Heritage Days, the annual free county-wide festival, offers visitors the chance to explore historical sites in Montgomery County, from Silver Spring to Poolesville, Bethesda to Clarksburg – and everywhere in between.

Visitors will discover that history comes in many forms. In addition to Civil War and War of 1812 connections, learn about the history of dairy farming, railroads and trolleys, African-American communities, astronomy and so much more. Heritage Days also highlights local arts & culture as well as outdoor recreation, including hikes and walking tours. Many venues offer musical entertainment, activities and crafts for children and refreshments.

Here are a few ideas of how to explore the county’s historical sites by theme:

The Farming History Cluster

Button Farm Living History Center: See the heirloom garden, heritage breed animals, newly restored 19th-century buildings and slave cemetery at this farm depicting 1850s plantation life in Maryland. Enjoy historical demonstrations, petting farm and Underground Railroad passport activities for visitors of all ages.

The African-American and Quaker History Cluster

Sandy Spring Slave Museum: See a cross-sectioned model of a slave clipper ship, Arts Pavilion and slave log cabin. View art and artifacts in the Great Hall. Community Cornerstones: African American Communities in Montgomery County video at noon, 2 and 3pm. Storyteller Baba Jamal Koram at 1pm.

The Historic Technology Path

National Capital Trolley Museum: Docent-led tours of the Street Car Hall. See the Street Cars Go to the Movies video, a model of the Rock Creek Railway and interactive exhibits, “The Trolley by Golly” and “Promoting Transit.” Ride vintage streetcars through Northwest Branch Park ($).

Local Gem

Clara Barton National Historic Site: Visit the home of the founder of the American Red Cross and the Civil War’s “Angel of the Battlefield” who rode alongside the Union Army giving aid to wounded soldiers. Guided house tours on the hour.

Heritage Days Weekend is June 28 -29, 2014 from 12pm – 4pm.