All that glitters
The vibe is all sparkles and Christmas spirit at Enchant, the sprawling, immersive holiday experience that’s taking over Nationals Park for the third year. Four million lights make up a walk-through maze that includes Instagram-worthy scenes around every corner, such as a 100-foot Christmas tree, a glittering light tunnel and traditional holiday motifs that include ornaments, toys and reindeer. Attempting to answer the vexing question of how Santa delivers presents all over the world in just one night, Enchant invites guests to go on a scavenger hunt in the maze in search of gears that belong to a “magic timepiece.” Stamp a “maze passport” as you find the gears and drop off completed passports for a chance to win a visit to a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie set.
An ice skating trail ($15) loops through a Christmas light forest. In the winter village you’ll find musical performances and a holiday market featuring local vendors selling gifts and crafts, plus festive snacks and beverages—think s’mores, homemade doughnuts, hot chocolate, spiked apple cider, and specialty cocktails served in a light bulb-shaped cup. Other attractions include photo ops with Santa and kids activities that include crafts, games and story time with Mrs. Claus.
Enchant runs Nov. 25 through Jan. 1 at Nationals Park, 1500 S. Capitol St. SE, Washington, D.C., enchantchristmas.com. Tickets are available online and start at $34 for adults and $18 for children; free for younger than 2.
–Stephanie Siegel Burke
Get prepared to explore the exhilarating world under the sea—meeting manta rays, sea turtles, tropical fish—by taking scuba diving lessons in Montgomery County. One Ocean Scuba in Silver Spring’s Kemp Mill neighborhood sells scuba gear and offers training for enthusiasts as young as 10.
Three steps are required to become a certified diver: online learning, confined dives in pools, and open water dives.
After learning about the gear and hand signals in online learning, which can be done at each student’s own pace, trainees go on a minimum of two dives in local pools and then a minimum of four dives over two days in a lake or other large body of water.
Once they’re certified, divers can look forward to an excursion on their next vacation. They also can join co-owner Cindy Rosselle at Dive Against Debris events to clean up waterways. The events are guided by the PADI AWARE Foundation, a nonprofit with the mission to drive local action for global ocean conservation. Rosselle says she and her group of divers have adopted an area in the Susquehanna River in Havre de Grace, Maryland, so they can dive there and pull up trash and debris.
One Ocean Scuba’s shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed Sunday. The open water certification course starts at $499; it’s an additional $199 for open water dives for full certification; equipment packages start at $151.95, which includes a mask, fins and a snorkel. 1351 Lamberton Drive, Silver Spring, 240-669-8568, oneoceanscuba.com.
This story appears in the November/December 2022 issue of Bethesda Magazine.