The Baltimore area's vibrant arts attractions on the horizon this fall aren't confined within city limits. There's plenty going on in the surrounding counties, as well, whether you're looking for family-friendly festivals or a night at the theater.
Anne Arundel County
Maryland Renaissance Festival Lords and ladies, don your castle finery and grab a turkey leg or two — the Maryland Renaissance Festival is here to transport you to a medieval wonderland. Shop from a selection of artisan wares and dine on a feast of festival eats (expect turkey legs). Runs 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 22 at 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis. $8-$25; free for children under 6. 410-266-7304, rennfest.com.
Compass Rose plays Compass Rose Theater's fall season offers plenty of variety for those looking to take in a show. "The Liar," Pierre Corneille's mistaken-identity farce from the 17th century, runs Sept. 8-Oct. 8. "Inherit the Wind," the story of the Scopes "monkey trial" that tackled the teaching of evolution in schools, will be performed Oct. 27-Nov. 26. And finally, the musical classic "Fiddler on the Roof" runs Dec. 15-Jan. 28. 49 Spa Road, Annapolis. $23-$38. 410-980-6662, compassrosetheater.org.
Anne Arundel County Fair Family-friendly fun awaits at the Anne Arundel County Fair. This annual event features musical performances, animal exhibitions, a tractor pull, pie-eating contests and a cutest kid competition. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 13, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 14, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 15-16, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 17 at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, 1450 Generals Highway, Crownsville. $5-$7; free for kids 5 and under. 410-923-3400, aacountyfair.org.
An Evening with Randy Newman Songwriter and film composer extraordinaire Randy Newman will be performing for one night only at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Known for his emotive music, Newman is sure to delight with ballads and bops from movie scores like those of "Toy Story" and "Seabiscuit." 8 p.m. Sept. 21. 801 Chase St., Annapolis. $85-$125. 410-263-5544, marylandhall.org.
Art @ the Park Paintings, photography, textiles and sculptures abound at Art @ the Park 2017. Wander amid creations from across the nation at this outdoor celebration of art and craftsmanship. Includes music, art demonstrations, and food and drink. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 21-22. 600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis. $6 per car per day. 410-222-1777, fqwp.org.
'Gun Show' David Hess is a gun fanatic, but not in the way one might expect. The artist has created over 100 gun-like forms out of commonplace items — shoes, a bike frame, a crutch — to spur conversations about guns and the way we use them. Hess' sculptures are on display at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County from Sept. 4 to Oct. 14. An opening reception with Hess will be held 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 7. Center for Art Design and Visual Culture. 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore. Free. 410-455-3188, artscalendar.umbc.edu.
Baltimore County African American Festival This annual celebration of black culture and history in Baltimore County returns for a 21st year. Visitors can view photos and memorabilia, listen to oral presentations in the historic settlements and Buffalo Soldiers exhibits, and enjoy food and live music. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 16. Towson Patriot Plaza, 401 Bosley Ave. Free. 410-635-4381, aaculturalfestival.com.
Sugarloaf Craft Festival A roving fair, the Sugarloaf Craft Festival will land in Timonium this October. Hundreds of artists, craftspeople and artisans show off their handmade wares during this not-to-miss event. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 13-14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road. $8-$10; free for children 12 and under. 800-210-9900, sugarloafcrafts.com.
'On Your Marc' TV personality Marc Summers (you may recognize him from Nickelodeon's "Double Dare" and Food Network's "Unwrapped") presents a new documentary about his life and career. A Q&A session, a performance from Baltimore band Vivid Low Sky, and "Double Dare"-like games are also promised. 8:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts, 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave., Owings Mills. $13-$15. 410-356-7469, jcc.org/gordon-center.
Dundalk Family Fall Festival Get your pre-Halloween fix at this family-friendly celebration of all that is spooktacular. Bring your little pumpkins and wear your costume. Crafts, face-painting and trick-or-treating at local businesses included. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 28 at Veterans Park, Shipping Place and South Center Place in Dundalk. Free. 410-282-0261, unexpecteddundalk.com.
Members Art Show The best artistic talent Carroll County has to offer will be on display in the 15th annual Carroll County Arts Council's members exhibit. Peruse paintings, drawings, sculptures and photos and vote for your favorite — audience choice prizes totaling $700 will be given out. On view Sept. 7-Nov. 4 (opening reception 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Sept. 7). Free. Carroll Arts Center. 91 W. Main St., Westminster. 410-848-7272, carrollcountyartscouncil.org.
Maryland Wine Festival Why just have one glass? At the Maryland Wine Festival, you can sample from more than 150 different wines from the Free State, enjoy live music, shop from local artisans, and taste cheese from Maryland creameries. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 16, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 17. at the Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster. $15-$50; children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. 410-386-3880, marylandwine.org/mwf.
Westminster Fallfest Rides, games, shopping, performances and a parade — Westminster Fall Fest has it all. For sporting types, the annual cornhole tournament (noon Sept. 23, $40-$50 per team) and fall "fun run" (6:55 p.m. Sept. 21, $10-$15). offer a change of pace. The festival runs 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 21, 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 23, and noon-6 p.m. Sept. 24. 11 Longwell Ave., Westminster. Entry free, prices vary for rides. 410-751-5501, westminsterfallfest.com.
McDaniel College 150th birthday festivities McDaniel College is turning 150, and is kicking off a yearlong celebration with a birthday party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 21. There will also be several exhibits on display this fall that highlight the college's history, such as the "150 Years on the Hill" timeline (Oct. 19-Nov. 10) and the student art exhibition "Views of McDaniel (Nov. 16-Dec. 8); both will be on view at the Rice Gallery in Peterson Hall. Free. 2 College Hill, Westminster. 410-857-2595, calendar.mcdaniel.edu.
Sykesville Craft Beer Festival Come thirsty to the Sykesville Craft Beer Festival, a tasting extravaganza featuring dozens of breweries. For one flat price, visitors can take in Sykesville's charming Main Street while sampling beers from a commemorative glass. Noon-5 p.m. Nov. 4. 7547 Main St., Sykesville. $25. 410-259-3515, sykesvillemainstreet.com.
Harford Plein Air Festival Painters from all over the country are coming out of the studio and into the open air of Harford County during the third annual Plein Air Festival. Artists will be painting outdoors throughout the county Oct. 8-12. The resulting works will be on display and for sale at a Collector's Preview Party (7 p.m. Oct. 13 at Towson University Northeast Campus, 510 Thomas Run Road, $30); a quick draw competition and art sale (8 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 14 along Office Street in Bel Air, free) and a public gallery sale (1 p.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 15 at Towson University Northeast, free). 443-567-5216, mdcenterforthearts.org.
Bel Air Film Festival The Bel Air Film Festival seeks to celebrate the art of filmmaking with a showing of films, though the specific lineup has yet to be released. Popcorn and good times provided. Oct. 12-14 at Bel Air Reckord Armory, 37-41 N. Main St., Bel Air. $5 per film, $10 film pass. 410-838-0584, townofbelairfilmfestival.com.
Havre De Grace Halloween Parade Halloween costumes are encouraged, but not required to partake in this festive parade through the night. 6 p.m. Oct. 30, Washington and Congress avenues, Havre de Grace. 410-939-2100, explorehavredegrace.com.
Step Out For A Night Of Dancing Wear comfortable shoes, and come ready to move. Step Out is a night of casual dancing, lessons and a ballroom showcase, all to benefit the Maryland Center for the Arts. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 3. Dancing with Friends studio, 3036 J Churchville Road, Churchville. $30. 443-567-5216, mdcenterforthearts.org.
Victorian Holiday Faire and Christmas Ball An event so merry, even Scrooge would smile. Waltz to a Victorian Christmas hymn or buy unique decorations and holiday greens — dancers and non-dancers alike are welcome. The fair runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 24-25; $10, free for children 12 and under. The ball gets underway 7 p.m. Nov. 25; $15-$30. Steppingstone Farm Museum, 461 Quaker Bottom Road, Havre de Grace. 410-939-2299, steppingstonemuseum.org.
Rouse Company selections exhibit In celebration of Columbia's 50th anniversary, Howard County Center for the Arts will display select artworks from the Rouse Co. and the Howard Hughes Corp., companies instrumental in the original planning and current redevelopment of Columbia. On display through Oct. 13, with an opening reception and discussion scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 6. Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City. Free. 410-313-2787, hocoarts.org.
'The Heidi Chronicles' Rep Stage opens its 25th anniversary season with this Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a woman who must grapple with her personal growth, as well as rapidly changing American society. Charming and insightfully funny, "The Heidi Chronicles" still resonates now as when it premiered in 1988. Runs Sept. 7-24, at The Horowitz Center, Howard Community College, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $10-$40. 443-518-1500, repstage.org.
Korean Festival The 40th annual Korean Festival will bring authentic food, music, dance and more to Ellicott City, celebrating the extensive Korean community in Howard County. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 16 at Centennial Park, 10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City. Free. 410-772-5393, koreanmd.org.
Brahms v. Tchaikovsky: The Battle of Two Musical Giants Who would win in a battle between two classical giants: Brahms or Tchaikovsky? Find out in this musical showdown between battling members of the Howard County Concert Orchestra. 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at Howard Community College's Smith Theatre, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $12-$25. 888-921-7230, howardcountyconcertorchestra.org.
Symphony of Lights Take a drive through a holiday light show to remember, benefiting Howard County General Hospital. Little Patuxent Parkway comes alive with the music and lights depicting some of the season's most iconic characters. Nov. 18-Jan. 1. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. $20-$25 per car. 410-740-7666, hcgh.org/symphonyoflights.