Get up and go to the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, as soon as you can! I had been hearing for several months that the new Lego train garden at the museum was going to be awesome, and I'd seen a few photos, but seeing it in person is a whole other thing.
My husband Tom and I went last Sunday. I recommend visiting this very popular exhibit as soon as the doors open, because it will get crowded. We had the advantage of going when the doors first opened and the crowds hadn't crowded in yet.
There is a lot to see, so take your time. I recommend circling the stand at least twice, slowly. You will see new details at every pass.
Even the trains themselves are made out of Legos. I particularly liked the formally dressed bride and groom, since my son Dave is about to be a groom himself. And see if you can find the tiny red snake in the grass.
One street scene was crowded with cars — sort of like Main Street on a Friday night. And yes, there is a mill, as well as a railroad station.
We didn't have a little kid with us, but be assured that the little kids in the room with their parents were simply awe-struck, pointing and exclaiming.
And anyone who has ever attempted a small Lego creation of their own will be mighty impressed by the amount of work that went into this venture.
The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the exhibit will be up until the end of January.
Of course check out the other train setups they have, including the ever-popular Thomas the Tank Engine. And the gift shop has lots of good choices for train lovers and history buffs.
While you are in the historic district, continue up Main Street to Taylor's Antique Mall, on the corner of Main Street and Columbia Pike. They also have a Lego Christmas display you should check out.
Their hours are Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Girl's Night Out
The monthly "Girl's Night Out" is Thursday, Dec. 20. This is a great opportunity to do some last-minute holiday shopping with your friends.
Ladies meet up first at the Wine Bin, between 5 and 7 p.m. You can sample some wine and pick up a tote bag that holds a 20 percent off merchandise coupon from one of 22 participating shops.
All these shops have specials, and many have snacks and beverages to make shopping even more fun. The evening ends at 9, so get there early.
Howard County Times: Top stories
I was riding along Frederick Road on the afternoon of Dec. 9 when I saw four huge Eyre buses lumbering out of the Miller Library parking lot. Wow, that's a lot of people taking the Historical Society's annual Holiday House Tour.
Turns out that 181 folks signed up — an excellent number. You don't have to be a member to take the tour, but now would be a fine time to buy a membership for yourself or a friend for a holiday gift. For $50 you get a year's membership, a free book and a historic print.
Sounds like a deal, and you can easily do this by visiting the website or their space at the Miller Library.
County Executive Ken Ulman has announced that the Ellicott City Façade Improvement Program has received a $50,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
The program is administered by the county to aid in repair and restoration of commercial buildings in the historic district. Up to $10,000 in matching funds can be allotted for each project.
Eligible repairs include painting, new awnings, lighting, new signs, masonry, and door and window repair. This state program aims to strengthen the community through actively promoting community revitalization.