Thursday 6

BREAST-FEEDING SUPPORT GROUP, for pregnant women and mothers; infants and toddlers welcome. Discussion topic: "Trick or Treat." Sponsored by the La Leche League of Columbia AM, 10 a.m., Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-461-3423.

CHILDREN'S READING SERIES, for ages 3-4. "Growing Toward Reading" offers activities to foster beginning literacy. 10:30 a.m. today, Oct. 20, and Nov. 3 and 17. Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7880.

HEALTH TALK, "Voiding Dysfunction." Urologists will discuss issues affecting men and women. Sponsored by Howard County General Hospital, 7-8:30 p.m., Wellness Center, Columbia Medical Center, Suite L-9, 11055 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-740-7601 or www.hcgh.org.

CHILDREN'S LIBRARY PROGRAM, for ages 2-5; age 2 accompanied by an adult. "Picture Book Parade," tales and tunes. 7 p.m. today; 10:15 a.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 13, and 10:15 a.m. Oct. 20. Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free. 410-880-5978.

Friday 7

ELKRIDGE LIBRARY STORY TIME, for adults and children ages 2-5. Songs and games. 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Fridays, through Nov. 18, Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd. Free; registration required. 410-313-5085.

Saturday 8

VIRGINIA HIKE, a strenuous nine-mile hike on Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park. Some rock scrambling involved; bring lunch and water. Sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group, 7 a.m., carpool departure from Route 32 and Broken Land Parkway, west side of the Park and Ride lot, Columbia. Free. 301-725-3306.

BASEBALL WRITER, author Bob Luke discusses his book "Dean of Umpires: A Biography of Bill McGowan, 1896-1954," 9 a.m., Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4300 Montgomery Ave. (Longate Shopping Center), Ellicott City. Free. 410-203-9001.

SUICIDE SURVIVORS SUPPORT GROUP, for those recovering from the suicide of an acquaintance or a relative. An opportunity to discuss experiences and receive support. Sponsored by Hospice of Howard County, 10:30 a.m.-noon Saturdays, through Nov. 12, 5537 Twin Knolls Rd., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-730-5072.

SCARECROW-MAKING, and hayrides. Participants should bring old clothes and two pairs of pantyhose to create a scarecrow and Halloween costumes to swap with others. Hot dogs and potato chips for sale. Sponsored by the Kings Contrivance Community Association, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Amherst House, Kings Contrivance Village Center, 7251 Eden Brook Dr., Columbia. Free. 410-381-9600.

COLUMBIA LATIN-AMERICAN STORY TIME, for ages 6-9, hear and discuss Latin American stories, and more, 2:30 p.m., Howard County Central Library, 10375 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-313-7880.

WOODSTOCK BIRD WALK, for beginners and experienced birders. Participants search for fall migrating birds on a walk through the fields of the Howard County Conservancy. Sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 8 a.m., the conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Rd., Woodstock; meet at the entrance on Route 99. Free. 410-461-3361 or www.howardbirds.org.

Monday 10

HOME-SCHOOLING GROUP, discussion of reading and vision with ophthalmologist Robert Kotlicky. Sponsored by the Columbia Homeschool Community, 7-8:30 p.m., Bryant Woods Neighborhood Center, 10449 Green Mountain Cir., Columbia. Free. 410-740-6688 or www.columbiahomeschool.org.

Tuesday 11

WEIGHT LOSS SUPPORT GROUP, for school-age children and adults. A dietitian will provide individualized nutrition counseling. Sponsored by Howard County General Hospital, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wellness Center, Columbia Medical Center, Suite L-9, 11055 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. $25; registration required. 410-740-7601.

SCRABBLE GAMES, for ages 18 and older. Coffee and game boards provided, but participants can bring boards, too. Sponsored by the Wilde Lake Community Association, 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, Slayton House, Wilde Lake Village Green, 10451 Twin Rivers Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-730-3987.

SENIORS APPLE HARVEST PARTY, for ages 55 and older. Party-goers can sample apple treats and listen to oldies. Sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia; 10:30-11:30 a.m. Nov. 3, Owen Brown Senior Center, 7080 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. $3; registration required. 410-313-7279.

SENIORS FUSED-GLASS JEWELRY CLASS, for ages 55 and older. Students will create four pieces using precut colored glass for pendants, pins and earrings. a kiln is used to fused the glass together. Materials included; limited supply of dichroic glass is available. Sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesday and Nov. 29, Kiwanis-Wallas Recreation Center, 10481 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City; 10-11:30 a.m. Oct. 25, Pfeiffer Corner School House, 6109 Rockburn Branch Park Rd., Elkridge; 10-11:30 a.m. Nov. 22, East Columbia 50-Plus Center, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia. $40; registration required. 410-313-7279.

Wednesday 12

BRIDGE AND PINOCHLE, a drop-in program for ages 18 and older. Bring a bag lunch; coffee and tea available. Sponsored by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks; bridge group, 9:30 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Fridays; pinochle group, 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.

KNITTING GROUP, a drop in program. Participants knit and crochet afghans, blankets and baby clothes 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.

WORLD WAR II MEMOIR DISCUSSION, "Defending Baltimore Against Enemy Attack: A Boyhood Year During World War II," by TV newsman Charles Osgood. Sponsored by the Seniors Book Club, 1 p.m., Ellicott City Senior Center (behind Miller Branch Library), 9401 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-1950.

BOOK DISCUSSION, for ages 11 and older. "Ruby Electric: A Novel," by Theresa Nelson, sponsored by the Mother/Daughter Book Club, 7 p.m., Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free. 410-313-5577.

MYSTERY BOOK DISCUSSION, "The Talisman," by Stephen King and Peter Straub. Sponsored by the Mystery Book Club, 7 p.m., Savage Branch Library, Gorman and Knights Bridge roads, Laurel. Free. 410-880-5980.

BOOK DISCUSSION, "A Thread of Grace: A Novel," by Mary Doria Russell. Sponsored by the Good Reads Book Club, 7 p.m., East Columbia Branch Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Free. 410-313-7700.

GENEALOGY DISCUSSION, "Discovering Your Polish and Eastern European Roots," led by Dottie Aleshire. Sponsored by the Howard County Genealogical Society, 7:30 p.m., Ellicott City Senior Center (behind the Miller Branch Library), 9401 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free. 410-465-8456.

Thursday 13

GARDEN CLUB MEETING, "Mad Hatter's Welcome Tea Party" to celebrate the club's 35th anniversary and a demonstration of dressing a table with edible flowers. Sponsored by the Longfellow Garden Club, 7 p.m., Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-992-7123.

BIRD CLUB MEETING, author and photographer Middleton Evans discusses "Birding in Patterson Park, Baltimore." Sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club; bookstore opens, 7:30 p.m.; meeting starts, 8 p.m., club bookstore, Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, 7120 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-997-5366 or www.howardbirds.org.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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