* GO TODAY. It won't be on a Presidential Ball roster, but contra dancing's all the rage. See why at the Folk Dance Gild's Contra Dance in Arden, Del. (near Wilmington), with Irish jigs and reels riffed by Dr. Twamley's Audio Snakes. Free lesson for neophytes and the rhythm-challenged.

Today's lesson 1:30-2 p.m., dancing 2-5 p.m., $7. First and third Sundays of the month. Two hours from the Beltway at 2126 The Highway, Arden, Del.,302-478-7257, www.ardenclub.com.

* GO THIS WEEK. Aerodynamic drag, monocoque, ring-and-pinion gear: If you speak car, check out the 27th annual Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet and Corral, April 23-27, 30 minutes west of Harrisburg, Pa. Unload your clunker, er, prized possession at the corral, explore 82 acres of "automobilia" and locate that elusive part for your classic turbo-diesel Alfa Romeo.

Gates open 7 a.m. to dusk. Tickets $8 per day Wednesday to Saturday, $4 Sunday, five-day pass $25. Two hours from the Beltway at the Carlisle Fairgrounds, 1000 Bryn Mawr Rd.,Carlisle, Pa., 717-243-7855, www.carsatcarlisle.com.

* PLAN AHEAD. From underwear fashion to the "Romantic Cemetery" movement, the 5th Annual Victorian Festival has the 1800s covered. Downtown Staunton, Va., 45 minutes northwest of Charlottesville, goes back in time April 25-27 with carriage rides, ghost walks, teas, puppet shows and -- new this year -- a Hot Glass Festival (April 26-27).

Many events free. For ticketed events like the Victorian Ball ($40), call the Bookstack at 540-885-2665. About 2 1/2 hours from the Beltway at the intersection of I-81 and I-64. 800-332-5219, www.stauntondowntown.org

-- Anne McDonough