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.*


View photos from D.C. Memorials and Cherry Blossoms trip here.

Featured Trip

Hello Dolly Photo 2 by Julieta Cervantes 

The Kennedy Center - Hello, Dolly!

Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in Hello, Dolly!, the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, director Jerry Zaks’ new production is breaking box office records week after week and receiving thunderous raves on Broadway. This Hello, Dolly! pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion, hailed as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history. Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event; if you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be seeing something historic.”

Trips by Month


Philadelphia Flower Show

Designed to offer inspiration and conservation, enjoy beautiful fountains, ponds, water features, and rain gardens. Visit acres of gardens, thousands of artistic floral and horticultural displays, and over 180 shops in the Marketplace. Enjoy live entertainment, interactive exhibits, gardening, and culinary demonstrations. Lunch is on your own at the Reading Terminal Market. Sign up early − this sells out every year!

America's Most Historic Prison Tour

Visit Philadelphia's infamous Eastern State Penitentiary, what was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world. This haunting site of crumbling cell blocks and guard towers once held “Slick Willie” Sutton and “Scarface” Al Capone. The one-hour guided tour is followed by time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own at Philadelphia food venues.

Madame Tussauds

Fun for the entire family! Want to get up close and personal with some of history’s most famous people? Come visit this wax museum which hosts lifelike figures of recent Presidents, First Ladies, iconic figures, and Hollywood stars! Enjoy lunch on your own at a nearby restaurant.

Orioles Camden Yard Tour

Come see Oriole Park at Camden Yards from a whole new perspective. Enjoy the charm of the ballpark from club level suites, the press level, and even the Orioles dugout. Oriole Park revolutionized baseball when it debuted on Opening Day 1992. Now is your chance to go behind the scenes of this historic ballpark and learn more about how it has continued to change baseball fan experiences ever since.



Strathmore: Cirque Goes Hollywood

It's opening night! Come see this spring's hottest show. Troupe Vertigo brings Hollywood flair to the Pops stage. Enjoy acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and extraordinary athletic artistry set to Hollywood’s hottest music hits. Enjoy dinner or drink on your own before the show at Strathmore’s Allegro Kitchen. 




National Cathedral Flower Mart

An irresistible array of festival foods, children’s rides, artisanal items, boutique gifts, herbs, and flowers fill the nave and grounds of the Cathedral at this year’s Flower Mart. Drawing thousands of locals and tourists alike since 1939, this festival of flowers and fun celebrates All Hallows' Guild’s antique carousel (a fixture at Flower Mart for decades).


Black-eyed Susan Festival

It's a day to celebrate women. Join the 95th running of the Black-eyed Susan Stakes at Maryland's best known race track (Pimlico)! This horse race for three-year-old fillies is known as one of the legs of the Filly Triple Crown. Each ticket offers open seating in the concourse sections, allowing you to flaunt your style and creativity! On the Grandstand Apron, stroll through a collection of shops, boutiques, and businesses owned exclusively by women.


President Lincoln’s Cottage − Washington, D.C.

President Lincoln and Soldier’s Home National Monument, sometimes shortened to President Lincoln’s Cottage, is a national monument on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Lincoln and his family resided seasonally on the grounds, as did President James Buchanan (1857-1861). The home also served as the Summer White House for President’s Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) and Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885). Uniquely, the cottage is the location where President Lincoln drafted the preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation. Bring your own lunch and enjoy a picnic on the property grounds. Moderate walking required.

The Kennedy Center - Hello, Dolly!

Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Betty Buckley stars in Hello, Dolly!, the universally acclaimed smash that NPR calls “the best show of the year!” Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, director Jerry Zaks’ new production is breaking box office records week after week and receiving thunderous raves on Broadway. This Hello, Dolly! pays tribute to the original work of legendary director/choreographer Gower Champion, hailed as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history. Rolling Stone calls it “a must-see event; if you’re lucky enough to score a ticket, you’ll be seeing something historic.”

Afternoon Tea & Music at Strathmore Mansion

The Strathmore Tea Room pays homage to hundreds of years of High Tea tradition by providing patrons with the soothing sounds of talented local musicians in the cozy atmosphere of The Shapiro Music Room at Strathmore. Please join us for a relaxing afternoon with friends to enjoy delightful music, sumptuous finger sandwiches, scones and desserts catered by Ridgewells, and Strathmore’s own tea specially blended by John Harney of Salisbury, Connecticut. 

Magnificent Maryland Series: Brookside Gardens

Brookside Gardens is Montgomery County's incomparable, award-winning 50-acre public display garden situated within Wheaton Regional Park. Included in the gardens are several distinct areas: Aquatic Garden, Azalea Garden, Butterfly Garden, Children's Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Style Garden, Trial Garden, Rain Garden, and the Woodland Walk. The Formal Gardens areas include a Perennial Garden, Yew Garden, the Maple Terrace, and Fragrance Garden. Brookside Gardens also feature two conservatories for year-round enjoyment


A Day in Majestic St. Michaels, Maryland

Join us for a day trip to St. Michaels, Maryland. This destination hosts a combination of popular marinas, inns and bed & breakfasts, shops, and restaurants making it a favorite destination! As part of this exciting day, enjoy a delicious lunch at The Crab Claw and the Patriot Cruise where you will experience the beauty of the Eastern Shore and Miles River. During the 90-minute cruise, you will see wonderful, historic mansions and amazing wildlife. Moderate walking required. Sign up early as this trip will sell out quickly!

Hippodrome Presents Hamilton

Hamilton is the story of one of America’s Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation's first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now. With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, and choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow's biography. Very limited number of tickets available and they will go fast. 

A Day at the National Harbor & MGM Casino

MGM National Harbor is a premiere entertainment destination located on the banks of the Potomac just outside of Washington, D.C. Featuring a 3,000 seat theater, 308 luxurious hotel rooms, restaurants from acclaimed chefs and a gaming floor bigger than the White House, MGM delivers monumental experiences daily. Moderate walking is required.

Magnificent Maryland Series: The Jewish Museum-MD

Founded in 1960, this wonderful museum is one of the country’s leading centers for exhibits on Jewish history and culture. The museum hosts two galleries with changing exhibits of local and national interest. The museum’s collections include works of art, historical photographs, clothing, Jewish ceremonial art, rare books, everyday objects, documents, oral histories, and memorabilia. Moderate walking required.

The Phillips Collection Art Museum Washington, D.C.

The Phillips Collection, opened in 1921, is America's first museum of modern art. Featuring a permanent collection of nearly 3,000 works by American and European impressionist and modern artists, the Phillips is recognized for both its art and its intimate atmosphere. During your tour, also enjoy a delicious snack or lunch on your own at the onsite Vradenburg Café that includes a courtyard with free public Wi-Fi. Moderate walking required.


Magnificent Maryland Series: The Rawlings Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Established in 1888 as the Druid Hill Conservatory, the Howard P. Rawlings Conservatory has grown from the original Palm House and Orchid Room to include three greenhouses, two display pavilions and outdoor gardens. The Conservatory has distinct environments that allow the display of plants from all over the world. The buildings create an appropriate environment for plants from tropical, desert, and Mediterranean environments. The Conservatory is the second-oldest steel framed-and-glass building still in use in the United States. An amazing local sight not to miss!

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 on your own available at Café Natural onsite. Moderate walking required.

Gettysburg Battlefield and National Military Park

The Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion," Gettysburg was the Civil War’s bloodiest battle and was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address." A local historian will provide a 2-hour in-depth tour as you make several key stops around the battlefield while enjoying the comfort of the air-conditioned tour bus. Also included is a tour of the National Park Visitor Center that hosts a world-class gift shop and museum. Lunch is available on your own at the onsite café. Moderate walking required.

Magnificent Maryland Series: The Maryland Zoo

Celebrated as the third oldest zoo in the United States, the Maryland Zoo (previously known as the Baltimore City Zoo) is a 135-acre park opened in 1876 and now home to over 2,000 animals. The largest area of the zoo, “The African Journey” displays a wide range of animals originating from the continent of Africa. Lunch is onsite on your own. Moderate walking required.


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.

Ashville, 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 Ashville, 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!

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!