RUN FOR IT
If you’re asking Baltimoreans to run a race on the first of July, you’d better have a good reason. Fortunately, the Urban Children Foundation’s One-Miler is a more-than-worthy cause. Supporting the Foundation’s mission to increase access to extracurricular activities for all Baltimore students, the race promises to be “flat and fast,” running through historic Fort McHenry. July 1 at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Registration: $30-$35. urbanchildren.org —K.S.
Get your ooh-aah on as the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts hosts its annual Fourth of July Celebration, presented by Ports America Chesapeake. As always, live music from the U.S. Navy Band Commodores will be performed at the Inner Harbor Amphitheater, followed by a choreographed fireworks show visible in neighborhoods across the city. July 4 at the Inner Harbor. Free. promotionandarts.org —SYDNEY BURROWS
Maryland’s largest food truck festival, Nextival, is back and ready to dish out the latest in tastes and tones. The daylong event is the perfect way to spend a summer day, with more than 50 vendors and live music from bands like Pressing Strings and Gingerwolf (plus special kid music from Kidsinger Jim, Guava Jelly and others). Actually, it’s quite family-friendly: With 10 moon bounces and more than 400 pounds of Legos, your kids may never want to leave. July 8 at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds. Tickets: $15, kids 12 and under free. nextival.com —K.S.
Tony Award-winning songstress Idina Menzel will bring a little Broadway to Baltimore to promote her eponymous album, Idina. Menzel is known for her unforgettable roles in Rent and Wicked—and, of course, Frozen. (If you’ve come across anyone under 12 in the last few years, you’ve no doubt heard her viral Disney earworm “Let It Go.”) The show is kid-friendly, with singalong fun for little ones and chill-inducing vocals for adults. July 18 at the Lyric. Tickets: $70-$400. 410-900-1150. lyricbal timore.com —ELIZABETH MCMAHON
As perhaps the most famous magician in the world, David Blaine has performed for Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking and Muhammad Ali, as well as presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush—and now, for Baltimoreans from all walks of life. The daredevil performer is known for his outrageous stunts, including world-record breath-holding (17 minutes at the longest—we’re gasping just thinking of it), being buried alive, surviving encasement in a 6-ton block of ice for three days and countless others. See what he’ll get into next July 8 at the Hippodrome Theatre. Tickets: $74-$265. 410-837-7400. baltimore.broadway.com —S.B.
Created by District Comedy, the Baltimore Comedy and Arts Festival is a rambunctious celebration of all things Baltimore. Local musicians, comedians, artists and food trucks take center stage, with appearances from Jesse Rivas, Blest Jones, Bmore Ben and more. July 15 at Pimlico. Tickets: $10-$60. bmorecomedyfest.com —S.B.
Enjoy a vino-fueled island escape at Linganore Winecellars’ Reggae Fest, a two-day event featuring lots of Jamaica-inspired live music, an open-air market and wine samples aplenty. July 15-16 at Linganore Winecellars in Mount Airy, Maryland. Tickets: $25. linganorewines.com —S.B. GO WILD
If Brew at the Zoo wasn’t enough to sate your alcohol-and-animals needs, look no further than Zoo Snooze, Baltimore’s wildest adult sleepover. At this fun event, participants can tour the zoo after hours, visit the habitats, bond with fellow nocturnal animals and participate in trivia and other activities. Dinner, breakfast and mimosas (yum!) are included. P.S. This overnight is for adults ages 21 and over. July 15 at Maryland Zoo. Tickets: $100-$125. 410-396-7102. marylandzoo.org —S.B.
Get a taste of the islands with Baltimore Caribbean Carnival. The two-day event features a can’t-miss parade with spectacular floats, costumes, music and more, as well as live music, dancing and authentic food and crafts. It’s so flashy and fun, in fact, that we’ll happily ignore its anachronism (Carnival is in February, people). July 15-16, Lake Clifton Park. baltimorecarnival.com —S.B.
IT’S THE PITS
Head to one of Maryland’s coolest small towns (and former set of Runaway Bride) for the juiciest event of the summer, the Berlin Peach Festival. Drum up some warm, fuzzy feelings (literally) by participating in ice cream making, pie-eating contests, quilting, museum tours and more. Aug. 5 at Berlin Main Street. Free. berlin mainstreet.com —KIMBERLY USLIN
When it comes to making our summer concert schedules, we “Won’t Back Down” from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 40th Anniversary Tour. The classic rockers are sure to please with their stable of singalong hits (“Free Fallin’,” “American Girl” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” to name a few) and are joined by Peter Wolf, fan favorite in his own right and former lead vocalist of the J. Geils Band. July 23 at Royal Farms Arena. Tickets: $50-$150. 410-347-2020. royalfarms arena.com —S.B.
Spending a few hours staring at bugs isn’t most people’s idea of a good time, but when Cirque du Soleil is involved, there’s not much we can’t get behind. In this quirky, visually fascinating production, a colony of insects of all kinds “work, play, fight and look for love in a nonstop riot of energy in motion” before their lives are disrupted by the arrival of the titular Ovo, or egg. Spin a web with the contortionist Silky Spiders, gasp as the Flexible Fleas fly high above your head, and laugh as some Crazy Crickets climb up a wall. Creepy-crawlers never looked so cool. Aug. 23-27 at Royal Farms Arena. Tickets: $36-$161. royalfarmsarena.com —S.B. and K.U.
Ahoy, mateys! Make your way to Rock Hall on the Eastern Shore for an immersive weekend of swashbuckling fun in the Pirates & Wenches Fantasy Weekend. The “town-wide theme party” includes sea shanty singalongs, rum tastings, costume contests, a Caribbean beach party and Buccaneer’s Ball, a Pirate 5K run/walk and a treasure hunt, as well as kids’ activities and so much more. Aug. 11-13 in Rock Hall. Prices vary by event. rockhall pirates.com —K.U.
In the final installations of MICA Grad Show 2017, see the work of “the next generation of creative thinkers as they demonstrate the power and possibilities of contemporary art and design,” particularly the art education and studio art grad students. July 24-28 at the Sheila & Richard Riggs and Leidy galleries. Free. 410-225-5274. micagradshow.com —K.S.
POP POP FIZZ FIZZ
Though its name sounds a little adults-only, the sixth annual Kegs and Corks Festival is all-ages fun. Enjoy a day of socializing and sipping on unlimited samples of beer and wine (festival organizers say they’re the only event that celebrates both equally); listening to live music; shopping at local vendors; and snacking on great food. Aug. 12 at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds. Tickets: $15-$125. kegsandcorksfest.com —S.B.
Legendary rock band Santana promises plenty of swagger and sizzle when they hit Merriweather this August as part of the “Transmogrify” tour. Fronted by virtuoso guitarist Carlos Santana, the 10-time Grammy-winning band blends mariachi with blues, rock and soul, bringing otherworldly riffs to their unique brand of global fusion and leaving audiences, indeed, magically transformed. Aug. 15 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Tickets: $55.50-$295. 877-435-9849. merriweather music.com —K.S.
What’s more summery than the Maryland State Fair? Get your quintessential quaintness on with animal exhibitions, petting zoos, music, great food (well, if you consider fried Oreos great—and we do), carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, horse racing and so much more. Aug. 24-Sept. 4 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. marylandstatefair.com —K.S.
While the words “soul food” usually elicit visions of fried foods and Memphis-style ribs, Vegan SoulFest proves that healthy living can be just as delicious. The celebration of vegan living, created by Brenda N. Sanders and Naijha Wright, merges great food, cooking demos, music, vendors, speakers and more for a day that’s as happy as it is healthy. Aug. 26 at Baltimore City Community College. Free. vegan soulfest.com —LAUREN FITCH
PARTY OF THE CENTURY
Hear ye, hear ye! Travel back to the 1500s to the Maryland Renaissance Festival and into the stunning village of Revel Grove, where adventures aplenty await. Wander among the shops of glassblowers, swordsmen and more, catch a jousting match, grab a turkey leg and some hot apple dumplings or listen to a minstrel play a spellbinding tune. Costumes are encouraged! Weekends Aug. 26-Oct. 22 in Crownsville. Tickets: $19-$25. rennfest.com —S.B.
IN A FLASH
How can you go wrong with a tag- line like “Experience Awesome?” That tidbit of positive thinking comes courtesy of the Flashlight Music Festival, an all-day outdoor event dedicated to improving the lives of Baltimore’s homeless. But the fest is anything but dour. Acts like Black Alley, the Kelly Bell Band and more join forces with food trucks, laser light shows, DJ battles and glow dance parties for an unforgettably bright night. July 8 at Canton Waterfront Park. Tickets: $40-$100. flashlightbaltimore.org —S.B.
MOTHER OF ALL COMEDIES
Comedians Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley know that parenting is no easy task. Enter #IMOMSOHARD, an out-of-the-snot-wipe-and-into-the spotlight celebration of the hilarious and harrowing throes of motherhood. (Proof they know what they’re talking about: more than 600,000 Facebook fans and 55 million views on their web series.) Join the duo for Mom’s Night Out: Summer Break Tour—but be sure to leave the kids at home, as the show is 18+. July 15 at the Lyric Tickets: $35-$46. 410-900-1150. modell-lyric .com —K.S.
Maryland-based artist Annet Couwenberg presents From Digital to Damask, an intimate exhibition exploring the relationship between technology, science, art and history. The 11-piece show highlights the creations borne from Couwenberg’s Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, where she was paired with scientist Dr. Lynne Parenti to examine fish fossils, as well as work from her time in the Netherlands studying damask. Free. Aug. 16-Feb. 18 at the Baltimore Museum of Art. artbma.org —L.F.
BREAKING DOWN WALLS
Join the Baltimore County Public Library system and the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County as they present Baltimore County Discusses: Immigration, the latest in a series of forums surrounding sociopolitical issues. The program brings experts and members of five different political parties together to explore the topics, encouraging “mindful discussions” of hotbutton issues. July 19 at the Catonsville Branch and July 25 at the White Marsh Branch. Free. bcpl.info —K.U.