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Gifts From the Heart, Not the Mall

In the holiday season, people often hit the stores to purchase presents for their family and friends. However, a memorable, heartfelt gift does not necessarily have to come in the form of an object. With so much holiday cheer spreading around Montgomery County, an activity such as a trip to the ice rink or a walk through the Winter Lights Festival could also make a smile appear on a loved one’s face.

Ice-skating is a common tradition and pastime during the cold winter months. Bring your friends and family to the Rockville Town Center ice rink–the biggest outdoor rink in Montgomery County. The rink is open every day with extended hours during the holidays, when you can skate late through the night.

Skating expertise is not required; gliding across the ice in the midst of the festivity around town square guarantees a fun, exhilarating time. Richard Montgomery High School Sophomore Rachel Li said, “Skating at the RTC ice rink at night is a magical experience. The surrounding trees decorated with the incandescent lights and the bright Christmas tree create a really warm holiday feel.” Rockville Town Center also hosts other special events, such as the annual tree lighting ceremony and music shows.

Another holiday experience “must-have” is strolling through one of the various winter lights festivals happening around the county. Brookside Gardens is hosting its annual Garden of Lights festival. The festival features hand-crafted sculptures such as flowers, trees and fountains cloaked in dazzling arrays of colorful lights.

This festival is perfect to enjoy with your family and loved ones who are sure to be mesmerized by the lights display. The festival is open every night until January 3, 2016 but is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Ticket prices are $25 per vehicle. Other lights festivals include the Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival and the Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. Temple. A ticket to one of these festivals would be a great gift to anyone–the festival at Washington D.C. Temple is even free.

If ice skating and winter lights are not enough, a show at the theater is a classic tradition sure to bring the holiday spirit to friends and family alike. Showings around Montgomery County include “Guys and Dolls” at Olney Theater and “A Lump of Coal for Christmas” at Adventure Theatre MTC.

There are many options for presents to get your loved ones these holidays, and Montgomery County has many events and activities to offer that would be a memorable substitute to store bought goods.

Richard Montgomery High School Sophomore Jessica Lou said, “I would love to get tickets to some holiday event, and I think they’re a much better way to bond over holiday spirit than regular presents.” After all, the holidays are all about spending quality time with family and friends, and these gifts are the best way to show your compassion and love for them.

 Article by MoCo Student staff writer Cindy Song of Richard Montgomery High School


About The MoCo Student

In 2012, Student Member of the Board of Education John Mannes created a countywide press network to help build a conduit to share fresh and relevant information written by youth to the wider Montgomery County student body.

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