Family Fun: Sculpture gardens, African-American heritage tours and more to do with the kids

For The Capital

What is Annmarie Sculpture Garden?

Francis Koenig was the oldest of seven children born in 1910, and as such he was in charge of running the family farm in Virginia. Because of the demands of the farm, he was only able to finish the seventh grade, but he took what he learned building chicken coops, and a correspondence course in architecture, and built a career as a successful architect in Washington, D.C.

He and his wife, Ann Marie, bought a piece of land in Calvert County and in 1956 built a house on Long Beach to escape the city. Though they traveled the world, the beach house became the center of their lives for many years.

Koenig purchased an additional 30 acres as an investment on St. John’s Creek in Solomon’s Island and successfully resisted wave after wave of development offers.

Keenly aware that any buildings on that land would someday fall down or be torn down, he and his wife decided to build a sculpture garden on the property and eventually gave the land to Calvert County.

This is the perfect weekend to pay Annmarie Sculpture Garden a long-overdue visit. Saturday is one of the regular Maker’s Markets for homemade, home-grown or handmade items from the locals. It is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and it’s free.

But there are lots of exhibitions at Annmarie that will delight the whole family.

Little children love the fairy houses and fairy gardens scattered throughout the woods around the visitor center. Also in the gardens is “Deep Sea Funky Fish,” a school of hand-carved fish by Annapolis artist Tom Yates. The fish are inspired by the strange creatures found miles deep in the oceans.

Inside, there is “Feed Me,” an interactive exhibit of creepy-crawly creatures and the plants they rely on to survive. And in the gallery is an exhibition titled “Of a Feather: Birds in Art,” artwork that captures the vibrant spirit of aviary life in all sorts of media.

And finally, take a break from the world with “Big Fun Art” in the Kay Daugherty Gallery. These pieces have a jovial and exuberant spirit. They are all about a boldness in color, an exaggeration in scale, abundance in repetition, dynamic in pattern, or playful in subject.

Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center is located at 13470 Dowell Road in Dowell. The sculpture gardens are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the galleries and art center are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission ranges from $3 to $5. Children under 5 are free.

Celebrate the life and times of the first African-American to gain international prominence as a social crusader during the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Celebration throughout the State of Maryland in 2018.

As part of that celebration, tour Annapolis Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. with a period-dressed guide who will focus on African-American heritage in the city. This black history tour ends at the Banneker-Douglass Museum, which you’ll have an opportunity to tour.

Highlights of the tour include the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley memorial commemorating the arrival of Alex Haley’s ancestor and the main character in Haley’s novel “Roots.” And it also includes the Thurgood Marshall Memorial, honoring the first African-American Supreme Court justice.

The tour leaves from the information booth at City Dock. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children 3-11. Children under 2 are free.

Children entering third and fourth grades are invited to learn how to program a robot and see it move Friday at the Anne Arundel County Library branch at Mountain Road from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

This program is presented in conjunction with the Pasadena robotics team and their leader, Barry McGovern, as well as the FIRST organization (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology). Robots and laptops will be provided. Enrollment is limited to 20.

Music Educators of Greater Annapolis will present their annual summer concert Friday evening at Susan Campbell Park at City Dock.

In this installment of Annapolis’ summer Music Under the Stars, teachers will show off students ranging in age from 9 to college in arts disciplines from piano to dance. The music they have chosen is light and fun.

“Summer is for razzmatazz,” said piano teacher Cecelia Wyatt.

The event is free and begins at 6:30 p.m. It will be cancelled in the event of rain.

Are you ready for some football? Meet the 2018 Navy football team Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. There are free posters for everyone, and the players will be there to sign autographs. The first 250 children will also get a free T-shirts. And there will be lots of “football games” to play on the field.

The event is free, but parking is $5. Enter through Gate 5 on Taylor Avenue.

Just in time for the start of school school, Hair Cuttery is donating haircuts to children who need it most this summer.

Until Aug. 15, for every child up to age 18 who purchases a haircut at one of Hair Cuttery’s salons, one free haircut certificate will be donated to an underprivileged child in the community.

“A fresh haircut to celebrate a milestone is something that can easily be taken for granted,” said Dennis Ratner, founder and CEO of Hair Cuttery, in a news release. “Through our Share-A-Haircut program, we strive to provide every child with this simple but impactful service that will help send them back to school with confidence and enthusiasm to kick off the year.”

Certificates will be distributed with the help of local government and nonprofit organizations.

Since 1999, the Share-A-Haircut program has donated more than 2.4 million free haircuts to kids, according to Hair Cuttery.

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