Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's World War II Weekend, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. June 1-2, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. June 3, Reading Regional Airport, 11 Museum Drive, Reading, Pa., (610) 372-7333, www.maam.org, $10-$20. Listen up, you maggots! This is how adults play G.I. Joes. Big fighter planes, swing bands, a ruined French Village (mock, of course), military vehicles rolling by, and everyone wearing sexy army uniforms. And just when you think you have seen all the event has to offer, hop aboard the open-cockpit fighter plane and see it all from the sky. First come, first fly.
Historic Sites Open House, 10 a.m.-2p.m. June 2 and July 7, Queen Anne's County Historic Sites Consortium, 425 Piney Narrows Road, Chester, (410) 604-2100, www.historicqac.org. First pick up a free copy of the Heritage Explorer's guide map, then make your way checking off all the beautiful old building of yesteryear. All sorts of time-honored churches, courthouses, post offices, and theaters are there waiting for their picture to be taken because, dang it, they look pretty.
Evening on the Green, 6-9 p.m. June 2, Daniel Boone Homestead, 400 Daniel Boone Road, Birdsboro, Pa., (610) 582-4900, www.danielboonehomestead.org. Hey, there would be no Kentucky if Daniel Boone never found it, you know? Next time you drink a Jim Beam and Coke, toast the D. Boone. He started at the edge of the state that wasn't yet a state and hiked that sucker for two years. There is only one portrait made from his life and we think he deserves much more. Take a tour of his homestead by candlelight and enjoy a night of activities 18th century style.
History Comes Alive, 7 p.m. July 12-14, Community College of Baltimore County, 800 S. Rolling Road, Catonsville, (410) 869-7168, www.mdhc.org, free. Chautauqua is this really unique group of actors that have perfected the costume, accent, mannerisms, and props of historical figures. They put on a short performance and afterwards take questions from the audience in character, then as themselves. Baltimore-born novelist and social activist Upton Sinclair "comes to life" July 12. The man who found 300 uses for peanuts, George Washington Carver, is "alive and well" July 13. And on July 14, labor activist and leader Cesar Chavez has got "something to say" on the subject of United Workers and labor laws.
Duryea Day, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 1, Boyertown Community Park, S Madison St., Boyertown, Pa., (610) 367-2090, www.boyertownmuseum.org, $2-$5. Now you would think the inventor of the first gasoline-powered commercial car manufactured in America would have the name Ford somewhere in it. But then you'd be thinking wrong, it was the Duryea brothers. Now get your motor running and head out to Pennsylvania, you might learn something. Shine your hot rod, throw some dice around your rear view mirror, and come down for food, fun, entertainment and gawking at some real creampuffs.
Antietam National Battlefield, Route 65, Sharpsburg, (301) 432-5124, www.nps.gov/anti, $4, family pass $6. The site of 12 hours of savage combat on Sept. 17, 1862, the bloodiest day in American history. We suggest visiting the museum first, getting all the facts, then shake it off on the grounds of an absolutely awesome park. Things to do, you ask? Boating, hiking, bicycling, and fishing. All great ways to celebrate life.
Antique Chesapeake Carousel, Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, (301) 218-6700, www.pgparks.com/places/parks/watkins.html. How come you never get dizzy on a carousel? Never ever, no matter how many times you take a spin? Regardless, this particular one has rare breeds of animals spinning around including kangaroo, goat, seahorse, and jackass.
Ballestone Manor House, 1935 Back River Neck Road, Essex, (410) 887-0218. You won't catch us taking a tour of this one; this house is haunted. That's right, no matter how alone you think you are, you are never without a ghost chilling out and watching you. Hope they're friendly. We'll never know.
Baltimore Civil War Museum/President Street Station, 601 President St., (410) 385-5188, www.mdhs.org, $4, ages 13-17, students, and seniors $3, ages 12 and under free. Dang, the North and South fought like they were a bunch of rap stars. Northsiiiide! Southsiiide! The South helped set it off when supporters attacked a regiment outside the President Street Station. Told you it sounded like gangsta rap.
Baltimore Maritime Museum, piers 3 and 5, Inner Harbor, 802 S. Caroline St., (410) 396-3453, www.baltomaritimemuseum.org, $8, seniors $6, ages 6-14 $4, kids 5 and under free. Welcome aboard four staples of the Inner Harbor that have intrigued us all: that shark-faced sub next to the aquarium, the USS Torsk; the big red boat with chesapeake painted in white across it outside of the Hard Rock Café; the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse, that squatting round red structure with baby blue shutters; and last but not least, the USCGC Taney , the red, white, and blue Coast Guard boat with banners on it over by the new Urban Outfitters (whoop!).
Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, (410) 727-4808, www.thebmi.org, $10, seniors, students, and kids $6. Things to see and stuff to do, like playing around with planes, trains, and automobiles.
Baltimore Streetcar Museum, 1901 Falls Road, (410) 547-0264, www.baltimorestreetcar.org, $6, seniors and kids $3, ages 3 and under free. If we had a streetcar we would name it Desire--how could you resist? Plus we would give you unlimited rides, just like the BSM. Their trolleys have pretty cute names too, like Dolores, who sadly didn't make it this year. R.I.P. Dolores.
Banneker-Douglass Museum, 84 Franklin St., Annapolis, www.banneker.dhcd.state.md.us. The Banneker-Douglas Museum a very important, well-trusted, and wonderful host to the state's official repository of African-American historical material, and that is some precious stuff. An expansion was completed in 2006, so if you think you've seen it all before, you haven't seen it like this. Bigger is better.
Brunswick Railroad Museum, 40 W. Potomac St., Brunswick, (301) 834-7100, www.brrm.net, $5, seniors $4, kids ages 6-12 $2.50, kids under 12 $1.25. Toot toot, toy trains coming through. Please say they have a gift shop to get one of those super cute blue and white striped railroad hats. It's worth the trip to check; if not there's always eBay.
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Mill Street, St. Michaels, (410) 745-2916, www.cbmm.org, $11, seniors $10, kids $5. You might want to pop a couple Dramamine tablets before heading off to this museum; there is so much bay history you might get seasick.
Cannonball House, 118 Front St., Lewes, Del. (302) 645-7670, www.historiclewes.org. The house still bears visible traces of the two-year engagement known as the War of 1812. The owners Gilbert and Henry McCracken were among the many bay and river pilots who served in the Delaware militia companies that played an important role in the successful defense of Lewes during the war. So they probably have a good story or 30.
Colonial Williamsburg, between Norfolk and Richmond, Williamsburg, Va., (800) 447-8679, www.history.org, pass prices vary, as do prices for tours. Meet the people, see the places, and experience the life of 18th century Colonial Williamsburg. Here's a little snippet of a letter young Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1763 about his night at the still standing Raleigh Tavern: "Last night as merry as agreeable company and dancing with Belind in the Apollo could make me, I never could have thought the succeeding Sun would have seen me so wretched as I now am." Hell yeah, good times.
Cove Point Lighthouse, Calvert Marine Museum, 14150 Solomons Island Road, Solomons, (410) 326-2042, www.calvertmarinemuseum.com, free. It's kinda like a treasure hunt to visit this lighthouse. First you have to go to the Calvert Marine Museum to obtain directions and confirm visitation times at the museum's admission desk. If you receive clearance and they give you a map, you are then on your way to the oldest working lighthouse in Maryland. City Paper sizzlin' hot tip: call (410) 326-2042, ext.41, to have a slumber party at the lighthouse. Anyone know a good ghost story?
Delaware Archaeology Museum, 316 S. Governor's Highway, Dover, Del., (302) 739-4266, www.destatemuseums.org/default.shtml, free. Highlights from more than 11,000 years of human habitation, such as arrowheads, ceramics, bone tools, personal objects, and much more from the original Native American residents. It's like snooping, but go ahead, you can look, it's all right.
Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, 31 S. Greene St., (410) 706-0600, www.dentalmuseum.org, $4.50, seniors, students, and ages 7-18 $2.50, kids under 6 and members free. If you take a gander at old-time dental tools, maybe a modern-day visit to the dentist's office won't seem so bad. Throw a quarter in the "tooth jukebox" and dance to an old product jingle, just because you don't have to sit in one of those reclining chairs and open your mouth. Floss when you get home, for good measure--you know you told the dentist you did.
Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center, 847 N. Howard St., (410) 225-3130, www.eubieblake.org. Who is this Eubie Blake fellow anyway, you say? Balimorean James Hebery Blake was born in 1887, started musical training at the age of four or five, and was kicking Broadway's butt by his early thirties. With long time collaborator Noble Sissle, Blake wrote the first Broadway musical written and directed by African-Americans. And that is why he gets a museum.
Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St., (410) 516-0341, www.jhu.edu/historichouses, $6, seniors $5, students and children $3. It's a beautiful day when you ease out of the line of traffic on Charles Street and relax at the Evergreen House. It's an even better evening if there's a Shakespearean play scheduled for that night.
Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster, (410) 876-2667, ccgovernment.carr.org/ccg/farmmus, $5, seniors and ages under 18 $3, kids 6 and under free. Opening up on Aug. 13, 1966, the Farm Museum was the first of its kind in Maryland. As well as being educational, these farmhands pride themselves on their hoe-downs: the Fiddler's Convention on June 10 sounds like a jolly good time. Oh boy, it looks like somebody's birthday is coming up and that somebody's an old fart.
Fire Museum of Maryland, 1301 York Road, Lutherville, (410) 321-7500, www.firemuseummd.org, $6, seniors and firefighters $5, ages 2-12 $4. Maryland took some flames in 1904, huh? God bless firemen, it's a hot job and somebody's got to do it. But note this is a Fire Museum, so get prepared for a high pressure visit. Thankfully today's men in yellow don't have to use a "horse-drawn apparatus" to put the pesky blaze out.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Fort Avenue and Wallace Street, (410) 962-4290, www.nps.gov/fomc. "O say can you see, by the dawn's early light" sound familiar? This fort is the inspiration for that little ditty. And hopefully by the end of your visit you will know all those lyrics in the middle of the song that always seem to slip from the old memory.
Friend Family Association's National Museum, 261 Maple St., Friendsville, (301) 746-4690, www.friendfamilyassociation.org. This volunteer staff seems so friendly, you almost want to do a genealogical search to see if you're related. And you can do that here. Or you could bring back the friendship necklace trend and get somebody a gift in the unique gift shop. It has neato Friend patches or stickers and a #1 friend coffee mug that anyone would be proud to sip from. City Paper sizzlin' hot tip: another web site worth jumping on to shop for said gifts or ancestors.
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Burial Place, St. Mary's Church, Veirs Mill Road and Route 355, Rockville, (301) 762-0096. The one-time residents of Maryland are back for good. So beautiful, yet so damned.
Furnace Town Living Heritage Museum, Old Furnace Road, Snow Hill, (410) 632-2032, www.furnacetown.com, $4, kids $2. All that remains of the original settlement is--you guessed it--a furnace. The townspeople make an effort to bring to life the daily life activities of the 19th century: Artisans recreate various crafts and woodworker's refuse to make their life "easier" with a power drill or electric, well, anything. Stop in and give them some well deserved cred.
Gettysburg National Military Park, 97 Taneytown Road, Gettysburg, Pa., (717) 334-1124, www.nps.gov/gett, free. Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy," the Battle of Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War. When you view the Battling Boredom artifacts--pipes, pinups, flattened bullet poker chips--try not thinking these guys were having a great time. Anytime they won the poker pot they were sending the money back home to their families.
Hammond-Harwood House, 19 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, (410) 263-4683, www.hammondharwoodhouse.org, $6, students $5.50, kids $3. This summer is a special one at HHH: visitors have the opportunity to take a Secret Garden Tour. What's that? It's a secret . . . that we're going to tell. There are 15 privately-owned gardens that range from a quiet patio retreat to a flower-filled alley and very distinctive mini gardens to enjoy. Plus, the lucky owners of these treasures will be on stand-by for questions and informative insight.
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Harpers Ferry, W. Va., (304) 535-6029, www.nps.gov/hafe. On March 13 of this year, Harpers Ferry National Park was added to the list of America's Most Endangered Battlefields, so now is the time to visit the rolling Blue Mountains and rushing waters of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers that make up this park. The first step in the fight is seeing what it is we want to save, then ask someone in the visitor center what you can do to help. If we do nothing, you can expect to lose a beautiful national forest and "gain" another freaking Wal-Mart.
Hays House Museum, 324 Kenmore Ave., Bel Air, (410) 838-7691, www.harfordhistory.net, $3, kids $2. This museum appears to be just some old house along the lane until you look closely and see a couple of women dressed in colonial blouses and bonnets sitting on the porch sewing and chatting. With reenactments, tours, and socials, Hays House strives to pique an interest in and for saving Harford County's rich history. The house is also available to rent for your social or special event.
Historic Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., Savage, (800) 788-6455, www.savagemill.com. Once again old meets new with this 19th-century textile mill back in business, churning out sales and snacks galore. Savage Mill has it all, without chain stores. A must-see destination: the Queen's Ink, where artists from all over stop in and share their talents. An art asylum, if you will, at the Mill.
Historical Society of Talbot County, 25 S. Washington St., Easton, (410) 822-0773, www.hstc.org. There are lots of societies for preserving our rich history and artifacts from the colonial days. This is one of them, but in edition to all that good stuff, there is something unique about this site. Taking a swing at history, the Talbot County Historical Society stages baseball games as they were played in 1860. To enjoy these games you should be aware of a couple rules: players are called ballists, an error is called a muff, and if you're prone to errors, you are a muffin. They have admittedly considered their games muffin matches, just to let you know how fun these games are going to be.
Landis Valley Museum, 2451 Kissel Hill Road, Lancaster, Pa., (717) 569-0401, www.landisvalleymuseum.org. $9, seniors $7, ages 6-17 $6, kids under 6 free. In this big yeller barn, the present meets the past and tells a simple story with a common theme: The historical identity of the 18th- and 19th-century German population in Pennsylvania. This summer take advantage of day camp opportunities for children and the Heirloom Seed Project for adults. Visit the big yeller barn for details.
Leakin Park, 1900 Eagle Drive, www.olmstedmaryland.com, free. Most people would assume it's all a part of Gywnns Falls Park, but it's high time we give the late John Wilson Leakin his due and call this 1,000 acres by it's real name, Leakin Park. (Bad band puns omitted.) In 1926 this park was named "one of the very best bits of scenery near Baltimore." Okay that's a stretch, but in 2004 City Paper awarded it Best Park. The upper level is equipped for all kinds of sports action and the lower is pretty untouched. See if you can find remnants of the 18th century plantation--they're there.
Liriodendron Mansion, 502 West Gordon St., Bel Air, (410) 838-3942, www.liriodendron.com. This old summer house looks like the perfect setting for a grand wedding. A huge white mansion with little pink blossoms hugging all sides, lush green foliage making it's way to the roof. Wisteria vines form a natural canopy over the porch and four urns in the foreground scattered throughout the side yard. Ah, summer lovin' is in the air at Liriodendron. Hopkins hospital founder Dr. Howard Kelly was a lucky man to have once lived here. Wonder if he's married? Kidding.
Mount Vernon, near Alexandria, Va., (703) 780-2000, www.mountvernon.org, $13, seniors $12, ages 6-11 $6, kids under 5 free. You know darn well that George Washington would not have resided in downtown's Mount Vernon. This is a much different Mount Vernon than where we roll--this one is where you can visit his tomb and shop for Virginia-made arts and crafts.
National Air and Space Museum, Sixth Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, (202) 357-2700, www.nasm.si.edu, free. Remember when you were a kid and wanted to be an astronaut when you grew up? Or when you got older and the movie Armageddon broke your heart? Well, a visit to this museum is probably the closest you can get to those dreams, sorry. Don't cry--this is the world's largest collection of historic air and spacecraft.
National Archives, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, (866) 272-6272, www.archives.gov. Watch your back as you pore over the Nixon presidential materials and JFK assassination records.
Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, 3900 Harewood Road NE, Washington, (202) 635-5400, www.jp2cc.org, suggested donation $5, students and seniors $4. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide through this incredible architecturally forward building whose wing-shaped design seems to float above its own shadow in the shining black marble below. You'll be moved no matter what voice you answer to.
Sotterley Plantation, Route 245, Hollywood, (800) 681-0850, www.sotterley.com, $7, seniors $6, ages 5-12 $5, kids under 5 free. It's opening season for mansion tours of the only remaining Tidewater plantation in Maryland.
St. Mary's Square Museum, 409 St. Mary's Square, St. Michaels, (410) 745-9561, donations appreciated. Who's calling St. Mary a square? St. Mary Magdalene had seven devils cast out of her (Mark 16:9) so you know, she wasn't always a square. She cleaned up her act and got to accompany Christ (Luke 8;2-3), stood at the foot of the cross (Mark 15:40), and was the first recorded witness of the Resurrection (Matthew 27:56). God love her, literally. So go to her museum and see the bell that once rang three times a day, the third meant quitting time--we need to bring those back.
Sultana, 105 S. Cross St., Chestertown, (410) 778-5954, www.schoonersultana.com. Hop aboard and help raise the sails or steer the seven-foot long tiller of a traditional (reproduction) 1768 schooner. City Paper sizzlin' hot tip: starboard refers to the right side of the vessel and port is the left side. This is when you are facing bow, the front of the ship, and stern is the rear.
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, Washington, (202) 488-0400, www.ushmm.com, free. Holocaust is a Greek word meaning "sacrifice by fire." Even looking at the museum's web site is extremely moving; this museum provides a powerful documentation of the crimes of the Nazi era. Looking at photographs, survivor memoirs, a child's teddy bear, and video recordings of this tragedy is chilling. In particular, the story of Lola Rein and her dress: Lola spent seven months hiding in a hole in the ground, wearing only this dress sewn by her mother. She considers her dress a silent witness to her experience. The museum is filled with witnesses that long for you to listen to their story.
U.S. Naval Academy, Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center, 52 King George St., Annapolis, (410) 263-6933, www.navyonline.com, $7.50, seniors $6.50, students $5.50. This summer send your kids off to boot camp the "Navy Way" where youngsters can experience what it's like to be a swabbie, eat in a mess hall, learn how to march, and best of all, learn how to follow orders. This could be very beneficial around chore time. While they're busy chanting and marching, you can take a lesson in swabbie life, too, with a guided tour of the Naval Academy.
USS Constellation, 301 E. Pratt St., (410) 539-1797, www.constellation.org, $8.75, seniors and active military $7.50, ages 6-14 $4.75, kids 5 and under free. Hide out from the mayhem that is Inner Harbor in the summertime in the only Civil War vessel still afloat, the best place to do it. After you tour the museum, you can pretend to shoot tourists with cannons.
Valley Forge National Historical Park, Highway 23 and N Gulph Road, Valley Forge, Pa., (610) 783-1077, www.valleyforge.org. Over 3,500 acres of picturesque, rolling hillsides make up this peaceful reminder of freedom won by the sacrifices of men and women long ago. This park is scattered with statues, monuments, reconstructed log huts, and Washington's original stone headquarters to remind visitors of our national heritage.
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, (202) 456-7041, www.whitehouse.gov. Don't give up your chance to see the White House when it's right there for the taking. See all the rooms with super creative names: Red Room, Blue Room, Green Room, East Room, the Oval Office. If you run into Bush would you mind asking him what the heck is he doing to our country?
Wye Grist Mill and Museum, 14296 Old Wye Mills Road, Wye Mills, (410) 827-6909. This mill has taken the beating of 300 years and keeps turning. Find out the secret to this fountain of youth the first and third Sunday of every month.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201