Shaker Forest Festival
Step back to yesteryear and experience the life of Shakers, an industrious group of craftsmen who invented many essentials still in use today - the flat broom, clothespin, packaged seeds, washing machine and the simple but exquisitely crafted Shaker furniture and nesting boxes. For the next two weekends, you can observe craftspeople, dressed in period clothing, demonstrate their skills at the annual Shaker Festival, held amid a canopy of trees and mulched pathways at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg. The festival also features a strolling barbershop quartet and a kilt-clad bagpipe band; musicians who are proficient on the dulcimer, harpsichord, harmonica, guitar and banjo; pony and train rides, face painting, balloons and magic for kids; a fire-eating juggler, tightrope walker and unicyclist; and food prepared in the Shaker tradition.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Sept. 16, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 17. The festival site is at 11950 Clopper Road. Admission is $6 for adults and free for children 10 and younger. Call 888-612-0900.
GardenFest at Longwood Gardens
Celebrate September's beauty and bounty by revisiting the heyday of life at Longwood Gardens during the first half of this century, when Longwood was a du Pont country estate. The fest, which starts Saturday and runs through Oct. 1 at the horticultural display near Kennett Square, Pa., shares Longwood founder Pierre du Pont's (1870-1954) passion for gardens with a variety of programs ranging from plant walks to cooking demonstrations. Visitors can see antique tractors, enjoy fountain displays choreographed to Sousa marches, and admire a miniature garden railroad.
Silent movies and old-fashioned games are added to the garden fare on weekends. Flowers and fruits of the season are on display in the Conservatory Exhibition Hall.
Longwood Gardens, off U.S. 1, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $12 for adults ($8 Tuesdays), $6 ages 16-20, $2 ages 6-15 and free under age 6. Call 800-737-5500.