Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, (301) 949-8230, www.brooksidegardens.org. Amble through the azaleas, run through the roses, and jig through the Japanese-style garden at this 50-acre garden.
F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Burial Place, St. Mary's Church, Veirs Mill Road and Route 355, Rockville, (301) 762-0096. Literary buffs looking to ask the renowned author how he came up with his most famous works won't get an answer. Or will they?
Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, (301) 492-6282, www.nps.gov/glec. See the park and all its beauty through the eyes of an artist-in-residence at work. If you're looking for more action, ride the antique Dentzel merry-go-round or lend your ear to a concert or demonstration.
Hollywood Ballroom, 2126 Industrial Parkway, Silver Spring, (301) 622-5494, www.hollywoodballroom.com. The dance floor is large enough to accommodate all styles of dancing, from ballroom to whatever you think looks good in your bedroom mirror. For those of you who aren't light on your feet, stop by the full bar first to help those two left feet find their rhythm.
Kunzang Palyul Choling Temple, 18400 River Road, Poolesville, (301) 428-8116, www.tara.org/-kpcmaryland.htm. Learn how to meditate Buddha's way at the place where monks and nuns dwell. You don't need a big belly, just an open mind.
National Capital Trolley Museum, 1313 Bonifant Road, Colesville, (301) 384-6352, www.dctrolley.org. Those defunct trolley tracks can be downright annoying when you drive through D.C. streets, but their history can be interesting. 17 streetcars are available for your viewing as well as a model of the Nation's Capital streetscape of the 1930's.
Art Walk, 6-9 p.m. the second Friday of the month all summer, Bethesda, (301) 215-6660, www.bethesda.org. Sure you can walk, but you can also take the trolley to downtown Bethesda's galleries. You'll see local, national, and international creations in paint, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, photography, and mixed media. The restaurants aren't too bad either.
Hometown Holidays, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. May 29-30, Rockville Town Center, Rockville, (240) 314-5022, www.rockvillemd.gov. They had some hits way back when, and now Live and the Gin Blossoms are back to show you they can still rock. Not so convinced? Then come for the food, fireworks, and fun.
Imagination Bethesda, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 5, Woodmont and Bethesda avenues, Bethesda, (301) 215-6660, www.bethesda.org. If you're looking for a beer garden, look elsewhere. But if you want to show the little ones a good time, this is your chance. In addition to the usual costume characters, face painters, hands-on art activities, and theatre performances, this year your kid gets to be a star in the DJ and karaoke dance party. Look out, Britney!
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, 3 p.m.-midnight Aug. 13,8 a.m.-midnight Aug. 14-21, Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg, (301) 926-3100, www.mcagfair.com. Animals, ice cream, and carnival rides, oh my!
Rockville Memorial Day Parade, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 26, N. Washington Street, Rockville, (240) 314-5022, www.rockvillemd.gov. In its 60th year, this year's parade, "A Tribute to American Heroes," features the usual marching bands, drill teams, and military units. We love a parade, don't you?
Strawberry Festival, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 5, Sandy Spring Museum, 17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, (301) 774-0022, www.sandyspringmuseum.org. The fruit is fresh and the fire truck is antique at this annual festival honoring perhaps the sweetest berry. If fresh strawberries don't fill you up, there's your typical carnival fare, plus hay rides, sheep shearing, and music by a barbershop quartet.
Wings of Fancy--Live Butterfly Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. all summer, Brookside Gardens, 1500 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, (301) 962-1400, www.brooksidegardens.org. Surround yourself with Central and South American butterflies as well as local species. If you listen carefully, the garden experts will teach you the best plants to attract butterflies to your backyard.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Cabin John Regional Park, 7400 Tuckerman Lane, Rockville, (301) 299-4160. Who is Cabin John and why should we visit his park? Not sure about the who, but the why is easy. There are hiking trails, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, an ice skating ring, nature center, a miniature train, picnic areas, and lighted athletic fields.
Seneca Creek State Park, 11950 Clopper Mill Road, Gaithersburg, (301) 924-2127. This 6,300-acre park features the 16.5-mile Seneca Creek Greenway Trail along the Potomac River, a restored 19th century cabin, picnic areas, boat rentals, and a tire playground. Now go take a hike.
Audubon Naturalist Bookshop, 8940 Jones Mill Road, Chevy Chase, (301) 652-9188, www.audubonnaturalist.org/bookshop.htm. This store boasts the "largest selection of natural history books and field guides in the Washington area." For the nature lover and those who just like books with pretty pictures.
Kensington Antique Row, Kensington, (301) 946-4242, www.kensingtonantiquerow.com. More than 80 antique and specialty stores in one place, including Pen Haven, where pens must go when life gets too tough.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201