Guest blog by Jessie from Red Barn Vacations. Every year, my family comes down to Deep Creek for the annual Art & Wine festival, benefiting HART for Animals.
The whole crew in a previous year.
It’s a highlight of my year: great local art, wine galore, and time with my favorite people. Thanks to this year’s understandable cancellation of the festival, we’ve been forced to get creative. That’s right: we are hosting our own ‘ DIY Art & Wine Weekend’ at the lake! Here’s how you can do the same (any weekend of the year):
- Many of the shops in Downtown Oakland are still open including art galleries and antique shops. Many interesting and innovative pieces of art can be found in this walkable downtown setting. (And, while you’re down there, you may as well start on the art part, too, with visits to the Vagabond Taproom and Sipside Lounge, which just unveiled a beautiful new outdoor space.
- There are tons of at-home art projects that both the talented and less-than-talented (like myself) can pursue. My family opted to each purchase paint-by-number kits, but there are a variety of crafts that can be undertaken in the home, like stitching (all the rage), adult coloring books, and so much more (Please just be respectful to carefully cover any surfaces within the home when launching experimental art projects).
- Grab some supplies and try to follow along to an episode of Bob’s Ross’ ‘Joy of Painting’ series. Every episode is available for free on Netflix! Whether you are making cherish heirlooms or cherished memories
(or both), this activity is fun for the whole family.
- Firefly Farms: A local artisan goat-cheese shoppe in nearby Accident, Firefly Farms does not have a huge selection of wine, but they do have a great curation. Whatever you buy from Firefly, be in wine or cheese or other savory staples, is guaranteed to be good.
- Deep Creek Beverage: This store is located at the north end of the lake area and has a drive-through window! No need to ever leave your car, just tell the clerk what you want and they will fetch it for you. The staff here (and everywhere around town) is incredibly helpful and ready to make suggestions.
- McHenry Beverage Shoppe: Offering the widest selection of inventory at the lake. If you want to browse around, this is the option for you.
- There are some killer spots around the lake to grab a drink, in whatever form you prefer. Some of our favorites include: Mountain State Brewing Company, Short Story Brewery, Vagabond Taproom, Sipside Lounge, Moonshadow Cafe, and The Honi-Honi Bar.
Charitable Donation Made to HART
- HART for Animals is a great local organization working hard to help out our furry friends. HART uses 87% of all its revenues to support charitable programs, including adoptions, spay/neuters, rescue and transports, and sheltering. Many of their fundraising events for 2020 had to be cancelled, but their resolve to help remains the same. if you chose to partake in a DIY Art & Wine weekend, consider making a donation to HART, who inspired the idea.
For many of us, the drive to the lake is an exciting time. It’s the first taste of your vacation, and an opportunity to bond with your loved ones. With the setting sun illuminating the sky, the road unfurling before you, and the eager anticipation for your arrival, all the ingredients are there for memories made and laughter shared— all before you ever see our rolling hills.
Here are a few suggestions to make this time extra special:
The driver picks a song to play first: any song will do. From there, the front-passenger starts thinking of a song similar, in some way, to the one playing. It can be similar in sound, theme, or lyric— or even something more abstract. Once finished, the front-passenger plays their selected song and the rest of the car sees if they can spot the connection. From there, the rest of the car takes turns picking the next song. This is a great way to explore a wide variety of music together!
One person picks a category like ‘NFL teams.’ Players take turns listing teams, one by one. The game continues until someone hesitates or repeats an answer.
Split the Car
Every passenger takes turns posing ridiculous’Would You Rather Questions’ with the goal of splitting the car between the two choices. If the question ‘would you rather be able to fly or speak every language?’ yields two votes for ‘fly’ and two votes for ‘speak every language,” the question poser wins for successfully ‘splitting the car.’
Found a great way to spend the time on your trip to the lake? Let us know!