Weather.com is promising sunny days and temperatures in the low to mid seventies for the next three days. Think spring has returned? Sure hope so — because there are a ton of ways to get OUTSIDE this weekend! You’ll find a more complete list of events on our calendar, but here are our selected family fun picks this week!

Day Out with Thomas at The B&O; Railroad Museum: The loveable train is back! Children and grown-ups can enter the world of Thomas & Friends as they ride on board a train led by Thomas and have their pictures taken with Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of Thomas’ Railway. The event also includes a special viewing station for Thomas & Friends videos, storytelling, arts and crafts, and music. Tickets are available for purchase online; advance purchase is recommended. Catch the tank this weekend or next!

Lanterns of Hope Parade and Cherrybration! Let your light shine during CHERRYBRATION DAYS’ “LANTERNS OF HOPE” luminary parade on Friday night. Join the community and create a sparkling river of light through beautiful Historic Ellicott City at sunset. The fun continues on Saturday in downtown Ellicott City, including children activities, living history, street performers and musicians. The Friends of the Patapsco Female Institute will host a family picnic and archeological dig on the grounds of the historic site! FREE “BLOSSOMS OF HOPE CUPCAKE” to everyone wearing a PINK SPRING BONNET!

Towsontown Spring Festival: Sponsored by the Towson Chamber of Commerce, this is one of the area’s largest street festivals. The Towsontown Spring Festival features the standard lineup of attractions, including beer gardens, hundreds of vendors, face painting and pony rides for kids, and local bands on a few different stages. The Fair runs from 10 AM-7 PM on Saturday, April 30th and 1- 7 PM on Sunday, May 1st.

Robot Fest / Mid-Atlantic Mini-Maker Faire: Calling all makers, hackers, hobbyists, DIYers, experimenters, students, artists and engineers, both young and old. Come share your passion for technology and creativity at the Robot Fest / Mid-Atlantic Mini-Maker Faire, held at the National Electronics Museum on Saturday from 10 AM – 4 PM.

Who Are You? Youth Media Festival Performance: Celebrate the accomplishments and creativity of over 300 Baltimore youth on Saturday night from 5 PM – 10 PM at CenterStage. See youth produced videos, experience performances by young people, hear original music and see the Youth Dreamers Fashion Show! This is going to be an amazing night of fun, excitement and youth voice! Tickets are a suggested donation of $10. Call CENTERSTAGE to reserve your seats! 410.332.0033

Rock this Town: aMuse Toys excited to announce our next free family-friendly event: ROCK THIS TOWN! They will be painting silly faces on rocks at our Quarry Lake location on Saturday April 30th from 4pm-6pm. They encourage our participants to leave their creations around the city so others stumble upon them and smile.

Pirate and Princess Tea Party: Avast ye maties and damsels, May Day approaches and so does Geppi Entertainment Museum’s third annual tea party. May 1st is the date to mark in your calendars, when royal daughters and sea bound swashbucklers will join forces over cups of tea at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum! Facepainters and hair tinslers will be on hand to add to the merriment. Don’t distress yourself worrying you won’t get a spot, call 410-625-7068 and reserve your passage today!

Maryland Junior Hunt Cup: The Bug is on a horse kick, so I have a feeling we may be spending a
fun day in the country focused on family and kids. Watch junior jockeys compete in 11+ flat and steeplechase races. Vendors, FREE Moonbounce, Stick Pony Races, Animal Exhibits, Concessions, Fire Trucks and Tractors, performances by The School of Rock, & much more. Horse-powered good times happen on Sunday from 11 AM – 5 PM.

A Beatrix Potter World: Get acquainted with Beatrix Potter’s animal friends: Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Jemima Puddle Duck, and more at the Oregon Ridge Nature Center this weekend! Listen to her stories, make a craft, and hike. Ages 5 and Up. Meet the characters Saturday OR Sunday, between 2 PM and 5 PM.

ROAR for Autism: On May 1, 2011, Kennedy Krieger will once again ROAR to break the silence surrounding autism at Oregon Ridge Nature Center. You can make your voice heard by joining us for a bike ride, nature walk and a festival that will help raise much-needed funds for autism research at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. If you can’t drag yourself out of bed that early on Sunday morning, go ahead and sleep in – you can Snore for ROAR too!