Learning about local history, the culture and crafts of Maryland can be a fun and educational experience for anyone visiting the Washington, D.C. region. Montgomery County is home to several historic spots, but Sandy Spring Museum brings something special to the table.
In our effort to highlight all of the best museums in Maryland, we spoke with Lauren Peirce, Marketing Director at the Sandy Spring Museum in Sandy Spring, MD, to share what makes this museum special, why you should visit, and what you need to know before you go.
Where is the museum located?
Location: Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860 (Montgomery County)
What topics does the museum cover?
Sandy Spring Museum supports community-driven cultural arts and educational programs. We gather community to build a sense of place and belonging. Once a traditional history museum, Sandy Spring now explores community history through the visual, literary and performing arts.
What is your museum’s claim to fame?
The annual Strawberry Festival (the first weekend each June!) is one of our favorite events of the year. It is an annual fundraiser that was started in June 1982 at the old Montgomery Hospital grounds in Olney, MD. There are games, stands with your favorite strawberry products and artisan crafts, and of course, loads of strawberries to eat.
What is your favorite exhibit or artifact in the museum?
I particularly enjoy the replica kitchen with the big cooking fire place!
What kinds of special exhibits and events do you host throughout the year?
- Rotating art exhibits by local artists
- Eleven artists in residence who host the Resident Artist Open House the first Saturday of each month
- Free art for kids in the WondeRoom on the first and third Sunday of each month
- Monthly History Happy Hours (lecture series)
- Live music
- Open mic nights
- Summer Beer & Wine Gardens
- Fine Arts & Crafts Holiday Gift Show
- and so much more!
Are there guided tours available?
The Sandy Spring Museum is open to the public Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and the first Saturday of each month for self-guided tours.
How much time should someone plan to spend at the museum?
Visitors should plan to spend between 1-3 hours at the museum.
What should someone bring with them and what items are not allowed in the museum?
Come as you are, but please, no pets or weapons allowed.
What should parents of young children know before visiting the museum?
Families are welcomed. The first and third Saturday of each month, the WondeRoom is open for hands-on, inter-generational art activities for free! Bring your imagination and a fun attitude for these fun programs.
What’s the coolest item for sale in the gift shop?
Unique items handcrafted by local artists and the museum’s artists in residence.
Is there a museum cafe or restaurant?
There is a self-serve coffee station onsite.
What should teachers planning a field trip know before reaching out to you?
We welcome groups, however they are self-guided.
What are your normal days and hours of operation?
- Thursday 10am-8pm
- Friday 10am-5pm
- Sunday 11am-4pm
- First Saturday of each month 10am-5pm
Does the museum have a bag check or coat room?
The museum has a coat rack available on a first come, first serve basis. Items are not attended and are left at your own risk.
Is there parking available?
On-site parking is available.
Is there an admission fee?
General Admission is free. Admission prices vary for programs and events, credit cards are accepted.