Happy Birthday, Fish!I remember my 13th birthday....

Happy Birthday, Fish!

I remember my 13th birthday. My parents bought me a gift that every teen-ager wants -- a stereo. I still have it and I'm happy to say that the turntable and 8-track tape deck still work.


The National Aquarium turns 13 this year and there's nary a stereo in sight. Instead, the folks there are throwing an all-day birthday party on Aug. 6 and inviting all to take part.

The party takes place on Pier 3. Kids can have fun making seal puppets and shark hats and chatting with Puffin the penguin, and everyone can try their luck at some fishy party games like the Shark IQ Quiz and Chesapeake Board Game. There will be live music by Mambo Combo and the Dixieland Trio throughout the day; members of the aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue program will be on hand to discuss their work, and, of course, there will be a birthday cake. Be sure to stick around for a slice.


National Aquarium's 13th Birthday Celebration, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 6, outside of the aquarium, Pier 3 at the Inner Harbor. Admission is free. Aquarium hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is $11.50, $9.50 for seniors, $7.50 for ages 3-7, and free for ages 3 and under. Call (410) 659-4211.

I confess that bowling is not one of my favorite leisure activities. I don't like to wear other people's shoes, my all-time best score is only 86, and I still to roll the bowling ball with two hands. Oh, and there was also that time I accidentally let the ball slip out of my hands and it flew into the snack bar. (I've never seen bowlers jump up and run so fast in my entire life.) Subsequently, I have not set foot in a bowling alley in years, but that may be about to change. From now until Labor Day, six area Fair Lanes are offering bowlers a chance to roll in the jungle,

courtesy of their Zoo Lanes. Two lanes at the each of the participating tenpin centers will be decorated in a safari motif, complete with plants and animals. Even the pins are decorated -- with cheetah, tiger and zebra stripes. That should brighten things up a bit. Best of all, when you bowl at the jungle lanes, your money goes to help the Baltimore Zoo.

Zoo Lanes, now until Labor Day. Participating centers are Edgewood, Ritchie, Dundalk, Towson, Kings Point and Woodlawn. Call for times and prices.

Calling Young Artists

Attention, young-artist types. The Mount Clare mansion wants you. From now until Aug. 12, the mansion's administrators are looking for students from grades kindergarten through 12 to draw, paint or sculpt the mansion and grounds for a juried art exhibition to be held on Aug. 13 at Colonial Familyfest Day.

In addition to the outdoor exhibit and award ceremony, Familyfest Day will include tours of the mansion, an archaeological dig, games, live music and food. The Mount Clare Mansion was once the residence of Charles Carroll, barrister and statesman. This Georgian-style home dates to the late 1700s and offers a glimpse of life in Maryland during the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of Charles Carroll's possessions, along with those of his wife, Margaret Tilghman, remain in the home. Mount Clare is only a few minutes from the Inner Harbor.

"Mount Clare Mini-Masters" competition, Mount Clare Mansion, Carroll Park, Washington Boulevard and South Monroe Street. Artwork will be accepted until Aug. 12 but entry forms must be turned in by Aug. 5. Call (410) 837-3262 for forms. All entries will be on display Aug. 13 from noon to 4 p.m. at Familyfest Day. Admission is free for students throughout the summer with regular $4 adult admission.