'IMAGINOCEAN' OPENSEnter a "fantasea" world where neon...


Enter a "fantasea" world where neon fish swim and aquatic plants sway on circular walls. "ImaginOcean," the National Aquarium's laser-generated aquatic show, makes its debut today with an opening-day program geared to children.


The first 25 children to arrive will participate in opening ceremonies, and the first 600 youngsters receive a fluorescent necklace. For all kids, there will be face painting and costumed characters to enjoy from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All visitors receive an ImaginOcean magnet.

The new exhibit of animated laser creatures, painted murals, video coral reefs and music fills the vacuum created by the closure of the Atlantic Coral Reef and Open Ocean ring tanks. The tanks, which were home to 1,000 fish and sharks, are under repair.


Admission: $11.50 for adults, $7.50 for children under 12, and $9.50 for those over 60. Opening day hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Experience the spirit of Christmas Past at the courtyard sites of the Baltimore City Life Museums.

Play parlor games like "Russian gossip" and "the farmer's cat" at the 1840 House; meet and shake hands with one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll, at the Carroll Mansion; and make Christmas ornaments at the Courtyard Exhibition Center.

Cozy up by the fire for storytelling, sample homemade gingerbread and make crafts at the 1840 House, where toymaker Mike Brown will show off wooden toy creations that would make Santa's elves jealous.

Next door, at the Carroll Mansion, watch couples from the living history dance troupe Choreographie Antique perform waltzes, polkas and other early 19th-century dances. At the Courtyard Exhibition Center, see a re-created Victorian parlor decorated with a Christmas tree. Other activities include marbleized paper-making, caroling and a quilting demonstration. "Merry Old Christmas on Museum Row" is free. When: noon to 4 p.m. tomorrow. Where: 800 E. Lombard St. Sharks -- those darlings of Hollywood -- have hit the big screen again at the Maryland Science Center's IMAX Theater. Venture deep into the watery world of the blue shark, the whale shark and the great white shark. The film takes you to the California coast and Australia's coral reefs.

"Search for the Great Sharks" runs through May 26. Admission: $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for children 4 to 17, seniors and military personnel.



Get a taste of American Indian culture this weekend at the sixth annual National Native American Cultural Arts Festival at Festival Hall. Treat your taste buds to Navajo tacos, venison stew and Indian corn soup. Attend hoop dancing and drum contests, and hear flute music, too. Members of the Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Sioux, Hopi, Cherokee and Blackfoot nations will be represented. You'll also find Indian crafts, including pottery, beadwork and turquoise jewelry for sale. Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission: $7 for adults and $4 for children.