Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center is a non-profit center located in scenic Solomons, Maryland, where the Patuxent River meets the Chesapeake Bay. The sculpture garden features a 1/4 mile walking path that meanders through the woods past permanent and loaned sculpture, including over thirty works on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art.
Location: 13470 Dowell Road, Solomons, MD 20688 (~70 miles/90+ min. from Fredericksburg)
Parking: Plenty of free parking
- M – F 9 am – 5 pm, Open till 7 pm on Food Truck Fridays
- Sat. – Sun 10 am – 5 pm
Cost: Pay What You Can; $5/person suggested donation
Maps: Self-guided tours and maps can be found HERE.
My son had a lifeguarding certification class this past week in King George. On Friday we had four hours to kill. We decided to go on a little adventure and check out the Annmarie Sculpture and Arts Center since we heard about it recently from several different sources. Annmarie is about an hour’s drive from King George.
WARNING: From Fredericksburg, you will need to cross two bridges to get to Annmarie’s. The first is the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge. On your way back to Fredericksburg, you will pay a $4.50 toll to cross the bridge. There is no toll on the way over. The second bridge is the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge. It is not a toll bridge. These bridges can be a bit scary–narrow and high above the water.
We didn’t make it there till 4:10 p.m. and were worried that we would have to rush through everything. We were pleasantly surprised that it was a Food Truck Friday and that the gardens and center would be open till 7 pm.
Fairies in the Garden: Our main reason for wanting to visit was to see the hidden fairy and gnome houses. They are scattered along the wooded trails.
- Over 100 handmade fairy & gnome houses were donated this year. This is the most they have ever had.
- The Fairies in the Garden runs April 5 – September 2, 2021. (2023 runs till Sept. 4)
- The fairy and gnome houses change each year. This is the 12th Annual Fairies in the Garden Outdoor Exhibit.
- Around Jan/Feb of each year they send out a request for Fairy & Gnome homes. Anyone can contribute a home. The homes are delivered in April and picked up in September. Those that are not picked up go to the fairy grave where usable pieces are saved.
- Better constructed homes are hidden throughout the garden. The others are located in the Children’s Fairy Garden near the Fairy Lolly-a natural play space.
- Make sure to pick up a map of the fairy garden when you check in .
Along the shady walking path, you’ll be able to see permanent and loaned works of outdoor sculpture, many of them on loan from the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and The National Gallery of Art.
Not only can you look for fairy & gnome houses and see various sculptures along the wooded path, but there are a variety of other activities to participate in such as building a natural fairy house, visiting the play house, finding creatures in the garden, seeking birds on the Bird Art Trail, creating rubbings on the bronze plaques, or going on a scavenger hunt for snippets of recreated masterworks hidden within the tree knots.
My daughter really enjoyed making a natural fairy house in the woods. “Use the supplies in these bins to build a fairy house in the forest! Please do not build on the gravel paths or patios. Fairies and gnomes like their houses nestled in the forest!”
After locating all the fairy & gnome houses and looking at the various sculptures, we headed to the Arts Building. It houses two galleries with rotating exhibits featuring local, regional and national artists. The Main Gallery was unavailable because of the setup for an upcoming wedding.
We headed upstairs to the mezzanine to see the exhibition–On Paper: Printmaking, Book Arts & Beyond. It was interesting to see what the various artists created with paper.
This Arts building also houses the Nature Nook and ArtLAB. The Nature Nook has hands-on and rotating exhibits. Unfortunately, it was closed when we visited because of the wedding. A list of Nature Nook exhibits for this year can be found HERE. The ArtLAB is a creative reuse center.
There are so many different events and activities going on at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center. Here are a couple upcoming events. Check their website for more offerings.
This magical place is definitely worth a visit. We will be back for sure!