By Alex Perdikis
If you think of Silver Spring, Maryland, as a way to get somewhere else, you’re really missing out. Of course, Silver Spring’s close proximity to Washington D.C. means it often gets short rift when people talk about fun, history and entertainment.
“Silver Spring is a great destination in its own right.”
— Alex Perdikis
Here are just a few of the fun and educational attractions Silver Spring has to offer.
The Round House Theatre Education Center
The Round House is one of the leading professional theaters in the region. Each season, the Round House produces six-shows that include everything from modern classics to musicals. More than 40,000 patrons attend each year. The theater has won 27 Helen Hayes Awards and its productions have won the prestigious Outstanding Resident Play award four times. Single tickets are available and can be purchased online.
Education is a huge part of the Round House mission. Its educational programs serve more than 2,500 students and offers innovative programs for children of all ages.
Mrs. K’s Restaurant and Wine Bar
What began as a tollhouse is now a well-known restaurant not only in Silver Spring, but in the entire metro region. The neighborhood restaurant offers traditional American cuisine, from steaks to seafood. But, it’s more than just a first-class restaurant. The atmosphere inside K’s is rich with charm. Tables that overlook the garden and what a garden it is. Called a photographer’s paradise, the gardens have been the setting of many a wedding and celebration throughout the years.
History is everywhere at Mrs. K’s. Genuine antiques make a visit here more than just a dining experience. The Heirloom Corner displays one of the finest Lutz glass collections in existence. The Ben Franklin room houses plates and cups featuring “maxims” from the great man himself. “Franklin’s Maxims” were first recorded in Poor Richard’s Almanac and later transferred on to the plates and mugs.
A very different eating experience from Mrs. K’s, the Tastee Diner is one of two original diners in the county. Its classic railroad car design became such a beloved icon that when new construction was slated at the original location, the diner was picked up and moved to Cameron Street where it now resides. Diners choose from traditional diner fare, but the Tastee is famous not only for its history, but surprisingly also for its filet mignon.
Don’t miss this small but enchanting park that was originally the estate of Francis Preston Blair. Thanks to the Caldor Company, the park and gazebo have been restored and a beautiful five-panel mural by Mame Cohalon has been added.
Festivals to Shout About
Every year Silver Spring hosts the Silverdocs documentary film festival and the Silver Spring Jazz Festival, which attracts not only famous jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis and Sergio Mendes but 20,000 people as well.
The little town founded by Francis Preston Blair after his daughter discovered a natural spring flowing with mica chips is now a hub of business, entertainment, fine dining and history. Silver Spring is not just a way to get somewhere else; it’s a lively and enchanting place to spend just a few hours or a few days.
Alex Perdikis, Koons of Silver Spring general manager and owner, lives in Chevy Chase with his wife and daughters.