Thursday 1

CHILDREN'S MARKET DAY PROGRAM, for preschool through early elementary-school ages and adult companions. Stories, songs and an on-your-own visit to the Howard County Farmers Market in the East Columbia library parking lot. 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Thursdays, through Nov. 17, East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7730.

Friday 2

BRIDGE PROGRAM, an opportunity to play duplicate bridge and improve skills. Participants should bring a partner and a bag lunch; coffee, tea and treats available. Sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fridays, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-7279.

Saturday 3

BUTTERFLY WALK, beginners welcome. Participants search for butterflies in Centennial Park and identify them with a local specialist. Sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 9:30 a.m., meet at the park's west end parking lot, off Centennial Lane, Ellicott City. Free. 410-997-7439 or www.howardbirds.org.

NEW MOTHERS EXERCISE, for new and expectant mothers. "Mommies in Motion," a stroller exercise program helps participants increase energy, tone muscles and make friends while walking their babies. 9-10 a.m. Saturdays, through Sept. 24; 9-10 a.m. Tuesdays, Sept. 6-27, Franklin Square Hospital Center's Health Education Center, 9000 Franklin Square Dr., Baltimore. Free. 888-746-2852.

SATURDAY LIBRARY PROGRAM, for adults and children preschool through early elementary-school ages. Stories and songs. 3:30 p.m. Saturdays, through Nov. 19. Required admission tickets available at the Children's Desk half-hour before the program begins, East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7730.

LOU GEHRIG'S DISEASE SUPPORT GROUP, for patients and family members and friends of those with Lou Gehrig's disease. Sponsored by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, 1-3 p.m., Adventist HealthCare, Shady Grove Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 9701 Medical Center Dr., Rockville. Free. 301-978-9855 or www.ALSinfo.org.

Tuesday 6

RETIRED OFFICERS' WIVES' LUNCHEON, for retired officers, widows and widowers, and wives of active or retired military personnel of all branches. Lunch; introduction of the new post commander, Col. Kenneth O. McCreedy; and a presentation by members of the Johns Hopkins/TRICARE department on health care options for retirees; sponsored by Fort George G. Meade Officers' Wives' Club, 10 a.m., Club Meade, 6600 Mapes Rd., Fort George G. Meade. $12; registration required. 410-992-7008.

LIBRARY STORY TIMES, for ages 4-6. Children can celebrate their grandparents with stories, songs and other activities, 10:15 a.m. Tuesday; for age 2 accompanied by an adult and ages 3-6, 10:15 a.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 8; for ages 2 accompanied by an adult and ages 3-6, 10:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sept. 9, Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free; registration required. 410-880-5978.

SENIORS PORTRAIT SERIES, for beginners. In "Part I -- Portraits in Graphite and Pastels," artist and educator Camellia Blackwell teaches the techniques for creating lively, convincing portraits; materials included, 1-3 p.m. Tuesdays, through Sept. 27. "Part II -- Portraits in Oils" will be taught in October, East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. $60; registration required. 410-313-7680.

LIBRARY BOARD GAMES, for ages 11-17. Youths can play Scrabble, Life, Monopoly, Clue and others, or bring a favorite board game. 4 p.m. Tuesday and Sept. 20, Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free. 410-880-5980.

COLUMBIA LIBRARY JAZZ CLUB, for ages 11-15. Youths can learn how to play easy jazz arrangements; participants should bring an instrument (all instruments welcome). Includes a jam session with musicians from the Council of Elders; permission slips required of students from parents. 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free. 410-313-7704.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM, for adults and teenagers with English as a second or third language. An opportunity to practice English skills in a group setting. Sponsored by the English Conversation Club, 7-8 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free; registration required. 410-880-5980.

COLUMBIA "BAY-WISE" GARDENING TIPS, an opportunity to learn how to nurture the Chesapeake Bay while gardening. 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free; registration required. 410-313-7700.

Wednesday 7

BRIDGE AND PINOCHLE GAMES, a drop-in program for ages 18 and older. Participants should bring a bag lunch; coffee and tea available. Sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. Bridge group meets 9:30 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Fridays; pinochle group meets 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; snack fund donations accepted. 410-313-7279.

SAVAGE LIBRARY CHESS CLUB, for players of all ages and skill levels with a basic understanding of the game. 4 p.m. Wednesday and Sept. 21, Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free. 410-880-5980.

COLUMBIA ADULT AND CHILD CPR, sponsored by the Howard County General Hospital, 5-9 p.m., Wellness Center, Columbia Medical Center, Suite L-9, 11055 Little Patuxent Pkwy.. $32; registration required. 410-740-7601 or www.hcgh.org.

GARDEN TALK, "Using Garden Herbs," 7 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; registration required. 410-313-1950.

Thursday 8

COLUMBIA CHESS CLUB, for players of all ages and skill levels, with a basic understanding of the game. 3 p.m. Sept. 8 and 22, East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free. 410-313-7700.

DE-CLUTTER CLASS, "Seven Steps to De-Clutter Your Life," learn how to live with simplicity and order, 7 p.m., Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7860.

BIRD CLUB MEETING, beginners welcome. David Curson, director of bird conservation, Audubon, MD-DC, discusses "The Important Bird Areas Program in Maryland and D.C." Sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club. Bookstore opens, 7:30 p.m.; meeting starts, 8 p.m. Sept. 8. Other meetings, 8 p.m. the second Thursday of each month, Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 7120 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-997-5336 or www.howardbirds.org.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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