Thursday 1

BALTIMORE AQUARIUM SLEEPOVERS, for ages 8 and older, spend the night with sharks, take a guided tour behind the scenes through the aquarium, visit the food-preparation area for sharks and rays, participate in hands-on activities in the shark lab and crafts station, sleep in the underwater viewing area with the sharks sleeping nearby and have breakfast in the morning, 5 p.m. today-9 a.m. Friday; 5 p.m. Friday-9 a.m. Saturday; or overnight July 8, 11, 18, 22, 25 or 29, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Pier 3, 501 E. Pratt St. $69; ages 60 and older, $65; ages 8-11, $59. 410-576-3800 or www.aqua.org.

Friday 2

ELKRIDGE FAIRY TALES STORY TIME, for ages 5 and older, stories, activities and more from different countries, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Fridays, through July 23, Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5085.

COLUMBIA ROLLER- AND IN-LINE SKATING, sponsored by the Columbia Association, noon-3 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. Fridays, through Aug. 20, Supreme Sports Club, 7080 Deepage Dr. $6; members, free; roller skate rental, $2.50; in-line skate rental, $5. 410-381-3619.

STEVENSON NIGHT HIKE, for children ages 5 and older accompanied by an adult, a hike by the full moon in search of woodland creatures, including toads, insects and owls, 8-9:30 p.m., Irvine Nature Center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. $8; members, $5; preregistration required. 410-484-2413.

Saturday 3

SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK HIKE, a 10.5-mile circuit with stream crossings in the Piney Ridge and Thornton River areas in Virginia, bring lunch, water and a change of footwear, sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group, carpool departure, 8 a.m., from Route 32 and Broken Land Parkway, west side Park and Ride lot, Columbia. Free. 410-439-4964.

WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS SUPPORT GROUP, for those who have experienced the death of a spouse, discuss the meaning and process of grief, 10-11:30 a.m. Saturdays, through July 10, Hospice of Howard County, 5537 Twin Knolls Rd., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-730-5072.

COLUMBIA CHILDREN'S STORY TIME, for children of preschool and elementary-school age accompanied by an adult, market day stories, songs and more, 3:30 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 28, and 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 26, East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7730.

COLUMBIA BOOK DISCUSSION, "River, Cross My Heart," a novel by Breena Clarke, sponsored by the Black Fiction Book Club, 1 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7700.

Tuesday 6

BREAST-FEEDING SUPPORT GROUP, for pregnant women; infants and toddlers welcome; discussion of "What Is a Natural Food?" and questions answered on breast-feeding, sponsored by the La Leche League of Columbia AM, 10 a.m., Grace Community Church, 9180 Rumsey Rd., Columbia. Free. 443-857-3738.

CHILDREN'S NATURE PROGRAM, for children ages 3-5 accompanied by an adult, "Busy Bees," stories, activities and a nature walk, if weather permits, sponsored by the Howard County Conservancy, 10-11:30 a.m., Mount Pleasant Farm, 10520 Old Frederick Rd., Woodstock. $5 per child; preregistration required. 410-465-8877.

ELLICOTT CITY CHESS PROGRAM, for ages 9-17, players of all levels with some basic understanding of chess, a scholastic tournament, 5-7:30 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1950.

COLUMBIA POETRY WORKSHOP, for ages 12-15, practice writing and share original work, 7-8:30 p.m., Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7860.

Wednesday 7

BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENINGS, for ages 55 and older and their friends ages 18 and older, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks and Howard County General Hospital, 9:15-10:45 a.m. the first Wednesday and third Friday of each month, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

SIGNING STORY TIME, for adults and children, Kathy MacMillan of the Maryland School for the Deaf will sign stories of castles, dragons, kings and queens in the fictional land of Eyeth, 11 a.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, 410-313-7730; 2 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel, 410-880-5978. Free; preregistration required.

BALTIMORE BOOK & MUSEUM PROGRAM, for children ages 3-12 accompanied by an adult, a staff teacher will read a book to the children and then take them to a gallery or collection of artifacts in the Baltimore Museum of Industry that relates to the story read, children can also make a project to take home, 11 a.m. Wednesdays, through Aug. 25, the museum, 1415 Key Hwy., Inner Harbor South, Baltimore. Free with museum admission of $10; seniors and students, $5; ages three and younger, free. 410-727-4808 or www.thebmi.org.

ELLICOTT CITY MIDDLE AGES STORY TIME, for ages 7 and older, "Alchemy 101," learn about medieval chemical transformation, with stories and other activities, 11 a.m. Wednesday and 3 and 7 p.m. July 8, Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1955.

LAUREL BATS PUPPET SHOW, for all ages, "Who's Afraid of the Little Brown Bat?," learn about the night life of brown bats, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and July 15, Patuxent Research Refuge, National Wildlife Visitor Center, off Powder Mill Road, between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 197, Laurel. Free. 301-497-5887.

ELLICOTT CITY LIONS CLUB MEETING, discussion of group activities and fundraising events; open to anyone interested in joining the organization, sponsored by the Columbia Lions Club, 6:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month, Tiber River Tavern, 3733 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City. Free; annual membership dues, $80. 410-964-8685.

COLUMBIA PARENTING WORKSHOP, "Relationship Building," a focus on strengthening skills of parents and other caregivers and improving the parent-child relationship, sponsored by the Family Tree, an organization funded by Howard County's Local Children's Board, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, through July 28, Columbia Teen Center, the Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5800 Robert Oliver Pl.. Free; preregistration required. 410-889-2300.

COLUMBIA BOOK DISCUSSION, "The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1)," by Philip Pullman, sponsored by the Never Never Land Book Club for adults, books available for borrowing, 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7700.

COOKSVILLE BOOK DISCUSSION, for girls ages 11 and older accompanied by an adult, "Hope Was Here," a novel by Joan Bauer, sponsored by the Glenwood Branch Library's Mother-Daughter Book Group, 7-8:30 p.m., at the library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5577.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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