Baltimore County Conference and Visitors Bureau, Towson Town Center, 825 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, (410) 296-4886, www.visitbaco.com.
Maryland Mass Transit Administration, call for MTA tourist guides, (410) 539-5000, (800) 543-9809, www.mtamaryland.com.
Maryland Office of Tourism Development, (800) 634-7386, www.mdisfun.org.
Asian Arts Center, Towson University, 8000 York Road, (410) 704-2807, www.towson.edu/ tu/asianarts. Asian art both old and ancient is on display here.
Ballestone Manor House, 1935 Back River Neck Road, Essex, (410) 887-0218. Tour guides in period dress take you though this historic 1780s home.
Basignani Winery, 15722 Falls Road, Sparks, (410) 472-0703, www.basignaniwinery.com. After a tour of this winery in the Baltimore County hills comes the best part: a sampling of its wares.
Boordy Vineyards, 12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes, (410) 592-5015, www.boordy.com. More vines to look at and vino to sip.
Cromwell Valley Park, 2002 Cromwell Bridge Road, Towson, (410) 887-2503. Learn about sustainable agriculture while enjoying Cromwell Valley's natural pleasures: woods, streams, and pastures.
Fire Museum of Maryland, 1301 York Road, Lutherville, (410) 321-7500, www.firemuseummd.org, $3-$5, children ages 3 and under free. Antique fire trucks and photos of the people who operated them fill this suburban history museum.
Hampton National Historic Site, 535 Hampton Lane, Towson, (410) 823-1309, www.nps.gov/ hamp, hourly mansion tours $5, grounds free. Visit this large 18th-century Georgian mansion and its formal gardens for a taste of American life in the 1700s.
Irvine Natural Science Center, 8400 Greenspring Ave., Stevenson, (410) 484-2413, www.explorenature.org. You're never too old or too young to learn a little something about the environment, and the Irvine Natural Science Center is a good place for adults and kids to do just that. Hands-on exhibits, live animals, and hiking trails are among the attractions.
Maryland State Police Museum, Maryland State Police Headquarters, 1201 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, (410) 653-3113. What do state troopers do besides hand out speeding tickets? Find out by visiting this collection of state-police artifacts and memorabilia. But don't just drop in--an appointment is needed.
Apollo Theatre Kids' National Talent Search, June 20, Security Square Mall, Woodlawn, (886) 294-9657, www.mcdonalds.com. If your children have just gotta sing or dance or do magic or something like that, they may as well do it today at Security Square Mall--because maybe, just maybe, they'll win a chance to do the same on TV.
DayJams Rock and Roll Camp for Kids, June 24-28, July 1-5 and 8-12, Maryvale Preparatory School, 11300 Falls Road, Brooklandville, (800) 295-5956, www.dayjams.com. Live your rock 'n' roll dreams vicariously through your children as they learn how to write, perform, and record. For ages 9-15.
Maryland State Fair, Aug. 23-Sept. 2, Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road, Timonium, (410) 252-0200, www.marylandstatefair.com. Kind of like a theme park with cows and crafts instead of cartoon characters, the annual state fair includes livestock competitions, midway rides, thoroughbred racing, live entertainment, and food.
Mid-Atlantic Creative Nonfiction Summer Writer's Conference, 8 p.m. Aug. 6-11, Merrick Hall, Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, (800) 697-4646, www.goucher.edu. Susan Orleans and Mark Singer are the featured scribes at this year's installment of the annual creative-nonfiction conference.
Towson Fourth of July Parade, 10:30 a.m. July 4, Towson Courthouse, (410) 832-2190. This annual parade in the county seat of Towson is a popular Independence Day tradition.
SPORTS & RECREATION
American Cancer Society Relay for Life, June 28-29, Sparks Elementary School, 601 Belfast Road, Cockeysville, (410) 933-5252, www.northcountyrelay.org. Run, walk, or crawl around the Sparks Elementary School track during this overnight event to raise money for cancer programs. Also enjoy the entertainment and food.
Baltimore Burn, Community College of Baltimore County, Dundalk campus, 7200 Sollers Point Road, (410) 768-1383, www.baltimoreburn.com. There's no crying in football, including the National Women's Football League. The Baltimore squad plays 7:05 p.m. June 1 (vs. the D.C. Divas) and June 15 (against Asheville). Playoffs are in July.
Grant-a-Wish Youth Lacrosse Festival, June 8-9, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Catonsville, (410) 744-1032, www.grant-a-wish.org/lacrosse. This annual two-day event includes boys and girls lacrosse plus music, food, and entertainment, all to raise funds for Grant-a-Wish, a support organization for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Rocky Point Golf Course, 1935 Back River Neck Road, Essex, (410) 887-0215, www.baltimoregolfing.com. Talk about water hazards--this 18-hole, par-72 golf course sits on the edge of the Chesapeake Bay.
Clay Orbit, 10918 York Road, Cockeysville, (410) 329-1440, www.clayorbit.com. This small suburban arts-and-crafts gallery sells and displays local works. Welcoming in the summer is Flower Power, an exhibit of watercolor paintings by White Hall resident Anne Gaver (to May 25). Following that is Holding, a show of ceramic art by Baltimorean Jane G. Miller (May 31-June 29).
Oella, (410) 465-1313. Look up "gentrification" in the dictionary and you might see a picture of Oella--this once neglected, dirt-poor community on the edge of Ellicott City is now a tourist magnet with plenty of places to buy antiques and things. And when you tire of spending money, you can visit the bagpipe museum.
Weber's Cider Mill Farm, 2526 Proctor Lane, Carney, (410) 668-4488, www.webersfarm.com. At this pleasant rural enclave surrounded by suburbia you can buy apple cider, apple butter, an apple pie, and foods and crafts not made from apples.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201