Thursday 22

CHILDREN'S STORY TIME, for ages 6 and older, stories about the Middle Ages, 2 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 410-880-5978.

ELLICOTT CITY CHILD CARE WORKSHOP, for parents and caregivers, "When to Call the Doctor," learn how to identify signs and symptoms of illness that may require medical attention and how to prepare a child for a doctor or hospital visit, led by the Howard County Health Department, sponsored by the Howard County Child Care Resource Center, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 3300 North Ridge Rd., Suite 380, Ellicott City. $10; preregistration required. 410-313-1940.

Friday 23

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

COLUMBIA BASEBALL STORY TIME, for ages 5-8, learn about the history of baseball and more, plus a ballpark snack, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7730.

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., Columbia. Admission, $6; members, free; roller skate rental, $2.50; in-line skate rental, $5. 410-381-3619.

LAUREL NIGHT HIKE, for all ages, listen for the sounds of owls, bugs, bats, frogs and more, 8-9:30 p.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, North Tract, Route 198 between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 301-497-5887.

Saturday 24

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

LAUREL BIRD WALK, a guided hike in search of birds in refuge habitats, field guides and binoculars recommended, 8-10 a.m., Patuxent Research Refuge, North Tract, Route 198 between Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32, Laurel. Free; preregistration required. 301-497-5887.

STEVENSON OVERNIGHT CAMPOUT, for children 5 and older accompanied by an adult, stories, games, nature encounters and a campfire; help set up camp and help start the fire, search for nocturnal creatures on a night hike and more, plus campfire snacks and a bagel breakfast, 7 p.m. Saturday-9 a.m. Sunday, Irvine Nature Center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson. Adults with children, $10; preregistration required. 410-484-2413.

ELLICOTT CITY BIRDING, for beginners, a walk on paved paths around ponds in search of dragonflies, learn how to identify different types, sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 9:30 a.m., meet at sign for Font Hill Park, 3520 Font Hill Dr., Ellicott City. Free. 410-461-3361.

AQUARIUM LIZARDS PROGRAM, for children ages 2-3 accompanied by an adult, "Lounging Lizards," a live lizard, stories and activities, children should have previous classroom, preschool or day-care experience, participants will form a team consisting of one adult and one child, 9-10 a.m., National Aquarium in Baltimore, Pier 3, 501 E. Pratt St., Baltimore. Team fee, $20 for aquarium members, $35 for nonmembers; preregistration required. 410-727-3474.

YOUTH SOCIALIZATION PROGRAM, for ages 9-14, "Social Expressions for Young People," an interactive class to learn about social skills, proper etiquette, personal development, leadership qualities, communication skills, telephone and e-mail etiquette, and more; bring a bag lunch, sponsored by the Columbia Association Teen Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Barn, Oakland Mills Village Center, 5800 Robert Oliver Pl., Columbia. $48; Columbia residents, $40; preregistration required. 410-992-3726.

STARGAZING PARTY, for all ages, telescope viewing of planets, galaxies, nebulae, the moon and other satellites, weather permitting, sponsored by the Howard Astronomical League, 8-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, Sept. 25 and Oct. 16, Alpha Ridge Community Park, Route 99, west of Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville. Free. 410-531-3899 or www.howardastro.org.

Monday 26

COLUMBIA SENIORS TEA TIME, teas from around the world provided by Ellen De Caro, plus lunch, hats and gloves optional, sponsored by the East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 11 a.m., 6600 Cradlerock Way. $3; preregistration required. 410-313-7680.

ELLICOTT CITY MIDDLE AGES STORY TIME, for ages 7 and older, "Surely You Jest?," learn about courtly tales and amusements of the Middle Ages through stories and other activities, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. July 29, Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-1955.

SENIORS SOUL LINE DANCE CLASS, 7 p.m. Mondays, East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. $3; four classes, $10; preregistration required. 410-313-7680.

ELLICOTT CITY LANGUAGE PROGRAM, for those with English as a second or third language, practice English skills in a group setting, presented by the English Conversation Club, 7:45-8:45 p.m. Mondays, Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free, preregistration required. 410-313-1950.

Tuesday 27

ELLICOTT CITY FITNESS PROGRAM, for ages 13 and older, a Shotokan karate demonstration class, participants are required to complete a waiver form on-site, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, in recognition of July as Recreation and Parks Month, 7 p.m., Centennial Park, 1000 Route 108, Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1694.

COLUMBIA BOOK DISCUSSION, for ages 9-11, "No More Dead Dogs," by Gordon Korman, snacks will be provided, sponsored by the We're Bookin' book group, 7 p.m., Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7860.

ELKRIDGE TIE-DYE CLASS, for ages 11 and older, learn how to make a tie-dye creation, bring one to four pre-washed 100-percent cotton items such as a T-shirt, pillowcase, or socks, 7-8:30 p.m., Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-5077.

Wednesday 28

BRIDGE AND PINOCHLE GAMES, a drop-in program, play bridge and pinochle or bring a favorite table game; bring a bag lunch, coffee and tea available, sponsored by Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays; 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

ELLICOTT CITY KNITTING GROUP, a drop-in program, group will knit and crochet afghans, blankets, baby clothes and more for local charities, hospitals and senior centers, sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

ELKRIDGE CHESS CLUB, for players ages 9-17 of all abilities with some knowledge of basic chess, 7-8:30 p.m., Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd.. Free. 410-313-5077.

CATONSVILLE MOTHERS SUPPORT GROUP, for working and at-home mothers, discussion of personal needs and interests of women during their active parenting years, and acknowledgment of the work of mothers, sponsored by Mothers and More, Southwest Baltimore Chapter, 7 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, Immanuel United Church of Christ, 1905 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville. Admission, free. 410-455-0498.

MEN'S DIVORCE SUPPORT GROUP, for men who are contemplating or experiencing a separation or divorce, led by a therapist, sponsored by the National Family Resiliency Center Inc., 7-8:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, 10632 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Suite 121, Columbia. Sliding fee scale, $10-$50; preregistration required. 410-740-9553.

MENTAL ILLNESS SUPPORT GROUP, for friends and family members of those with a mental illness, sponsored by National Alliance for the Mentally Ill-Howard County, 7:30 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month, Harmony Hall Retirement Community, 6336 Cedar Lane, Columbia. Free. 410-772-9300.

Thursday 29

COLUMBIA YOUTH LEADERSHIP TRAINING, for ages 11-16, learn about leadership skills through listening, speaking and dealing with other, earn a certificate for course completion, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; preregistration required. 410-313-7704.

COLUMBIA AFTERNOON TEA, teas, scones, sandwiches, dessert and more, 4:30-6 p.m. the last Thursday of each month, Historic Oakland, 5430 Vantage Point Rd., Columbia. $18.90; preregistration required. 410-730-4801 or www.historic-oakland.com.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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