The 142nd Preakness returns to Pimlico Race Course in a flurry of flying hooves and storied traditions, from “Sunrise at Old Hilltop” walking tours to the blaring yellows and colorful cocktails of Black-Eyed Susan Day. Don your finest, grab your expendable cash and make your way to the big event, or swap seersucker for something a little more casual (and mud-resistant) in the infield—this year’s headliners include country superstar Sam Hunt and pop-punk rockers Good Charlotte. A word to the wise: Despite last year’s record-high turnout, there’s been much talk about moving the middle jewel of the Triple Crown … so if placing your bets at Pimlico is on your Baltimore bucket list, perhaps this is the year. May 20 at Pimlico Race Course. Ticket prices vary. preakness.com —KIMBERLY USLIN
Who will be the Grand Mediocre East Coast Champion? Follow along at the nail-biting Kinetic Sculpture Race, the American Visionary Art Museum’s annual celebration of all things mobile mayhem. Featuring imaginative handmade vehicles crafted for both land and sea (and entirely of recycled materials), the race spans 15 miles through the city, with checkpoints in Federal Hill, Canton Waterfront Park, Patterson Park and more. Don’t miss it—this citywide spectacle is practically required viewing for Baltimoreans in all walks of life. May 6 at the American Visionary Art Museum. Free. avam.org —KATHERINE SCHAUER
Want to make your workout feel even more worth it? Join thousands of your fellow fitness enthusiasts for the Maryland Half Marathon & 5K. Whether you’re running, walking or simply corralling your little ones in the Kids Fun Race, all proceeds benefit The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center—so no matter your time, you’re making serious strides. May 13 at Maple Lawn in Fulton, Maryland. Registration: $75 for half-marathon, $40 for 5K. bit.ly/MD marathon —K.S.
Join The Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage for a tour of Baltimore County’s Oella, a historic village originally established for textile mill workers and their families. Past-minded pilgrims can learn about the village’s rich cultural history (tours include stops at the old mill, the Benjamin Banneker Park and Museum, the Alhambra Historic House and more), as well as admire the architecture of its stone homes and log cabins, all while supporting the village’s future—proceeds from the pilgrimage benefit informative signage along the Trolley Trail, including Oella’s Entrance Garden and Cemetery. May 13 in the Town of Oella. Tickets: $30-$40. mhgp.org —K.S.
IF IT AIN’T BAROQUE
Hear the sounds of the 17th century as Pro Musica Rara presents Bohemian Baroque at the BMA. The group, more concisely known as PMR, was founded in 1974 and features Baltimore artists, “early music specialists” and other guest musicians, all performing chamber music from the baroque, classical and early romantic periods. The music starts at 3:30 p.m., but be sure to catch the pre-show talk at 2:30 to give the concert a little context. May 14 at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Tickets: $30. artbma.org —K.U.
Based on the groundbreaking novel by Toni Morrison, Jazz follows Southern-born Joe and Violet from the countryside to the bustling streets of Harlem, their lives mirroring the move from rural idyll to city chaos in clashing, soaring rhythm. The production, a world premiere by Nambi E. Kelley directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, will run from May 19-June 25 at Baltimore Center Stage. Tickets: $20-$43. centerstage.org—K.U.
Tee up for a terrific cause at Birdies on the Green, a day of golf, cocktails and good food supporting Irvine Nature Center. (The Center has spent more than 40 years increasing environmental literacy for learners of all ages—this is one beneficiary that’s certainly up to par.) Tickets include an 18-hole Florida scramble, hors d’oeuvres, a “gourmet buffet lunch,” drinks and an auction. Fore! May 9 at Green Spring Valley Hunt Club Golf Course. Tickets: $375 per golfer. explorenature.org —LAURA DZUBAY
Go wild at the biggest beer festival in Baltimore, The Maryland Zoo’s annual Brew at the Zoo. Wander among wolves and warthogs while sampling 80-plus brews, listening to live music and checking out arts and crafts from local makers—and, of course, supporting the Zoo. (The ultra-popular event is its largest fundraiser of the year.) May 27 and 28 at The Maryland Zoo. Tickets: $45-$75. marylandzoo.org —K.S.
All things nerd culture descend upon Charm City for BALTICON, the city’s annual science fiction convention. Hosted by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, BALTICON features appearances from writers, scientists, costumers, musicians, artists and more, as well as countless panel discussions, workshops and recreational rooms dedicated to anime screenings and gaming. This year’s special guests include Erin Flint, author and creator of the 1632 universe, and literary cover artist Donato Giancola. It’s a brave new world, Baltimore. May 26-29 at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. Tickets: Full weekend, $69-$75 for adults and $34-$37 for children ages 6-12. 410-563-2737. balticon.org —L.P.
WHEELS ON THE BUS
Abandon your traditional take on theater with Promenade: Baltimore, an innovative dramatic experience from Single Carrot Theatre and Stereo AKT. In the roving production (seriously, audience members follow the actors around on a bus), the city is both the setting and a main character, with actors sharing stories and music to shed light on Baltimore’s “complexities, struggles and beauty.” June 2-25 at Single Carrot Theatre. Call for ticket information. 443-844-9253. single carrot.com —L.P.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
According to National Park Service/ Chesapeake Conservancy partnership Find Your Chesapeake, Baltimore boasts “almost 6,000 acres of parkland, three stream valleys and miles of bike and natural surface trail”—perfect for celebrating National Trails Day, a countrywide initiative to encourage hiking and other fresh-air activities. In honor of the event, the Department of Recreation and Parks has coordinated numerous outdoor programs over the course of the weekend, from a Middle Branch canoe tour to bike rides around Lake Montebello. (P.S. Most counties are participating, too, so be sure to check your local Parks & Rec site.) June 3-5 citywide. Free. 443-984-4058. find yourchesapeake.com —L.P.
MOMS & MUMS
Mother’s Day celebrations are in full bloom at Cylburn Arboretum’s annual Market Day weekend. The celebration offers a huge selection of plants from hanging baskets to herbs, as well as garden- and nature-themed crafts and gifts. Grab something for Mom or just celebrate yourself. May 13 at the Cylburn Arboretum Association. Free admission, $10 parking. cylburn .org —K.S.
Good times never seemed so good (so good! so good!). Grammy-winning artist Neil Diamond brings his “Sweet” brand of rock ’n’ roll to Baltimore as part of his 50 Year Anniversary World Tour. See the Hall of Famer perform hits like “Cherry, Cherry,” “Cracklin’ Rosie” and more June 9 at Royal Farms Arena. Tickets: $39-$175. royalfarmsarena.com —K.U.
A STORM’S A-BREWING
Where better to experience Shakespeare’s tumultuous tale of the forces of nature (and human nature) than the great outdoors? See The Tempest in Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theater at PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City. If you’ve never attended an outdoor show, “be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not”—well, at least according to the Bard. June 16-July 23 at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company in-the-Ruins Outdoor Theater. Tickets: $15-$42. chesa peakeshakespeare.com —K.U.
If you want to fly, all you need to do is believe … and grab a ticket to Finding Neverland, the 2012 Broadway sensation based on the film of the same name. Intertwining the classic tale of Peter Pan and the semibiographical one of its creator, J.M. Barrie, the award-winning musical promises mischief, magic and, of course, plenty of pixie dust. June 27-July 2 at the Hippodrome. Tickets: $42-$106. france-merrickpac.com —K.U.
Based on the memoirs of Luther S. “Ludie” Tall, I Wouldn’t Have Changed a Thing chronicles life in Baltimore in the early 1900s. Written by Tall’s granddaughter, local author Holly Lewis Maddux, the book explores the development of Roland Park in the 1900s and 1910s, from Roma encampments to the burning of downtown Baltimore in 1904. Hear her read from the text and have your copy signed June 17 at Greetings & Readings. Free. greetingsand readings.com —SYDNEY BURROWS
HERE COMES THE BRIDE
Fall in love with Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland, a new exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland featuring all things nuptial. Artifacts, photographs and more explore the intersection between religious and secular traditions in Jewish weddings past and present, an a complementary online exhibit (cutely called “Marrying Maryland”) allows Jewish Marylanders to contribute their own wedding documents. June 18-Sept. 17. Tickets: $10. 410-732-6400. jewishmuseummd.org —L.P.
ALL OF HIM
Soulful singer-songwriter John Legend will park his piano at Merriweather Post Pavilion this summer as part of his Darkness and Light tour. The 10-time Grammy-winner and performer of such hits as “All of Me,” “Ordinary People” and “Green Light” is joined by the one-named Gallant, an up-and-coming performer and, not incidentally, Columbia native. See them both June 20 at Merriweather. Tickets: $59-$499. merri weathermusic.com —K.U.
FIT THE BILL
In this unprecedented political climate, it sometimes seems that all we can really do is laugh. Enter Bill Maher, longtime comedian/political commentator and the host of “Real Time” on HBO, in “An Evening with Bill Maher.” The stand-up special should include plenty of politics, incisive observations and Maher’s trademark satire. June 24 at the Lyric. Tickets: $45-$250. modell-lyric.com —K.U.
In advance of the big announcement, the finalists for the 12th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize will present their work to the public at the Walters Art Museum. The $25,000 award (Baltimore’s most prestigious) will be presented in conjunction with Artscape in July, but the finalists’ work will be on view June 17-August 13 at The Walters. Free. thewalters.org —S.B.
If your landscape has been looking a bit lackluster, head to the 31st Annual Gardens Day in Towson for a bevy of blooms, decor and crafts, as well as an all-day Q&A with the onsite Master Gardener. Stay in town (so to speak) for the Towsontown Spring Festival two days later—the festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary and should be bigger and better than ever, with a fantastic food truck lineup, musical and dance performances, carnival rides and kids’ activities, beer gardens, multiple stages and more. Gardens Day, May 4, and Spring Festival, May 6-7, both free and in downtown Towson. towsontownfestival.com —K.U.
RINGS A BELL
In commemoration of the release of his latest novel, Behind the Moon, Baltimore author and National Book Award Finalist Madison Smartt Bell will join Bird in Hand’s “Starts Here!” reading series. The novel tells the tale of a teenager named Julie who is attacked in the desert while on a camping trip with her friends … and the surprising ways in which her birth mother helps her to heal. Hear Bell read from the book May 13 at Bird in Hand Bookstore. Free. startsherereadingseries.blog spot.com —K.U.
PADDLE FOR A PURPOSE
Raise your voices (and your oars) in support of a healthy harbor for the 2nd Annual Baltimore Floatilla. The 5-mile paddling event can be completed via canoe, kayak or even stand-up paddleboard—but a word to the wise: The affair is for experienced paddlers only. Only an OK oarsperson? Don’t fret! You can still show your support for clean- water initiatives, as the MOMS Organic Market After-Party is free for all. June 10. Tickets: $40. 443-743-3308. baltimorefloatilla .com —Lauren Padilla