Friday 29

BALTIMORE STORY TIME, for ages 3 and younger, "Mother Goose on the Loose," nonwalkers, 10:30 a.m.; toddlers, 11:30 a.m., Enoch Pratt Free Central Library, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore. 410-396-5402.

Saturday 30

SHEL SILVERSTEIN STORIES, for children preschool-age to second-graders, stories and poems by Silverstein, including "Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros?" and "A Giraffe and a Half," 11 a.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

GUNPOWDER FALLS STATE PARK HIKE, an 8.5-mile moderate hike in Maryland on the Mingo Branch, Gunpowder South, Highland and Bunker Hill trails, sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group, 8 a.m., car-pool departure from Route 32 and Broken Land Parkway, west side Park and Ride lot, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-439-4964.

ELLICOTT CITY ORCHID AUCTION, a variety of plants, many in bloom, specialists available for questions, sponsored by the Maryland Orchid Society, noon-5 p.m., Ellicott City Armory, Route 103, Ellicott City. Free admission. 410-750-8821.

Sunday 1

LAUREL NATURE PROGRAM, for ages 5-7, learn about changes as wildlife prepares for winter, plus games and crafts, 1-2 p.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, National Wildlife Visitor Center, off Powder Mill Road, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 197, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 301-497-5887.

Monday 2

FICTION DISCUSSION, "While I Was Gone," by Sue Miller, sponsored by the Fiction Book Club, 7 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Glenwood. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5577.

HOLIDAY SUPPORT WORKSHOP, for people who feel they need support in preparing for and coping with the holidays, receive information and suggestions about planning for the holidays, sponsored by Hospice of Howard County, 6:30-8 p.m. Monday and 10:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday, 5537 Twin Knolls Rd., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-730-5072.

ELLICOTT CITY BOOK DISCUSSION, the Science Fiction Book Group discusses "Kingdom of Cages," by Sarah Zettel, 7:30 p.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

COLUMBIA HOLIDAY HOSTING PROGRAM, chef and restaurateur Donna Crivello of Donna's Cafe{acute}s shares recipes and samples of holiday treats, 7 p.m., Central Branch Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., at South Entrance Road, Columbia. 410-313-7860.

Tuesday 3

COLUMBIA AUDITION, seeking vocal and instrumental musicians for a Jan. 16 performance at the Third Thursday Open Mike program at the library; auditions, 3-8 p.m., call for an appointment, Central Branch Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., at South Entrance Road, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7800.

ELLICOTT CITY PICTURE BOOK CLUB, for ages 5-8, a program on children's author and illustrator Tomie DePaola; hear a story and participate in a small group discussion; participants should read or listen to a book by DePaola before the program, 7-8 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1955.

MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB, for children ages 11-13 accompanied by an adult, discussion of "Music of Dolphins," by Karen Hesse, 7-8:30 p.m., Central Branch Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., at South Entrance Road, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7860.

ELKRIDGE HOLIDAY COOKIE BAKING, for ages 7 and older, learn how to prepare ingredients, mix dough and spoon or press cookies, taught by library manager Phil Lord, a former commercial baker, 4 p.m., Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5085.

Wednesday 4

SENIORS LIVING WILL DISCUSSION, "Advance Directives -- the Living Will and the Appointment of a Health Care Agent," led by Lisa Sarro, supervising attorney of the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland, sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging, 10:30 a.m., Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7212.

CATONSVILLE MOTHERS SUPPORT GROUP, for working and at-home mothers, discussion of needs and interests of women during their parenting years and acknowledgment of the work of mothers, sponsored by Mothers and More, Southwest Baltimore Chapter, 7 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays in December, Immanuel United Church of Christ, 1905 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville. Free. 410-455-0498.

LIBRARY CHESS CLUB, for players of all levels with a basic understanding of the game, lecture and games for ages 9-17, 5-7 p.m.; open play for all ages, 7-9 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free. 410-313-7715.

ELKRIDGE BOARD GAMES, for ages 11-17, a drop-in program, play games including Clue, Monopoly, Life, Battleship, Yahtzee, checkers, backgammon and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" or bring a favorite board game, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 18, Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge. Free. 410-313-5087.

Thursday 5

BRAIN INJURY SUPPORT GROUP, facilitated by a clinician, share information and discuss the effect of brain injury in daily life, sponsored by Humanim, a private nonprofit organization that provides residential, vocational, clinical and case management services to people with disabilities, 1-2 p.m. the first Thursday of each month, Humanim, 6355 Woodside Ct., Columbia. Free. 410-381-7171.

NEWCOMERS COFFEE, for residents new to Howard County, activities include arts and crafts, a book club, games, trips and more, sponsored by the Newcomers Club of Howard County, 10 a.m., New Hope Lutheran Church, 8575 Guilford Rd., Columbia. Free. 443-535-0291.

MEMORY-LOSS CAREGIVING PROGRAM, for those caring for individuals suffering from memory loss, Maxine Wexler discusses how to make adjustments in holiday planning to include loved ones and finding new ways to celebrate, 7 p.m., Central Branch Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., at South Entrance Road, Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7860.

ELLICOTT CITY KIDS STORY TIME, for children preschool-age to age 5, snow stories, "Snow," by Roy Mckie and P.D. Eastman; "The Snowy Day," by Ezra Jack Keats; "Teddy's Snowy Day," by Ian Beck; and "Dream Snow," by Eric Carle, 10 a.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

-- Compiled by Linda James

Items are accepted on a space-available basis from public and nonprofit organizations only and must be received at least 14 days before the Thursday publication date. Submit information to Community Events, The Washington Post, 10490 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Suite 650, Columbia, Md. 21044. Include event name, dates, times, exact address, prices and a publishable contact phone number.