Thursday 27

LOCAL HISTORY, a manager of the Maryland Department at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore shares stories, photos and memorabilia of old Baltimore and Howard County, 2 p.m., Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City. Free; registration required. 410-313-1950.

Friday 28

HARVEST DANCE PARTY, for high school students. Must show high school ID, report card or a progress report to purchase a ticket. Sponsored by the Columbia Association Teen Center, 8:30-11:30 p.m., Oakland Mills Village Center, 5833 Robert Oliver Pl., Columbia. Free; registration required by Oct. 27. 410-992-3726.

BRIDGE PROGRAM, an opportunity to play duplicate bridge and improve skills. Bring a bag lunch; coffee and tea 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.

BREAST-FEEDING SUPPORT GROUP, for pregnant women and mothers; infants and toddlers welcome. Topic of discussion is "Need or Habit," sponsored by the La Leche League of Columbia, 10 a.m., Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia. Free. 410-461-3423.

MEDICARE DISCUSSION, "Medicare Today -- Understanding Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage 2006." Representatives of the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program of the Howard County Office on Aging will discuss choices and the recent Medicare drug coverage plan; a Social Security representative will be available to take applications. 10 a.m., Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Free. 410-313-7391.

STAGE COMBAT CLASS, "Basic Sword Fighting," taught by dialect and movement coach Jenny Male. Students learn about cuts, thrusts, parries, slashes and avoidances and rehearse with wooden dowel rods as swords. No previous experience necessary. Sponsored by Student-Alumni Arts at Howard Community College, 1-2:30 p.m., Howard Community College, Smith Theatre, 10901 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. Free. 410-772-4587 or

COLUMBIA HEALTH PROGRAM, "It's All in Your Feet" teaches about the ancient healing art of reflexology, which is used to promote relaxation, circulation and an overall sense of well-being. Sponsored by Howard County General Hospital, 7-9:30 p.m., Wellness Center, Columbia Medical Center, Suite L-9, 11055 Little Patuxent Pkwy. $30; registration required. 410-740-7601 or

Saturday 29

PENNSYLVANIA HIKE, a moderate 8.3-mile circuit hike through a hardwood forest at the Kings Gap Environmental Education Center Hikers can search for unusual mushrooms. Bring lunch and water. Sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group; carpool departure, 8 a.m., from the Park and Ride lot on Route 32, north of Interstate 70, West Friendship. Free. 410-439-4964.

HAWK WATCH, beginners welcome. Participants can watch migrating hawks from Mount Pleasant Farm and learn how to distinguish species in flight. Bring a chair, snacks and water; walking trails and a nature center available for use. Sponsored by the Howard County Bird Club, 9:30 a.m., Howard County Conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Rd., Woodstock. Free. 410-461-3361 or

HALLOWEEN PROGRAM, a drop-in activity for children and adults. Participants can make crafts for Halloween, which is Monday, 2-4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday, Glenwood Branch Library, 2350 Route 97 (Roxbury Mills Road), Cooksville. Free. 410-313-5579.

Sunday 30

BIRDING, a moderate walk through woods and fields in Rockburn Branch Park to look for migrants, including hawks, and search for owls and bats. Paths may be muddy, 8 a.m., 6200 block of Montgomery Rd., meet at parking lot, just past a restored schoolhouse on the left, Elkridge. Free. 410-461-3361 or

PATAPSCO FEMALE INSTITUTE TOUR, for adults and students in grades 4, 5 and 6, a visit to the ruins of a 19th-century school for young women, including a video introduction about the institute and a tour on walkways. The tour also includes exhibits of letters, deeds, diaries, photos and maps and a sampling of about 90,000 artifacts collected at the site; snack included. Sponsored by the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park, 2 p.m., 3691 Sarah's Lane, Ellicott City. $10; registration required. 410-465-8500.

SAVAGE PARK HIKE, a moderate seven-mile hike along the Middle and Little Patuxent Rivers on the Wincopin Trail. A few hills and rocky parts; bring lunch and water. Sponsored by the Sierra Club, Howard County Group, 9 a.m. Meet at Patuxent Valley Middle School, off Vollmerhausen Road, west of Savage Guilford Road, Savage. Free. 301-725-3306.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS PROGRAM, physician and self-published author Stacey Keen will discuss her book, "Defeating Breast Cancer: A Physician's Story of Healing, Martial Arts and Life," sponsored by Beth Shalom Congregation, 7:45 p.m., 8070 Harriet Tubman Lane, Columbia. Free. 410-531-5115.

Monday 31

ELKRIDGE HALLOWEEN PROGRAM, for ages 2 and older, "Tricks and Treats, Twist and Shout," music and sounds of Halloween. Wear a costume. 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., Elkridge Branch Library, 6540 Washington Blvd. Free; registration required. 410-313-5085.

Tuesday 1

COLUMBIA WEIGHT-LOSS SUPPORT, for school-age children and adults; a dietitian will provide individualized nutritional 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 and appointments required. 410-740-7601.

COLUMBIA LIBRARY JAZZ CLUB, for ages 11-15, a chance to learn how to play easy jazz arrangements. All instruments welcome. Bring your own instrument. 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.

GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP, for people ages 50 and younger who are grieving the death of a spouse or life partner. Sponsored by Hospice of Howard County, 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays, through Dec. 6, 5537 Twin Knolls Rd., Columbia. Free; registration required. 410-730-5072.

LOSS SUPPORT GROUP, for adults who have lost a loved one; facilitated by a social worker. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Howard County, 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, through Dec. 6, 8950 Route 108, Suite 115, Columbia. $36; registration required. 410-730-4976, Ext. 25.

Wednesday 2

ARTHRITIS EXERCISE CLASS, for those with arthritis. Participants can perform sitting or standing gentle routines intended to increase joint flexibility, range of motion and muscle strength. Participants must sign a release form before taking the class, sponsored by People With Arthritis Can Exercise and the Howard County Office on Aging, 1:15-2:15 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, through Dec. 23, Savage Senior Center, 9525 Durness Lane, Laurel. $20; registration required. 410-880-5915.

Thursday 3

BASKET BINGO, for seniors. Several games; prize baskets assembled by members of the Bain Center's council include a variety of items; coffee and desserts available for sale. Sponsored by the Bain Center Council, 3-5:30 p.m., 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Admission, free; includes one game card; additional cards, 10 cents each. 410-313-7213.

-- Compiled by LINDA JAMES

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