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Information

For over two decades, Howard County Recreation and Parks has offered a highly successful Recreational Travel Program. Trips vary from affordable day trips to weekly excursions. Whether you set your sights near or far, there’s bound to be a trip on the itinerary that interests you. Enjoy sightseeing, shopping, dining and entertainment with us. Transportation and accommodation fees are included in the trip cost. Bring friends, family, or just explore on your own and make new friends!

All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Info: Tracy Adkins, 410-313-7279 or tadkins@howardcountymd.gov. To register, call 410 313-7275 or click here

*Trips pick up from either the Bain Center or Long Gate Park and Ride, unless otherwise noted.*
Trips by Month

September

Library of Congress & Supreme Court

“Equal justice under law” − These words, written above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building, express the ultimate responsibility of the Supreme Court of the United States. Take a short self-guided tour of the public areas of the court that serves as the highest tribunal in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States. Next, we will walk next door to visit the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is also the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and largest library in the world! This docent guided tour will be an enjoyable educational event for all ages. Dine on your own at the Library of Congress Madison Café. Moderate walking required.

Magnificent Maryland Series: Fort McHenry Tour−The Star Spangled Banner’s 205th Anniversary

Visit the star-shaped Fort McHenry that was made famous during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814. The valiant defense of the fort inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner." Visitors to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine will begin their tour at the Visitor and Education Center for a short orientation film, followed by a self-guided exploration of the onsite exhibits. Bring your own lunch and picnic onsite. Moderate walking is required.

The Basilica of the National Shrine

As the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States and North America, the Basilica is also one of the ten largest churches in the world. Byzantine-Romanesque in style, its massive, one-of-a-kind superstructure is home to over 80 chapels and oratories that relate to the peoples, cultures and traditions that are the fabric of the Catholic faith and the mosaic of our great nation. The Basilica also houses the largest collection of contemporary ecclesiastical art on earth. Open 365 days a year, the Basilica is host to nearly one million visitors annually. Lunch is on your own at the onsite cafeteria. Moderate walking required.

Asheville, NC−Biltmore Estate & Pigeon Forge − Dollywood

Take a unique journey to North Carolina and Tennessee to see a few amazing sights! The first stop is the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC to visit the Biltmore Estate. The main residence is a Château-style mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895 and remains the largest privately-owned house in the United States, at 178,926 square feet. It is absolutely amazing and the hospitality is equally superb! The next stop will take us to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dollywood is a theme park jointly owned by entertainer Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment. The site also hosts premiere live shows, restaurants, resort and other entertainment!

NEW! Photography Tour - U.S. Botanic Gardens

Take your camera on road for a day of learning, sightseeing and fun! While gaining advice from teacher, travel to picturesque locations to hone your skills. Capture exotic plants and animals by visiting the U.S. Botanic Gardens and National Zoo. Transportation is by coach bus. 

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Take a trip to the world’s most popular natural history museum, dedicated to understanding the natural world and our place in it. Delve into the fascinating story of our planet, from its fiery beginnings through billions of years of transformation, and explore life on Earth through exhibitions and activities, collection objects and research that happens in the lab and in the field. The museum is larger than 18 football fields and is home to the largest natural history collection in the world. Lunch is on your own at the Café Natural which is onsite. 10% off two or more people!

 

October

National Museum of African American History and Culture

 
This popular and inspirational Smithsonian Institution opened in 2016. It holds over 36,000 artifacts in its elaborate collection related to the African-American community, family, the visual and performing arts, religion, civil rights, slavery, and segregation. Lunch is on your own at onsite café. Time and date will be determined by August 15.


Philadelphia Museum of Art


With a surprise around every corner, discover the cultural heart of Philadelphia. The museum’s landmark building houses some of the greatest works of American, Asian, and European art. Enjoy van
Gogh’s Sunflowers, the world’s largest Marcel Duchamp, and the only dedicated Rodin Museum outside of France. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or the fiftieth, you’ll always see something new. Catch a world-class exhibition or the year-round masterpieces in the Museum’s 200+ galleries. Lunch on your own.

 

The Kennedy Center: Cats


Join us on closing night for this winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Cats tells the story of one magical night when an extraordinary tribe of cats gathers for its annual ball to rejoice and decide which cat will be reborn. Enjoy this original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, original scenic and costume design by John Napier (Les Misérables), new lighting design by Natasha Katz (Aladdin), new sound design by Mick Potter, new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) based on the original choreography by Gillian Lynne (The Phantom of the Opera), and direction by Trevor Nunn (Les Misérables)! Time to dine on your own onsite at the cafe and shop at the gift shop.
 

Glenstone Museum


Guided by the personal vision of its founders, Glenstone assembles post-World War II artworks of the highest quality that trace the greatest historical shifts in the way we experience and understand art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Enjoy indoor and outdoor spaces and lunch on your own at the Glenstone Cafe.
 


NEW! Photography Tour - National Zoo

Take your camera on road for a day of learning, sightseeing and fun! While gaining advice from teacher, travel to picturesque locations to hone your skills. Capture exotic plants and animals by visiting the U.S. Botanic Gardens and National Zoo. Transportation is by coach bus.


Magnificent Maryland: Edgar Allan Poe

Visit the Edgar Allan Poe house as a journey into the mind of the famous American writer. The unassuming, five-room row house is a shrine to Poe (who lived here for two years). The museum
showcases his daily life and writings he penned in the home. We will also visit his grave at nearby Westminster Hall.
 


Smithsonian Castle and Freer Sackler Gallery


Take a trip into the past through a visit to the world’s most popular castle museum. Take a docent-led tour highlighting the history and architecture of the beautiful Smithsonian Castle (completed in 1855). Have lunch on your own at onsite café. Then walk to the Freer Sackler Gallery to view masterpieces from China, Japan, Korea, and Asia.
 
 

MGM Grand Casino at National Harbor


This spectacular, Las Vegas-style facility is just south of D.C. Try your luck at the ultimate casino and gaming experience! Or visit the beautiful spa and shop. Explore the lovely retail stores. Dine on your
own at the National Market the epicenter of culinary exploration!

November

Ford’s Theatre

Discover the details of the Lincoln assassination conspiracy and the fate of those involved in that historic event. View the museum, the theatre, the Peterson house and an exhibit. Dinner on your own at a local venue. Time and date will be determined by August 15.  

Magnificent Maryland: American Visionary Art Museum

Be prepared for the unusual and imaginative at this museum. It houses works by non-mainstream artists, including the “whirligig,” a 55-foot wind-powered sculpture, a 10-foot model of the Lusitania made entirely out of match sticks and a mobile that spans three floors! Eat lunch on your own at the on-site cafe

Library of Congress Tour

Visit the largest library in the world (and the research library that officially serves the U.S. Congress and is the country’s de facto national library). It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the U.S. This docent-guided tour is an enjoyable, educational event for all ages. Lunch on your own onsite.

 

Yuletide at Winterthur Museum Estate

Yuletide at Winterthur embraces the warmth and festivity of the season with a magnificent holiday tour of Henry Francis du Pont’s mansion as well as breathtaking trees, dazzling room displays, a magical dollhouse, and the opportunity to shop, dine, and create new memories. Enjoy a one-hour Yuletide house tour, access to the garden, a garden tram tour (weather-permitting), the Galleries and special exhibitions, including Costuming The Crown. Lunch is on your own at the onsite cafe.

December

A Beautiful Holiday at Longwood Gardens

Poinsettias, magnificent trees, and fragrant flowers transform the Conservatory into a holiday wonderland. Outside, colorful fountains dance to festive music, strolling carolers herald the season with song, and a half-million twinkling lights await. No holiday is complete without a visit to “A Longwood Christmas” at Longwood Gardens. Enjoy strolling the grounds while viewing special exhibits and seasonal plants. The property is wheelchair accessible. Lunch is on your own onsite. 

Magnificent Maryland: B&O Railroad Holiday Breakfast with Santa

All aboard! Trains are magical during the holidays! So hop aboard the B&O’s Magical Holiday Express for a short, fun, holiday ride with Santa! The B&O Roundhouse is devoted to trains of all sizes and shapes, holiday festivities, and a winter wonderland of family fun and activities. Walk by a 30-foot Christmas tree in the roundhouse and enjoy your favorite guest. Bring a friend for a 10% discount off each ticket!

 

Cape May Seaside Holiday

Come enjoy three days, two nights in the Victorian grandeur of Cape May, one of the most popular seaside resorts in America. Ride through gas-lit streets twinkling with sparkling lights and decorations. Shop in the heart of the Historic District. Enjoy a sensational musical and savor a taste-tempting dinner at Elaine’s Victorian Dinner Theatre.

All ages Dec 11-13 8am-6pm W-F RP4510.510 Double occupancy $475 RP4510.511 Single occupancy $539

 

White House Holiday Tour

Visit the official home for the U. S. President. The interior continues to change with personal touches from each of its residents. Every December, the White House is filled with holiday decorations that include Christmas trees, wreaths, garland and colorful lights!Tour date released in early December; no payment due until date is confirmed. 

 

The Kennedy Center: Holiday Pops

Leslie Odom Jr. (the original Aaron Burr in Hamilton) will be singing! Warm your musical holiday spirit with fresh takes on comforting classics in this singalong tradition with the NSO and The Washington Chorus, a perfect holiday treat for the entire family! Join us in the festively decorated Concert Hall for this year’s program.

Photos from our Trips

Click below to see photos from our recent trip the National Cathedral's Flower Mart!

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Click here to see the full album.

Featured Trip

 

Cape May snow

 

Cape May Seaside Holiday

Come enjoy three days, two nights in the Victorian grandeur of Cape May, one of the most popular seaside resorts in America. Ride through gas-lit streets twinkling with sparkling lights and decorations. Shop in the heart of the Historic District. Enjoy a sensational musical and savor a taste-tempting dinner at Elaine’s Victorian Dinner Theatre. Dec 11-13 8am-6pm W-F

RP4510.510 Double occupancy $475 RP4510.511 Single occupancy $539

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteer Spotlight

Trip Leader : Marlene Weinberg (pictured left)
Marlene has been volunteering for many years with our Trips and Tours Program.
Enjoys museums and sightseeing!

Encore Programs

Looking for more Encore (55+) programs? Visit our website to see a full list of programs!