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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: department of recreation and parks

photo of child doing holiday craftsEvents and Outings for All

The weather outside may be getting a bit “frightful,” but the County’s parks are delightful in every season.

Sure, you’ll need to bundle up and instead of the water bottle you can take a thermos of hot chocolate, your camera, warm jacket, socks and boots, hat, scarf and see the sights! Imagine the sounds of the wind blowing through the forest, the rustle of leaves as you walk those same trails you love in the warm weather. 

And, the fine folks at Baltimore County’s Department of Recreation and Parks, and all of our essential volunteers (“helpful elves” if you will) are eager to have a part in making your season bright, warm and filled with memories that will last well beyond the decorations and food.

Holiday Events Galore!

Your friends at Recreation and Parks and our many recreation and nature councils have lots of seasonal events that are sure to keep you in the spirit of the season in your eyes, in your bellies and in your heart, here are just a few…

Santa with childSanta's Rounds

Want to meet the “Big Guy?”  Yep, SANTA’s making the rounds this December, and let us tell you, that guy really gets around:

  • At Battle Grove Elementary on December 12, from 9 to 11 a.m. Sponsored by North Point Village Recreation Council (410-887-7180)
  • At Bear Creek Elementary on December 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Bear Creek Recreation Council (410-887-7529 for details and reservations)
  • At Turner Station Recreation Council’s Christmas Celebration at Sollers Point Multi-Purpose Center on December 12, between noon and 4 p.m. (410-887-7134)
  • Watersedge Recreation Council is having their Christmas event on December 13, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Watersedge Community Center (410-887-7134)
  • Tuesday, December 8, West Inverness Recreation Council is sponsoring their Christmas event at the Inverness Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m. (410-887-7134)

Christmas Tree Sales – All for a Good Cause

  • Hannah More Park in Reisterstown – on sale through December 24 (410-887-1142)
  • TALMAR Gardens and Horticultural Therapy Center; inside the Sherwood entrance of Cromwell Valley Park. (410-825-2020)

Holiday Crafts

  • Mini Christmas Tree – Wednesday, December 9, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at Holt Center (410-887-5307)
  • Natural Ornaments – Saturday, December 12, noon to 3 p.m., at Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)
  • Holiday Centerpieces – Saturday, December 12, 1 to 2:30 p.m., at Cromwell Valley Park (410-887-2503)
  • Log Cabin Christmas – Sunday, December 13, noon to 3 p.m., at Holt Center (410-887-5307)
  • Natural Ornament Making – Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13, at Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815)
  • Wreaths and Natural Ornaments – Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13, noon to 4 p.m., at Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817)
  • Short Days Candle Making – Saturday, December 19, 1 to 2:30 p.m., at Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817)
  • Solstice Candle Making – Sunday, December 20, 1 to 3 p.m., at Willow Grove Nature Center (410-887-2503)
  • Make Signature Wrapping Paper and Giant Ribbons – Tuesday, December 15, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Holt Center (410-887-5307)
  • Gingerbread Houses for You and the Birds – Saturday and Sunday, December 19 and 20, 1 to 3 p.m., at Oregon Ridge Nature Center (410-887-1815)

Some Very Special Events

  • Holiday Craft Show, Saturday, December 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at General John Stricker Middle School sponsored by Gray Charles Recreation Council (410-887-7180)
  • Holiday Craft Show, Saturday, December 12, 9 a.m. to noon, inside Battle Grove Elementary School. Sponsored by North Point Village Recreation Council (410-887-7180)
  • Holiday Basket BINGO, Saturday, December 12, 7 to 9 p.m., inside Battle Grove Elementary School sponsored by North Point Village Recreation Council (410-887-7180)
  • 38th Annual Holly Tour at Ballestone-Stansbury House, Saturday and Sunday, December 12 and 13. Sponsored by Back River Recreation Council. Call for times. (410-887-0234)
  • Holiday Party – Tuesday, December 15, 7 p.m. – Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817)
  • Winter Solstice Campfire, Friday, December 18, 7 to 8 p.m. – Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)
  • Kids Night Out, Friday, December 18, 6 to 9 p.m. – Lake Roland (410-887-4156)
  • The Long Dark – Hike and Campfire – Friday, December 18, 7 to 8:30 p.m. – Marshy Point Nature Center (410-887-2817)
  • S’mores, Stars and the Winter Solstice, Saturday, December 19, 6 to 8 p.m. – Lake Roland (410-887-4156)
  • Christmas Movie-thon, Saturday, December 19, 2 to 4:30 p.m., at Holt Center (410-887-5307)
  • Kwanzaa Celebration, Saturday, December 26, 1:30 to 3 p.m. – Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum (410-887-1081)
  • Winter Break Camp, Monday, December 28 through Thursday, December 31, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Lake Roland (410-887-4156 – call for availability, details and pricing)

While this is a listing of some of Recreation and Parks holiday and seasonal events, you can be sure there is lots more for you to do with us. Select a link to all our recreation and nature offices where our staff members will be able to offer more information about the above events and let you know of other events of the season. 

More Events at

Also, be sure to check out the County’s Tourism and Promotions website, for more great events.

Greetings from Recreation and Parks

So you see, Baltimore County Recreation and Parks this time of the year probably should be at the top of your list when thinking holiday and seasonal programs and events. From all your friends at Recreation and Parks, here’s wishing you a great holiday season – and a Happy New Year, too!

Michael L. Schneider,  Community Outreach Liaison, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

photo of groundbreaking Lake Roland is Located at 1000 Lakeside Drive; Total Cost for New Center is $1.2 Million

Today, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz along with officials from the Department of Recreation and Parks and members of the Lake Roland Nature Council broke ground for the new Nature and Environmental Education Center at Lake Roland.

Year Round Education Programming, Meeting Space

This much anticipated addition to Lake Roland will provide year round education programming and meeting space. Plans for the center include classroom, educational and meeting space with audio-visual capabilities, and an expansive deck that provides a year round view of the Lake Roland dam. 

“The construction of this nature and environmental education center will only further enhance Lake Roland with year-round education and programming,” said Kamenetz. “It’s so important to encourage people, especially children, to connect with nature. I am proud that Baltimore County continues to make major investments in our communities – investments that truly protect and enhance our citizens’ quality of life.”

Renovations and Improvements

Since Baltimore County entered into a formal agreement with the City to administer the park and re-opened it in 2011, the County has made considerable renovations and improvements. Several of the enhancements include:  a fenced area for the Paw Point Dog Park; a park access trail from the Light Rail Station; a new pavilion overlooking the dam; a small pedestrian bridge deck replacement; the Acorn Hill Playground – a natural playground with equipment; and staffing by Baltimore County Park rangers who educate park users and ensure safety.

Total cost for this project is $1.2 million, which includes $285,000 County funding, $200,000 in State capital grants, $375,000 from Program Open Space, and $340,000 in Nature Council fundraising.

Nature Quest is Your Ticket to Outdoor Adventure

Nature Quest logoInterested in an adventure and a chance to find new parks in your area? You’ll love Baltimore County’s Nature Quest! Baltimore County Recreation and Parks, the Baltimore County Local Health Coalition and Wegmans grocery store have partnered to provide this fun, free adventure.

You can experience the outdoors and be active while discovering some of the best parks and trails in Baltimore County. It’s great for families, scout troops, seniors – anyone who wants to get outdoors and have fun. You can bike, hike, or canoe on designated trails and complete the Nature Quest while earning prizes.

All you have to do is finish at least five trails and you can join us on October 17 to celebrate at our Nature Quest Fest. This action- packed event will include various activities such as canoeing, fishing, live animals, crafts and more. So get your family and friends together and begin your adventure!

Complete Your Quest in Three Easy Steps!

1. Get your Passport booklet. Pick up a Nature Quest booklet from your local Wegmans store, at participating parks (Robert E. Lee Park, Center for Maryland Agriculture and Farm Park, Oregon Ridge Nature Center, Cromwell Valley Park, Marshy Point Nature Center, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park, or Honeygo Run Regional Park), or print one online at

2. Start hiking. Take your booklet and a pencil or crayon and head out on the trails. Record your progress by making a rubbing of the trail marker located on each of 13 trails. photo of hiker making rubbing from signpost

3. Collect your prizes. Prizes are awarded after accumulating rubbings from at least five of the 13 trails. In addition to the prizes, questers that complete five trails or more also receive free admission to the Nature Quest Fest on October 17. Extra incentives are available to questers that complete 7 to 13 trails! 

Shannon Davis, Park Ranger, Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks

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