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Attractions for the Young and the Young at Heart

Thursday, April 21, 2005; Page PG26

Bowie Baysox

Prince George's Stadium, home to the Bowie Baysox baseball club, also offers many fun activities for kids.

The stadium hosts 71 Baysox home games between April and Labor Day. Children younger than 5 get in free. The stadium also has a children's park with a carousel and inflatable rides. Speed pitch and the moon bounce are particularly popular.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt opened its gates in July for a Community Day event. (Photo Courtesy Of Nasa)

Kids ages 6 to 12 who wear a Little League or youth softball uniform to games played Sunday through Thursday get free general admission tickets.

Other season highlights include Sunday Family Funday, when fans can play catch on the field before the game and children can run the bases afterward. Fireworks follow each Saturday night game. On Tuesday nights, all general admission tickets are $1.

In the summer, the team offers two three-day baseball camps for youths ages 7 to 16. Baysox players and coaches will do the instruction for three hours each day.

This year the Baysox are building a kids marketing campaign around "Louie," their mascot. Louie has been named mayor of "Louieville" at Prince George's Stadium, and children younger than 12 who come to the ballpark this summer can receive a free membership to the Louie Kids Club, which entitles them to a free activity book, on offer for a T-shirt, and events throughout the year.

The Baysox also offer a sleepover for Boy Scouts on June 10 and for Girl Scouts on July 8. Advance registration is required.

On July 4, kids can participate as the Baysox attempt to set the world record for the most people sitting on whoopie cushions at the same time. The record, some may remember, was attempted last year, as well.

And once again, the stadium will offer a Halloween Haunted House on the days leading up to and on Halloween.

The stadium is at 4101 NE Crain Hwy., Bowie. Call 301-805-6000 for tickets and information.

Visitor Center, Goddard Space Flight Center

The NASA Goddard Visitor Center can light up a kid's imagination with its space science gallery, which includes interactive computer consoles for children to learn about the Hubble Space Telescope. Kids can learn how to measure the age of a galaxy, and take part in other interactive activities involving the planets, comets and distant galaxies.

Although not intended primarily for youngsters, the center offers several kid-friendly activities. In addition to climbing into the actual Gemini XII capsule flown in 1966, young visitors can watch a short film such as "This is America, Charlie Brown: The NASA Space Station" or shoot off pop rockets made with Alka-Seltzer.

The center hosts model rocket launches on the first Sundays of each month for visitors who have built rockets.

Admission to the center is free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Groups of eight or more must make reservations in advance.

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