Thursday 10

ELLICOTT CITY KIDS STORY TIME, for ages 2-5, "Planting a Rainbow," by Lois Ehlert; "Billy's Big Boy Bed," by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes; and "The Carrot Seed," by Ruth Krauss, 10 a.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

LIBRARY TRAVEL STORY TIME, for ages 5-8, visit other cultures through stories, music and a game, and make an international craft souvenir, 7 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Glenwood. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5579.

BIRD CLUB TALK AND MEETING, nature photographer and author Middleton Evans discusses "Maryland's Great Outdoors," beginners welcome, sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 7:30 p.m., Longfellow Elementary School, 5470 Hesperus Dr., Columbia. Free. 410-461-3361.

COLUMBIA BOOK CHAT, for ages 6-9, a quick reading and discussion on the theme of brothers and sisters, plus a craft, 4 p.m., Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7880.

Friday 11

ELLICOTT CITY BASKET BINGO, 20 games, basket prizes and more, sponsored by Maryland Chill, a Howard County girls' softball league; doors open 6:30 p.m.; games begin 7:30 p.m., Ellicott City Lions Club, Route 104 and Votta Way, Ellicott City. $15; in advance, $12. 410-796-3069.

SENIORS BRIDGE CLASSES, for ages 55 and older, eight-week classes, taught by American-Contract Bridge League Director Sue Johnston; "Bridge Clinic," learn about illustrative hands and problem-solving, intermediate class or instructor's approval are prerequisites, 10:30 a.m. Fridays; "Bridge for Intermediates," learn how to improve playing strategies, a brush-up course or instructor's approval a prerequisite, 1:30 p.m. Fridays; Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. $25 per class; preregistration required. 410-313-7279.

ELLICOTT CITY STORY TIME, for children ages 2-4 accompanied by an adult, stories and activities about rabbits, includes making a craft, 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Friday and 6:45 p.m. Monday, Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1955.

Saturday 12

BIRDING-BY-EAR WALK, for beginners, learn to distinguish songs of common birds during a walk in Gwynn Acres, sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 9 a.m., meet at the fence on Old Columbia Road and Rams Horn Row, Ellicott City. Free. 410-461-3361 or www.howardbirds.org.

LAUREL BATS PUPPET PROGRAM, "Little Brown Bat," learn about myths and realities concerning bats and their interaction with other animals, 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and April 19, Patuxent Research Refuge, National Wildlife Visitor Center, off Powder Mill Road, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 197, Laurel. Free. 301-497-5887.

WRITING WORKSHOP, young readers author Deborah Wiles helps students write from life experiences using her first novel, "Love, Ruby Lavender," as an example, 2 p.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

C&O CANAL TOWPATH HIKE, a moderate five- to eight-mile hike in search of wildflowers over rocky terrain along the Potomac River and on the Billy Goat trail in Maryland; bring lunch and water; sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group, 9 a.m. carpool departure from Route 32 and Broken Land Parkway, west side Park and Ride lot, Columbia. Free. 301-725-3306.

ROCKY GORGE RESERVOIR HIKE, an easy four-mile walk in an area usually closed to the public, sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group, and Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, 9:30 a.m., meet in the parking lot at Supplee Lane and Brooklyn Bridge Road, Laurel. Free. 301-498-8462.

PLANTS-AS-GIFTS TALK, for ages 8 and older, Howard County master gardeners will provide information on a living plant as a gift for Mothers Day (May 11), 10:30 a.m., Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free. 410-313-7880.

STEVENSON NATURE SERIES, for ages 4 and 5, naturalist Monica Wiedel will lead a program on spring, with felt-board stories, puppet shows, trail walks, songs, art projects, games and animal encounters, sponsored by the Irvine Nature Center, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday and May 3, 17 and 24, Irvine Nature Center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. $50; members, $35; preregistration required. 410-484-2413.

WOODCARVING SHOW, works by youth, novice, intermediate and advanced woodcarvers, including relief-carvings and wildlife carvings of fish, songbirds and waterfowl; plus carving demonstrations and refreshments for sale; sponsored by the Baltimore County Department of Aging and Community College of Baltimore County, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Catonsville Senior Center, 501 N. Rolling Rd., Catonsville. Free admission. 410-887-0900.

IKEBANA FLOWER-ARRANGING WORKSHOP, artist Shawnnee Holmberg teaches how to create a Japanese flower arrangement; bring an oval or round container, a heavy metal needle holder and a pair of flower shears; sponsored by the Columbia Association Art Center, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday and May 10 and June 7, 6100 Foreland Garth, Long Reach Village, Columbia. $25; Columbia residents, $20; preregistration required. 410-730-0075.

Sunday 13

LAUREL BUTTERFLIES PROGRAM, for ages 10 and older, learn the role of butterflies in the ecosystem and to identify several common to Maryland on a guided three-mile hike, a field guide is recommended; bring water; 9-11:30 a.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, North Tract, Route 198, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 301-497-5887.

NATIONAL POETS MONTH CELEBRATION, Kendra Kopelke, poet, writer-in-residence at the University of Baltimore and founder of the journal Passager, will read poems from her works "Eager Street" and "Carpe Diem, Ants," followed by readings by other poets, 2 p.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

MASON NECK STATE PARK HIKE, an easy five-mile hike in a wildlife refuge in Virginia, bring binoculars for sightings of bald eagles and early bird migrants; bring lunch and water; sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group, carpool departure, 8:45 a.m., Route 32 and Broken Land Parkway, west side Park and Ride lot, Columbia. Free. 301-498-8462.

COLUMBIA BASKET BINGO, for ages 16 and older, nursing babies are welcome; prizes of baskets; baskets filled with items donated by local businesses and refreshments also sold; to benefit Spenser's Hope, an organization for families experiencing preterm labor and premature birth; doors open 5 p.m., games begin 6 p.m., the Other Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5851 Robert Oliver Pl., Columbia. $18; in advance, $15. 410-772-8908 or www.spensershope.org.

Monday 14

DINOSAUR LIBRARY STORY TIME, for children ages 2-5 accompanied by an adult, learn about dinosaurs through stories and make a craft, 10:15 and 11:15 a.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knightsbridge roads, Savage. Free; preregistration required. 410-880-5978.

SENIORS EVENING AEROBICS CLASS, personal trainer Chris Miller will lead participants through a low-impact, mid- to high cardio routine, plus resistance training, 6-7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, East Columbia 50-Plus Center, East Columbia Library, 6000 Cradlerock Way. $20 per month. 410-313-7680.

Tuesday 15

BOARD GAMES, for ages 11-17, play board games including Jenga, Scrabble, Life, Yahtzee, Catch Phrase and checkers or bring a game, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1950; 4-5 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knightsbridge roads, Savage. Free. 410-880-5975.

SENIORS ART CLASS, for ages 55 and older, make a fresh flower, springtime centerpiece; bring clippers or a sharp knife; sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 1-3 p.m., Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. $20; preregistration required. 410-313-7279.

SENIORS PARTY AND USED BOOK SALE, country-and-western music by Just Us, books include fiction, nonfiction, hard and soft covers; baked goods available for sale; call for lunch reservation; 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Florence Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Free admission; books, 25 cents and more; lunch donation requested. 410-313-7213.

SWING-DANCE CLASSES, for singles or couples, taught by instructors Ariston DeLeon and Monica Schwartz and sponsored by the Long Reach Community Association; learn swing and Lindy Hop steps; intermediate class meets 6-7 p.m. and beginners meet 7-8 p.m. Tuesdays, through May 27 (no class May 20), Stonehouse, Long Reach Village Center, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., Columbia. $63 per person; preregistration required. 410-730-8113.

FURNITURE PAINTING WORKSHOP, taught by artist Shelley Lowell, learn techniques for hand-painting furniture, preparing the surface, applying a design, painting and finishing, sponsored by the Columbia Association Art Center, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, through June 3, Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth, Long Reach Village, Columbia. $120; Columbia residents, $100; preregistration required. 410-730-0075.

Wednesday 16

EGGS STORY TIME, for ages 5 and older, stories, egg games and more, 2 and 7 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1950.

SENIORS MEDICARE FRAUD TALK, for ages 55 and older, "How to Recognize Medicare Fraud," discussion of system abuse, the extent of the problem, examples of wrongdoing and what Medicare beneficiaries can do to help fight abuse, sponsored by Curb Abuse in Medicare and Medicaid, the Howard County Office on Aging and the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 11 a.m., Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7386.

SENIORS SPRING CELEBRATION, for ages 55 and older, food and musical entertainment, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Western Howard County Senior Center, 2398 Route 97, Cooksville. $2; preregistration required. 410-313-7279.

Thursday 17

LIBRARY CHESS CLUB, for players ages 9-17 with at least a basic understanding of chess, instruction and games, 5-7 p.m.; for all ages, open play 7-9 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Glenwood. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5579.

CIVIL WAR BOOK DISCUSSION, "Cold Mountain," by Charles Frazier; the Midday Book Club examines books reflecting various cultures, noon, Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1950.

NOONTIME BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION, "Cold Sassy Tree," by Olive Ann Burns, noon, Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7860.

-- 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.