Poet William Cullen Bryant once described autumn as “the year’s last, loveliest smile.” We suggest getting in touch with nature before that smile fades and you’re faced with winter’s scowl.
Ladew Topiary Gardens celebrates the season with its annual Children’s Day on September 6. This year’s event will highlight Ladew’s new, unique-to-the-region Butterfly House with a special “Caterpillars & Butterflies!” theme. Sing-a-long performances and magic shows are included in the fun-filled day, plus tours of the serotinal gardens. Still, the biggest treat will be a stroll through the Butterfly House, which is filled with the colorful critters and their caterpillar forerunners. Ladew Topiary Gardens, 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free-$10. 410-557-9570. ladewgardens.com.
Take in the sights of autumn and celebrate the 2014 harvest at Boordy Vineyards’ Crush 14. A series of events held over four consecutive weekends in late September and early October, participants can ride a wagon through the picturesque vineyards, watch winemaking demonstrations, enjoy samplings, and get down to live music. Boordy Vineyards, 12820 Long Green Pike, Hydes. Sept. 21-Oct. 12. Times vary. Free-$15. 410-592-5015. boordy.com.
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore’s long-awaited new African penguin exhibit, Penguin Coast, opens September 27 and is sure to delight. Visitors will get to watch the waddling cuties closer than ever before as they swim, eat, and frolic in their new almost 2,000-square-foot space. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, 1876 Mansion House Dr. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free-$17.50. 410-396-7102. marylandzoo.org.