* Go to Hadley's Playground. The one-acre playground at Falls Road Local Park is focused on "theme play" and has seven different types of play. As the flagship Hadley’s Playground all other sites were modeled after this one.
Find out more: Hadley’s park is on Falls Road. Visit www.hadleyspark.org.
* Learn karate. The Kenshin Karate School offers programs in traditional Japanese Gojuryu and Bujinkan Budo Taijitsu for children and adults. Special interest martial arts and related fitness classes are also offered.
Find out more: Kenshin Karate School is at 12944 Travilah Road, Pootmac. Call 301-926-8339 or visit www.kenshinkarate.com.
* See an arthouse movie. From October through May come watch a foreign or independent film followed by a discussion with film experts.
Find out more: Visit www.cinemaartbethesda.org.
* Join a summer swim club. The Montgomery County Swim League sponsors competitive swimming and other activities to help young people learn to love swimming and further develop their aquatic skills.
Find out more: Visit www.mcsl.org.
* Watch a high school basketball doubleheader. When Winston Churchill hosted Thomas Wootton in a basketball game last February, the gym was so packed that Churchill staff had to turn latecomers away at the door. Most public-school basketball games are on Tuesdays and Fridays during the winter months, often doubleheaders with a boys game and a girls game between the same two schools.
Find out more: Find out more: Visit www.mcps.k12.md.us/departments/athletics/, then click on “Sports Schedules,” then “Boys Basketball” or “Girls Basketball” for a full basketball schedule for county public schools. All the private schools in the area have basketball programs as well — visit www.bullis.org, www.mcleanschool.org, www.holychild.org, www.landon.net, www.gprep.org, www.heights.edu, www.holton-arms.edu, www.stoneridge.org, and www.saes.org (St. Andrew’s), and other local school Web sites.
* Join a summer swim team. Where can local children ages 6-18 join together on summer weekends? At any of the local summer swim clubs, many of which field teams that compete in the Montgomery County Swim League. Saturday morning meets are chock-full of shouting, cheering and splashing as the swimmers compete in five different age groups. Many parents are involved as team reps or officials, and the clubs often have social events for the adults.
Find out more: Visit www.mcsl.org/teamdiv/team.html for a list of teams in the league and the addresses of their home pools.
* Read the Potomac Almanac. From politics to leisure to business to sports, the Almanac strives to feature stories and items of interest to our readers. The Almanac was named Newspaper of the Year by the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association in 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2003, and has won multiple awards for public service.
Find out more: Visit www.potomacalmanac.com, or get a free mailed subscription by calling 703-917-6465.
* Look for bald eagles. Our nation’s symbol, the bald eagle remains on the endangered species list, but has recovered in the last two decades. Just upstream from Great Falls Tavern, a bald eagles’ nest sits atop a tree on Conn Island. The River Trail, accessible from the C&O Canal towpath above Great Falls Tavern, offers views of the nest. An eagle chick lived in the nest this spring, but the best time for viewing the eagles is in the winter months, when
Find out more: Ask at the visitors center at Great Falls tavern for pointers on viewing the eagles.
* See deer. Overpopulated by whitetail deer, Potomac is considered a “deer hotspot” by county and state wildlife officials. So long as they’re not devouring somebody’s farm or garden, deer are beautiful creatures to observe, and Potomac isn’t hurting for places to see them. Any field clearing at the edge of forest growth around sunset is a good bet for finding deer — alongside River Road near its intersection with Great Seneca Highway is pretty close to a sure thing. Be sure to drive with caution around deer hotspots.
Find out more: Visit www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/wtdeerbiology.asp for information about the whitetail deer from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
* See Churchill girls tennis. Want to see Montgomery County’s most dominant varsity sports team over the last three years? It’s Churchill’s girls tennis team, undefeated in county play through the 2002, ‘03 and ‘04 seasons. For all three of those seasons, Maggie MacKeever, who enters her senior year this fall; she was also the state girls singles champion in ‘04 and ‘05. Varsity tennis matches can be confusing affairs, with seven matches going on at the same time. There are no scoreboards either, but they’re usually not necessary in a Churchill match — odds are pretty good that Bulldogs are winning.
Find out more: Girls varsity team tennis is a fall sport. Visit www.mcps.k12.md.us/departments/athletics/, then click on “Sports Schedules,” then “Girls Tennis” for a full tennis schedule for county public schools.
* See an old schoolhouse. What was it like to learn a single-room schoolhouse with 25 students grades 1-7, and a teacher living on $200 a year? The Seneca Schoolhouse Museum, up River Road near Poolesville, closed in 1910 but has since been restored to its original appearance.
Another one-room schoolhouse, Boyds Negro School, stands as a reminder of the days when Montgomery County schools were segregated — county schools began integrating in the 1956-57 school year and finished in 1961. The Boyds School is open by appointment only, but the school’s interior is visible through the windows.
Find out more: The Seneca Schoolhouse, 16800 River Road, Germantown, is usually open Sundays 12-5 p.m. Call 301-972-8588 to be sure. See www.poolesville.com and click on “Visitor’s Guide” and “Seneca Schoolhouse Museum.” Groups may schedule educational visits to the schoolhouse, where a teacher in period costume conducts classes using McGuffy’s Readers.
Boyds Negro School house is at 19510 White Ground Road.
* Join Club Friday. From October through March, the Potomac Community Center hosts Club Friday, a program for children in third through sixth grade. Every Friday from 7-9 p.m., children in Club Friday enjoy dancing, bingo, movies, basketball, pool, ping-pong and more. Sign up early — membership is limited to the first 550 applicants, and there is almost always a waiting list.
Find out more: Stop by the customer service desk at Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac, or call 240-777-6960.
* Build a bat house. Don’t believe the media’s portrayal of bats — they may not fight crime, but they do gobble up pest insects on summer nights, require less electricity than a bug zapper, and smell better than insect repellent. Leslie Sturges, park naturalist at Locust Grove Nature Center, offers an after-hours Bat Camp for teens and adults to study bat behavior and echolocation, and observe bats in action. Participants will assemble a bat house and learn proper bat house location.
Find out more: Bat Camp is one of many educational programs offered to people of all ages at Locust Grove Nature Center in Cabin John Regional Park, 777 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. Information about the programs, trips and workshops is available in “Nutshell News,” available by visiting www.mc-mncppc.org/parks, or by calling 301-299-1990.
* See a historic lockhouse. During the C&O Canal's operational period in the mid 19th century, lock operators lived in small houses beside the canal locks, manning them day and night, year round. Most of the historic houses still stand, and several are occupied. One--Lockhouse 8--has been restored in a three-year joint project of the National Park Service and Potomac Conservancy, and now functions as a visitors center, with displays on the ecology and history of the Potomac River and C&O Canal. The lockhouse at Riley's Lock can also be visited on weekends. Other lockhouses between Washington and Cumberland, Md. can only be viewed from the outside.
Find out more: Visit www.nps.gov/choh or www.candocanal.org. For more on the Lockhouse 8 River Center, visit www.potomac.org/action/ctg/lockhouse.
* See stunning Potomac homes. St. Francis Episcopal Church in Potomac Village conducts an annual Potomac Country House Tour for charity. During two days each October, tour participants follow a provided map and booklet to four or five Potomac homes--some modern, some historic, but all fascinating. Last years houses included the home of oil painter Howard Behrens and then 18th century homestead Walnut Grove. Events at St. Francis during the House Tour include a silent auction and luncheon.
Find out more: visit www.stfrancispotomac.org/pcht.
* Drink an adult beverage. Those in search of wild — or late — nightlife will probably look to Bethesda and Washington, DC. But Potomac offers several relaxed and charming locales for a glass of wine or a pint of brew. Hunter's Inn in Potomac Village is a local institution, and not a bad place to spot powerful Washingtonians. The Irish Inn at Glen Echo has a full-service restaurant and a separate pub, run by Christy Hughes, proprietor of the Dubliner on Capitol Hill and the Four Provinces in Cleveland Park.
Find out more: The Hunter's Inn, 10123 River Road, 301-299-9300. The Irish Inn at Glenn Echo, 6119 Tulane Avenue, Glen Echo, next to Glen Echo Park, 301-229-6600 www.irishinnglenecho.com.
* See a professional golf player. Potomac hosts the world's top golfers every year for the Booz Allen Classic, the professional golf event formerly known as the Kemper Open. So far, Tiger Woods hasn't made an appearance, eight of the ten top-ranked golfers in the world did, including Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, and Ernie Els. The event brings an annual boom in business--and traffic--around Memorial Day, as thousands come out to watch the golf and participate in pro-ams, clinics and other events. The Classic moved to Congressional Country Club last year on a one-year hiatus from the Tournament Players Club at Avenel, to which it will return in 2006.
Congressional will host the U.S. Open--one of pro golf's four major tournaments--in 2011.
Find out more: Visit www.boozallenclassic.com.
* Celebrate Potomac. Potomac Day in October is biggest community event of the year here. Thousands come out for the morning parade followed by a fair with rides and games for children, live entertainment and displays by local merchants and organizations. Potomac's leaders and local politicians come out, and the community honors its person of the year, businessperson of the year, and student of the year. The event is organized by the Potomac Chamber of Commerce.
Find out more: Potomac Day 2005 is Saturday, Oct. 29. Visit www.potomacchamber.org.
* Buy fresh, local produce. Potomac is home to two seasonal farmers markets and in the neighborhood of several other markets and pick-your-own farms. All of the markets sell only locally-grown produce, flowers, and plants, and homemade baked goods and treats.
Find out more: The Potomac Farmers market is behind Potomac Presbyterian Church, 10301 River Road, Thursdays 1-4:30 p.m., May-October.
The Bethesda Farmers Market is at Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues, Tuesdays 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., May-October.
Just up the road in Poolesville, Homestead Farm is a pick-your-own farm that also sells Christmas Trees in winter and hosts a bevy of annual events. Visit www.homestead-farm.net.
The farm stand at River Road and Congressional Parkway sells pumpkins in the autumn, flowers in the spring, and produce in the summer.
Butler's Orchard in Germantown, a pick-your-own farm and farmer's market is another local favorite. Visit www.butlersorchard.com.
* Experience world cuisine. Nearby Bethesda has grown into a regional dining center, with traditional pubs and diners, quick bites, wine bars, fine dining, and everything in-between. International cuisine includes Indian, Thai, Greek, Lebanese, Spanish, and Mongolian as well as the dining mainstays like Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.
Find out more: Visit www.bethesda.org and click "dining."
* Meet fellow Newcomers. The Potomac Area Newcomers Club welcomes new residents to the community, with monthly meetings. Call for locations and reservations, to the membership chairman at 301-320-3514.
Find out more: Visit www.geocities.com/potomacnc.
* Join the MOMS Club of Potomac. Mom's Club of Potomac offers activities for stay-at-home moms and their children on the third Monday of every month, at the Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Rd., at 10:30 a.m. They offer playgroups that meet weekly and a full calendar of fun activities every month.
Find out more: Call Juli Jamison at 301-461-5469.
* Meet fellow seniors. Potomac seniors meet every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Center, 11315 Falls Road. The program offers entertainment, health screening and education, chair exercises, crafts, informational speakers, counseling on issues of interest to seniors, and Tai Chi.
Find out more: Call 301-983-4471.
* Give a toast at the Toastmasters club. ASCE Toastmaster Club meets at 9:20 a.m., at the Potomac Community Center, 11315 Falls Road, Potomac, on the second Saturday of each month, and at Davis Library in Bethesda on the fourth Saturday of each month. Meetings will be on the first Saturday of August at the Potomac Community Center due to construction. Newcomers welcome.
Find out more: Call 301-299-2826.
* Rock with geologists The Gem, Lapidary and Mineral Society of Montgomery County. The society takes members on field trips to quarries and mines and puts on an annual show. Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at the Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Drive, Rockville at 7:30 p.m. Meetings are open to non-members.
Find out more: Visit www.rockhounder.tripod.com.
* Adopt an animal. The Partnership for Animal Welfare offers dog and cat adoptions.
For dog adoptions send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For cat adoptions send questions to email@example.com. Animals can also be adopted through the Montgomery County Humae Society at 240-773-5960.
Find out more: Call 301-572-4729 (PAW) or visit www.paw-rescue.org.
* Watch a puppet show. The Puppet Co. puts on shows at Glen Echo Park. This year the Puppet Co. continues the celebration of its 20th Anniversary with the opening of the new Playhouse, special events, and new programming. The new Playhouse, one of the very few facilities in the United States designed and built from ground up for puppetry, assures a bigger and better facility to enjoy various puppet shows.
Call 301-320-6668 or visit www.thepuppetco.org.
* Go to the Azalea Festival. The Landon Azalea Festival takes place in the Perkins Garden and throughout the entire Landon 75-acre wooded camps and gardens. Attend the Maryland Craft Show, purchase many varieties of plants and flowers as well as items from the festival boutiques. 6101 Wilson Lane, Bethesda.
Find out more: Call 301-320-3200 or visit www.landon.net.
* Go to the Strawberry Festival. The Festival takes place at Potomac United Methodist Church, 10300 Falls Road in Potomac, in May from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Berries, a silent auction, bake sale, rummage sale, craft fair, dollar items and games and activities for children. Proceeds benefit charitable programs for women and children in need.
Find out more: Call the church at 301-299-9383.
* Become an animator- The Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery is the painting residency at Glen Echo Park. Resident painter and instructor Walt Bartman's goal is to provide a place where those interested in painting can have the opportunity to meet, collaborate and display their work. The Yellow Barn Studio provides a variety of classes in watercolor, oil and acrylic for students at all levels representing a diversity of philosophies and approaches taken by the faculty. The Yellow Barn Gallery hosts individual and group art exhibits year-round and is open to the public on Saturday and Sundays from 12-5 p.m. For more information, call 1-301-371-5593, visit www.yellowbarnstudio.com or www.glenechopark.org. Summer classes include Summer Landscape on Location Painting Class, Introduction to Watercolor, Figure Painting Studio, Intermediate Watercolor, Principles of Drawing and Figure Drawing.
* Learn yoga. The Potomac Community Center offers yoga lessons at varying times throughout the week. A variety of other lessons are also available.
Find out more: Call 240-777-6960.
* Take high tea. Afternoon Tea is served at Strathmore Hall, 10701 Rockville Pike, every Tuesday and Wednesday at 1 p.m. Prepaid reservations required, $17. Call 301-530-0540, or visit www.strathmore.org. There is no afternoon tea during the month of August, but it will resume in September.
* Get a Halloween pumpkin. Pumpkins on sale for Halloween, starting at Behnke Nurseries, 9545 River Road in Potomac.
Find out more: Call 301-983-9200 or visit www.behnkes.com.
Fun for all ages at Potomac Library:
Potomac Library at 10101 Glenolden Drive, Potomac, offers year-round activities for locals of all ages.
Find out more: Call 240-777-0690, or visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/Apps/Libraries/branchinfo/pt.asp for updated listings on activities, lessons and events at Potomac Library.
* Watch movies with your pre-schooler. Pre-school films at Potomac Library every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Three films are shown for pre-school-age children.
* Discuss Chinese books.The Chinese book, "Zai Kan Yun Qi Shin," will be discussed in Chinese from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2 at Potomac Library. Ask for the book at the Circulation Desk.
* Perfect your English. Join the English Language Conversation Club every Saturday from 3-5 p.m at Potomac Library. Join in practicing and improving your spoken English with the help of volunteers leading discussions.
* Discover the science behind sports. In the "Play Ball" exhibit, presented by the Maryland Science Center, science and sports team up to explore the physics and biology behind athletics. For grades K-8, at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at Potomac Library. Please pre-register at 240-777-0690.
* Buy a cheap book. Book sale at Potomac Library on Saturday, Aug. 13 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sponsored by the Friends of the Potomac Library. Most hardbacks $1.00 and paperbacks 50 cents.
* Learn more about parenting. In "School Daze: Clarifying the Role of Parents in Supporting School Success," a parent education workshop, topics of discussion will include methods of developing positive study habits, avoiding homework power struggles, homework help techniques and working with school staff and teachers. Traduccion al Espanol disponible. To register please call 301-229-1347 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsored by the Parent Education Office of the YMCA's Youth and Family Services. The workshop is on August 23 from 7-9 p.m at Potomac Library.