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Anne Arundel County and Howard County

Ft Meade Living in Anne Arundel County and Howard County

Whether you want relaxation, action and adventure or a bit of both, there are almost limitless activities for you in Anne Arundel and Howard counties. Take an afternoon hike, discover the area’s history, pick your own produce, play a round of golf or simply shop. There’s something for everyone to see, do and enjoy, in and around the area.


Residents of Anne Arundel and Howard counties have a variety of annual events, festivals and community gatherings at their fingertips.

Anne Arundel County Fair

September’s Anne Arundel County Fair, which celebrates its 65th anniversary in 2017, is packed with all the traditional fair fun and food. From tractor pulls to pig races to 4-H exhibits and a carnival midway, the fair is a treat for the whole family.

First Sunday Arts Festival Annapolis

The Arts Festival in historic downtown Annapolis, an art market, street fair and entertainment all at once, is held on the first Sunday of every month from May to November. More than 100 regional stalls are joined by live music, dance and street performers, food vendors and cafe dining. The free festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For chocoholics, the related Annapolis Chocolate Binge Festival is scheduled for the first Sunday in December.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

The Maryland Renaissance Festival in Anne Arundel County in Crownsville, just outside Annapolis, is open weekends (Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday), from the end of August until the end of October. The annual festival features sights and sounds hard or impossible to find anywhere else. Indulge in a giant turkey leg or a meat pie on a stick, with a side dish of people-watching.

Maryland Seafood Festival

The Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis takes place the second weekend in September. There’s more to do besides eat, although there’s plenty of that too. Live entertainment is provided for the whole weekend along with special events like the crab soup cook-off, import and craft beer tastings, and wine row. The popular festival marks its 50th birthday in 2017.

Maryland State Fair

The Maryland State Fair’s 12-day run bridges August and September at the state fairgrounds in Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland. The fair draws nearly half a million people annually with its horse racing, livestock shows and concerts, carnival rides, games, attractions and traditional fair food.

Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival

The Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship brighten the skies and illuminate the night as host and centerpiece venue of the long-running Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival. This three-day festival is one of a week-long series of special events honoring Baltimore’s Preakness Stakes, the second jewel in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. Spectators can marvel at flights of hot air balloons and enjoy the specialty crafts, entertainment and good food during this fun, family-friendly event.

Symphony of Lights Festival

Symphony of Lights, which includes a laser light show and the Dazzle Dash, displays more than 70 larger-than-life, animated and stationary light creations from late November to New Year’s Day. This long-standing “must-see” holiday tradition in Columbia benefits Howard County General Hospital.


Ft Meade Living Arts

Anne Arundel and Howard county residents have a wealth of artistic endeavors at their disposal, from theaters to music to dance and more.

Catonsville Dinner Theatre

5130 Greenwich Ave.
Baltimore, MD

The Catonsville Dinner Theatre stages musicals, Broadway shows and children’s theater alongside fresh and delicious meals. There are regular workshops and open auditions for theater hopefuls to try out their acting skills.

Chesapeake Arts Center

194 Hammons Lane
Brooklyn Park, MD 21225

This 58,000-square-foot arts facility houses 752-seat and 120-seat theaters, gallery space, dance studios, a ceramics lab and classrooms. It offers classes and workshops ranging from art to dance to music. The center also hosts performances throughout the year; season tickets are available through the website.

The Columbia Orchestra

Howard County Center for the Arts
8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

In its fourth decade, the orchestra features the annual Young Artist Competition, biannual American Composer Competition and a free chamber music series, as well as performing new and classical masterworks and jazz.

Howard County Center for the Arts

8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

The former elementary school contains two professional galleries, an intimate black box theater, three classrooms, meeting and office spaces, a dance studio and individual artists’ studios. The center also offers classes in the visual and performing arts for children and a variety of dance and theater performances. Professional artists also lead camps for children in thesummer.

Potomac River Jazz Club

The jazz club, affiliated with more than 30 area jazz bands, sponsors concerts and works to preserve, encourage and promote the playing and appreciation of traditional jazz. It has more than 700 members across the U.S. and Canada, but most are in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C.,area.


Ft Meade Living Museums

Learn about Maryland’s history and cultural contributions by visiting any one of the many local museums and historicsites.

Annapolis Maritime Museum

723 Second St.
Annapolis, MD 21403

Dedicated to the maritime heritage of Annapolis, this museum houses the last remaining oyster packing plant in the area and features their “Oysters on the Half Shell” exhibit. It provides access to the Chesapeake Bay with Cap’n Herbie Sadler Waterman’s Park, a picnic deck with fishing piers, and a small beach for boat launching and canoeing. There are both permanent and rotating exhibits to enjoy as well as one-of-a-kind events like March’s annual Annapolis Oyster Roast and Sock Burning, a celebration of the spring equinox and the arrival of boatingseason.

Benson-Hammond House

7101 Aviation Blvd.
Linthicum, MD 21090

This 19th century farmhouse on the National Register of Historic Places contains period rooms, a museum and a museum gift shop, and is open to visitors March through December from11 a.m.to3 p.m.Saturday and noon to3 p.m.Sunday, with free admission for members of the Anne Arundel County Historical Society.

B&O Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station

2711 Maryland Ave.
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Completed by the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad in 1831, the Ellicott City station is the country’s oldest surviving railroad station and the terminus of the first 13 miles of commercial track ever laid, from Baltimore to what was then called EllicottMills.

Ellicott City Firehouse Museum

3829 Church Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

At the intersection of Main Street and Church Road, the county’s first firehouse, built by volunteers in 1889, houses fire apparatus, model toys and a visual history of Howard County’s Volunteer Fire Department. It’s open April through December from 1 to4 p.m.Saturday andSunday.

Galesville Heritage Museum

988 Main St.
Galesville, MD 20765

Spanning more than 350 years of history, the Galesville Heritage Museum showcases local agriculture and maritime history. The museum, originally the home of schoolteacher Carrie Sanks Weedon, was built in the 1880s. It contains many artifacts and memorabilia, and shows videotaped interviews with local residents.

Hammond-Harwood House

19 Maryland Ave.
Annapolis, MD 21401

Step back into colonial times with a visit to the Hammond-Harwood House. Along with its fine displays of colonial furniture and crafts, it is also home to one of the largest collections of portraits by Charles Willson Peale. It is open from April through December from noon to5 p.m.Tuesday through Sunday with seasonal events and group tours available.

Heritage Orientation Center

8334 Main St.
Ellicott City, MD 21041

The small stone Heritage Orientation Center, the county’s first courthouse, is now home to an unusual collection of exhibits on 18th- and 19th-century milling techniques, the Ellicott family, and the fires and floods of Ellicott Mills. Take a self-guided walking tour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Historic London Town and Gardens

839 Londontown Road
Edgewater, MD 21037

This historic 23-acre landmark on the South River, near Annapolis, features reconstructed colonial buildings, the William Brown House, and ongoing archaeological investigations of the “lost” colonial town. There are gardens, a visitor’s center and pavilion, with school and group tours available, as well as bookings for weddings or family events.

Howard County Historical Society Museum & Library

8328 Court Ave.
Ellicott City, MD 21043

The society offers exhibits, research and educational programs on the history of Howard County and Maryland. The Concert Series at the museum has 12 musical events scheduled through 2017.

Thomas Isaac Log Cabin

8394 Main St.
Ellicott City, MD 21043

One of the earliest Ellicott City dwellings — 1780 — is now an 18th-century living history site.

U.S. Naval Academy

Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center
52 King George St.
Annapolis, MD 21402

The U.S. Naval Academy offers guided tours through their Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center as well as commercial tour services. Displays at the Visitor Center have included a sample Midshipman’s room, a model of the USS Maryland and an exhibit of the life of Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones, whose crypt is at the academy.


Ft Meade Living Parks

Anne Arundel and Howard counties maintain regional, community and neighborhood parks with sports facilities, recreation areas for picnics, and scenic outdoor trails for hiking and exploring. Nearly all the public parks have playground areas, as well as several stand-alone playgrounds. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your area has to offer. For Howard County parks, go to Visit for all of Anne Arundel County regional and community parks. A partial list for some of the major parks in both counties follows.

B&A Trail Park

51 W. Earleigh Heights Road
Severna Park, MD 21146

Stretching 13 miles from Jonas Green Park in Annapolis to Dorsey Road in Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County, this lengthy trail park has a gazebo, horticultural gardens, picnic areas and public restrooms at the ranger station and visitors center.

Cedar Lane Park

East Entrance: 10745 Route 108
West Entrance: 5081 Cedar Lane
Columbia, MD 21044

Cedar Lane boasts one of the most popular sports complexes in the county, with volleyball courts, two bocce courts, four tennis courts, several basketball courts, two lighted synthetic turf fields, four lighted ball diamonds and a pair of natural turf multipurpose fields. A paved pathway connects the park’s two main areas, which cover 93 acres.

Centennial Park

North Entrance: 9801 Old Annapolis Road
South/Main Entrance: 10000 Route 108
East Entrance: 4800 Woodland Road
West Entrance: 4651 Centennial Lane
Ellicott City, MD 21042

Award-winning for its natural design and sensitivity to nature, this 337-acre park features a 54-acre, stocked, man-made lake, and wildlife such as white-tailed deer, beavers, foxes, turtles, and herons and many other bird species. A 2.6-mile paved pathway meanders around the lake and links to 7.3-miles of interconnecting paved pathways to surrounding neighborhoods.

Downs Park

8311 John Downs Loop
Pasadena, MD 21122

Downs Park borders the Chesapeake Bay and offers many activities on its 236 acres, including more than five miles of paved and natural trails, a playground, handball courts, ball fields and basketball courts, and a fishing pier. The park’s three large pavilions and one small one are available for rent.

Fort Smallwood Park

9500 Fort Smallwood Road
Pasadena, MD 21122

This 90-acre park offers walking trails, a 380-foot fishing pier, a playground, a pond and volleyball courts. Visitors can explore the historic gun battery and old barracks, swim or walk on the beach, check out the Bill Burton Fishing Pier or rent the historic Cedar Pavilion for special events.

Kinder Farm Park

1001 Kinder Farm Park Road
Millersville, MD 21108

Kinder Farm Park consists of 288 acres of natural and recreational activities. There are walking and biking trails, picnic tables and grills, a playground and tot-lot and two large pavilions that can be rented. The park has a playground and a new visitor’s center that showcases farming artifacts from the 1930s as well as the Harvest Hall meeting room available for various functions. Its agricultural history program and working farm shows past and present agricultural practices in Anne Arundel County.

Lake Waterford Park & Adaptive Recreation Complex

830 Pasadena Road
Pasadena, MD 21122

The 108-acre Lake Waterford Park & Adaptive Recreation Complex are at the corner of Pasadena Road and Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard. Watch waterfowl on the 12-acre lake, do a little shoreline fishing, rent one of the three pavilions for a celebration, turn the kids loose onto the “Boundless” playground in the picnic area, or fish, walk, play tennis or basketball. The adaptive recreation athletic field is overlaid with a rubberized, wheelchair accessible surface suitable for baseball, softball, lacrosse, soccer, and track and field; it is available for use by permit only by calling 410-222-7313.

Quiet Waters Park

600 Quiet Waters Park Road
Annapolis, MD 21403

Quiet Waters Park has more than six miles of paved trails that meander through hardwood forests and beautiful scenery. There is a multi-level children’s playground, the South River promenade, a scenic overlook and picnic areas, six outdoor pavilions for rent and an indoor facility, the Blue Heron Center, as well as — weather willing — ice skating in winter. The Visitor Center with its café and three art galleries is a good place to begin your park visit.

Rockburn Branch Park

East Entrance: 5400 Landing Road
West Entrance: 6105 Rockburn Branch Park Road
Elkridge, MD 21075

Explore nine miles of trails that wind through 415 acres of scenic woodlands, freshwater marshes and stream valleys, and search for crayfish, minnows, water striders and dragonflies along the way. Or play almost any sport on the six ball diamonds, two multipurpose synthetic-turf fields, two basketball and four tennis courts, three multipurpose fields — two mini and one regular — an 18-hole disc golf course, a BMX skills track, a playground and picnic areas with pavilions.

Savage Park

8400 Fair St.
Savage, MD 20763

The Historic Mill Trail, Wincopin Trails and Savage Loop Trail offer different lengths and terrains for hikers and bikers of various skill levels. The park’s recreation areas include five ball diamonds, two basketball courts, four lighted tennis and two volleyball courts, a pair of horseshoe pits, a picnic pavilion, a mini-soccer field, a multipurpose field and a playground.

Schooley Mill Park

12975 Hall Shop Road
Highland, MD 20777

Wildlife thrive in meadows maintained in their natural state to allow for food, cover and nest sites. This hidden gem is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy nature or peer into a stream for minnows, crayfish, frogs and turtles. And don’t forget the 4.6 miles of trails, three ball diamonds, two basketball and four tennis courts, two multi-purpose fields, an indoor facility, the county’s only regulation-size cricket field and three equestrian rings.

Western Regional Park

14800 Carrs Mill Road
Woodbine, MD 21723

This 190-acre park in a rich, scenic countryside contains four grass multipurpose sports fields, two lighted synthetic-turf fields, tennis and basketball courts, a playground, four ball diamonds (one lighted) and five pavilions. And the Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood and the library are only a stone’s throw away.

Worthington Dog Park

8170 Hillsborough Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043

Dogs and their owners can run and bark without a leash in this park. Areas include the regular area, plus a separate area for small, timid or elderly dogs. Fenced areas are available for rent, and training is also available. Visit the website for seasonal information.


Ft Meade Living Shopping
Arundel Mills Mall

7000 Arundel Mills Circle
Hanover, MD 21076

With more than 200 stores, a food court and theatres, Arundel Mills Mall is the area’s largest outlet and value retail shopping, dining and entertainment destination, just 10 miles south of Baltimore and 20 miles north of Washington, D.C. Visit one of the many specialty clothing retailers, retail outlets or off-price retailers for the latest fashions and great bargains. And don’t overlook Maryland Live! Casino and Rams Head Center Stage.

Historic Savage Mill

8600 Foundry St.
Savage, MD 20763

This renovated 1822 cotton mill, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, houses more than 60 specialty shops, antiques centers, artist studios, galleries and restaurants.

The Mall in Columbia

10300 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD 21044

The two-level shopping, dining and entertainment destination features over 200 retailers, six department stores, two dozen restaurants plus a number of quick-stops for snacks and drinks, and the 16 movie screens of AMC Theatres.

Westfield Annapolis Mall

2002 Annapolis Mall
Annapolis, MD 21401

Enjoy shopping at major retailers or eat at one of the 16 restaurants. The mall has more than 240 stores, some 35 dining choices and an 11-screen movie theater.

Sports and Recreation

Ft Meade Living Sports and Recreation

Whether you’re looking to take in a game or cool off with a trip down a waterslide, Anne Arundel and Howard counties have the recreational opportunities you crave.

Annapolis Rowing Club

2801 Solomons Island Road
Edgewater, MD 21037

The Annapolis Rowing Club has both competitive and recreational rowing with programs for all skills levels, sport rowing competitions and classes.

Chesapeake Beach Water Park

4079 Gordon Stinnett Ave.
Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732

Have a “cool” time splashing around on one of Chesapeake Bay’s eight water slides, or hang out at the kids’ activity pool or lagoon. A great seasonal place for family time or parties, the park also has swim lessons, a restaurant and private cabanas for rent. Starting May 20, 2017, and daily as of June 16, the water park will be open for splashing until Labor Day.


This region features some of the best golf courses in Maryland. Both public and country club courses are available in Anne Arundel and Howard counties, including the 18-hole Annapolis Golf Club, a semi-private course open year-round, the Golf Club at South River, with 14 bridges over water and valleys, and Eisenhower Golf Course, Anne Arundel County’s first public course. Cattail Creek Country Club has a short, unusual course with many surprises, including one hole that was dynamited through a rock wall. Night Hawk Golf Center features a nine-hole course and driving range in addition to mini golf, a batting cage, a footgolf course and a pro shop. For a full list of public and private courses in Maryland and the surrounding areas, visit

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Druid Hill Park
1 Safari Place
Baltimore, MD 21217

The 135-acre Maryland Zoo is the third-oldest zoo in the U.S., behind Philadelphia (1873) and Cincinnati (1874). It actually had its beginnings as early as 1862, when the first of many citizens gave four swans to Druid Hill Park for public display, but wasn’t officially created until an act of legislature in 1876. Visit the zoo’s state-of-the-art African penguin exhibit, Penguin Coast, with more than 50 penguins, or watch polar bears cavort in and out of the water from a Tundra Buggy like those used in the Arctic. Visitors can learn about the nearly 200 species represented at the zoo, exotic animals from around the world — or those in your own backyard.

National Aquarium in Baltimore

Pier 3
501 E. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

Explore the world-famous Inner Harbor and its fascinating aquatic life. Exhibits include a multi-story Atlantic coral reef, an open ocean shark tank, a marine mammal pavilion, the Upland Tropical Rain Forest, the Jellies Invasion and the award-winning Australia Wild Extremes.

Six Flags America

13710 Central Ave.
Bowie/Mitchellville, MD 20721

The seasonal amusement park, which opens April 1 in 2017, features more than 100 rides, games, shows and attractions, plus Hurricane Harbor Waterpark. New this year is the Wonder Woman Lasso of Truth, a 242-foot-tall sky-high swing ride that whirls riders over the park at 40 mph; the Superman Ride of Steel Virtual Reality Coaster; Splashwater Falls, a multi-level aquatics play tower with more than 100 features from ladders to slides, platforms to nets, waterfalls, geysers, fountains and a giant tipping bucket that douses everybody; and the new seven-story Bourbon Street Fireball loop-the-loop roller coaster.

Terrapin Adventures

Savage Mill
8600 Foundry St.
Savage, MD 20763

This outdoor adventure center features a climbing tower, zip line, giant swing, a high ropes course, guided adventure tours from caving to kayaking, team building, a day camp and special events.

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