Conference and Visitors Bureau of Montgomery County, 11820 Parklawn Drive, suite 380, Rockville, (301) 428-9702, www.cvbmontco.com.
Montgomery County Maryland Web site, www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, (301) 949-8230, www.brooksidegardens.org. There are 50 acres worth of azalea, rose, Japanese, and fragrance gardens to stroll through. If you don't have a green thumb, go see what someone else's can do and maybe pick up a few tips to get that opposable digit a nice sage, if not an emerald green.
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Burial Place, St. Mary's Church, Veirs Mill Road and Route 355, Rockville, (301) 762-0096. Imagine a beautiful summer day. A nice warm breeze is blowing, scented ever so lightly with fragrant flowers. It's sunny, bright, and promising outside. Doesn't that make you want to go see where a famous dead author and his artist wife are buried?
Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, (301) 492-6282, www.nps.gov/glec. Come watch artists at work, see a summer concert, take part in a workshop, or ride an antique hand-carved, hand-painted Dentzel carousel at this 112 year old park.
Hollywood Ballroom, 2126 Industrial Parkway, Silver Spring, (301) 622-5494, www.hollywoodballroom.com. You can boogie oogie oogie on this really large maple dance floor. Dance instructors offer a complimentary dance lesson for those who are not so light on their toes every night for one hour before the dancing begin. Couples and singles are welcome to attend, so take a date or meet someone new and cut a rug or two.
Kunzang Palyul Choling Temple, 18400 River Road, Poolesville, (301) 428-8116, www.tara.org/kpcmaryland.htm. This beautiful Buddhist temple and grounds provide a living and learning place for nuns and monks, regular teachings and practices, and a peace park. Sounds nice.
National Capital Trolley Museum, 1313 Bonifant Road, Colesville, (301) 384-6352, www.dctrolley.org. The D.C. trolleys may have been replaced with the Metro (and those ugly orange seats) but their memory is alive and well. Take a trip back to the beginning of the 20th century with streetcars and demonstrations at the NCTM.
Strathmore Hall Arts Center, 10701 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, (301) 530-0540, www.strathmore.org. This busy arts center presents an assortment of theater, concert, dance, and art exhibitions at an easily affordable price. The center provides a place for people to take in a vast amount of culture on its sculpture-covered grounds.
Art Walk, 6-10 p.m. the second Friday of the month all summer, Bethesda, (301) 215-6660, www.bethesda.org. Walk or take a trolley ride to a number of Bethesda's art galleries, which feature paintings, sculptures, photography, pottery, jewelry, and anything else you would expect to see in an art gallery.
Hometown Holidays, 1-11 p.m. May 24-25, Rockville Town Center, Rockville, (240) 314-5022, www.ci.rockvill.md.us. Come see whatever happened to the Spin Doctors when they play their old hits at this festival. Besides live music, the weekend includes a carnival, a stunt team, arts and crafts, food, and fun for the kiddies.
Imagination Bethesda, noon-4 p.m. June 7, Woodmont and Bethesda avenues, Bethesda, (301) 215-6660, www.bethesda.org. Costume characters, face painters, theater performances, arts and crafters, and an international dance troupe will be on hand to open the eyes of those ages 12 and under to the wonderful world of art. This is a children's festival, so if you don't have any of those, can't borrow someone else's, and if you aren't a kid at heart, this event may not be for you.
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, 3 p.m.-midnight Aug. 8-16, Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg, (301) 926-3100, www.mcagfair.com. Maryland's largest county fair and, considering it's in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, the big daddy of them, with all the standard county fare--only more of it.
Rockville Memorial Day Parade, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 26, N. Washington St., Rockville, (240) 314-5022, www.ci.rockville.md.us. Drill teams, majorettes, marching bands, community floats, and all that general Memorial Day hoopla.
Silver Screen Under the Stars, dusk July 17-20, downtown Silver Spring, (301) 565-7300, www.montgomerycountymd.gov. It's an outdoor film festival so you know what that means: the choice between damp grass and hard pavement, unless you bring your own seat.
Strawberry Festival, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 7, Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, (301) 774-0022, www.sandyspringmuseum.org. Fruity festivals abound in the summertime and this is Montgomery County's take on them. Come taste the first, and therefore freshest, local berries of the season. An antique fire truck, hayrides, and food that's not in fruit form, along with rope-making and blacksmithing demonstrations are a part of the festival.
Wings of Fancy - Live Butterfly Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 1-30, Brookside Gardens, 1500 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, (301) 962-1400, www.brooksidegardens.org. In addition to the native Maryland species, this year's live butterfly show includes Central and South American species floating around in a colorful nectar-plant filled garden.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Cabin John Regional Park, 7400 Tuckerman Lane, Rockville, (301) 299-1971. The park has a year-round outdoor ice skating rink, tennis courts, hiking trails, picnicking areas, and a miniature train. An educational nature center is also on the grounds in case you think you should be learning something amidst all that other fun stuff.
Seneca Creek State Park, 11950 Clopper Mill Road, Gaithersburg, (301) 924-2127. Disc golf, historic mills, stone quarries, hiking, biking, and a 90 acre lake. Cool.
Wheaton Regional Park, 2000 Shorefield Road, Wheaton, (301) 946-7033. A "family fun park" with horseback riding, ice skating, a carousel, train rides, and more.
Audubon Naturalist Bookshop, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, (301) 652-9188, www.audubonnaturalist.org. For all you bird watching enthusiasts out there, this is the place to go to get books filled to the nest with information about every kind of feathered, winged friend.
Kensington Antique Row, Kensington, (301) 946-4242, www.kensingtonantiquerow.com. The oldest antique shopping area in Maryland. Hey, you never know when you might need to find a 100 year old barrister bookcase.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201