A nonprofit community arts center, VisArts fills its studios with artists learning techniques of creative expression, and acts as an exhibition opportunity for seasoned creators. Classes span a wide artistic spectrum, including concentrations such as ceramics and glass, many of which can be specifically tailored for the educational needs of children or resurrected Renaissance men in need of a new hobby. VisArts also enriches the community with a trifecta of galleries?the Kaplan, Gibbs Street, and Common Ground?and a thriving resident-artist program.
Sandy Spring Museum preserves artifacts and archival records from Sandy Spring?s storied past as an 18th-century Quaker community that eventually grew into what was at the time one of Maryland?s cultural and industrial hubs. In several exhibits, some of which rotate periodically, visitors can walk through a traditional farmhouse kitchen from a bygone era, explore the area?s historical social clubs, or learn about the plight of one of the country?s first and oldest communities of African American landowners. The museum also hosts events and community programs, such as a historic homes tour.
Is Terasol an art gallery, a coffee shop or a French bistro? Yes to all, actually. This Chevy Chase spot serves three square meals a day from its charming café space, where warm lighting and a plate-glass window light up the ample woodwork inside. Even more color comes from the large amount of artisan jewelry, pottery and crafts that hang on the walls or sit inside long, open shelves. As much an artistic shop for locally-made goods as it is a restaurant, Terasol supports DC’s creative side with occasional showings and constant displays of beautiful wares. Of course, they also support the old French countryside, with a rustic menu that ticks off great dishes like a checklist: French onion soup, beef bourguignon, mussels and frites. A warming quiche is available , and the croque monsieur will satisfy the largest of appetites.
At Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE), art aficionados mingle in a community that fosters a love of visual arts with hands-on education, exhibitions, and special events. A yearlong family membership grants parents access to contemporary-art exhibitions with artist receptions, workshops, special events, and a 10% discount on a kids' single summer art class (20% when registering for multiple classes). Children smear glue, sprinkle glitter, and splatter paint from three brimming art buckets without tattooing your living-room sofa during Explore More, a self-guided exploration of the current exhibition with related art-making activities. Unleash your child's inner Picasso with priority admission to GRACE's summer art programs, which immerse children in puppetry, comic books, and self-portraits ideal for proudly mounting on refrigerators or above castle mantels.
Satisfy sky-centric curiosity with the College Park Aviation Museum's 27,000 square feet of cloud-plowing attractions, set on the historic grounds of the world's oldest continuously operating airport. This Smithsonian-affiliated museum's pride is a restoration shop, which makes once-grand beauties look as flight-ready as a seagull strapped to a jet pack. Ten vintage and reproduced aircraft are arrayed in the main gallery, including a reproduction of the Wright Model B from 1910 and a 1941 Boeing Stearman. Exhibits chart the nonvehicular history of flight, such as the Fly Now! showcase of international aviation posters dating back to 1860. Petite pilots may explore kid-friendly displays, sitting in the cockpit of the Imagination Plane, a 1939 blue Taylorcraft, or go to the hands-on room to dress in flight-ready uniform.