offer a full amenity experience including kitchens, bathrooms, electricity, heat and air-conditioning. For a rustic experience, lockhouses 22 and 25 are the perfect options for camping with a historic twist.
When to go: Weekends tend to book up, so consider a weekday adventure! Each lockhouse is available for booking all year through the C&O Canal Trust website.
Ride the Potomac with Calleva River Tours
Calleva has something for everyone to enjoy whether you are an adventure seeker, foodie, or animal lover. Take a family-friendly kayak trip down the Potomac River at Calleva’s Liquid Adventures, or participate in Calleva’s Dirty Dinner series and enjoy a magical farm-to-table dining experience on a 200-acre farm.
When to go: Book a River Tour between May and October. Dirty Dinner is open on select weekends during the summer.
Drink in the Views at Windridge Vineyards
Experience the feel of Napa Valley right here in Montgomery County, Maryland at Windridge Vineyards. Sip locally made wines with friends surrounded by lush farmland, rolling hills, and panoramic views. Step inside the new tasting room for 360-degree bar overlooking the vineyard and Sugarloaf Mountain.
When to go: Windridge Vineyards is open Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturdays 11 a.m to 8 p.m.,and Sundays at 11 a.m. through 6 p.m.
A Moment of Relaxation at Soleado Lavender Farm
Located at the base of the Sugarloaf Mountain in The Agricultural Reserve, Soleado Lavender Farm is a family-owned business that specializes in growing several varieties of French and English lavender. The freshly harvested flowers are used to create essential oils used for their handmade, luxury bath products. The farm offers tours, yoga retreats, spaces for photographers and painters, and fresh honey.
When to go: The farm will reopen the first weekend in June 2022.
Underground Railroad Immersion Experience at Button Farm Living History Center
The Underground Railroad Immersion Experience at Button Farm Living History Center is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for visitors to participate in simulated journeys depicting plantation life and the Underground Railroad. This hands-on activity focuses on conflict resolution, environment, history, agriculture, and most importantly, team-building.
When to go: The farm is open Saturdays from noon until 3 p.m. and weekday from 9 am – 3 p.m. Visits are appointment only.
Take to the Skies at Dream Aero
Have you ever wanted to know what it was like to fly a plane? Dream Aero’s flight simulator – located in Westfield Montgomery – reproduces every aspect of a real flight including takeoff and landing. During your journey, you will be accompanied by an experienced pilot who will assist you in mastering the basic elements of flying a plane.
When to go: Dream Aero is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. through 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. through 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. through 7 p.m.
Take a Spin on the Dentzel Carousel at Glen Echo Park
An amusement park in the early 1900s, Glen Echo Park is now home to artist studios, cultural organizations, performing art classes, dance programs, and a nature center. Constructed in 1921, the Dentzel Carousel is a “must-see” attraction at Glen Echo Park.
When to go: The park is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily and the Dentzel Carousel operates from May through September.
Eat Incredible Ice Cream at Woodbourne Creamery
Woodbourne Creamery at Rock Hill Orchard is Montgomery County’s only “cow-to-cone” creamery and the first new dairy in over 60 years. The farm’s herd of Golden Guernsey cows are grass-fed and provide all the goodness of double Omega-3 fat to create a lush, rich ice cream like no other. We recommend trying dark chocolate, malted milk ball, or ginger.
When to go: Woodbourne Creamery is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Step Back in Time at the National Capital Trolley Museum
The National Capital Trolley Museum was established in 1959 to preserve and interpret the history of area electric streetcars. The Visitor Center features exhibits and historic trolleys, and a model of streetcars and street life in Chevy Chase in the 1930s. Ride a vintage streetcar on a 2-mile track through Northwest Branch Park.
When to go: The Trolley Museum is open on Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.
Learn About Lincoln’s Death Bullet at the National Museum of Health and Medicine
A historical artifact is located right here in Montgomery County, Maryland at the National Museum of Health and Medicine: The bullet that killed President Abraham Lincoln. Discover more about the former president’s final hours, the injury, and an in-depth analysis of his autopsy.
When to go: The museum is free and open Wednesday – Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Try Yurt Camping at Little Bennett Regional Park
Get outdoors in 2022 by camping in a yurt at one of the best campgrounds in the area, Little Bennett Campground. There are three yurts available to rent on the premises and each have two full-size beds and two twin bunks that can sleep up to six people. Little Bennett Regional Park offers 3,700 acres of forest to explore including 25 miles of trails, historical sites, and an 18-hole golf course.
When to go: While Yurt camping is available throughout the year, the busiest season is March through November. During the off-season from December through February, some camping features may not be available.
Explore the Kenwood Cherry Blossoms
Skip the bustling crowds at the Tidal Basin and head to Kenwood to have an up-close and personal view of the iconic cherry blossoms along Kennedy Drive, Dorset Avenue, and Kenwood Avenue. You can also find these beautiful trees at Brookside Gardens, Glenview Mansion and even at the entrance to Silo Falls.
When to go: Peak bloom changes from year to year, so keep an eye out National Park Service’s peak bloom predictions during the spring.
Learn About Farm Life at the Dairy MOOseum
The King Barn Dairy MOOseum is a dairy heritage museum dedicated to interpreting the rich history of the farms, the families, and related organizations and businesses of Montgomery County. Their stories are told through a permanent collection featuring interactive exhibits and educational programs.
When to go: The Dairy MOOseum is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Savor Fried Green Tomatoes at Silo Falls
Located on 40 acres of rolling farm land, The Manor at Silo Falls is a historic mansion with a full-service kitchen and bar. The breathtaking property features a large lake, farm silo and many areas for beautiful photography. Dishes like Panko Fried Green Tomatoes, and Crab & Spinach Dip are crown favorites. During warmer weather, dine outdoors throughout the property and enjoy daily live music.
When to go: Silo Falls is open Monday – Thursday noon- 10:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday noon- 10 p.m., Sunday noon – 9 p.m.
Catch a Performance at F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre
Experience a captivating musical by the Rockville Musical Theater, become moved by the Victorian Lyric Opera Company, or lose yourself in the spellbinding Rockville Civic Ballet. The F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre is a vibrant, local 446-seat theatre that boasts over 100 shows a year.
When to go: Head to the box office for show times and ticket prices.
Visit the Dutch Family Restaurant at Lancaster County Dutch Market
Lancaster County Dutch Market in Germantown is home to some of the best baked goods, desserts, dairy products, produce, and snacks around. Every week, farmers travel down from Pennsylvania to sell their products at the market to give visitors a little taste of Lancaster. Their in-house diner, Dutch Family Restaurant, serves up classic home-cooked staples like omelets, waffles, burgers, and melts.
When to go: The Dutch Family Restaurant is open Thursdays 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. –7 p.m, and Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Explore the New Josiah Henson Museum & Park
Montgomery County’s newest heritage experience, the Josiah Henson Museum opened in the Spring of 2021. The museum and grounds tells the story about the life and challenges of Reverend Josiah Henson, enslavement in Maryland, and the ongoing struggles of racial equality and justice. The Park is part of the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program.
When to go: Park is open sunrise to sunset. Museum hours are Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take Your Best Shot at the Topgolf Swing Suite
Spend the evening enjoying an immersive social experience in your own comfy lounge at the Topgolf Swing Suite, located at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. The private simulator bay and massive screen offers a variety of virtual games, including signature Topgolf target games, zombie dodgeball, hockey, baseball, carnival games. The overall experience delivers a one-of-a-kind simulation that’s fun for golfers and non-golfers alike.
When to go: Reserve your spot through the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel website.
Spend the Day at the Agricultural History Farm Park
The scenic 455-acre Agricultural History Farm Park in Derwood, MD features rolling hills, open fields, an apple orchard, and a variety of farm animals. Get a unique perspective on the county’s rich farming heritage while visiting barns, historic buildings and a modern farming activity center.
When to go: The park is open every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. For a fun filled day, annual special events are held throughout the year.
Hit the Books at the Gaithersburg Book Festival
The Gaithersburg Book Festival is a celebration of the written word and its power to enrich the human experience. Since its inception in 2010, the Festival has quickly become one of the nation’s top literary events, attracting hundreds of award-winning and best-selling authors, poets and songwriters from across the country. The Festival offers programming for all ages and is free to attend.
When to go: The Gaithersburg Book Festival will be held on May 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.