Free Anytime

B & O Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station

Whether a railroad enthusiast or Thomas the Tank Engine fan, the Ellicott City station is sure to please. It’s the oldest surviving railroad station in America and the site of the original terminus of the first 13 miles of commercial track ever constructed in America. Admission is only $5 for adults and less for seniors and children. Open year round, Wednesday through Sunday. For hours or additional information, visit www.ecborail.org or call 410-461-1945.

Information above provided by the B & O Railroad Museum

Bob’s Vintage Museum at Bob’s BMW Motorcycles

Bob’s Vintage Museum in Jessup features a one-of-a-kind exhibit of 30 vintage motorcycles, ultra rare accessories and side car exhibits, original posters and literature, a gift shop, snack shop and free coffee. For hours of operation or additional information, visit, www.bobsbmw.com or call 301-497-8949.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue

Come meet horses and see before-and-after pictures of successful rehabilitations, stop in the souvenir and tack shops, and gather information about programs. Daily tours are offered from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary for individual tours but call ahead to schedule groups. Parking is free; donations are appreciated but not required. For more information, visit www.defhr.org/sponsr/2008biz.htm or call 301-854-5037 or 410-442-1564.

Ellicott City Historic Sites: Ellicott City Colored School Restored, Firehouse Museum, Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park, Thomas Isaac Log Cabin

Visit the Historic District in Ellicott City to discover sites unique to the area and learn about the settlement and development of the region. Sites are open April through November, Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm. For more information, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/RAP or call 410-313-5131.

Game Club at Historic Savage Mill

Located in Savage, The Family Game Store at Historic Savage Mill sponsors free game clubs Friday or Saturday nights. Special events are often held to introduce new games. For event schedules or more information visit, www.familygamestore.net or call 301-776-5980.

Girl’s Night Out in Historic Ellicott City

The fun starts at The Wine Bin at 5pm where you can collect your free reusable goodie tote filled with gifts and coupons. Demonstrations from local chefs, salons and more while you sample various wines to live jazz music. Every month features different demos! Then grab your gal pals and head down the street for more live outdoor music and special Girls Night Only discounts in our boutiques and restaurants. Just look for the pink flag in front of participating businesses. For more information visit www.visitellicottcity.com

Golf

Practice your swing! These courses offer a bucket of balls for the driving range for six dollars or less:

  • Rocky Gorge Golf offers a bucket of balls for $6. They also have mini golf for $4.50 before 6pm, and inexpensive batting cages. For more information visit www.rockygorgegolf.com
  • Timbers at Troy offers a bucket of 40 balls for $5. For more information visit www.timbersgolf.com
  • Willow Springs Golf has a small bucket of balls for $4. For more information visit www.willowspringsgolfcourse.com

Heritage Orientation Center in Historic Ellicott City

Located behind the Thomas Isaac Log Cabin at the intersection of Main Street and Ellicott Mills Drive in Historic Ellicott City, this historic structure was the county’s first court records building and is now home to a unique collection of exhibits on 18th and 19th century milling techniques, the floods of Ellicott Mills and the Ellicott family. Open daily. For additional information, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/RAP or call 410-313-5131.

Historic National Road

The “Road that Built the Nation” is a great vacation destination. Authorized in 1806 to become America’s first interstate highway, the Historic National Road took four decades to complete from Baltimore to Vandalia, Illinois. Howard County’s own Mt. Airy and Ellicott City are featured stops along the Maryland 170-mile portion. Pick up, or download, a guide: Pick up at the Welcome Center in Historic Ellicott City (8267 Main Street, 21043 / 410-313-1900); download at, www.visitmaryland.org/Pages/HISTORICNATIONALROAD.aspx

Information above provided by the Maryland Office of Tourism

The Howard County Conservancy

Headquartered at the 300-year-old Mt. Pleasant Farm in Woodstock, the Conservancy offers dozens of year-round educational programs for adults and children, including the popular Second Saturday Nature Walks. For hours of operation or more information, visit www.hcconservancy.org or call 410-465-8877.

Howard County Historical Society Museum & Library

Located in the heart of Ellicott City’s Historic District, the museum is home to one-of-a kind exhibits and educational programs. Free organ concerts and other low-cost events are offered several times a year. Museum hours are Tuesday & Saturday: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm; Library hours are Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, 12:00 – 4:00 pm and Wednesday 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. For more information, visit www.hchsmd.org or call 410- 750-0370.

The Patapsco Valley History Exhibit

Visit the Welcome Center in Historic Ellicott City (8267 Main Street, Ellicott City, Maryland 21043, 410-313-1900) and view interpretive panels that tell the story of the Patapsco Valley. The panels are courtesy of The Friends of Patapsco Valley and Heritage Greenway Inc. To learn more or view online visit, www.patapscoheritagegreenway.org.

The Shrine of St. Anthony

Located in beautiful western Howard County, the Shrine is a place of prayer, pilgrimage, peace and hosts individuals and groups for retreats, programs and meetings. Property features include gardens, walking paths and a historic manor house. For more information visit, www.shrineofstanthony.org or call 410-531-2800.

Columbia Volksmarch Club: Six Year-Round Walks

See the wonders of Howard County through Volkssports non-competitive outdoor fitness events where you can walk (jog or run), bike, swim, rollerblade a marked or mapped route at your own pace. All are welcome to participate, children under 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. For a modest fee, Credit is awarded for each completed course or complete courses for free without Credit. For Registration Locations’ hours or more information, visit www.bangor59.com/cvc or stop in the Welcome Center in Historic Ellicott City (8267 Main Street, 21043 / 410-313-1900) Howard County for a program booklet.

Hickory Ridge 5km/10km Walk
Start Point: Feet First Athletic Footwear, Hickory Ridge Village Center, 6420 Freetown Rd, Columbia, MD 21044, this walk can be combined with the Harpers Farm for 10k.

Columbia Mall 5km/10km/20km Walk
Registration Point: Starbucks Coffee Columbia Mall, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia MD 21044

Kings Contrivance 10km Walk
Registration Point: McDonald’s of King’s Contrivance, 8600 Guilford Rd, Columbia MD 21046

Harper’s Choice 5km/10km Walk
Registration Point: Feet First Athletic Footwear, Hickory Ridge Village Center, 6420 Freetown Rd, Columbia, MD 21044 or nearby Hickory Ridge Sunoco gas station, this walk can be combined with Hickory Ridge for 20k.

Meadowbrook/Ellicott City North 10km Walk
Registration Point: Long Gate Sunoco, 4398 Montgomery Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21043

Centennial Lake 10km Walk
Registration Point: Long Gate Sunoco, 4398 Montgomery Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21043

Almost Anytime

Charity’s Closet

Only open on Sundays from 1 – 4pm but so worth the trip. Charity’s Closet is a women’s and junior’s thrift shop run by teens where everything in the store costs $5. Find everything from accessories to shoes to prom dresses. All proceeds go to an organization designed to help disadvantaged women. Located at, 9090 Frederick Road in Ellicott City, MD 21043. For more information, visit www.successinstyle.org.

Ellicott City’s First Fridays, April – December

Ellicott City Historic District boutiques, salons, antiques, art galleries and more will open their doors for a unique evening shopping experience. Look for musical entertainment around town and special offers in some shops! Most shops are open until 8:00PM, times and participation are subject to vary. For more information visit, www.visitellicottcity.com

Ellicott City’s Second Sundays, May – September

The lovingly restored shops of Tongue Row (access through Parking Lot D) invite local farmers, growers and artisans for a special Farmer’s Market the Second Sunday of the Month. Fresh baked old world bread, local honey, fresh cut flowers and hand-made jewelry are just some of the treasures you’ll find! Times and participation are subject to vary. For more information visit, www.visitellicottcity.com