Conservancy invites kids to build fairy houses in the woods [Marriottsville/Sykesville/Woodstock}

A midsummer night is the prime time for fairies, but they may need some enticement to visit — perhaps a beautiful woodland abode?

The Howard County Conservancy invites children 10 and younger to help build these dwellings along the conservancy property July 13, at 10 a.m.

Fairy Houses: Magic in the Woods is a free program led by Florence Miller, Van Wensil and Audrey Suhr. Although the conservancy will provide some construction materials such as twigs, cones and nuts, parents and children are encouraged to take a walk near their own homes beforehand to see what kind of materials they can find to bring with them.

Of course, fairy houses are ephemeral, but they will live on for years to come in the "Fairy Memory Book" on display at the conservancy. The program guides will photograph each family's creation to add to the book.

Go to to learn more, or call 410-465-8877. The address is 10520 Old Frederick Road (Route 99), in Woodstock.

Sykesville Main Street will host two free outdoor activities next week. On July 12, the Tunes under the Main Street Moon concert series will continue with funk rock band the Usual Suspects taking the gazebo "stage" from 7 to 10 p.m. Shops will remain open during the concert, with complimentary wine and refreshments available for patrons.

Bring the kiddos out the following evening, July 13, for the Sykesville Cinema Outdoor Movie at South Branch Park, located at the end of West Friendship Road. This month's movie, "How to Train Your Dragon," will begin at dusk.

For more information, contact Ivy Wells at 410-795-8959 or

Are you a baseball fanatic? If so, you won't want to miss an opportunity to gaze upon Babe Ruth's bat — the one from 1927 when he became the first player to hit 60 home runs in a season — and have your picture taken with it.

The Howard County Historical Society is partnering with the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum to offer this event at Miller Branch Library, 9421 Frederick Road, in Ellicott City, on July 12, 7 to 9 p.m. Ballpark food and beverages will be served.

Tickets cost $20 per person or $15 for society members; space is limited. Proceeds will benefit the society. To purchase tickets or learn more, go to

This July, the Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours will offer a full slate of programs.

A weeklong silent directed retreat will take place from 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 7, through 11 a.m. July 13; the cost is $600. Spiritual directors include Sister Bernadette Claps, Father Phil Cover and Ginny Novak.

On July 13, Gordon Creamer and Gail Rosen will lead Your Journey as Parable: The Spirituality of Storytelling, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at a cost of $55.

Another retreat, Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life, will begin at 5 p.m. July 14 and end at 11 a.m. July 20. The program costs $600.

Paula Jilanis and Linda Mastro will lead a weekend retreat for women, Living with an Awakened Heart, from 5 p.m. July 26 through 11 a.m. July 28. The weekend, which costs $225, will provide an opportunity to examine one's life and relationships.

Finally, Michael Fonseca will lead a retreat, Lumen Gentium: Vatican II Document on the Church, from 5 p.m. July 29, through 11 a.m. Aug. 3; the cost is $600.

Call 410-442-1320 to register for any of the programs at Bon Secours. The address is 1525 Marriottsville Road, in Marriottsville. The website address is

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