Carroll County Visitor Center, 210 E. Main St., Westminster, (800) 272-1933, www.carr.org/ tourism.
Cygnus Wine Cellars, 3130 Long Lane, Manchester, (410) 374-6395. Wineries around these parts are few and far between, so take advantage of this small family establishment that's been in business since 1995. Those early vintages are probably perfect right about now.
Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster, (410) 876-2667. The Farm Museum resurrects 19th century farm life for us spoiled brats of the new millennium. The museum complex includes a working farm with barns, craftsmen's workshops, a general store, an authentic 1852 farmhouse, and all the animals.
Carroll County Farmers Market--Christmas in July, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. July 12, Agriculture Center, 700 Agriculture Center Drive, Westminster, (410) 848-7748. Get your Christmas shopping done really early this year, but don't put the decorations up yet. That would just be weird.
Old-Fashioned Corn Roast Festival, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 2, Union Mills Homestead, 3311 Littlestown Pike, Westminster, (410) 848-2288. Tour the historic house and mill, once owned by the Shriver family, which date back to the 1700s. When you're done with that, chow down on all the chicken, applesauce, tomatoes, and roasted corn you can eat.
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Festival, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 7, Sykesville-Freedom Fire Grounds, Route 32 and Freedom Avenue, Sykesville, (410) 984-2448. This event has crafts, a flea market, games, hayrides, children's activities, and food other than those delicious red berries, but honestly, what would you rather eat?
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Cascade Lake, 3000 Snydersburg Road, Hampstead, (410) 374-9111. It's a waterpark--but in a lake, not a pool. If you get tired of all the waterslides, there's fishing, boating, hiking, and a petting zoo.
Governor's Youth Fishing Derby, 6 a.m.-noon June 7, Piney Run Park, 30 Martz Road, Sykesville, (410) 795-6474. We're still not quite sure what a fishing derby is, but it sounds like something the kiddies would like, and while they're at it, you can escape to the lovely trails of Piney Run.
Sunflower Gardens, 2390 Manchester Road, Westminster, (410) 239-3646. Pick flowers straight from the lush gardens, and tell everyone you grew them yourself. Wait, we aren't sure if picking the flowers is allowed, so if you're busted, blame it on The Sun.
Carroll County Summer Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays June 14-Sept. 6, Agriculture Center, 700 Agriculture Center Drive, Westminster, (410) 848-7748. Summer isn't quite summer without the farmers' market. Get your fresh produce and flowers for the week every Saturday morning and feel like a good person on so many different levels. They have crafts and baked goods, too.
Outdoor Flea Market and Craft Show, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Reese Volunteer Fire Department Carnival Grounds, 1745 Baltimore Blvd. (Route 140), Westminster. (410) 848-7172 ext 5. You'll kick yourself for throwing out all those old Star Wars figures when you could be making a pretty penny for them now . . . if you wanted to sell shit out of the back of your van for the rest of your life.
If there's one thing Carroll County's got a seemingly endless supply of, it's antiques. Here's a list of just some of the many places to buy them:
Alexandra's Attic, 7542 Main St., Sykesville, (410) 549-3095.
All Through the House, 7540 Main St., Sykesville, (410) 795-6577.
Frizellburg Antique Store, 1909 Old Taneytown Road, Westminster, (410) 848-0664.
Hampstead Movie House Mall, 1206 Main St., Hampstead, (410) 343-2201.
Queen's Collectibles, Inc., 1222 N. Main St., Hampstead, (410) 239-8988.
R & M Treasures's, 4724 Hanover Pike, Manchester, (410) 374-1273.
A Real Find Antiques, 3152 Baltimore Blvd., Finksburg, (410) 833-9004.
Shops of Yesterday, 102 Center St., Mount Airy, (301) 829-0334.
Somerset House, 31 E. Baltimore St., Taneytown, (410) 751-0999.
Sykesville Clocks and Collectibles, 7311 Springfield Ave., Sykesville, (410) 549-1147.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201