What to do this week in Montgomery County, Maryland
Four cylindrical steel shapes stand tall in a new, long-term facility at Glenstone, the private contemporary art museum that opened in Potomac in 2006 and debuted with expanded offerings in 2018. The gigantic pieces by famed sculptor Richard Serra Four towers: equal weight, unequal measure each weighs 82 tons and is 45 inches to 120 inches high, with diameters of 78 inches to 127 inches. Daylight streams through skylights to illuminate four rounds in a new 4,000 square foot concrete building designed by Thomas Phifer to house the exhibition.
Situated behind an unassuming gate on Glen Road, Glenstone showcases nearly 300 acres of landscape integrated with architecture and art. On the property you will find the gallery, which hosts temporary exhibitions and overlooks a pond. The pavilions feature 50,000 square feet of exhibit space in halls connected by glass walkways where visitors can view an 18,000 square foot water lot. Outdoor sculptures are scattered throughout the park. Nature permeates the experience through paths, trails, streams, meadows and forests. Strategically placed benches direct visitors to the greenery so that they stop to observe their surroundings.
Glenstone is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free entry. Book your tickets online; check the website for details on guaranteed entry programs for bus riders, students, active duty military and museum professionals. 12100 Glen Road, Potomac, 301-983-5001, glenstone.org
Walk through Revel Grove, home of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and you’ll meet kings, queens, knights, pirates and fairies. Known for its costumed performers and attendees, as well as its medieval culinary offerings, like giant turkey legs and beer mugs, the annual festival takes place in Annapolis on a 27-acre site designed to look like an English village circa 1536, during the reign of King Henry VIII. Visitors can walk the paths and interact with performers depicting villagers and royalty, as well as jugglers, magicians, mimes and other street performers. The buildings are designed in the traditional Tudor style and include craft shops, taverns, displays of armor and weapons, and demonstrations of artisans, such as leatherwork and knitting.
A 3,000-seat jousting arena hosts matches, as well as chariot races, horse shows and falconry displays. Plays, storytelling, puppet shows and singing can be found in outdoor theaters. Pick up a program featuring performances for young children (K-3) at the Guest Services Pavilion. For those who want an even more immersive experience, costumes are available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis ($10-$30), or revelers can bring their own.
The Maryland Renaissance Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, as well as Labor Day (September 5), August 27 through October 23. Tickets must be purchased online; see website for pricing. 1821 Crownsville Rd, Annapolis, 410-266-7304, rennfest.com
—Stephanie Siegel Burke
This story appears in the September/October 2022 issue from Bethesda magazine.