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Maryland day trips: Winterfest of Lights in Ocean City, Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival in Va. and more

Ocean City

Winterfest of Lights

Head to Ocean City for the opening weekend of the annual holiday lights extravaganza, which features a train ride through lighted holiday displays, including the 12 Days of Christmas. The event also has a heated pavilion with hot chocolate and an opportunity for the kids to take a picture with Santa.

The festival runs from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 15 - Jan. 1 at Northside Park. Admission is $5 and free for children ages 11 and under. For more information, call 410-250-0125 or go to oceancitymd.gov.

Forest, Va.

Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival

If you're a history buff and a wine enthusiast, this festival is for you. Find out why Thomas Jefferson is considered the "father of Virginia wine" at the annual event, located at Jefferson's retreat in Poplar Forest. Sample wines from 14 Virginia wineries, listen to live entertainment and browse crafts by local artisans.

Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Nontaster tickets are $10, and children under 11 are free. For more information call 434-525-180 or go to poplarforest.org.

New Brunswick, N.J.

National Circus of the People's Republic of China: Cirque Chinois

Check out a circus performance like no other featuring the longest-running and most distinguished circus troupes in China. With more than 20 gold and silver medals from various international circus festivals, this world-renowned circus is known for its complex acrobatics, group contortion and trapeze acts.

Performances take place at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at the State Theatre. Group tickets begin at $10 per person; single tickets begin at $19 per person. For more information, call 732-246-7469 or go to statetheatrenj.org.

Forest Hills, N.Y.

Big Apple Film Festival

Named one of the "25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee," the annual film fest will feature 165 films, including shorts, features and documentaries. This festival will also present the Golden Apple Award to Oscar-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me").

The festival runs Wednesday, Nov. 14, through Sunday, Nov. 18, at Tribeca Cinemas. General admission tickets start at $20 and can be purchased online or at the door one hour before each showing. For more information, call 646-708-5910 or go to bigapplefilmfestival.com.

Great Falls, Va.

The Teas of India

If you're tired of buying chai at Starbucks, learn how to make your own at the Great Falls Tea Garden. During this short but sweet tea tasting, you can taste flavors from three of India's tea-growing regions, learn how to make Masala chai and discover how to use tea in everyday recipes.

The Teas of India is 1 p.m. to 3 p.m Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. Tickets are $25. For more information, call 703-759-2771 or go to greatfallsteagarden.com.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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