Thursday 12 HOLIDAY LIGHTS, a three-mile drive through a seasonal animated and still-life display, with more than 500,000 colored lights. Sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. 5-9:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 5, Watkins Park, 301 Watkins Park Dr., Upper Marlboro. Each car, $5; mini-buses or limousines, $15; buses, $25. Canned food donations requested. 301-699-2456.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE SHOW, annual display of gingerbread creations made by area children and adults. Noon-4 p.m. today through Saturday, Darnall's Chance House Museum, 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Dr., Upper Marlboro. Admission, $1 or three cans of food per person. 301-952-8010.

LAUREL HOLIDAY CRAFT, workshop for ages 6-12, create a unique "sugar plum cottage." All materials provided; sponsored by the South Laurel Recreation Council. 7-8 p.m. today; 10:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 14. Deerfield Run Community Center, 13000 Laurel-Bowie Rd., Laurel. $3; preregistration required. 301-776-2805.

COLLEGE PARK PETER PAN CLUB, for ages 3-5, accompanied by an adult, aviation-based activities including flying stories, pedal planes, crafts and games. 10:30 a.m.-noon the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Dr., College Park. Free with regular museum admission of $4; seniors, $3; ages 2-18, $2; ages 1 and younger, free. 301-864-6029.

NEW CARROLLTON BOOK TALK, Tim Junkin's "Good Counsel: A Novel." 10 a.m., New Carrollton Library, 7414 Riverdale Rd., New Carrollton. Free. 301-459-6900.

Friday 13 HILLCREST HEIGHTS AUTHOR EVENT, Michael Presley appears with his novels, "Black Funk" and "Black Funk II." 6 p.m., Karibu Books, Iverson Mall, 3817 Branch Ave., Hillcrest Heights. Free. 301-899-3730.

LANDOVER PERSONAL COMPUTING, for ages 12 and older, use Microsoft 2000 or browse the Internet on a drop-in basis. 6-9 p.m., Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex, Classroom 272B, 8001 Sheriff Rd., Landover. $2 per visit; nonresidents of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, $3. 301-583-2400 or www.pgsportsandlearn.com.

Saturday 14 BOWIE SPORTS AUTHOR EVENT, Baltimore Sun basketball reporter Paul McMullen appears with his new book, "Maryland Basketball: Tales From Cole Field House." 5-6 p.m., Borders Books & Music, 4420 Mitchellville Rd., Bowie. Free. 301-352-5560.

BOWIE AUTHOR EVENT, Crystal Phillips will talk about her new book "The Me I Knew I Could Be: One Woman's Journey From 292 Pounds to Peace, Happiness, and Healthy Living." 3 p.m., Karibu Books, Bowie Town Center, 15624 Emerald Way, Bowie. Free. 301-352-4110.

CLINTON HOLIDAY TEA, a tea and a tour of a decorated mansion, featuring Colonial-era and World War II "White Christmas" themes. Learn about the evolution of American holiday customs. 2-4 p.m., Poplar Hill, 7606 Woodyard Rd., Clinton. $15; reservations required. 301-856-0358.

CLINTON VICTORIAN YULETIDE, candlelight tour of a historic residence, with costumed docents, uniformed Union and Confederate sentries and a Civil War-era Santa Claus. 5-9 p.m. today and Sunday; 6-9 p.m. Monday, Surratt House Museum, 9118 Brandywine Rd., Clinton. Adults, $3; seniors, $2; ages 5-18, $1; ages 4 and younger, free. 301-868-1121.

FORESTVILLE AUTHOR EVENT, Alice McGill will read from her new children's book, "Here We Go Round." 2:30 p.m., Karibu Books, Forest Village Park Mall, 3289B Donnell Dr., Forestville. Free. 301-736-6170.

LANHAM HOLIDAY EVENT, for all ages, food, entertainment and holiday crafts. 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Good Luck Community Center, 8601 Good Luck Rd., Lanham. Free. 301-552-1093.

LAUREL HOLIDAY CRAFT WORKSHOP, for ages 8 and older, make a holiday snow globe. All materials provided; sponsored by the South Laurel Recreation Council. 1-2:30 p.m., Deerfield Run Community Center, 13000 Laurel-Bowie Rd., Laurel. $4; preregistration required. 301-776-2805.

PLANETARIUM PROGRAM, "Terrible Teddy," a winter sky show that introduces easily recognized constellations of the winter night sky and tells a story about a teddy bear too big to fit in Santa's sleigh. 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Howard B. Owens Science Center, 9601 Greenbelt Rd., Lanham-Seabrook. Adults, $4; seniors and children ages 4 and older, $2. 301-918-8750.

Sunday 15 LAUREL HOLIDAY CRAFT WORKSHOP, for ages 13 and older, make a decorative chocolate-drop tree; materials provided. Sponsored by the South Laurel Recreation Council. 1-2:30 p.m., Deerfield Run Community Center, 13000 Laurel-Bowie Rd., Laurel. $6; preregistration required. 301-776-2805.

Monday 16 CAMP SPRINGS PING-PONG CLUB, for seniors, open play. 1 p.m., Camp Springs Senior Center, 6420 Allentown Rd., Camp Springs. Free. 301-449-0490.

HILLCREST HEIGHTS CHESS CLUB, for players of all ages and skill levels. 7 p.m., Hillcrest Heights Library, 2398 Iverson St., Hillcrest Heights. Free. 301-630-4900.

UPPER MARLBORO BOOK TALK, discussion of Karl Shaw's "Royal Babylon" and Michael Farquhar's "A Treasury of Royal Scandals." 7 p.m., Upper Marlboro Library, 14730 Main St., Upper Marlboro. Free. 301-627-9330.

Tuesday 17

BELTSVILLE BOOK DISCUSSION, Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections." 10:30 a.m., Beltsville Library, 4319 Sellman Rd., Beltsville. Free. 301-937-0294.

BOWIE LIBRARY MEETING, learn about fundraising, volunteering and special projects; sponsored by the Bowie Friends of the Library. 7 p.m., at the library, 15210 Annapolis Rd., Bowie. Free. 301-262-7000.

CLINTON CHESS CLUB, for players ages 8 and older of all skill levels. 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Surratts-Clinton Library, 9400 Piscataway Rd., Clinton. Free. 301-868-9200.

COLLEGE PARK AVIATION EVENT, celebration of the 99th anniversary of flight, with movies, photographs and exhibitions. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Dr., College Park. Free. 301-864-6029.

GLENARDEN CHESS CLUB, for parents and children of all skill levels. 7 p.m., Glenarden Library, 8724 Glenarden Pkwy., Glenarden. Free. 301-772-5477.

NEW CARROLLTON HOLIDAY EVENT, Christmas stories and songs. 7 p.m., New Carrollton Library, 7414 Riverdale Rd., New Carrollton. Free. 301-459-6900.

Wednesday 18 CLINTON BOOK DISCUSSION, Myla Goldberg's "Bee Season." 7:30 p.m., Surratts-Clinton Library, 9400 Piscataway Rd., Clinton. Free. 301-868-9200.

DISTRICT HEIGHTS BOOK TALK, discussion of Lolita Files's "Child of God." 7:30 p.m., Spauldings Library, 5811 Old Silver Hill Rd., District Heights. Free. 301-817-3750.

DISTRICT HEIGHTS POETRY, for teenagers and adults, open-microphone poetry readings. 7 p.m., Spauldings Library, 5811 Old Silver Hill Rd., District Heights. Free. 301-817-3750.

Thursday 19 NEW CARROLLTON LIBRARY MEETING, learn about fundraising, volunteering and special projects; sponsored by the New Carrollton Friends of the Library. 7 p.m., at the library, 7414 Riverdale Rd., New Carrollton. Free. 301-459-6900.

-- Compiled by Barbara Hinton

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, 14402 Old Mill Rd., Suite 201, Upper Marlboro, Md. 20772.