<ro> Play Golf
<lst><b>Falls Road Golf Course
10800 Falls Road, Potomac
Poolesville Golf Course
16601 W. Willard Road, Poolesville
You don't have to be a millionaire to play golf in Potomac. Home to world-famous tournament courses at Congressional Country Club and the Tournament Players Club at Avenel, Potomac also has its own public golf course on Falls Road, with another public course up the road in Poolesville. The courses, operated by the Montgomery County Revenue Authority, include clubhouses, driving ranges and pro shops offering equipment and lessons.
<ro>Go to Camp
<b>Montgomery County Recreation Department Summer Camps and Programs
Children who want to experience summer camp need not pack for a month of sleepaway camp in New England. Close to home, summer day camps provide opportunities that range to sinalongs for 4-year-olds to lacrosse for high-schoolers.
Montgomery County offers summer day camps for children of all ages, including Little People Centers, which are programs for children ages 4-5. The half-day programs have a host of preschool activities in store — games, crafts, story times, sing-alongs, you name it. Or try Sports 'n Splash for children ages 7-10. Sports 'n Splash offers a combination of sports instruction in soccer, kickball, flag football, and basketball. Between sports activities, your child will spend time at the pool and learn sports fundamental through hands-on fun. Visiit the Maryland Department of Recreation website for more camp ideas. Most camps listed on the site are held at local public schools or community centers. Don't forget to check out summer programs at local private schools and other venues, like Georgetown Prep, Holton-Arms, Bullis, Landon, Norwood, and Strathmore Hall. They also offer an array of summer programs.
<ro> Learn To Dance
<lst><b>Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo
Got two left feet? Get in the groove at Glen Echo park, which offers classes in waltz, swing, contra, salsa and more. Dances take place in the historic Spanish Ballroom and Bumper Car Pavilion. Glen Echo also hosts regular social dances, open to the public, for all ages, with no prior experience or partner required. Many of the dances offer an introductory lesson, and live music. Tickets are $7-$15 and are sold at the door. Dress is casual, and layers are recommended, because the dance halls are neither heated nor air-conditioned.
<ro> Become the Next Freddy Adu
<lst><b>Montgomery Soccer, Inc.
Bethesda Soccer Club
Potomac Soccer Association
Before Freddy joined the U.S. Under-17 soccer team, he played on a club team in Potomac Soccer Association and then in the Bethesda Soccer Club. Local soccer leagues offer a variety of levels for school-aged children, from club teams that travel to Brazil to beginners' teams that travel a short ways down Falls Road.
<ro> Watch Insane Kayakers
<lst><b>Potomac Whitewater Festival
C&O Canal National Historic Park
Some of the world’s best kayakers come to the Great Falls area of the Potomac river to train. One way to see them is simply to go: a summer hike along one of the C&O Canal National Historical Park's riverside trails is sure to yield some spotting opportunities. The Potomac Whitewater Festival, held annually in July (it is July 15-16 in 2006), features dozens of events including dramatic runs over Great Falls. Watch from the Maryland overlook in C&O Canal National Historical Park by crossing the wooden walkway to Olmstead Island near Great Falls Tavern.
<ro> Become A Sane Kayaker
Liquid Adventures Kayak School
Valley Mill Camp
Want to try paddling yourself? Safety first. The C&O Canal, with a closed water system and little flow, is an ideal place to learn, and several outfitters offer lessons there. Inexperienced paddlers and swimmers are injured or killed every year entering the water without proper training and equipment. Learn from professionals at schools like Potomac Paddlesports, Liquid Adventures or Valley Mill Kayak School.
<ro> Go Fishing
<lst><b>Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service
Buy a permit at:
12085 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland (Hudson Trail Outfitters)
12055 Rockville Pike, Rockville (The Sports Authority)
601 Hungerford Drive, Rockville (Atlantic Guns)
14125 Seneca Road, Darnestown (Adrian's Market)
16315 Old River Road, Poolesville (Poole's General Store) </b>
There are lots of great fishing spots along the Potomac River that can be accessed from the C&O Canal. Violettes Lock and Rileys Lock are popular spots to catch smallmouth bass and sunfish. Maryland requires a fishing permit for all fishermen 16 and older in non-tidal waters. An annual recreational fishing permit costs $10.50. Buy a permit online or at any of the above local businesses.
<ro> Go Rock Climbing
<lst><b>Carderock Recreation Area, part of C&O Canal National Historical Park
www.nps.gov/choh/Recreation/ and click the links under "Trails."
Adventure Schools Rock Climbing
Carderock Recreation Area is one of the region's hottest rock climbing spots. It can be accessed by bicycle from the Great Falls or Old Angler's Inn entrances to the C&O Canal National Historical Park. On foot, it's about an hour's hike from Great Falls. By car, take the Clara Barton Parkway and follow the signs, exiting at the Naval Surface Warfare Center's access gate. The Carderock area has restrooms and picnic tables and non-climbers can enjoy walks along the towpath and great views of the river, as well as views of the climbers from both above and below. The climbing includes a wide range of difficulty levels, but no one should climb without the necessary training and safety equipment. Novices should climb with an instructor, school or reputable climbing organization.
<ro> Go Horseback Riding
<lst> <b>Potomac Horse Center
14211 Quince Orchard Road, Gaithersburg
Tulip Pond Farm
14901 Partnership Road, Poolesville
Horses are a huge part of Potomac's history. Before it was a wealthy Washington suburb, Potomac was home to scores of horse farms and historic hunts and horse organizations. These days, much of the horse activity has been pushed to Poolesville, Darnestown and other areas upcounty, in the 90,000-acre Agricultural Reserve, where development is severely restricted. Horse stables include the Potomac Horse Center and Tulip Pond Farm, both of which host clinics and lessons.
<ro>Join a Horse Association
<lst><b>Potomac Bridle and Hiking Trail Association
P.O. Box 59722, Potomac
Elaine Jones: 301-299-7953
The Potomac Bridle and Hiking Trail Association aims to con serve and maintain natural trails for hikers and equestrians. Whether you enjoy a quiet walk in the woods, like taking trail rides with your horse, or simply enjoy nature, the Potomac Bridle and Hiking Trail Association hosts many fun events such as an annual horse show, guided nature walks, trail rides, and social parties. Annual dues are $50 for families and $35 for individuals. For your subscription, mail your name, address, and dues to the above address. Visit the website for Association news, updates, and activities.
<ro> Go Ice Skating Indoors
<lst><b>Cabin John Ice Rink
10610 Westlake Drive
Even on the most humid of summer days, optimal skating conditions are just minutes away at the Cabin John Ice Rink, which is operated by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission. It has changing facilities, a snack bar and three ice rinks and offers public skating sessions, skating lessons, and use for hockey and other ice sports. General admission is $3 for children 4 and under, $5 for seniors and children 5-10, $6 for adults, and $6 for all ages on public holidays. Skate rental is $3.
<ro> Go Ice Skating Outdoors (cautiously)
<bt><b>C&O Canal National Historical Park
Call 301-767-3707 for a recorded message about ice skating in the C&O Canal National Historical Park, updated by park rangers. </b>
During cold winters, the C&O Canal freezes and becomes a huge outdoor skating rink for enthusiasts, children and families. Even walkers enjoy the view of the often snow-dusted ice and the ability to cross the canal wherever they want. But attempting to skate on outdoor ice poses serious safety risks. The National Park Service monitors the thickness of the ice, which should be at least four inches for safe skating (it never reached that point last winter). When the ice is thick enough, park rangers post signs reading "Ice Skating at Your Own Risk." If the signs read "Unsafe Ice," if there is no sign, or if you are unsure, stay off the ice.
<ro> Go Camping
<lst><b>C&O Canal National Historic Park
Marsden Tract Group Campsites
The Robert C. McDonnell Campground
Cabin John Regional Park, 7701 Tuckerman Lane, Bethesda
301-495-2525 (permit office)
The C&O Canal National Historical Park offers several free and fee-charging campsites in the Potomac region. There are "hiker-biker" campgrounds, which are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of one night at Swains Lock. The sites have picnic tables and outhouses.
The Marsden Tract, located at C&O Canal mile 11 near Old Angler's Inn, is a group campsite, available by reservation only for $20 per night for scout groups, civic organizations and groups on organized camping trips.
The Robert C. McDonell Campground at Cabin John Regional Park offers seven walk-in primitive sites, accommodating up to 10 campers each. Campsites feature grills, tables, a campfire circle and pit toilets. There are two tent pads on each site. Campsites are available year-round with no running water between November 1 and March 31. An $18 per site, per night permit is required.
<ro> Learn Martial Arts
<lst> <b>East West Tae Kwon Do
10620 River Road, Potomac
12944 Travilah Road, Potomac
Far more than a means of learning self-defense, the martial arts teach discipline, confidence and character, and they are a great means to improving mental and physical fitness.
In recent years, East West Tae Kwon Do students have qualified for the national tae kwon do tournament. Many students are school-aged, but not all — some entire families train at East West.
Kicks Karate offers a number of programs specifically designed to meet age group, skill level, and needs of its students. The school is open 10 a.m. -9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. -1 p.m. on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays.
<ro> Learn Yoga
<lst> <b>Potomac Community Center
11315 Falls Road, Potomac
Trying to get it all together, mind, body and soul? Yoga is a collection of spiritual techniques and practices all aimed at integrating mind, body and spirit and achieving a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe.
The Potomac Community Center offers yoga lessons at varying times throughout the week. A wide array of other lessons are also available. Many private centers also offer yoga lessons.
<ro> Become an Artist
<lst><b>Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery
Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, 301-371-5593
The Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery is the painting residency at Glen Echo Park. Resident painter and instructor Walt Bartman's goal is to provide a place where those interested in painting can have the opportunity to meet, collaborate and display their work. The Yellow Barn Studio provides a variety of classes in watercolor, oil and acrylic for students at all levels representing a diversity of philosophies and approaches taken by the faculty. The Yellow Barn Gallery hosts individual and group art exhibits year-round and is open to the public on Saturday and Sundays from 12-5 p.m. Summer classes include Summer Landscape on Location painting class, Introduction to Watercolor, Figure Painting Studio, Intermediate Watercolor, Principles of Drawing and Figure Drawing.
<ro> Learn About Birds with the Experts
<lst><b>Audubon Naturalist Society
8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase
www.audubonnaturalist.org (Click “Birding”),
Locust Grove Nature Center at Cabin John Regional Park
7777 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda
Montgomery Bird Club
The Audubon Naturalist Society conducts free bird walks, bird counts for research and bird watching events for charity. It also oversees three local nature sanctuaries, including the Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase. Locust Grove Nature Center in Cabin John Regional Park has naturalists who lead bird watches in the area. The Montgomery Bird Club is a chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society that sponsors bird field trips and holds monthly meetings. The Club’s holds meetings on the third Wednesday of every month at the Potomac Presbyterian Church from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
<lst><b>Locust Grove Nature Center
7777 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda
Don’t believe the media’s portrayal of bats — they may not fight crime, but they do gobble up pest insects on summer nights, require less electricity than a bug zapper, and smell better than insect repellent. Leslie Sturges, park naturalist at Locust Grove Nature Center leads bat-watching activities for all ages on spring and summer evenings.
<ro>Rock with Geologists
<lst><b>Rockville Senior Center
1150 Carnation Drive, Rockville
Panning for gold? Rock swaps? Fossil collecting excursions? They’re all activities sponsored by the Gem, Lapidary and Mineral Society of Montgomery County, which takes members on field trips to quarries and mines and puts on an annual show. Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Meetings are open to non-members.