A flurry of fall activities creates a dilemma for next weekend's daytripper. Heritage celebrations, a fall festival, tour of horse farms, a garden fair and historic homes' tour -- these are all just a daytrip away.
"Wheels, Whistles, & Wonders" offers a full day of family fun next Sunday at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hagley is situated on the site of the original du Pont mills, estate and gardens, and activities are geared to life in that 19th-century community.
The "wheels" aspect of the event involves transportation, and visitors may choose a carriage ride, hay ride or take a spin in a Stanley Steamer, an automobile powered by steam. Antique and classic cars will be on display, along with the museum's newly acquired "Baby du Pont" car, one of the few miniature gasoline-powered cars made by the du Pont Motors, Inc., which made luxury automobiles from 1919 to 1933.
The "whistles" -- belonging to the steam calliope or to the many steam toys and models -- will sound throughout the property. The "wonders" include unicycle demonstrations, ice cream making, a bluegrass band, children's old-fashioned games and hands-on activities using the traditional machinery from the museum's collection. A Civil War re-enactment group will set up camp on the grounds, and visitors can see a mess tent and a medical tent, watch military drills and hear Civil War music. Food will be for sale.
Admission is $4 for adults; $2 for ages 6 to 14; free for under 6; and $10 for a family rate. Use the Buck Road East entrance to the museum off Route 100. The event will not be rescheduled if canceled due to heavy rain. For information, call (302) 658-2400, weekdays.
New Market Days
The 200-year-old town of New Market celebrates its heritage with New Market Days Friday through next Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More than 60 crafts people will line Main Street with a variety of traditional wares for sale. Strolling minstrels and demonstrations blacksmiths, tin smiths, soap makers, spinners and weavers will help to create the atmosphere of the 19th-century. A Civil War re-enactment group will be camped at one end of town, and there will be a variety of entertainment from square dancing to folk singers, bluegrass and barbershop. Country cooking will be offered by church and civic groups and the New Market Grange. There will be carriage rides through town, and visitors can browse in more than 40 antique shops. Admission is free. Call (301) 865-3926.
Horse Country Tour
The 3rd annual Maryland Horse Country Tour is set for Saturday and next Sunday in the four-county area of Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
Visitors can see the daily operations of several thoroughbred farms, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour tickets also include admission to show jumping at the American Cafe Columbia Classic Grand Prix at Howard Community College in Columbia; the Farm Heritage Festival at Prince George's Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro; the Maryland Polo Club match at Ladew Gardens, harness racing at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, and Maryland Million Day (Oct. 9), a celebration of the state's thoroughbred industry at Laurel Race Course.
Tickets cost $15 for adults; $7.50 for children. Proceeds benefit the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation. Call (410) 252-2100.
Fall Harvest Festival
Steppingstone Museum near Havre de Grace plans its annual Fall Harvest Festival Saturday and next Sunday.
This is one of the museum's big events of the year, with more than 50 craft booths open on the grounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Join some of the fall activities -- a hayride, bobbing for apples, scarecrow stuffing, pumpkin painting, apple butter making or cider pressing. For entertainment, there's bluegrass music and square dancing and pony rides, as well as a petting zoo for children. Activities are scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. There will also be food, cooking and crafts demonstrations, and the popular apple pie contest will take place Saturday. Admission is $4 for adults; free for children 12 and under. Call (410) 939-2299.
Hunting and Fishing Day
National Hunting and Fishing Day is held each year to recognize the contributions hunters and fisherman have made to the conservation of the nation's wildlife and wild places. Remington Farms, a 3,300-acre wildlife management area near Chestertown, will observe the day with an open house on Saturday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wildlife and outdoor themes will be the focus of activities, demonstrations and exhibits by crafts people, collectors, artists and conservationists. The lawns of Broadnox, the farm's Colonial mansion, will be filled with wildlife art, antique waterfowl decoys, exhibits of antique guns and earlier hunting weaponry, while members of Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Maryland Ornithological Society and other groups offer information about their various activities.
A fishing clinic, discussions on boating safety, demonstrations of safe gun and bow handling, shooting events, and retriever demonstrations are other attractions. Food will be for sale on the grounds.
Admission is free. To reach Remington Farms take state Route FTC 20 from Chestertown toward Rock Hall for about eight miles and watch for signs. Call (410) 778-8400.
Oatlands Garden Fair
The gardens at Oatlands, considered among the most beautiful in the nation, will be the setting for a three-day Garden Fair next weekend. Oatlands is a property of the National Trust, located on U.S. Route 15, six miles south of Leesburg, Va.
The first event is a floral design workshop, in which instructors will demonstrate flower arranging techniques. The workshop is scheduled Friday at 10 a.m., and the fee is $5.
The fair opens Saturday and features horticulture competitions, tips from gardening consultants, demonstrations, and vendors with bulbs, plants and the latest in gardening accessories. Inside the mansion visitors will find a floral design show, period-costume vignettes and landscaped dollhouses.
Sunday is Family Day. Children can make their own scarecrows, visit a miniature Dinosaur Park, and enjoy a storyteller, face painting and a petting zoo. There will also be a working potter, woodcarver, spinner, music and other activities. Hours on Saturday and Sunday are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 both days; $3 for ages 7 to 12; free for under 7 (on Sunday). Call (703) 777-3174.