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Annmarie’s Enchanted Gardens of Art and Light

This quarter-mile walk dazzles all ages

My daughter was little when I first took her to Annmarie Gardens for their Holiday Light Show. There are few sweeter memories than her bundled up in a puffy winter coat, fluffy hat and scarf and rainbow-striped gloves. Her eyes lit up as she got her first peek at the magical forest. In the art center, we were wowed by the colorful and artsy holiday trimmings both on exhibit and for sale.
    Nothing, however, compared to her face as we walked — and skipped — along the paved paths through the beautiful forest twinkling with lights. All manner of creatures lit up the trees including animals, princesses, circus performers and so much more. As dazzled as she was by the colorful twinkling sculptures, I was equally charmed by the playful lights reflecting off of the sculptures on loan from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden. We were in a holi­day dreamland.
    Today she’s 15, and, while I’m lucky we still have so many things we enjoy together, there are few we look forward to more than our annual trip to Annmarie Garden in Lights. This year’s light sculptures will include dinosaurs, pirates and mythical beasts. Visit the website to plan your visit including nightly entertainment, special discount nights, sweet treats and the Holiday I Spy Game.
    Begin your visit in the Arts building, where you pay a fee of $6 (ages 4 and under and Annmarie Garden Members are free). There you’ll also find the Ornament Show & Sale and the Holiday Café, the perfect place to sip a cup of hot chocolate to warm your fingers after your walk. On December 19, a wine tasting replaces the chocolate.

Dec. 2 thru Jan. 1, 6-9pm: Special nights include golf cart tours for handicapped individuals (Dec. 4 & 18), Santa Night (Dec. 11) and Pet Night (Dec. 30). Full listing online. Closed Dec. 5-7, 12-13, & 24-25. Annmarie Garden, Dowell Rd., Solomons, $6 w/discounts: