Hallowread, a convention celebrating fiction of the paranormal, urban fantasy, and steampunk variety, returns for its fifth year. Bookworms and horror fans meet for this spooky series of writing workshops, ghost tours, author panels, paranormal investigations, and book signings. Held in historic and possibly haunted Ellicott City, the fest isn’t all fun and fangs; it also aims to raise funds for both The Maryland Book Bank and the continued flood recovery efforts for its host city. An all-access ticket will grant you access to every program in the two-day event, so geek out for the greater good — just in time for Halloween.
Oct. 20-21 at the Roger Carter Community Center. Tickets: $15 -65. hallowread.com
Romeo and Juliet
But soft! This season, the Ballet Theatre of Maryland presents the ultimate pas de deux: Romeo and Juliet, adapted for ballet by 20th century Russian composer Sergei Profokiev. Watch as the talented troupe plies its way through the tragic masterpiece, melding dance and literature into one seriously star-crossed show.
Oct. 20-22 at The Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Tickets: TBA. balletmaryland.org
Home and Garden Show
Want to give your house (or backyard) a makeover? Check out the Home and Garden show, with tons of vendors and experts on hand to guide you through your next big project.
Oct. 20-22 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. Tickets: $9.
Make Your Own Bouncy Ball
Explore chemistry and make a ball that actually bounces by using simple kitchen ingredients. This is for children up to age eight, who are accompanied by an adult. Registration required.
Baltimore County Public Library, Sollers Point branch, 4-4:45 p.m., bcpl.info
Zoo Snooze Family Overnight
It’s a sleepover like none other, because this one is at the zoo’s Penguin Coast. Learn about African penguins, polar bears, African reptiles and mammals and some of our local nocturnal animals.
The Maryland Zoo, 6 p.m.-9:30 a.m., $50/person for members, $65/person for non-members, marylandzoo.org
The Baltimore Running Festival
For some, The Baltimore Running Festival is a fun chance to get out and get active with a variety of route options. For others, it’s a dreaded cause of road closures and other traffic mayhem. Either way, be prepared!
Daylong throughout the city.
There’s one more chance for sipping suds when The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore hosts Oktobearfest 2017. The festival will feature unlimited autumn-inspired beer sampling from over 30 seasonal brews, as well as live music. Also for sale, as if the beer wasn’t enough, will be food, art, and wares from local artisans and vendors – all of it, of course, with a bit of a German flavor. Best of all, if you stop by, you’ve also got an excuse to visit the zoo itself. Bears and beers and brews, oh my!
Oct. 21 at Waterfowl Lake Pavilion, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
Out of the Darkness
The 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. is suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The event gives community members, sponsors—and even dogs—an opportunity to fight suicide, and to learn about prevention efforts and mental illness. Fundraising is key to the success of this mission, and an Out of the Darkness Walk t-shirt will be awarded to those who raise $150 by Oct. 21. Keep the memory of loved ones alive by decorating a butterfly in their honor for the Tree of Life, adding a square to the Lifekeeper Memory Quilt or wearing Honor Beads.
Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Maryland State Fairgrounds. Registration required.
Join the Columbia Association in celebrating the food, music, art and culture of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands at this fun fest.
Free. 1:3-4:30 at Howard County Library System Miller Branch, Ellicott City.
Young Adult Author Panel
F.M. Boughan, Meg Eden, Christina June, Kathy MacMillan, Sharon Huss Roat and Katy Upperman will share their writing journeys and information about their latest books.
Baltimore County Public Library, Catonsville branch, 2 p.m., bpcl.info