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Day trips: Welcome Discovery, celebrate Earth Day

Washington

Space Shuttle Discovery, National Air and Space Museum

The space shuttle Discovery soared around the Washington Monument and the White House in a salute to the nation's capital Tuesday before landing for the last time near its new home at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum annex in northern Virginia. Discovery will be transferred from NASA into the museum's collection at the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center on April 19 in an outdoor ceremony open to the public. A four-day celebration will commence, featuring Discovery crew members and space pioneer John Glenn, who returned to space in 1998 aboard the Discovery at age 77. Visitors will also be able to enjoy space-related activities, films, performances and more.

Additional details can be found at http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/discovery.

Catoctin Mountain Park, Thurmont

Earth Day Activities

Celebrate Earth Day weekend at Catoctin Mountain Park, where activities include learning about invasive plants, trail maintenance and wildlfower walks. A highlight will be the Spicebush Nature Trail Ribbon Cutting. The 0.3-mile trail, located in Chestnut Picnic Area, was built in the 1970s as an accessible nature trail and was originally paved with asphalt. It has been updated with wood carpet, an innovative, natural-appearing alternative.

The Spicebush Nature Trail Ribbon Cutting takes place Sunday, April 22 at 11 a.m. Wildflower Walks begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Brown's Farm Trail in Owens Creek Picnic Area. For more information, visit http://www.nps.gov/cato or call 301-663-9388.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia Book Festival and Science Festival

Philadelphia offers a weekend packed with art, science and literature. You don't need to be an expert in physics to enjoy the Science Carnival, part of a 10-day Philadelphia Science Festival. More than 80 exhibitors will offer family-friendly experiments, games, activities and live entertainment. For literary enthusiasts, the Philadelphia Book Festival, featuring a variety of authors, including Robert Polito, Dava Sobel and Jonathan Haidt. Additionally, visitors on Saturday, April 21, can be on the lookout for a series of giant balloons lining the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and creating a Public Art Pathway marking the locations of 12 outdoor sculptures.

The Science Carnival is 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Logan Circle. Go to philasciencefestival.org/festival. The Book Festival is April 16-21 at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Go to http://libwww.freelibrary.org/bookfestival/program.cfm. The Public Art Pathway can be found at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from LOVE Park to Aviator Park (15th Street to 21st Street).

Virginia

Historic Garden Week

For eight consecutive days, visitors can enjoy 191 homes and gardens as part of Virginia's Historic Garden Week. The gardens will be featured on 31 separate tours, expected to attract more than 25,000 visitors to marvel at gardens at their peak of springtime color, along with houses adorned with beautiful flower arrangements. All tour proceeds will go toward the restoration and preservation of Virginia's historic gardens.

Historic Garden Week in Virginia is April 21-28. Tour prices vary by location but range from $15 to $40. Guests who plan to visit tours across the state may consider purchasing a Statewide Pass for $175 per person or $300 for two. For more information about the garden tours and tickets, go to vagardenweek.org.

Atlantic City, N.J.

Caesars Atlantic City

Music fans can choose country or soul, as Caesars Atlantic City presents of weekend of performances from Grammy-winning artists Alison Krauss and Smokey Robinson. The bluegrass and country artist will perform with her band Union Station, whose 1995 compilation "Now That I've Found You: A Collection" made Krauss a sensation. Romantic soul crooner Smokey Robinson performs the next night.

Alison Krauss performs April 20 at 9 p.m. at Circus Maximus Theater at Caesars Atlantic City. Doors open at 8 p.m., and ticket prices range from $55-$95. Smokey Robinson performs April 21, also at Circus Maximus Theater at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m. Ticket reservations can be made for both shows by calling 800-745-3000. For more information, go to caesarsac.com.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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