Photo by Christine Zhu

Mass appeal

Four steel cylindrical forms stand tall in a new long-term installation at Glenstone, the private contemporary art museum that opened in Potomac in 2006 and debuted expanded offerings in 2018. The mammoth pieces in renowned sculptor Richard Serra’s Four Rounds: Equal Weight, Unequal Measure each weigh 82 tons and range from 45 inches to 120 inches tall, with diameters from 78 inches to 127 inches. Daylight passes through skylights to illuminate Four Rounds in a new 4,000-square-foot concrete building by Thomas Phifer designed to house the exhibit.

Lying behind an unassuming gate off Glen Road, Glenstone presents nearly 300 acres of landscape integrated with architecture and art. On the property you’ll find the Gallery, which hosts changing exhibitions and overlooks a pond. The Pavilions feature 50,000 square feet of exhibition space in rooms linked by glass-enclosed passages where visitors can see an 18,000-square-foot water court. Outdoor sculptures are scattered throughout the grounds. Nature permeates the experience through paths, trails, streams, meadows and forests. Strategically placed benches orient visitors toward greenery so they stop to observe their surroundings.

Glenstone is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Reserve tickets online; see the website for details on guaranteed entry programs for bus riders, students, active-duty military members and museum professionals. 12100 Glen Road, Potomac, 301-983-5001, glenstone.org

—Christine Zhu


Courtesy Maryland Renaissance Festival

Royal revelry 

Wander through Revel Grove, home of the Maryland Renaissance Festival, and you’ll encounter 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 mugs of ale—the annual festival takes place in Annapolis on a 27-acre site designed to look like an English village circa 1536, during the rule of King Henry VIII. Visitors can roam the paths and interact with performers portraying villagers and royalty, along with jugglers, magicians, mimes and other street performers. Buildings are designed in the traditional Tudor style and feature craft shops, taverns, armor and weapon displays, and artisan demonstrations, such as leather working and knitting.  

A 3,000-seat jousting arena hosts matches, as well as chariot races, equestrian shows and falconry demonstrations. Plays, storytellers, puppet shows and singalongs can be found at outdoor theaters. Pick up a program highlighting shows for young kids (pre-K to third grade) from the guest services pavilion. For those who want an even more immersive experience, costumes are available for 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, plus Labor Day (Sept. 5), from Aug. 27 through Oct. 23. Tickets must be purchased online; see website for prices. 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, 410-266-7304, rennfest.com

—Stephanie Siegel Burke 

This story appears in the September/October 2022 issue of Bethesda Magazine.