This Saturday, celebrate the 179th anniversary of Robert E. Lee's birth, and the 230th anniversary of the birth of his father, at their historic homes on "Lee Corner" in Alexandria. There'll be candlelight tours by costumed guides, piano and string music and refreshments with an 18th-century flavor.

There's another party in the Confederate leader's honor on Saturday, this one at Arlington House, next to Arlington National Cemetery. You can snack on pound cake and gingery baked goods while listening to Lee's favorite songs performed by a quartet.

Admission to the following activities is free unless otherwise noted.

FICTION READING -- Friday, 6, New Zealand Embassy, 37 Observatory Circle NW. John Chioles reads from his work to celebrate the book "Available Press/PEN Short Story Collection," with an introduction by columnist Richard Cohen. Attendance limited. 654- 8664.

BOOK TALK -- Friday, 7 to 9, 1522 Connecticut Ave. NW. A discussion of concepts in "The Road Less Traveled," by Scott Peck, begins with a short explanation of the work; $10. Reservations recommended. 297-5102.

BIRD AND BREAKFAST -- Saturday, 8 to 9:30, Hidden Pond Nature Center, 8511 Greeley Blvd., Springfield. A continental breakfast precedes a walk with naturalists to spot purple finches, cedar waxwings and woodpeckers. Binoculars, field guides and reservations recommended; $2. 451-9588.

BOOKS AND MORE -- Saturday, 9 to 1, Wheaton Regional Library, 11701 Georgia Ave., Wheaton. Hardbacks, softbacks, magazines and records are for sale to benefit the Montgomery County Library System. 279-1637.

HARD-TO-GET RECORDS -- Saturday, 9 to 4:30, Crystal City Holiday Inn, 1489 Jefferson-Davis Hwy, Arlington. Record convention features 45s and LPs in rock, jazz, soul, country and oldies music; new and used vinyls. $2. 521-1600.

BABY BAZAAR -- Saturday, 10 to 4, Casey Community Center, 810 S. Frederick Ave., Gaithersburg. All types of children's wear, toys and accessories sold by area residents. Adults 50 cents. 840-1862.

SULLY PLANTATION -- Saturdays and Sundays, 11 to 4, 3601 Sully Rd., Chantilly. Tour the home built by Richard Bland Lee in 1794; adults $2, children and seniors $1. 437- 1794.

COLVIN RUN MILL -- Saturdays and Sundays, 11 to 4, Colvin Run Mill, 10017 Colvin Run Rd., Great Falls, Va. Trace the history of milling along the Potomac River and tour a working mill. Adults $2; children and seniors $1. 759-2771.

GROW A BEARD -- Saturday, noon to 4, Magruder Park Recreation Center, 40th Avenue and Hamilton Street, Hyattsville. Visit the center clean-shaven to register for a beard-growing contest. Judges will pick the most unusual, longest and fullest chin adornments on April 26. 699-8403.

CARLYLE OPEN HOUSE -- Saturday, noon to 5, Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria. An example of Georgian Palladian architecture of the 18th century, the Carlyle House celebrates its 10th year of restoration. Closed Sunday. 549-2997.

LEE'S OPEN HOUSE -- Saturday, 1:30 to 4, Arlington House, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington. Visit the home where Robert E. Lee raised seven children, and tour the usually restricted restoration projects. 557-0613.

NATURE FILM -- Saturday and Sunday, 2, Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Rd., Arlington. The unknown and uncontrolled territory of New Guinea is examined in "New Guinea Patrol." 845-7640.

LEE CORNER -- Saturday, 3 to 5, R. E. Lee's boyhood home, 607 Oronoco St.; and the Lee- Fendall House, 614 Oronoco St., Alexandria. Special birthday tours. For each house: adults $2; children $1. 548-1789 or 548-8454.

LITERARY SYMPOSIUM -- Saturday, 3:30 to 5:30, Georgetown Regional Branch Library, Wisconsin Avenue and R Street NW. "All Roads Lead to Georgetown," a symposium on local authors and poets. 727-1353.

FOR JAZZ LOVERS -- Saturday, 8, Tysons Corner Holiday Inn, 1960 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean. The Potomac River Jazz Club throws its dance of the month, featuring music from the '20s and '30s; $8. 698-7752.

ART AUCTION -- Saturday, 8, and Sunday, 1, Congregation Har Shalom Social Hall, 11510 Falls Rd., Potomac. Bid on original works by Picasso, Dali, Delacroix, Chagall and Rockwell, plus hourly door prizes. Saturday preview, 7; unday preview, 11. 279-5461.

BIG BAND -- Saturday, 9 to 1, The Camellia Room, St. Camillus Church, 1600 St. Camillus Dr., Silver Spring. Dance to music of the swing era by Vic Simas and Orchestra, presented by the Big Band Society; $9 for members, $11 for non-members. 843-9407.