Annapolis Moms - The Motherlode: Winter 2024

Our quarterly magazine is chock-full of information about Annapolis this winter. Including date ideas, where kids eat free, and features 200+ local businesses!



Find all of the Do Not Miss Events of the Year 2024 EVENTS



A Letter from the Publisher

How does one choose the very first cover of a magazine for Annapolis Moms? Some of you reading this may not realize that The Motherlode evolved out of our Facebook Group called Annapolis Moms that I started 13 years ago. Shortly after, I was joined by my dear friend Jessica Opert to co-admin the group. Jessica and I met while our children attended the same preschool. We are still good friends to this day and with many of the moms we both met at that period of time. So we thought it was fitting to find a real local group of friends and honor these special friendships with our very first front cover. Friends Aidanora Stea, Jennifer Albanese, and Cathy Porter (pictured on the front cover, left to right) met when their kids attended St. Margaret’s Day School (SMDS) in the 3’s program. We interviewed Cathy Porter about the special bond these friends have developed over the years. Here is their story: “We connected during those preschool years and stayed at SMDS through kindergarten. We were sad to leave our school community when the kids parted ways for different elementary schools. We all kept in touch and when Covid hit, we decided to do a homeschool pod with our kids. We were each other’s community for that year and have so many memories. We are still so close after 8 years. [We] keep in touch by going to yoga, having lunch once a month, etc., and we make sure the kids see each other several times a year too.” At Annapolis Moms, it’s all about community and making connections to support one another. We hope this resource helps families connect, save time (and money), and find fun things to do!

Photo courtesy of DANIE Photography

For thirteen years, thousands of moms have relied on the vetting process in the Annapolis Moms Facebook Group to find great local businesses and organizations promoted in the group. These businesses are vetted through referrals from moms, reviews online, and the staff's personal experiences. While the lists are not comprehensive, when you see a company with an advertisement, a listing, or named in an article in this publication, you can rest assured that they have the Annapolis Moms Thumbs Up!

Lisa Peri, MSW, Founder & Publisher




The Motherlode Part of Annapolis Moms Media Group | Volume 1 Issue 1 | Winter 2024

Founder & Publisher Lisa Peri, MSW Co-Founder & Administrator Jessica Opert Editor in Chief Chelsea Harrison Marketing Director Sandy Biello Operations Jeff Peri Graphic Design Lissy Kerr Graphic Design Contributor Meg Leonard Bookkeeper Tiffany Schall Contributing Photography & Front Cover Danielle Lawrance of DANIE Photography Annapolis Moms is a locally woman-owned media company established in 2011 that employs and contracts local Annapolitans and our neighbors in Anne Arundel County and surrounding areas.

Regular Contributing Writers Jillian Amodio, LMSW

Guest Contributors Ann Alsina, CFP ®, CPWA Judy Colbert, ASJA, SPJ Heather Greenwell Kristin Gulitz

Sarah Amyot Frank Bolinsky Lynne Streeter Childress Diana Love Duffy Perkins Liza Roe

Amanda Lane Meg Leonard Laura Price Jackie Shea

Annapolis Moms is a proud sponsor of Friends of Annapolis Moms, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Annapolis Moms Media 1290 Bay Dale Drive, #281 Arnold, Maryland 21012

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It is your responsibility to verify and investigate providers and services. AMM does not purport to be a substitute for health, legal, financial or any other professional advice. In no event will AMM, its employees or contractors be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from the information provided in this publication.

The Motherlode™ and The Annapolis Moms Summer Camp Guide™ is published quarterly by Annapolis Moms Media LLC™ (AMM). Reproduction without express permission is strictly prohibited in whole or in part. Any opinions expressed by writers and advertisers are not necessarily opinions of the Publisher or the publication. The information provided is subject to change with or without notice. AMM makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information published, but cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from omissions or errors.

Total print and/or digital circulation is estimated at 125,000 quarterly.




The Staff: Class of 2024

Lisa Peri, MSW Founder & Publisher

Jessica Opert Co-Founder/Administrator

Jeff Peri Operations

Chelsea Harrison Editor in Chief

Sandy Biello Marketing Director

Lissy Kerr Graphic Designer

Duffy Perkins Writer

Frank Bolinsky Writer

Jackie Shea Writer

Jillian Amodio, LMSW Writer

Lynne Streeter Childress Writer

Liza Roe Writer

Sarah Amyot Writer

Heather Greenwell Writer


All photos courtesy of DANIE Photography



Table of Contents



Check out these fun activities to do around town...everything from hockey to unique date ideas!



Community is at the heart of all we do- check out these stories of changemakers in our area.



Learn about schools, after-school activities, and resources for school-aged kiddos here.



We are lucky to have so many great dining options! Here are some old faves, new finds, and off-beat outings you should try (or try again!)



Look and feel your best with these tips from trendsetters and industry pros.



How do you choose professionals who can help you adult? Ask your Annapolis Moms community of course!



Is your home your sanctuary? Our Home section has tips for keeping your home organized, functional, and happy.



Get the latest updates on new retail spots and seasonal specials.




Sports & Entertainment 5 OUT OF THE ORDINARY THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS BY LYNNE STREETER CHILDRESS If you’re tired of taking the kids to the same old playgrounds and activities, here are some adventures that you might not have considered that will make wonderful memories for all!

1. Run or Walk a 5K: Get up and get moving with the whole family by walking or running a local 5K. Enjoy nature, get some exercise, and maybe support a good cause. (Hint: Check out page 19 for upcoming local races.) 2. Get Away (but not far): Book a night at a local hotel for you and your kids. Order room service, watch hotel cable, swim in the indoor pool, and wear comfy PJs– all things your kids will get a kick out of! 3. Take a Stroll and Learn Something: Discover things you didn't know about Annapolis by taking a walking tour of sites both familiar and unknown to you! Tour with a professional tour guide and a group of people, or download a self-guided tour on your phone. Watermark and Historic Annapolis both offer a variety of tours.

4. Introduce Your Kids To Cool Music: Show your kids a different type of culture by taking them to see an artist that YOU like. Rams Head On Stage is a great venue for family-friendly shows with easy parking and dining on-site. 5. Take a Family Trip To a Winery: Vineyards have more than wine! Many of them have activities that your family can enjoy, like shopping and cornhole, while you sip a glass. And most have fancy mocktails and cheese plates kids enjoy. Check out Great Frogs Winery in Annapolis for live music and other fun events.

Here's to unusual fun!

Denotes Advertisers





Our area has an abundance of festivals and celebrations for the whole family! Here are some local favorites for you and yours to enjoy, year-round*:

Chesapeake Fire & Ice Festival, February 16 & 17, 2024, Easton

Baltimore Artscape, September 2-4, 2024, Baltimore Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival , September 2024, Annapolis Annapolis Songwriters Festival, September 12-15, 2024, Annapolis Maryland Folk Festival , September 20-22, 2024, Salisbury Annapolis Baygrass Music Festival , September 21-24, 2024, Annapolis Oceans Calling Music Festival, September 27-29, 2024, Ocean City Art @ the Park , Quiet Waters Park, October 2024, Annapolis International Edgar Allan Poe Festival & Awards , October 2024, Baltimore Sunfest , October 24-27, 2024, Ocean City Annapolis Powerboat Show , October 3-6, 2024, City Dock, Annapolis Annapolis Sailboat Show , October 10-14, 2024, City Dock, Annapolis Waterfowl Festival , November 2024, Easton Annapolis Town Center Annual Christmas Tree Lighting , November 2024, Annapolis Grand Illumination , Market House, November 2024, Annapolis Lights on the Bay , Sandy Point State Park, November 2024- January 1, 2025, Annapolis Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival , December 2024, Annapolis Menorah Lighting at Annapolis Town Center , December 2024, Annapolis Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade , December 2024, Annapolis Midnight Madness in Downtown Annapolis , Thursdays in December 2024, Annapolis New Years Eve Fireworks , December 31, 2024, Susan Campbell Park, Annapolis *All dates and times are accurate as of press time, but we always recommend double-checking the festival websites for any changes before finalizing your plans.

Annapolis Restaurant Week , February 25-March 3, 2024 Annapolis Running Festival , March 9, 2024, Annapolis St. Patrick’s Hooley, St, Patrick's Day Parade, and Shamrock the Dock , March 15-17, 2024, Annapolis Maryland Day Celebrations , March 22-24, 2024, Anne Arundel County Annapolis Film Festival , April 4-7, 2024, Annapolis Bay Bridge Boat Show , April 12-14, 2024, Stevensville Eastern Shore Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival , April 20-21, 2024, St. Michaels Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show , April 26-28, 2024, City Dock, Annapolis May Day in Annapolis , May 1, 2024, Annapolis Springfest , May 2-5, 2024, Ocean City Annapolis Irish Festival , May 4, 2024, Crownsville First Sunday Arts Festivals , start May 5, 2024, Annapolis Santa Maria Cup , May 2024, Annapolis US Naval Academy Commissioning Week , May 20-25 2024, Annapolis Oxford Fine Arts , May 17-19, 2024, Oxford Let's Go! Music Festival , May 31- June 2, 2024 Crownsville Annapolis Pride Festival and Parade , June 1, 2024, Annapolis Annapolis Arts Month , June 2024 Annapolis Juneteenth Parade and Festival , June 14-16, 2024, Annapolis Paint Annapolis , July 2-9, 2024, Annapolis Annapolis 4th of July Festival and Parade , July 4, 2024, Annapolis Plein Air Easton , July 12-21, 2024, Easton Annapolis Rotary Crab Feast , August 2, 2024, Annapolis Maryland Renaissance Festival , August 24-October 20, 2024, Crownsville Maryland Seafood Festival , September 14-15, 2024, Annapolis






All of a sudden, the weather has turned wintry. And while some of us will use this time for a long nap, there are great outdoor activities within driving distance to get the whole family off tablets and onto the slopes.

Tubing at Liberty Mountain Resort Liberty has done us a service by putting in a lift so that you don’t have to hike up a snowy hill carrying a four-year old. They have hills for the littles as well as the big kids. Whitetail Ski Resort S’Mores Sundays Teaching kids to ski can often seem like a tug-o-war of epic proportions. Sweeten the deal by taking your kids to Whitetail on Sundays, when they offer free s’mores for all. Cross Country Skiing in Herrington Manor State Park With 365 acres, Herrington Manor State Park is one of the best places to enjoy the quiet peace of a winter wonderland. The cross country skiing trail is a beginner- friendly 5.5-mile loop that joins Herrington Manor and Swallow Falls parks.

Ice Tubing at Snow Flow Mountain in DC If you love the idea of winter sports but you really aren’t a fan of winter, Snow Flow Mountain at Gaylord National Resort in Washington, DC, offers indoor ice tubing. Sledding in Patterson Park, Baltimore Snow in Maryland can be hit-or-miss, but when it hits, the sledding in Patterson Park is great fun for the whole family. Located northeast of Fells Point, the park has great sledding hills and plenty of coffee shops and restaurants to warm up afterwards.





BY LAURA PRICE An Interview with Laura Price, Director of Marketing & Ticketing for Rams Head On Stage, and Doug Segree, Local Musician and Founder of SQRRL! Doug Segree is an Annapolis-based singer-songwriter who’s been at it for more than 30 years. About seven years ago, he began writing what he refers to as “Family Music,” NOT children’s music, he’s quick to add: “I write songs that are fun and relatable to all ages, not just kids – pop music with a wholesome theme.” I chatted with Doug about the events that led up to the development of his latest project, SQRRL!

LP: How did you come up with the name SQRRL!?

DS: I remembered a silly character in the movie UP, Dug the Talking Dog, and it made me laugh when he would get distracted by a squirrel and excitedly say “SQUIRREL!”. Kind of random, but it stuck! LP: You have already released an astonishing five albums which is no small feat considering the short time since you’ve begun writing and performing SQRRL! songs. What was your first album, and how did that come into fruition? DS: SQRRL!’s first album (self-titled) was recorded in LA in 2016. I was introduced by a mutual friend to a music producer, Rich Jacques, who had experience recording the type of pop/family music I was writing. It was a big thrill for me to spend time in LA with him working on recording my music – he’d won a Grammy for his collaboration with Lisa Loeb on her Album ‘Feel What U Feel’ and he’d also worked with the likes of Colin Hay, Glen Phillips, Maya Rudolph, and Peter Katz. In fact, Lisa Loeb sang on one of the songs from my first album, “Zip It Lock It”!

LP: What inspired you to come up with the concept of the SQRRL! Band?

DS: I’ve been writing and playing pop music for many years. The kid in me is always very much alive, but the silly song ideas I’d come up with didn’t really fit my normal set when I’d play live shows. Then my wife and I had kids, and I got so many more goofy, heartfelt, fun song ideas. The songs just kept coming! I learned to pay close attention to the funny, sweet things my kids and their friends say and turn them into songs.

Did you catch the SQRRL! Holiday Concert at Rams Head (brought to you by Annapolis Moms Media) in December 2023? Photo courtesy of Rams Head.






Spring brings flowers and sunshine, and families can finally shake off their winter coats and enjoy the sunshine. The Easter season in Annapolis offers plenty of opportunities for that! Below are Easter egg hunts, community events, and other occasions for Spring fun*. Easter will be observed on Sunday, March 31, 2024.

Hammond-Harwood House Easter Egg Hunt Hammond-Harwood House, Annapolis

In this family activity at the historic house, participants get a tour, learn how animals symbolize different things in paintings, chairs, and everyday objects. Kids will then go on an Easter egg hunt in the garden and paint the wooden eggs they find.

Adventurous Easter Egg Hunt Mt. Moriah AME Church, Annapolis

The 3rd annual family community event includes an Easter egg hunt, egg dyeing, arts and crafts, face painting, food, games and prizes. 2024 Easter Art & Craft Show and Kids Fun Fair March 29 and 30, 2024 Ocean City Convention Center, Ocean City A weekend of arts and crafts, games, and other entertainment, including "Extreme" events like obstacle courses! Eggstravaganza at the Annapolis Friends Meeting House Annapolis A family event with multiple egg hunts by age group, giveaways, and more. Bay Ridge Christian Church Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Festival Annapolis Annual Egg Hunt and Family Festival full of fun activities to enjoy.

Easter Egg Hunt Church of Severn Run, Severn

A family event that includes food trucks, inflatables, activities, face painting, cornhole, and an Easter egg hunt.

Easter Egg Hunt at Acton's Park 2024 Murray Hill, Annapolis

The Murray Hill Egg Hunt is a family event organized by community residents that features sack races, a jelly bean counting contest, egg and spoon races, and a visit from a bunny!

Easter Egg Hunt at Kinder Farm Park Millersville

Annual Easter Egg Hunt where kids can meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy the company of friendly farm animals.

Annual Easter Eggstravaganza at Friendship Church of the Brethren Linthicum Heights A family event with crafts, egg coloring, games, a visit from the Easter Bunny, an egg hunt, and a special treat! *Dates have been verified and updated at of press time, but please check event websites to confirm details before planning your visit, in case details have changed.




BY DUFFY PERKINS While grabbing dinner and hitting the bar is a tried-and-true date night choice, there are so many great options in the Annapolis area that offer more diverse experiences. Thinking out of the box allows you to spend time with a partner while being engaged in an activity, removing some of the forced small talk (or the inevitable talking about kids!). Here are some ideas to get you on the scene and out of the same old routine. 10 UNIQUE DATE IDEAS

1. Dinner and a Throwback Movie Landmark Theatres in the Annapolis Harbor Center have a great program called Retro Replay that brings back old favorites for another run on the big screen. You can catch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, It’s a Wonderful Life, and many more classic films. 2. Food Tours Food tours are a fun way to see new parts of the old city while eating some of the best food around. Annapolis Food Tours is a great place to start. 3. Escape the Room Maybe make it a double date and head to an Escape Room challenge (most rooms are only 60 minutes). You’ll have a good story afterward. EscapeTime and Mission Escape Rooms both have several locations. 4. Good Running, Great Beer If the best dates involve exercise endorphins, check out Forward Brewery’s weekly run club. The social group meets Wednesday evenings and runs between 3-5 miles around Annapolis before meeting back at the brewery for a beer and snacks. 5. Ghost Tours and Twisted History History buffs will appreciate a walk around Annapolis with a highly informed guide. Learn about what’s lurking beneath the streets before you find a quiet restaurant downtown. 6. Trivia Night Calling all nerds! Trivia gives couples great conversation starters! Check out Galway Bay, Heroes’ Pub, Vida Taco Bar, and Molloy’s Irish Pub & Grill for some of the best pub quiz nights around.

Photo courtesy of Lissy Kerr

7. Walk and Talk If you think best when you’re moving your feet, invite your date to take a walk in one of the county’s beautiful parks. Check out Frank Bolinsky’s articles on the Annapolis Mom’s website for some great off-the-beaten path adventures. 8. Bond While Throwing Axes Unless you’re a lumberjack, no one is naturally talented at axe throwing. At Axe House in Severna Park, discuss technique and how this is the most ridiculous, satisfying fun you’ve had in a long time. 9. Art Camp for Adults Sometimes we think best with our hands. ArtFarm in Annapolis offers great workshops to allow you to do just that: exercise your creative muscles while learning more about your partner. 10. Horseback Riding and Wine Tasting Foxfire Farms in Brandywine offers a unique (and romantic) concept for your next special night. There’s a 45-minute horseback riding tour through the family’s regenerative farm followed by a tasting of local wines at the Janemark Winery next door. This is a relaxing, interesting outing where you’ll find plenty to talk about.






Rams Head On Stage, now in its 27th year, is internationally known for bringing artists and genres of all types, from all over the globe to Annapolis, and produces more than 350 shows per year. Even though Rams Head’s acts may come from all over the world, some of our favorites hail from right here in the Annapolis area!

Here are some upcoming local artists coming to Rams Head On Stage:

1. Daphne Eckman Band | Friday, January 19 at 8 PM Annapolis-based Daphne Eckman describes herself as a "professional overfeeler" and wants to make you cry. She and her five piece band will be bringing an indie rock flavor to her acoustic folk songs.

2. Cris Jacobs Band | Thursday, January 25 at 7:30 PM Baltimore-native Cris Jacobs is an unexpectedly gritty soul-blues singer and guitarist with outlaw country ethos. In his early days coming up in Baltimore, Jacobs spent 10 years as a member of The Bridge. 3. AMFM & The Songbird Collective Presents A Tribute to Joni Mitchell | Sunday, January 28 at 12 PM (All Ages) Bring the whole family to this special matinee tribute to Joni Mitchell, which will feature Naptown Girl Crush, Laura Brino, Danah Denice, Jeanette Lynn, Meg Murray, Angie Miller, L. Rodgers, and Jenn Byrne.

Photo courtesy of Sandy Biello

4. Maysa | Saturday, March 2 at 6 PM & 9 PM Based in Washington, D.C., Maysa Leak is well known by fans of smooth jazz both for her solo work and her work with the British band Incognito. A phenomenal vocalist and songwriter with a multi-octave range. 5. Eric Hutchinson Band | Friday, March 29 at 8 PM Takoma Park native Eric Hutchinson will be celebrating the 15th anniversary of his debut album, Sounds Like This, and will be performing the album in its entirety. A seasoned musician who has released eight albums. 6. Sam Grow | Saturday, March 30 at 8 PM Country singer Sam Grow is a small-town kid from St. Mary’s County who has cashed in on big dreams thanks to his hard work. He recently reached more than 125 million Spotify streams on his music.

Photo courtesy of Rams Head






Is your child the next Travis Kelce or Sha’Carri Richardson? Here are five factors to consider when helping your child choose a sport:

1. Interest level Some children enjoy watching Navy football with their dads, or going to Mother/Son Night Out at the Bowie Baysox Stadium. On the other hand, some children can’t sit through one quarter of a professional basketball game. Pay attention to the sports your child likes to watch–which ones hold their interest? Perhaps those are the sports your child will be interested in trying. 2. Physical traits Genetics and body composition play a big role in sports. In a group sport, teams require a variety of players – a center in basketball is typically the tallest person on the team, close to 7 ft. in professional leagues, while an offensive lineman in football may be over 300 lbs.! So perhaps consider your child’s physical traits and build when choosing a sport…BUT—don’t let this limit your child! Many athletes have broken barriers through hard work and dedication. 3. Individual vs. Group Does your child play well with others? There’s a big difference between an individual sport like golf versus a team sport like cheerleading. In an individual sport, your child is focused solely on themselves to perfect their craft. In a team sport, your child may feel pressure to perform well because their teammates are relying on them (on the flip side, some kids may feel less pressure being on a team rather than performing as an individual). Which would help your child thrive?

4. Traditional vs. Nontraditional Sports Pickleball, archery, or futsal, anyone? Nontraditional sports are on the rise! When most people think of sports – they think of the sports that are widely seen on TV, such as football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. Widen your options as you explore the sports world. There’s also parkour, rock climbing, ultimate frisbee, X games, etc. 5. Cost As you begin to narrow down sport options for your child, do a little bit of research on potential costs related to each sport. Take into consideration equipment, travel, competition fees, lessons, etc. – these can be quite costly. You can also look into grants and scholarships for youth sports. Did you know that the City of Annapolis Recreation and Parks Department has a scholarship fund for kids who do not have the financial means to participate in fee-based recreational programs? Check out their website for more info. Before you have your child’s college scholarship and pro career all mapped out, remember that your child is still a child! It may take several attempts at different sports to find the best fit. Or you may find that your child is more interested in the arts or music, which is also totally fine! Sports at a young age provide your child with friendly competition, fun, and an outlet to be active. Enjoy the process of discovering his or her niche.




If you’re looking to get your kids into the right sports program, look no further! Or if you’re looking for an adult league, check out the options listed at the end. There are plenty of leagues that serve all of your needs in the Greater Annapolis area. LOCAL SPORTS LEAGUES BY AMANDA LANE

Annapolis Select Futbol Club Annapolis Select offers year-round soccer programs including skills workshops in the off-season. Practices and games in Gambrills, Edgewater, and surrounding areas. Soccer : ages 6-14, boys and girls Benfield Sportscenter Curious about futsal? Benfield Sportscenter in Millersville runs winter futsal sessions (a fast-paced indoor version of soccer) where you can organize your own team (teams of 10) or register as an individual. Check their website for listings in other seasons as they often add new programs and options. Futsal: Winter, ages 5-18, boys and girls

Arden Recreation Serving Anne Arundel County with programs throughout the year. Baseball : Spring league | Basketball : Winter clinic ages 5-7, county teams ages 8-18 | Field Hockey : Fall program | Lacrosse : K-2nd grade leagues (girls/boys), 3rd-8th grade spring Rec leagues (girls/boys), Club league for boys | Rugby : Summer season | Soccer : Seasonal training clinics for all ages, development program ages 4- 7, county level soccer program for age 8+ | Wrestling : Winter program K-8th grade



Class Type

Contact Info

Annapolis Allstars II


Annapolis Dance Academy


+1 (410) 757-8860

Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks Dance Program


+1 (410) 222-7313

Creative Force Dance Davy Dance Academy Docksiders Gymnastics

Dance Dance

+1 (410) 431-7018 +1 (240) 476-6145 +1 (410) 987-8780 +1 (443) 332-1460

Gymnastics Cheerleading Cheerleading

FAME Annapolis

GORC Cheer

Level Dance Project


+1 (410) 349.3100 +1 (410) 263-5544 +1 (410) 766-8729 +1 (410) 570-1686 +1 (443) 292-8102 +1 (410) 995-8130

Maryland Hall

Theater, Dance, Art

Maryland Twisters


Outlet Dance Complex Platinum Force Athletics


Cheerleading Gymnastics

Thrive Gymnastics

Advertisers in BOLD




LOCAL SPORTS LEAGUES (CONT.) Broadneck Area Youth Sports

Gambrills-Odenton Recreation Council The “GORC Wildcats” offer summer and year round sports camps and programs. Baseball: Spring leagues ages 4-15 | Basketball: Boys county and intramural ages 8-14, girls clinics and programs age 5-17 | Cheerleading: Ages 3-14, fall sideline and winter competitive | Field Hockey: K-8th grade | Flag Football: Girls age 4-14 | Football: Boys divisions all ages | Lacrosse: Boys ages 8- 18, girls K-8th | Softball: Spring and travel leagues ages 4-19 | Volleyball: New fall programs for boys and girls | Wrestling: Age 5-8th grade (girls/boys) There are so many great swim leagues in the area, we couldn’t list them all here! Check out Issue 2 of The Motherlode for all the info on swim leagues and pools!

The “Broadneck Bays” offer sports throughout the year. Basketball: Co-ed ages 4-7, County (girls/boys) ages 8- 17, Community (girls/boys) ages 7-13 | Field Hockey: Indoor, 5th-12th grade | Lacrosse: Boys pre-K-8th grade, girls K-8th grade | Soccer: Rec and Travel leagues | Triathlete: 6 week summer training program and triathlon | Volleyball: Boys ages 8-14, Girls ages 8- 17 Davidsonville Athletic Association The “Davidsonville Alligators” offer sports throughout the year. Baseball: Ages 4-18 | Basketball: Ages 8-17 (girls/boys) | Field Hockey: K-8th grade | Lacrosse: Boys and girls ages 4-15 for spring, boys league for summer | Soccer: Ages 8-13, youth and county leagues fall/spring, year round travel team | Softball: Ages 6-12 | Swimming: Ages 4-18, practices held at the Harbor Hills community pool in Davidsonville | Volleyball: Ages 9-17




Sports fans: Did you know we have a Junior Hockey Team of stellar young players playing their home games right down the street in Odenton? The Maryland Black Bears are an NAHL team of players, ages 16-21, who are working towards playing college hockey at the NCAA Division I/III levels. Their home arena is Piney Orchard Ice Rink, a facility with a rich history as the former practice ground for the Washington Capitals. Attending a Black Bears game is a family-friendly event (much more manageable with kiddos than a trip to a major stadium in the city!) Annapolis Moms Marketing Director, Sandy Biello, recently attended a game with her family and had these tips: UNLEASHING THE ROAR: MARYLAND BLACK BEARS HOCKEY…IN AA COUNTY! BY SANDY BIELLO & CHELSEA HARRISON

Before you go, check their promotional calendar. They often have themed nights. It was “Teddy Bear Toss” night where fans could throw/donate stuffed animals onto the ice that would then be donated to The Salvation Army. Dress warm and bring a blanket. Remember–it’s an ice rink! Get there early because you don’t want to miss the players coming out of the tunnel. Kids can line up for high fives as the players run out! The mascot, Bruno the Bear, is so friendly and is happy to greet and take pictures with the kids. You can also host your next birthday party with Bruno! This is a wonderful way to introduce or nurture the love of hockey for the little ones. So, bundle up, grab your blanket, and head to Piney Orchard Ice Rink to support the home team. The season is in full swing, but act fast – it ends in April!

LOCAL SPORTS LEAGUES (CONT.) Greater Severna Park Athletic Association

9 Cont.:Baseball: Spring, Co-ed Ages 3 - 6 | Basketball: Winter, Co-ed Ages 4 - 12 | Flag Football: Spring, Co-ed ages 4-15 | Lacrosse: Spring, Co-ed ages 5-12 | Soccer: Spring, Co-ed PreK3- Grade 4 | Volleyball: Spring, Co- ed 7-14 Maryland Lacrosse League Year-round lacrosse experiences for 1st-12th graders at diverse locations across Maryland, creating a widespread and accessible network for players. The league utilizes locations in Anne Arundel County at Indian Creek, St. Mary’s, Spalding, API, and Thrive Field House .

The “Green Hornets” offer fall and winter programs with fields in Millersville, Severna Park, and Crownsville. Baseball: Fall/spring/summer, ages 3-16 | Basketball: Spring/winter, boys grades 1st-12th, winter girls grades 1st-12th | Cheerleading: Fall/spring/winter, ages 5-14, sideline and competitive | Field Hockey: Fall, 1st-8th grade | Flag Football: Summer, co-ed ages 5-7 | Football: Fall, co-ed ages 6-14 | Lacrosse: Spring, pre-K- 8th grade boys, K-8th grade girls, skills summer camp | Rugby: Summer program, co-ed two hand touch, U7-U16 | Soccer : Pre-K-8th grade (boys/girls) Select and Rec leagues, fall/spring | Softball: Fall, ages 5-17, Select and Club | Track and Field: Summer program, ages 5-14 | Wrestling: Winter, grades K-8th i9 Sports i9 Sports offers fun, organized, and educational youth sports leagues throughout the Annapolis area. Practice game facilities are located in Annapolis, Arnold, Severna Park, Bowie, Gambrills, and Crofton. (As of the time of print, fall i9 programs are not listed. Check their website for additional fall programs).




LOCAL SPORTS LEAGUES (CONT.) South River Youth Athletics The “South River Seahawks” offer sports throughout the year with field locations in Edgewater and Davidsonville. Baseball: Clinic for ages 4- 8, County, Travel | Basketball: 1st-12th grade (boys/girls), travel/tournament teams in the spring | Cheerleading: Ages 6-14, sideline cheer and competition | Field Hockey: K-8th grade Flag and Tackle | Football: Ages 4-14 Lacrosse: Age 5-8th grade (girls/boys) | Rugby: Co-ed 2 hand touch, matches in Anne Arundel County and South River High School | Running: 3rd-8th grade, Fall Cross Country (split into 3 groups by distance/age), Spring Track (sprinters, middlers, distance) | Soccer: SRYA is the feeder system into the South River High School soccer program, boys and girls ages 3+, clinic, county, rec, and travel leagues | Softball: Fastpitch league, 6U-19U | Wrestling: Ages 4-15 (girls/boys)


Maryland Lacrosse League The Maryland Lacrosse League (MDLL) is a vibrant sports community catering to lacrosse enthusiasts. The league offers opportunities for adult players, organizing leagues with different divisions like for men, women, open (18+), and masters (30+ and 40+). Peake Social Peake Social is an adult sports league based out of Annapolis Sports: Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Cornhole, Dodgeball, Flag Football, Golf, Kickball, Pickleball, Soccer, Tennis, and Volleyball Locations: Annapolis, Gambrills, Odenton, Glen Burnie, Severn, Kent Island, Baltimore County, Crownsville, Arnold, Severna Park, and Davidsonville. Severn River Rugby Football Club The Severn River Rugby Football Club was established over 40 years ago and includes options for men, women, and “old salts.” Practices are held in Severna Park and competitions are in the Mid-Atlantic region from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.

Peninsula Athletic League PAL offers 3 main sports throughout the year: Baseball: Ages 3-12 | Basketball: Spring and winter leagues ages 8-14 (girls/boys) | Football: Returning in 2024





Ready to challenge yourself beyond the “Couch to 5K” program and step into some bigger races? The Annapolis area has plenty of running events that take things a step (or mile) further while making the extra distance as pleasant as possible. Sign up for a running event, and then find a training group to start prepping for race day.

Annapolis Running Festival Downtown Annapolis Saturday , March 9, 2024 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon Distances throughout the greatest city on the East Coast. B&A Trail Marathon and Half Marathon Severna Park Sunday , March 24, 2024 USATF-certified marathon and half marathon distances. A local favorite. Annapolis Striders Cherry Pit 10-Mile Race Edgewater Sunday, April 7, 2024 An alternative to DC’s classic Cherry Blossom 10-miler. “Others may have the blossoms, but we have the pits.”

Under Armour Sole of the City 10K Baltimore Saturday, April 6, 2024 10k course along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, starting and ending at Harbor Point.

St. Michaels Running Festival St. Michaels Saturday, May 18, 2024

5k, 10k, and Half Marathon Distances are among the fastest courses in the country, and will help you reach a PR.

To begin training with a group, check out the following resources:

Fleet Feet Annapolis 2572 Solomons Island Rd. Annapolis Running store with training programs, group runs, and more. Charm City Run Located in the Annapolis Towne Centre Running store with training programs, group runs, and race management. Annapolis Striders Annapolis’ oldest running club with group runs, race management, and much more.

Anne Arundel County, MD SHE RUNS This Town! Facebook group with regular social runs, group training for races, and race support. Forward Brewing Run Club 418 Fourth St. in Eastport Wednesday night group runs around downtown Annapolis in the 3-5 mile range. Baltimore and Annapolis Trail ParkRun Weekly timed 5k run or jog. Meet at the LA Fitness parking lot on Jumpers Road in Pasadena.







The kids who need your kindness the most are teenagers. While 75% of foster families in our county request a child between the ages of 0-12, 55% of foster care youth are between the ages of 12-21 . 32% are between 0-5 for which there is also a rising need, according to Madera. It’s not uncommon to maintain relationships built in foster care even after the youth have been reunited with their birth families. #ittakesavillage The average child in foster care gets re-placed (a sadly accurate word choice) three times and you have the power to be a temporary haven from that turbulence. “You can truly change a child’s life,” says Madera. Things to Consider “Could our family share love?” and “How will my children accept another child into their lives?” are great questions to ask. According to Madera, most foster parents in Anne Arundel County have kids of their own. The whole licensing process can take anywhere from 6-7 months, but much of the process is up to you and your turnaround time. Foster families provide a stable and loving environment to children who await reunification with their own families (the ultimate goal), or placement with relatives, or adoption. Fostering not only benefits the fostered youth, there are also many benefits to the foster families. The 63 currently licensed foster/adoptive families in Anne Arundel County know why. “They’re “changing the trajectory of a child’s life,” says Tracy Madera, recruitment and retention specialist with the Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services. With 103 youth in the foster care system, there are lots of opportunities to inspire local youth. If you’ve ever thought about fostering, consider these facts about this life-changing good deed:

Imagine being involuntarily taken from the only family you’ve ever known and then being assigned to a new family...again and again and again. To help navigate this kind of trauma and other aspects of foster parenting, our county provides 24-hour PRIDE (Parent Resource for Information, Development and Education) training.

"We need families that have the heart and understanding and want to collaborate with the biological families to promote those reunification efforts,” says Madera. If you’re interested in learning more about how you and your family could start benefiting from fostering, Anne Arundel Foster Care hosts monthly informational meetings.

For more information you can contact Tracy Madera, LCSW-C at (410) 303-0459 or at






So many Annapolitans make an effort to serve and volunteer for charitable causes. At Annapolis Moms, we want to make sure to lift up these groups and individuals who work so hard year-round.

1. Helping Hands Pantry Helping Hands Pantry is a mobile pantry, started by Kim Donadio, that helps families in Anne Arundel County with baby necessities like diapers, wipes, and formula. They depend on volunteer helpers to fill needs of people who might fall through the cracks of the system. To learn how to volunteer, donate, or how to access resources, check out the Helping Hands Facebook page or find further contact information on their website. 2. Life of Joy Founded by Joy Cortina after her own mental health struggles, Life of Joy offers a holistic mind, body, and spirit approach to mental health and suicide prevention. Their initiatives include teen support groups, family trainings, and community outreach. Visit their website to find out how to support or volunteer. 3. Seeds4Success Seeds4Success is an award-winning program that seeks to enrich the lives of children growing up in low-income communities. This includes both Girls and Boys Clubs that offer afterschool mentoring and homework help, programs to help guide older kids in their post high school plans, and programs that seek to encourage parental involvement. You can learn how to volunteer, donate, or support the program on their website. 4. Stitches of Kindness Through Stitches of Kindness, Wendy Preslan and her kid helpers support 8 local charities with sewn items like mastectomy pillowcases for breast cancer patients, and feminine hygiene bags and backpacks for the unhoused. Follow their Facebook page to see cool updates on their work and find out how you can help. 5. Boundless Edventures Pediatric Occupational Therapist Holly Baca started Boundless Edventures after seeing a need for teenagers with social/emotional, physical, and intellectual challenges to have more physical activity and social interactions. Since May 2022, they have organized outdoor adventures like kayaking and paddleboarding expeditions. To volunteer, donate, or to apply to have your teen take part, visit their website. 6. The Blue Ribbon Project The Blue Ribbon Project supports victims of child abuse and children in foster care. Their programs include life skills training for those who have aged out of the foster care system, and Backpacks of Love, which provides items for kids entering the foster care system that serve both their physical and emotional needs. 7. Whole Lotta Love Whole Lotta Love is an Annapolis-based organization founded by Gemma Love, a student at Annapolis High School. Projects have included collections of coats, pajamas, underwear and socks, period products, diapers, and food drives, as well as the Annapolis Angel Tree, a holiday sponsorship program for 500+ local children in extreme need. Whole Lotta Love accepts donations via check or PayPal through Annapolis Community Foundation.








When you want to combine physical exercise and a mental workout, head to the Baltimore and Annapolis (B&A) Trail. You can bicycle, inline skate, walk, learn about the solar system, study local history, garden, or attend a concert. This delightful 13.3-mile , eight-foot-wide paved path runs between Boulters Way in Arnold and Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie using the former railbed right-of-way of the old Baltimore and Annapolis Short Line Railroad. Starting in 1887, the train carried passengers and freight between Annapolis and Baltimore. It changed hands and names several times, eventually becoming the Baltimore & Annapolis Railroad in 1935. Business boomed, serving as many as a reported 1,750,000 passengers a year , then petered off following World War II. Passenger service ceased on February 5, 1950, and freight service was gone after the Severn River trestle was damaged in 1969.

Railroads across the country were facing similar demises and the answer of what to do with the land was a Rails-to- Trails program. The Severna Park Jaycees initiated the conversion of the abandoned and overgrown railbed in 1972, tending to it until Anne Arundel County Parks took control. Members of local Jaycees groups continued their involvement and in 1990, installed mile markers every half- mile. Historical markers line the path of the 112-acre linear park, labeled from A to Z, from south to north; the markers were designed and placed as an Eagle Scout service project by William Brian Sanders of Boy Scout Troop No. 1785 (of Pasadena, Maryland) in 1993. Along the way, you’ll come across Planet Walk , sponsored by NASA, at the suggestion of Stan Lebar, NASA employee and first president of the Friends of Anne Arundel County Trails. The Walk is a built-to-scale representation of the Solar System. Check the calendar for an annual Planet Walk day which takes place in the spring with lectures, exhibits, and other activities.

Photos courtesy of Chelsea Harrison

At the halfway point is the trail’s ranger station and museum, a circa 1889 general store. You can use the restrooms, refill your water bottle, and pick up a brochure about the historical markers. Parking lots located directly along the trail include the B&A Trail Station (51 W Earleigh Heights Rd, Severna Park) and a small lot at Jones Station Rd & Baltimore Annapolis Blvd/MD 648 in Severna Park.

B&A Trail 51 West Earleigh Heights Road Severna Park, MD 21146 410-222-6244 Open daily from sunrise to sunset 24

Photos courtesy of Chelsea Harrison








A soft, gentle breeze blows. It’s neither too cold nor too hot. The sound of birds chirping fills the air. Trees begin to bud and flowers blossom. Wait…what’s that smell? Is that…burnt socks?!

The decades-long tradition of sock burning began in the 1970’s by a local Eastport shipwright (a carpenter skilled in ship construction and repair), George Turner. According to Annapolis Maritime Museum President and CEO, Alice Estrada, one day, George was fed up with winter – he cracked open a couple of cold beers around the spring equinox with a small group of friends and threw his socks into the fire. This simple action caught on and has now turned into a ritual – a rite of passage in the Spring. Getting rid of your socks for the Spring also has an important purpose – so you can wear your docks (i.e., boat shoes) barefooted and welcome boating season, a glorious time of year for Annapolis. This year, the Annapolis Annual Oyster Roast and Sock Burning will continue at the Annapolis Maritime Museum on May 23, 2024. It’s a BYOS (Bring Your Own Socks) family-friendly event, featuring an oyster shucking contest, prize wheels, and a recitation of “Burn Your Socks”.

Burn Your Socks at the Annapolis Maritime Museum Composed by: Heidi Estrada and Michael Hughes

Ahoy ye sailors, it is the season, Come hear the tale of the Maritime Museum. T’was long ago McNasby’s, whose history we’re tracking, With Rockfish and crabs and great Oyster packing. And watermen came from around the bay A beacon of Eastport, back in her day. But the times they changed, and she started to waiver, Then came the Museum who said “We will save her!” The community rallied and with great affection, Paid homage to watermen, our Maritime direction! That wasn’t the end, oh no, just the start, The Museum grew strong and state of the art, Teaching our children, cleaning the bay, Starting grand concerts, & the best one they say, Is the first of the season, at the Spring equinox, A rightful tradition to burn all our socks. So pull up those pantlegs, and take off your shoes, Pull off those socks and break out the brews, Burn your socks my friend, the winter is done, ‘Tis time for boating, crabbing, and fun. Goodbye to winter, only deck shoes we wear! Though the socks we are burning leave a stink in the air! Light them on fire, yes let them burn, A promise that warm water is soon to return. And so the tale ends and the sock smoke shall rise Long live our tradition, an Annapolis pride!


Photo courtesy of Annapolis Maritime Museum



BY JUDY COLBERT “The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is a hidden gem, with trails and a beautiful spot to visit. We have a world-class research center in our backyard,” says Karen McDonald, the Center’s STEM Program Coordinator. This 2,650-acre “off-the-Mall” learning site of the Smithsonian Institution offers a huge variety of learning, teaching, relaxation, and activity options. “About 9,000 children and adults visit the Edgewater facility each year to walk or hike on one or more of the four trails that vary from one to almost two miles. The trails wander through woods or along the Rhode River and Muddy Creek,” says McDonald. SMITHSONIAN ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH CENTER: A HIDDEN TREASURE

“More than 225 bird species have been spotted [here]. We also have a boat launch for non- motorized boats (kayaks, canoes) which is rare in this area because most of the Bay area property is privately owned,” McDonald notes. A water trail map is available to help you explore the marshes and waterways. SERC also offers public canoe days, when they supply canoes and guided tours (fee applies). Swimming is not allowed. Painters come to capture the sights. A number of picnic tables are available around the Reed Center, and inside the covered picnic pavilion. Because 200 scientists are doing active research and work in the 16 labs , pets are not allowed. Among the fascinating studies they’re tackling is the 60-acre BiodiversiTREE, a 100-year study on the effects of repopulating former cropland with 20,000 trees in plots of a single tree species versus multiple species. “The Reed Education Center has fish tanks with native fish and two diamondback terrapins. Built by William Sellman in 1735, Woodlawn House is the oldest building in the Smithsonian still in its original location. During your visit, you will be able to explore the 1735, 1841, and 1970s wings of the house, encounter histories of the enslaved and free people who occupied the land, and see some of the hundreds of artifacts unearthed by citizen scientists,” says McDonald. Kristen Goodhue, SERC Science Writer and Media Relations Coordinator, notes that the center will see a fifth trail added this year and they’ll be working on events to celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2025.

Photo courtesy of Sandy Biello

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) 647 Counters Wharf Rd, Edgewater, MD Mon-Sat. 8:00 AM-5:30 PM +1 (443) 482-2200 |


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