Things to See and Do in the Bethesda Area in July and August
Our picks for live music, theater and more
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. The Gaithersburg International Latitude Observatory is marking that giant leap for mankind with an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Visitors can view the night sky through telescopes, conduct experiments, and participate in hands-on activities to learn about crater formation and phases of the moon. The observatory, which celebrated its 120th anniversary this year, is one of six around the world that were built to track the Earth’s wobble on its polar axis through star readings to aid in navigation. It operated until 1982, when satellites replaced human observers. It’s now open to the public for occasional sky-watching events.
6:30-9:30 p.m., free, Observatory Park, Gaithersburg, gaithersburgmd.gov
Stomp and Strum
Featuring a fiddle, clawhammer banjo, button accordion and upright bass, Charm City Junction plays a blend of old-timey Americana, bluegrass and Irish music with a modern twist. For its performance at AMP by Strathmore, the Baltimore band is joined by Annapolis-based Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, whose rhythmic stomping and clapping provide the beat for the quartet’s acoustic arrangements. Both groups are rooted in the traditional music of Appalachia but are credited for interpreting and presenting it in new and creative ways.
8 p.m., $28-$48, AMP by Strathmore, ampbystrathmore.com
The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair honors the county’s agricultural history and features carnival rides, farm animals and demolition derbies. But it’s the surprising and quirky new additions that keep the institution—this year is the 71st annual fair—fun and fresh. Think unicorn milkshakes and chocolate moonshine. Or the toilet seat decorating contest and amateur cheese-carving competition. And don’t forget about the Instagram scavenger hunt and Facebook selfie contest.
3 p.m. to midnight Aug. 9, 10 a.m. to midnight Aug. 10-17; $12 online, $15 at the gate, free for ages 11 and younger; Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds, Gaithersburg, mcagfair.com
Mythical creatures could be the theme of Rockville’s summer outdoor film series Movies in the Parks. Featuring characters such as mermaids, yetis, gnomes and ice-skating ducks, the family-friendly films are presented at a different park each Wednesday in August. The lineup: Smallfoot at Calvin Park (Aug. 7), The Mighty Ducks at Woodley Gardens Park (Aug. 14), The Little Mermaid at Maryvale Park (Aug. 21) and Sherlock Gnomes at Potomac Woods Park (Aug. 28). Bring your own chairs, blankets, food and beverages.
Movies start at dusk (approximately 8 p.m.), free, various locations, rockvillemd.gov