Congratulations and best wishes to South Laurel resident Amber Fitch on turning 11 years old! Amber made an interesting discovery when planning her 11th birthday party. As she was driving with her parents down Contee Road, Amber noticed a sign for the ClimbZone near the entrance to Dinosaur Park. This interested Amber, who is into many activities as a fifth grader at Bethel Christian Academy and loves the challenge of trying something new.She and her parents decided to research this facility and found that it would be the perfect site for the party. Amber and her sister, Ashley, were joined by an excited group of friends and had a climbing adventure to celebrate the birthday.

The ClimbZone, located at 13200 Mid Atlantic Boulevard, recently opened in Laurel.Individually themed climbing walls include Jack's beanstalk, a giant space rocket, the Empire State Building and Mount Rushmore.Different levels of climbing experience are matched with the difficulty of the climb. Children and adults are welcome. As Amber and her friends discovered, there are party tents available for groups. Active adult supervision is required for any child under age 12, and experienced staff explain the process. Fees for admission vary depending on the age of the participants and the number in a group. Reservations are recommended and may be obtained by calling 301-317-1970 or going to climbzone.us.Here is a chance to experience indoor rock climbing right here in our community. Amber and her friends are anxious to try it again.

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Among activities to keep us busy during the winter months, be sure to consider offerings for seniors at the Laurel-Beltsville Senior Activity Center. These include a steel band on Friday, Jan. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m.; a lecture, "Let's Get Organized," on Friday, Jan. 16 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., not to mention the exercise room, a wood shop and a book club, which meets every month. For more information on activities and workshops available, check out pgarks.com/Things_To_Do/Senior_Activities/Laurel-Beltsville_Senior_Activity_Center.htm. .

Are you a teen artist on the rise? Do you know someone who is? The Montpelier Arts Center is accepting entries for Artists on the Rise, the third annual Juried Teen Exhibition to be held March 7 through 29.Those young artists ages 13 to 18 who are residents of Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia, are eligible for the competition. Participants may attend public, private or home school. Submissions must be entered through montpelierartscenter.submittable.com, along with a completed entry form. Awards will be given for first place ($200), second place ($150) and third place ($100), and will be announced at the opening reception on Saturday, March 7. There is no entry fee for this competition. Further information may be obtained by calling 301-377-7800. Maybe the next Picasso or Degas will emerge at the exhibition.

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