Prince George's County
Prince George's County Conference and Visitors Bureau, 9200 Basil Court, Suite 101, Largo, (301) 925-8300, www.goprincegeorgescounty.com.
Prince George's County Premier Area Guide, www.princegeorges.com.
American Indian Cultural Center and Piscataway Indian Museum, 16816 Country Lane, Waldorf, (301) 372-1932. Take a tour through the history of the original Marylanders: the Piscataway people. Visit a full-scale reconstructed longhouse like the kind they called home and the tools and arts that helped keep them alive despite European colonization.
Antique Chesapeake Carousel, Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Drive, Upper Marlboro, (301) 218-6700, www.pgparks.com/places/parks/watkins.html. Take a spin on the historic carousel or aboard the miniature train. You're never too big or too old to enjoy this 850-acre park and its activities.
Montpelier Mansion, 9401 Montpelier Drive, Laurel, (301) 953-1376, www.pgparks.com/places/historic/montpelier.html. An 18th century Georgian structure that hosted the likes of George Washington and Abigail Adams. Today it operates as a museum and rental facility offering tours, concerts, teas, re-enactments, festivals, exhibits, and seminars throughout the year.
NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center and Visitors Center, Explorer Road, Greenbelt, (301) 286-9041, www.gsfc.nasa.gov. Learn more about space than an episode of Star Trek ever taught you. Not only do the Goddard folks conduct model rocket launches, they offer a variety of exhibits of extraterrestrial images and lectures covering the flight center's contributions to the U.S. Space Program.
National Archives, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, (866) 272-6272, www.archives.gov. What a better way to learn history than through the original paperwork. They may look like old pieces of paper to you, but they just may include official documents about the John F. Kennedy assassination for the conspiracy theorist in you.
Radio and Television Museum, 2608 Mitchellville Road, Bowie, (301) 390-1020, www.radiohistory.org. We've come a long way, baby, and this place makes you realize how lucky we've got it. After a visit to the museum, the next time the cable goes out on your oversized flat-screen HDTV it won't seem like such a big deal, now will it?
Six Flags America, 13710 Central Ave., Mitchellville, (301) 249-1500, www.six-flags.com/parks/america. Thrill seekers don't have to go far to find excitement. This park has eight major roller coasters to choose from including the BatWing. There are over 100 rides altogether, a water park, and "Hollywood-style" shows.
Tobacco Farming Museum, 16000 Croom Airport Road, Upper Marlboro, (301) 627-6074. A little museum that takes on big tobacco from a historical perspective. Exhibits tell the story of tobacco in southern Maryland from the time of the American Indians to today. 10 bucks says the joint is non-smoking.
Battle of Bladensburg, Aug. 14-15, Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road, (301) 864-0420. If that summer camping trip is not panning out, consider watching some men in uniform do it War of 1812-style. As the re-enactors dressed as Americans and Brits prepare for battle in a recreated military encampment, they'll show you a thing or two about military life through demonstrations and drills.
BowieFest, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. June 5, Allen Pond Park, 3330 Northview Dr., Bowie, (301) 262-6200, ext. 3076, www.cityofbowie.org. A yearly event featuring a dog show, community dance groups, live acoustic music, food, crafts, rides, and activities for the children. We hear there will be a number of twirlers this year, so keep your eyes open for stray batons.
Burial Vault Re-Internment Ceremony, 11 a.m. June 18, Darnall's Chance House Museum, 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, (301) 952-8010. In 1990, nine bodies were removed from this 18th century underground brick vault and passed to the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History for analysis. Now it's time to rest them in peace, again. Funerals are, of course, depressing but this one sounds fun in a creepy yet respectful way.
Main Street Antique, Arts, and Crafts Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 5, Patuxent Place and Main Street, Laurel, (301) 725-7539. Going on its seventh year, this festival must be doing something right. Look for something old, something new, and everything crafty.
Needleart 2004, 3-7 p.m. July 16, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 17-25, Montpelier Mansion, 9401 Mont-pelier Drive, Laurel, (301) 953-1376, www.pgparks.com/places/historic/montpelier.html. The artsy-craftsy types show off their masterpieces in cross-stitch, petit-point, and ribbon work. Experts judge their favorites and you get to do some judging of your own in the "People's Choice" category.
Summer Music on the Portico, June 30, July 28, Aug. 25, Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale, (301) 864-0420. With three free concerts featuring three different styles of music, Wednesdays are picking up this summer.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Bowie Baysox, Prince George's Stadium, 4101 N.E. Crain Highway, Bowie, (301) 805-6000, www.baysox.com. They hit like the Orioles, they win and lose like the Orioles, they even dress like the Orioles. They just don't charge you as much to watch them.
National Capital Curling Center, 13810 Old Gunpowder Road, Laurel, (410) 715-1655. A rolling stone gathers no frost in the curling world. So get out of the heat and get moving to the region's only world-class facility for competitive and social curling.
Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, (301) 583-2400, www.pgsportsandlearn.com. There is no wasted space at this 80-acre site. It boasts a field house with track, plus centers for fitness, gymnastics, water sports, and surprisingly, learning. Linking them all is a "Main Street" with concession areas, exhibits, and places to watch others working out. And if that's not enough, there is also a wooded ravine behind the complex where paleontologists interpret fossils.
Rosecroft, 6336 Rosecroft Drive, Fort Washington, (301) 567-4000, www.rosecroft.com. With all the problems Maryland racing has been going through, what better way to show your support than throwing away a few dollars on the horse with the best colors. Live racing every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday night.
Peach Creek Shops, 201 Main St., Laurel, (301) 498-9071, www.peachcreekshops.com. Own a model train and want to spruce it up? Thinking of buying a model train and don't know where to start? Or just want to add to your wardrobe with a conductor's hat? Two words: Peach Creek.
Scoshie's Antiques and Collectibles, 14134 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, (301) 645-7734, www.princegeorges.com/antiques/-scoshies.htm. The place to find everything antique for your home, from glass to furniture. The best part is the variety of fully decorated rooms designed to help the creatively challenged generate ideas. Buy a few items or the whole room.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201