Trail to Freedom

Photo courtesy of Montgomery Parks, M-NCPPC

Nov. 5

Take a guided hike on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail to mark the end of slavery in Maryland at Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park’s Maryland Emancipation Day program. Guided hikes are offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the trail, which was designed to preserve the rural landscape and commemorate the community’s history. Maryland abolished slavery on Nov. 1, 1864, a year before the ratification of the 13th Amendment ended it across the country. The hike lasts about 90 minutes and covers approximately 2 miles. Admission to the Woodlawn Museum is included. Appropriate for ages 7 and up. Advance registration is recommended at

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $8, Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park, Sandy Spring,

Photo courtesy of Imagination Stage

The Clothes Make the Rodent

Nov. 16 through Jan. 8

Based on a book by beloved children’s author Mo Willems, the musical Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience tells the story of Wilbur, who stands out in his community of naked mole rats—where everyone is always naked and proud of it—after he discovers a love of clothing and style. As in the book and the HBO Max animated movie, Wilbur shows the community that it’s OK to be different by being himself. The show, best for ages 4 through 10, includes rock music, singing and tap dance numbers. 

$12-$39, Imagination Stage, Bethesda,


Photo courtesy of Winter City Lights

Let It Snow

Nov. 19 through Dec. 31

You don’t often get a white Christmas in the Bethesda area, but Winter City Lights, a new walk-through Christmas light experience, promises snow every night of the holiday season. The event, which will spread across an 18-acre site in Olney, includes a 1½-mile hiking trail illuminated with holiday light displays, a 52-foot-tall Christmas tree with a coordinated light and music show, and (faux) snow every night. For extra fees: an eight-lane snow tubing slide, ax throwing, food and drinks (alcoholic and non). Purchase tickets online.

Event opens at 5:30 p.m., $39-$48 for adults, discounts for ages 12 and under, and for 65 and older, 4501 Olney Laytonsville Road, Olney,


The Perfect Storm

Nov. 23 through Jan. 1

Photo courtesy of Round House Theatre

William Shakespeare’s drama The Tempest, about a group of people shipwrecked on a magical island where an old man attempts to control them with sorcery, has always incorporated magic and music. But Round House Theatre’s new production ups the quirkiness quotient of the play in this adaptation by playwright Aaron Posner and Teller (of the famous magic duo Penn & Teller). The show replaces Elizabethan tunes with music by songwriter Tom Waits and incorporates mind-bending moves from the dance company Pilobolus and spectacular magic tricks.

$46-$81, Round House Theatre, Bethesda,


A Turkey Ran Away

Nov. 24

One of the largest races in Montgomery County, the annual Turkey Chase Charity Race returns as a live event for its 40th anniversary this year, after going virtual during the first two years of the pandemic. But for those who are still apprehensive about running with a crowd, there will be virtual events, too. Participants can choose the in-person 10K run or 2-mile walk on Nov. 24, or virtual events, including runs, walks, bike rides and swims, to be completed between Nov. 21 and Nov. 28. The live events start and end at the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase. The event raises money for the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase and the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rotary.

8:30 a.m. for 10K, 9 a.m. for 2-mile walk, $50 in advance, $60 race day,
YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Bethesda,


Love Songs

Dec. 9

National Philharmonic Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski. Photo by Elman Studio

Countless high school students have been asked to compare Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the musical West Side Story, which it inspired. The National Philharmonic, led by conductor Piotr Gajewski, gives that old assignment a musical twist in the concert Sarah Chang: West Side Story & Romeo + Juliet. The orchestra presents three musical interpretations of Shakespeare’s tragic love story: Fantasy Overture from Romeo and Juliet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story Suite with violinist Sarah Chang, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

8 p.m., $19-$99, The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda,


Going Nuts

Dec. 19-22

Photo courtesy of Strathmore by Cheryl Mann

The Hip Hop Nutcracker gives the classic Tchaikovsky ballet a new spin—you might even say a head spin—with break dancing and hip-hop choreography set to a remixed score that mashes up the traditional music with a DJ and violinist. In this version, Maria-Clara meets the Nutcracker Prince, a guy who sells nuts out of a grocery cart, on the streets of New York and the pair fight the Mouse King and his gang in a dance battle. Hip-hop founding father Kurtis Blow opens the show with a live DJ set.

$34-$68, The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda,


This story appears in the November/December 2022 issue of Bethesda Magazine.