African Art Museum of Maryland, 5430 Vantage Point Road, Columbia, (410) 730-7105, www.africanartmuseum.org. Besides the artworks themselves, this museum offers exhibits, videos, workshops, and performances related to African art.
Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City, (410) 313-2787. Art on the walls and arts on the stage.
Howard County Historical Society Museum and Library, 8328 Court Ave., Ellicott City, (410) 461-1050, (410) 750-0370, free. Take a walk back in time and through Howard County's history by looking at this museum and library's displays of old household items, clothes, weapons, tools, and documents.
Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park, Mount Ida Visitors Center, 3691 Sarah's Lane, Ellicott City, (410) 465-8500. Once a school for girls from wealthy families, these ruins high above the Patapsco River Valley now serve as an active archaeological site. And a really cool place to walk around.
Howard County Fair, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Aug. 3-10, Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Road, West Friendship, (410) 442-1022. You know what a county fair has, and this has it, in droves.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Centennial Park, Columbia, (410) 313-4700, free. Kind of like Central Park, only much smaller and in Columbia. The 325 acres provide plenty of space for jogging, hiking, ball playing, or just relaxing.
Patapsco Valley State Park, 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, (410) 461-5005. Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, tubing, disc golfing, picnicking, and swinging on a swinging bridge.
Waverly Woods Golf Club, 2100 Warwick Way, Marriottsville, (410) 313-9182. A "championship" golf course. So go get 'em, champ.