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Things To Do In Winter

WATCH LOCAL THEATRE

Potomac Theatre Company Spring production of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” in the Blair Family Center for the Arts at the Bullis School, 10601 Falls Road. Three weekends of performances, March 8 - 24, Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Call 301-299-8571. See www.potomactheatreco.org.

COOL WEEKEND OF JAZZ

The Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, 4th annual show, Feb. 15-18. Hilton Washington D.C./Rockville Hotel and Executive Meeting Center. The festival provides live musical performances, workshops and seminars. See www.midatlanticjazzfestival.org.

WATCH HORSE SHOW, INDOORS

Potomac Horse Center

14211 Quince Orchard Road, North Potomac, 20878

301-208-0200, www.potomachorse.com

Watch a horse show indoors:

Feb. 24, Potomac Horse Center client show

Feb. 15, Valentine’s Jumper Schooling Show

March 29, Dressage Schooling Show

SKATE, PLAY HOCKEY,

BRING A VALENTINE

Cabin John Regional Park Ice Rink

10610 Westlake Drive, 301-765-8620

www.montgomeryparks.org

www.CabinJohnIice.com

Private and group lessons for all ages, open skating times, hockey clinics for all experience levels and special events. Open year round.

Sweetheart Skate, Friday, Feb. 15, 8-10 p.m.

Cabin John Ice Invitational, Saturday, March 23, 2013, with a compulsory skills event, maneuver team event, and freestyle program event from tots to adults.

Parent & Tot Bargain Skates, Wednesday and Fridays, 10:15-11:15 a.m. Rink reserved for special sessions for tots and their parents.

KNOW YOUR COMMUNITY CENTER

11315 Falls Road, Potomac, 240-777-6960

This is Montgomery County’s busiest community center, with open gym activities, arts and crafts, exercise classes, leisure classes, group support meetings and socials, senior adult activities, sports programs, summer camps, programs for individuals with disabilities, children’s holiday parties, volunteer opportunities and more. Facilities include a gymnasium, exercise room, meeting rooms, art room, lounge area, community room and social hall. The outdoor area includes two baseball fields and an in-line hockey rink, and lighted basketball and tennis courts. The center offers table tennis, billiards and foosball, a gymnasium, weight room, social room, meeting rooms, and hundreds of classes through the Department of Recreation.

ALL ARTS ON DECK

Glen Echo Park

7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo

www.glenechopark.org

Originally a Chautauqua retreat, then an amusement park, Glen Echo National Park now hosts a variety of arts, environmental and history programs. Classes are offered in pottery, painting, photography, glass art, silversmithing, textiles and other arts, as well as in dance, writing and music. Dancing in the Spanish Ballroom is a popular social event.

Also at Glen Echo, Adventure Theatre (www.adventuretheater.org, 301-634-2270) is one of the area’s longest running children’s theater companies, and the Puppet Co. Playhouse (www.puppetco.org) offers shows as well as was for children to be involved.

CELEBRATE CHINESE NEW YEAR

Chinese New Year is Sunday, Feb. 10 and is the year of the snake. Exhibits and weekend events at Lake Forest Mall Feb. 4-17, www.visit shoplakeforest.com Watch for local events at Potomac Library and Potomac Elementary School, which has a Chinese language immersion program.

VISIT THE RIVER CENTER

Potomac Conservancy’s River Center at Lock 8, 7906 Riverside Drive, www.potomac.org

Off Clara Barton Parkway between Cabin John and Carderock exits

Potomac Conservancy operates environmental awareness programs out of Lockhouse 8 along the C&O Canal.

Canal Stewards Cleanup, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, 10 a.m. to noon. This clean-up event is part of the Canal Steward Program, engaging volunteers to be caretakers of a site within the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Call 301-608-1188 ext. 215.

Birding for Beginners, Sunday, Feb. 10, 1-2:30 p.m., Learn basic birding techniques from National Park Service Ranger Kelly Fox. All ages welcome.

EXPLORE WINTER NATURE

Locust Grove Nature Center

Cabin John Regional Park, 7777 Democracy Boulevard, 301-765-8660, www.locustgrovenature.org

Locust Groves offers a variety of nature activities, indoors and outdoors, throughout the winter and rest of the year. A sampling:

  • Treats for the Animals. Make tasty treats for wild animals that may have a hard time finding food in the winter. Ages 3-6. $5. Thursday, Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

  • Full Moon Hike. Hike by the light of the full moon, stopping to listen for calls of barred owls and to look for other nocturnal creatures, Ages 3-12. $5. 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

  • Groundhog Celebration. Celebrate Maryland’s second largest rodent, with a hike, anatomy an adaptation exploration and slide show. Ages one and up. Free. Feb. 2, noon to 2 p.m.

  • Tale of Tails. Explores sights, sounds, textures and movements of the natural world. Ages 2-4. Feb. 6. $5. 10-10:45 a.m.

  • Cabin John Hike. Hike two miles on the Cabin John Stream trail, looking for signs of early spring. Ages 6-12. $8. Feb. 22, 2-3 p.m.

  • Evening Campfire. Take off the chill with a campfire gathering. Bring s’more fixings. Hot chocolate provided. Ages 3-16. $5. 6:30 - 8 p.m.

VISIT GREAT FALLS

Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center

11710 MacArthur Blvd.

301-767-3714

Open year round, seven days per week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/

greatfallstavernvisitorcenter.htm

The Historic Great Falls Tavern has stood at Lock 20 on the C&O Canal since 1831, and now serves as the visitor center at the Great Falls section of the park. Soon after the canal’s ground breaking in 1828 construction began on the original lockhouse. In response to travelers’ requests for shelter and a meal, the locktender here at Great Falls, W.W. Fenlon, asked the Canal Company to build the three-story north wing for a hotel, which opened in 1831. As the inn’s first proprietor Mr. Fenlon presided over lively entertainment like fishing parties, dances and social events in the “ballroom,” in addition to good dinners and a place to sleep.

Easy access to the Great Falls overlook, one of the area’s most incredible views of the Potomac River.

Activities offered year round.