The holidays don't mean you need to give up on going on hikes or stay indoors! Howard County boasts 6 regional parks, 24 community parks, seven golf courses, five lakes, and over 200 miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Howard County in winter time is stunning. Imagine biking through the woods with deep, lush greens around you and hints of winter foliage popping out. It’s one of those things that you just need to experience.

Things To Do

Patapsco Valley State Park--Arguably one of the most beautiful parks in Maryland, the park extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, encompassing 16,043 acres and boasting eight developed recreational areas. You can hike, bike, fish, camp, go horseback riding, and more in this state park.

Terrapin Adventures--Located in Savage, visitors can zipline, high ropes challenge course, kids course, climbing tower, and more. This is perfect for the thrill seekers, and those looking to do something different on the weekends.

Columbia Ice Rink--A winter tradition, ice skating is perfect for people of all ages! First time ice skating? Grab one of their walkers to help you balance. Interested in going beyond a walker? The ice rink also offers lessons!

Dazzle Dash at Symphony of Lights--Come enjoy the Symphony of Lights, but without the car! You can walk through this amazing display of light and music, making this an excellent way to get outdoors for the holidays, without feeling like it’s a workout!

Columbia Swim Center--Featuring SplashDown, which has just been newly renovated and updated, guests of all ages can enjoy the giant indoor slides and two large pools for both lap and recreational swimming. There’s also aqua fitness classes, swim lessons, and more!

Haven On The Lake--A stunning 27,000 square foot retreat that offers yoga, pilates, aqua fitness classes, as well as a crystal salt therapy room, steam bath, and so much more. This is an ideal place to spend an entire day.

NinjaBE--Want to star in your own version of “American Ninja Warrior”? Ninjabe is an indoor obstacle course where guests of all ages can test their skills! They also offer specific times for guests with special needs, making this an excellent choice for everyone.

Where to Eat/Refuel

Matcha Time Cafe--This Japanese cafe in Historic Ellicott City offers a great selection of teas and traditional Japanese foods, that will keep you full and energized. Try their sencha tea and pickled plum rice balls for a great, filling snack.

Bare Bones Grill & Brewery--There’s a little bit of everything here, from salads, to burgers, to soup, and there’s even a gluten free menu. There’s even an amazing selection of craft beer for those of you who want a little treat after an active weekend!

The Iron Bridge Wine Co.--This beautiful farm setting restaurant is a great way to refuel after any activity! Try their roasted baby beet root salad or their balsamic roasted portabella mushroom wrap to fill up and not bust any calories. They also have a number of wines and beers to pick from, if you need to get your carb fix in!

Where to Stay

Courtyard By Marriott in Columbia--This hotel offers free wifi, and access to their fitness center and pool! This is an excellent option to unwind after such an exciting day!

No matter what your activity of choice may be, you can find it all here in Howard County! Come stay for a weekend, and find out why Sports Illustrated chose it as a previous “Good Sports Communities of the Year”!