1. Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, MD, just south Frederick, is a great place to go for a family hike. You can start at the base and opt for a 7-mile loop or drive farther up the mountain for a shorter hike — there are a bunch of trails to hop on close to the parking area. A couple of good ones are the white trail, which winds around and ascends gradually to the summit, and the orange trail that is a steeper, more direct climb up. However you go, you’re guaranteed great views on the way and at the top. Afterward, plan a stop at the Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard or The Comus Inn, both just down the road. The latter is a family-friendly restaurant with a great outdoor dining area, plus shuffleboard, corn hole, and ping pong — all of it surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Get a glimpse of our recent outing to Sugarloaf and Comus in my IG highlights.
2. The National Christmas Tree Lighting is this evening. It’s not a public event this year, but you can watch it online along with a lineup of holiday performances. After that, you can visit the tree and Pathway of Peace at President’s Park on the Ellipse. The tree will be lit from sundown until 10pm Sunday-Thursday, and until 11pm Friday and Saturday through New Year’s Day.
3. Deck the Yards to ring in the holiday season! The Yards community in the Capitol Riverfront is offering a box full of treats and fun for the whole family. The goodies include 4 pre-packaged cookies and hot cocoa to-go, a wreath making kit, a hand painted ornament, a letter to Santa package, and a $20 gift card to any restaurant at The Yards. The estimated value of everything is close to $120 — and tickets for a box are just $50. Pick up is this Saturday, December 5 — reserve a box and time to get it here.
4. The Washington Post’s guide to this year’s holiday movies. (FWIW, I couldn’t get through Holidate, but really enjoyed Happiest Season.)
5. This letter to poet Kate Baer from her 2nd grade teacher… 💜😭