The Ellicott City Senior Center will be collecting donations for the Karis Home, a division of the Baltimore Rescue Mission, throughout December. The home provides short-term emergency help for homeless men, women and children. They need new undergarments (T-shirts, socks, underwear and slippers), and new bed pillows and cases. Donations can be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays at the center, 9401 Frederick Road. Information: 410-313-1425.
The "Holiday Festival of Trains," presented by the B&O Railroad Museum, will be on display through Jan. 30 at 2711 Maryland Ave. The exhibit features a custom-built O-scale model train layout. In addition to the museum's permanent HO layout, Thomas the Tank Engine G-scale and O-scale Crazy Train layouts are on display. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, (closed Dec. 24-25 and Jan. 1). Admission is $5, $4 for seniors 60 and older, $3 for children 2-12, free for B&O members. Information: 410-461-1945.
'Walk to Bethlehem'
Glen Mar United Methodist Church sponsors its annual "Walk to Bethlehem" Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5 at the church, 4701 New Cut Road. This free indoor-outdoor theatrical event runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors can see the Christmas story with live animals, hear carols and experience a Biblical marketplace. Information: 410-465-4995 or go to glenmarumc.org.
Open house and holiday sale
The Howard County Arts Council hosts its annual Open House & Holiday Sale from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 at 8510 High Ridge Road. Local artists and groups will offer a variety of items for sale. Free admission. Information: 410-313-2787 or hocoarts.org.
Water main construction
A project to replace a 30-inch water main with a 48-inch main near U.S. 29 and Montgomery Road is continuing, with completion expected in late April. Information: 410-313-3440.
"Stitches in Time/Threads of Change: An Exhibition of Maryland Community Quilts" continues through March 31 at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum, 300 Oella Ave. The "Banneker Historical Quilt," a project more than five years in the making, is the centerpiece of the exhibit. Information: 410-887-1081.
The Ellicott City Patriots Youth Football & Cheer Program is looking for volunteers to serve as head coaches, assistant coaches, stunt coaches, dance coaches, gymnastics coaches, fitness trainers and competition-level coaches. Information: Linda Lagala-Spano, 410-461-1225 or
A stroke exercise program will be held 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Road. Information: 410-313-1425.
Meet the authors
Donald and Ann Torres will be at the Ellicott Senior Center at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 7 for a signing and discussion of their new book, "The Story of Balsam and the little Christmas Tree." Free.
The Bushy Park Elementary School Chorus performs its annual holiday program at 11 a.m. Dec. 9 at the Ellicott Senior Center. Free.
Play ping-pong from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays at the Ellicott City Senior Center. Free.
Play pinochle from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays at the Ellicott City Senior Center. Free.
Play pool from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. Fridays at the Ellicott City Senior Center. Free.
Bring knitting, sewing or needlework projects and supplies to the Ellicott City Senior Center at 1 p.m. Wednesdays. Free.
Madline Taylor hosts a journaling workshop at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Ellicott City Senior Center. Free.
Afternoon screenings take place at 12:45 p.m. Fridays at the Ellicott City Senior Center. Cost is $1.
Blood pressure screenings
Stop in from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesdays (except Dec. 28) at the Ellicott City Senior Center for free blood pressure readings administered by a registered nurse. Information: 410-313-1425.
The Elkridge branch of the Howard County Library, 6540 Washington Blvd., sponsors a chess club for ages 13 and older from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Players of all abilities are welcome. Information: 410-313-7723.
The Miller branch of the Howard County Library, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, offers "Let's Get Together: English Conversation Club." It's a chance for those for whom English is a second language to practice speaking and understanding English in a group setting. The club meets at 7:45 p.m. Wednesdays. Register with the library before your first meeting. Information: 410-313-1950.
The Kiwanis Club of Ellicott City meets at 6:45 p.m. Mondays at 3300 Norberts Way. Information: 410-418-8218 or ellicottcitykiwanis.com.