CarouselThese events for children and families are free unless a fee is noted.

Performances

"DRAGON TALES" by the Puppet Co., through Feb. 16. Friday at 10 and 11:30, Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 and 1, Wednesday and Thursday at 10 and 11:30. $6. Reservations recommended. The Puppet Co. Playhouse, Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. 301-320-6668.

"HOW DO YOU SPELL HOPE?" by Underground Railway Theater, Friday at 7, Saturday at 11 and 1. $13. Kennedy Center Theater Lab, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

"MOVING WITH THE KREATURES" by Magical Puppet Creations, Saturday at 9:30 and 11. Helen Hayes Gallery, National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-783-3372.

"PINOCCHIO COMMEDIA" -- through Feb. 9. Saturday at 12:30 and 3. $7.50. Reservations recommended. BAPA's Imagination Stage, Level Two, White Flint Mall, 11301 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. 301-881-5106.

"THE COLOR OF JUSTICE" -- through Feb. 8. Sunday at 1. $13. Kennedy Center Theater Lab, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324 (TDD: 202-416-8524).

"BRAVE IRENE" -- through Feb. 23. Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 and 3:30. $6. Reservations recommended. Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo. 301-320-5331.

"POOH & TIGGER TOO!" -- through March 8. Saturday at 2. $9, show only. Reservations recommended. West End Dinner Theatre, 4615 Duke St., Alexandria. 703-370-2500.

"PINOCCHIO COMMEDIA" -- Sunday at 3. $8, under 13 $6.50. Black Rock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Dr., Germantown. 301-528-2260.

"THE MUSIC BOX" by Stanislavsky Theater Studio, five stories set to music, Sunday at 7. $10 per person, $20 per family. Bethesda Presbyterian Church, 7611 Clarendon Rd., Bethesda. 301-986-1137.

"FREEDOM'S CHILDREN" -- the story of Ruby Bridges, who as a 6-year-old in 1960 helped to integrate her New Orleans public school, through Feb. 28. Wednesday-Thursday at 10 and 11:30. Adults $5, children $4. Reservations recommended. Discovery Theatre, Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Dr. SW. 202-357-1500 or 202-357-3030.

Special Events "IMAGINASIA" -- Art-related activities for ages 6 to 14, Saturday and Sunday at 2. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. 202-357-2700 or 202-357-4880, Ext. 422.

Nature

NATIONAL ZOO -- Grounds open daily 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., most animal buildings and Amazonia open 10 to 4:30 (exceptions are posted). Seal and sea lion training at 11:30, elephant care sessions at 11 most days. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-673-4800.

NATIONAL AQUARIUM -- More than 1,000 specimens of aquatic life, including an alligator exhibit. Open daily 9 to 5. Adults $3, ages 2 to 10 75 cents, under 2 free. Department of Commerce Building, 14th and Constitution NW. 202-482-2825.

BALTIMORE AQUARIUM -- The National Aquarium in Baltimore features a marine mammal pavilion, an Atlantic coral reef exhibit and a South American rain forest. Timed-entry tickets required. Open Friday 9 to 8, Saturday-Thursday 9 to 5. Admission $17.50; seniors $14.50; ages 3 to 11 $9.50 (under 3 free); $5 for all on Fridays after 5. Pier 3, 501 E. Pratt St., Baltimore. For information, 410-576-3800; for advance tickets, Ticketmaster, 202-432-7328 or 410-481-7328 (service charges added).

NATIONAL WILDLIFE VISITOR CENTER -- Interior Department science and environmental education center offers interactive exhibits and films. Open daily 10 to 5:30. Patuxent Research Refuge, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel. 301-497-5760.

ROCK CREEK NATURE CENTER -- Planetarium shows: "The Night Sky," Saturday and Sunday at 1 for ages 4 and up; "Women in the Stars," Saturday and Sunday at 4 for ages 7 and up; planetarium show for younger children, Wednesday at 4 for ages 4 and up. Free planetarium tickets distributed 30 minutes before each show. 5200 Glover Rd. NW. 202-895-6070.

OBSERVATORY OPEN HOUSE -- Wednesday at 8, tour, lecture and stargazing at the University of Maryland Observatory, Metzerott Road at University Boulevard, College Park. 301-405-6555.

Places to Visit

CAPITAL CHILDREN'S MUSEUM -- "African Tales With Baba C.," Saturday at 1:30. Exhibitions: "From Eritrea and Ethiopia With Love," paintings by Betty LaDuke, through March 29; "Brain Teasers"; "Japan: Through the Eyes of a Child"; "Chemical Science Center"; "Mexico"; "Animation"; "Cityscapes." Open Tuesday through Sunday 10 to 5. $7, seniors $5, ages 2 and under free. 800 Third St. NE. 202-675-4120.

MARYLAND SCIENCE CENTER -- Exhibits: "Dino Digs," about dinosaurs native to Maryland; "Chesapeake Bay"; "Outer Space Place." Hands-on exhibits and demonstrations of scientific principles. IMAX films screened hourly. Planetarium show, hourly. Admission, including planetarium show and IMAX, is $16, seniors $14, ages 3 to 12 $12.50. Open Friday 10 to 5, Saturday 10 to 6, Sunday noon to 5, Monday-Thursday 10 to 5. 601 Light St., Baltimore. 410-685-5225.

PORT DISCOVERY -- Interactive fantasy structures, mechanical sculptures and related activities. Open Friday-Saturday 10 to 5, Sunday noon to 5, Tuesday-Thursday 10 to 5. $11, ages 3 to 12 $8.50, under 3 free. 35 Market Pl., Baltimore. 410-727-8120.

MEDIEVAL WORKSHOP -- Carve stone and create a gargoyle, Saturday 10 to 2. $5. Reservations required for groups larger than 10. Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts NW. 202-537-2934.

NATIONAL COLONIAL FARM -- The mid- 18th-century tobacco plantation is open Friday-Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday from 10 to 5. Adults $2, under 12 50 cents; $5 maximum per family. 3400 Bryan Point Rd., Accokeek. 301-283-2113.

OXON HILL FARM -- The working farm is open daily from 9 to 4:30, with farm demonstrations and tours. Oxon Cove Park, 6411 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill. 301-839-1176 (TDD: 301-839-1783).

COLVIN RUN MILL -- Tour the 19th-century gristmill 11 to 5 daily except Tuesday. Adults $4, children $2. 10017 Colvin Run Rd., Great Falls. 703-759-2771.

PEIRCE MILL -- Tour the 1820 flour mill Friday-Sunday and Wednesday-Thursday noon to 5. At Beach Drive and Tilden Street NW, in Rock Creek Park. 202-426-6908.

OLD STONE HOUSE -- Tour the 1765 structure Friday-Sunday and Wednesday-Thursday noon to 5. 3051 M St. NW. 202-426-6851.

WASHINGTON DOLLS' HOUSE and Toy Museum -- Antique dolls, doll houses, toys and games. Adults $4, seniors $3, under 12 $2. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10 to 5, Sunday noon to 5. 5236 44th St. NW. 202-244-0024.

TROLLEY MUSEUM -- Ride European and American trolleys, Saturday and Sunday noon to 5. $3, seniors and ages 2 through 17 $2, under 2 free. Northwest Branch Park, 1313 Bonifant Rd., Silver Spring. 301-384-6088.

MODEL TRAIN DISPLAYS -- Saturday and Sunday 11 to 5, operating G-gauge layouts and other model trains by the Chesapeake, Allegheny & Blue Ridge Large Scale Railway Society. North Gate Plaza, 13832 Georgia Ave., Aspen Hill. 202-726-3333.

B&O RAILROAD STATION MUSEUM -- Permanent exhibits include a diorama depicting the trip of Tom Thumb, America's first scheduled passenger train. Adults $4, seniors and students $3, under 13 $2. Open Friday-Saturday and Monday 11 to 4, Sunday noon to 5. 2711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City. 410-461-1944.

Library Programs

ARLINGTON CENTRAL -- Stories for ages 3 to 6, Friday at 10. 1015 N. Quincy St. 703-228-5946.

AURORA HILLS -- Stories for ages 2 to 4, Thursday at 10 and 11. 735 S. 18th St., Arlington. 703-228-5715.

BADEN -- Stories for ages 2 to 5, Thursday at 10:30. 13603 Baden-Westwood Rd., Brandywine. 301-888-1152.

BELTSVILLE -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:15. 4319 Sellman Rd. 301-937-0294.

BLADENSBURG -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Tuesday at 10:45. 4820 Annapolis Rd. 301-927-4916.

BOWIE -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Monday at 1. Stories for ages 4 to 6, Tuesday at 7. Stories for ages 3 to 5, Thursday at 10:30. 15210 Annapolis Rd. 301-262-7000.

CHERRYDALE -- Stories for ages 3 to 7, Wednesday at 7. 2190 Military Rd., Arlington. 703-228-6330.

COLUMBIA PIKE -- Stories for ages 3 to 6, Monday at 11. Stories for ages 5 to 7, Tuesday at 6:30. 816 S. Walter Reed Dr., Arlington. 703-228-5710.

DOLLEY MADISON -- "Miss Cathy's Story Theatre," Saturday at 11. Stories for ages 3 to 5, Wednesday at 10:30. 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. 703-356-0771.

FAIRFAX CITY -- Silly Socks Puppet Theatre, Saturday at 10:30. Magician Joe Romano, Saturday at 2. 3915 Chain Bridge Rd., Fairfax. 703-246-2281.

FAIRMOUNT HEIGHTS -- Storytime for ages 3 to 5, Wednesday at 10:30. 5904 Kolb St. 301-883-2700.

GEORGE MASON -- Music and other activities celebrating Korean New Year, Saturday at 1:30. 7001 Little River Tnpk., Annandale. 703-256-3800.

GLENCARLYN -- Stories and activities for ages 3 to 6, Wednesday at 7:30. 300 S. Kensington St., Arlington. 703-228-6548.

GREENBELT -- Stories for ages 5 to 8, Tuesday at 7, and for ages 3 to 5, Thursday at 10:15. 11 Crescent Rd. 301-345-5800.

HERNDON -- Groundhog activities for ages 3 to 5, Saturday at 11. 768 Center St. 703-437-8855.

HILLCREST HEIGHTS -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30. 2398 Iverson St. 301-630-4900.

HYATTSVILLE -- Stories in Spanish and English for ages 3 to 6, Saturday at 10:30. Family storytime, Monday at 11. Stories for ages 3 to 5, Tuesday at 11. Stories for ages 3 to 6, Wednesday at 7. 6530 Adelphi Rd. 301-985-4690.

JOHN MARSHALL -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Wednesday at 10:30 and Thursday at 7. 6209 Rose Hill Dr., Alexandria. 703-971-0010.

KING'S PARK -- Valentine stories for ages 3 to 5, Tuesday at 10:30. 9000 Burke Lake Rd., Burke. 703-978-5600.

LAMOND-RIGGS -- African music by Leo Sarkisian, Saturday at 2. South Dakota Avenue and Kennedy Street NE. 202-576-7323.

LARGO-KETTERING -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Saturday at 10:30. 9601 Capital Lane, Upper Marlboro. 301-336-4044.

LAUREL -- Stories for ages 6 to 9, Wednesday at 3:45. Stories for ages 3 to 6, Wednesday at 7 and Thursday at 10:30. 507 Seventh St. 301-776-6790.

MOUNT RAINIER -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Tuesday at 11. 3409 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier. 301-864-8937.

NEW CARROLLTON -- Activities for ages 3 to 7, Saturday at 10:15. Stories for ages 3 to 7, Tuesday at 7. 7414 Riverdale Rd. 301-459-6900.

OXON HILL -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Thursday at 11. 6200 Oxon Hill Rd. 301-839-2400.

SHIRLINGTON -- Stories and activities for ages 3 to 7, Wednesday at 7. 2786 S. Arlington Mill Dr., Arlington. 703-228-6545.

SPAULDINGS -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Saturday and Thursday at 10:30. 5811 Old Silver Hill Rd., District Heights. 301-817-3750.

SURRATTS-CLINTON -- Stories for ages 3 to 5, Tuesday at 10:15, 11 and 11:45. Family storytime, Wednesday at 7. 9400 Piscataway Rd., Clinton. 301-868-9200.

UPPER MARLBORO -- Stories and activities for ages 3 to 5, Tuesday and Wednesday at 11. 14730 Main St. 301-629-9330.

WESTOVER -- Stories for ages 3 to 6, Wednesday at 2 and 7. 1800 N. Lexington St., Arlington. 703-228-5260.