Encore programs are designed with the active aging adult in mind. Now is the time for you to reignite the excitement of years past and try something you've always wanted to do! Whether it is diving into a lecture series or trying your hand at a new art form, we strive to offer opportunities that will inspire and delight you. If you don't see something offered here that you would like to try, let us know! We are always looking for new ideas on how to better serve the community. For more information or to provide a suggestion, please contact Ruth Coleman at rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov or 410-313-7311. 



For more information about any of the programs below, please contact Tracy Adkins at (410) 313-7275 or TAdkins@howardcountymd.gov.

Artful Journaling Club

Express yourself! In this weekly club, create journal pages that combine creative writing and decorative art using a variety of media. No art experience necessary. You are invited to suggest and lead activities. Supplies discussed at first meeting. This is a participant-run club; no instructors present.

Basic Zentangle Workshop

Looking for a way to focus your thoughts, unwind from stress, or explore your creative side? Come learn the basics of Zentangle’s creative and relaxing method of art. Create an abstract piece of art while entering into a relaxed and focused meditative state. These easy-to-learn, repetitive patterns (called tangles) and deliberate pen strokes assist with hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and problem-solving. A mini Zentangle box may be purchased for $5.

Crochet for Beginners

In this course, you will learn the basics of crocheting including how to decipher patterns and terms, basic stitches, and how to select yarn and hook sizes. Together with the instructor, you can select a project to work on that will be completed by the end of the class session. Create a piece of art that you will be proud to wear or share!


Drawing & Painting with Zina Poliszuk

Beginners: the first seven weeks concentrate on developing visual skills and eye-hand coordination using drawing exercises such as contour and tonal drawing. Begin painting by the 5th class. Advanced watercolor painters: benefit from an inspiring syllabus, demos and gentle critiques or, use teacher input while working on your own projects. The second seven weeks include demo of watercolor techniques (ex: color theory, graded washes, blended washes and glazes).


Fused Glass Workshop

Learn the art of fusing glass! Make fused glass objects such as jewelry, an ornament, or another small item. Hear about different types of glass and how they can fire together. You are welcome - whether you are experienced in working with glass or would like to try it for the first time! 


NEW! Pastel Painting For Beginners

Learn techniques and execution of pastel painting with demonstrations. You are welcome to work independently while receiving instructor input. Materials list will be emailed.

NEW! Pastel Painting Workshop

Learn pastel painting techniques in this one-time workshop. This workshop will be beneficial for those interested in joining Pastel Painting for Beginners. 

Stained Glass Workshops

Make a small, stained glass hanging using the copper foil technique. Learn to score, cut, foil, and solder stained glass pieces into a finished hanging. Develop and practice the skills needed to score and break glass, as this is a challenging skill. Supplies provided include a pattern for square designs, glass and tools.

Watercolor Basics Very Beginner with Carol Zika

This mini-course has been created as a prerequisite for Watercolor with Carol Zika. Learn the basic techniques of painting with transparent watercolors. Brush calisthenics, washes, glazing, color mixing, plus multiple tricks of the trade are covered. Appropriate for self-taught or beginners. Enjoy an introduction sampler. Recommended supplies discussed at the first class and are available through the instructor.

Watercolors with Carol Zika

For students who completed Watercolor Basics for the Very Beginner and those with previous watercolor experience. Instructor provides guided lessons, building technique and confidence. Bring materials. 

You Can Draw & Paint with Carol Zika

Let your artistic expression soar in this fun and supportive open studio atmosphere. Bring watercolors, acrylics, oils, pastels or other materials. Explore your creativity. Instructor provides direction/instruction in drawing and painting for beginners and experienced dabblers. Bring your own or discuss materials (purchased separately) at the first class. 


Info: Ruth Coleman, 410-313-7311 or rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov.

Beginner Ballet for Active Adults

Enjoy basic ballet while building strength, flexibility and grace. Class
begins at the ballet barre and progresses to center. Learn terminology
and technique with modifications. Leotard and tights recommended;
form-fitting clothing allowed. Pull back long hair. Wear ballet shoes.

Dance on Broadway - or Feel Like You Can!

Come join a group of aspiring Broadway stars for fun and fitness. The
instructor leads you through dance steps and routines to current and
long-time favorite Broadway show stoppers. Learn musical theater
choreography that challenges your mind and body while getting a
fitness workout. Appropriate for all levels. Wear dance or athletic shoes
and comfortable clothes you can move in. Bring water and a towel.

NEW! Hip Hop

Work your body in ways you never imagined! This class teaches classic
hip hop technique and simple routines to keep you moving and grooving. Learn to isolate your movements and in easy-to-follow dances.

NEW! LaBlast

LaBlast is a revolutionary, ballroom dance, partner-free, fitness program based on the dances seen on Dancing with the Stars! It fuses dance into a calorie-burning workout. Take your mind, body, and soul through ballroom dances from different countries and cultures. 


Learn to Swing Dance

Meet new people and get moving as you learn to jump, jive and
swing! Open to all singles and couples of all dancing levels. Have a fun
time, hear some great music and get in some exercise!
10% off two or more people. 

Senior Tap Classics

Ever dream of dancing like Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire? It’s
never too late! This beginning-level tap class progresses slowly.
Wear comfortable clothing, grab some tap shoes and join us!

Social Square Dancing

You can dance without worrying if you’re on the wrong foot. Grab your
partner and join our accredited square dance caller to show off your
best do-si-do! All levels welcome. Instruction provided for those who
are new. Partners not required, we can pair you up when you arrive!


Drop-In Social Bridge

Stop by for some social bridge. Beginners welcome! Coffee, tea and light refreshments available. We gladly accept donations to t he snack fund. Free!

Kiwanis-Wallas Hall 9am-noon Wed.

Duplicate Bridge

Enjoy a few hours of drop-in duplicate bridge. Bring a bag lunch; coffee, tea and light refreshments available. We accept donations to the snack fund. Free!

Kiwanis-Wallas Hall Noon-3:30pm Wed.

Kiwanis-Wallas Hall 9:15am-12:45pm Fri.


Kiwanis-Wallas Hall 1-3:30pm Wed. Free


Toss Across

Who says, "close only counts in horseshoes?" In Toss Across, it counts! Try the latest backyard and tailgating craze. have fun and get a little exercise too. Meet in the Bain 50+ Center lobby. Free!

Bain 50+ Center 10:30-11:30am Fri.

Trivia Time

Come show us what you know during this entertaining hour of group trivia! Fire up those brain cells while you help your team compete. Meet in the lobby. Free!

Bain 50+ Center 9:30-10:30am Last Fri. of the month

Wii Bowling Club

Why let the kids  have all the fun? Bowl in a virtual alley without leaving the building. You improve hand-eye coordination and get some exercise while competing against your peers. Free!

Elkridge 50+ Center 10-11am Wed.

Bain 50+ Center 9:30-11:30am Thu.

Go 50+ Members, ask about upcoming drop-in opportunities for fitness classes and more at Gary J. Arthur Community Center, North Laurel Community Center and Roger Carter Community Center!

NEW! Encore Adventures

This is your opportunity to dabble in a variety of outdoor skills!  Try your hand at paddling in a kayak or paddleboat, learn the basics of archery or go fishing around Centennial Lake.  Earn a certificate and patch for completing at least five Encore Adventure activities within a two-year period!  No experience necessary - equipment provided for use during the program.  Detailed information emailed to participants in the week prior to the program.

Click here to see photos from our recent programs.

More information? Contact Dawn Thomas, 410-313-1754 or Matt Medicus, 410-313-1769.  Programs take place at Centennial Park; exact details and directions emailed to registrants in the week prior to the program.  Complete Adventure & Outdoor program information available at howardcountymd.gov/adventure.


Check back in late February or early March for our spring programs!



For more information about fitness programs, please contact Ruth Coleman, 410-313-7311 or rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov.

Balance, Strength & Fitness with Lori Nowicki, ACE, AFPA

With the use of the BOSU stability ball, light weights and resistance bands, the active adult will learn exercises which involve training the body for the activities performed in daily life.

Exercise with Ease

This well-rounded hour of fitness for active seniors includes low-impact aerobics, stretching, muscle tone and strength activities aimed at improving endurance, body alignment, balance, and proper breathing. Listen to upbeat music while learning simple choreographed moves.

Fitness for Life with Lori Nowicki, ACE, AFPA

Designed for active adults, class combines easy-to-follow aerobics, weight and cardio training with Keiser and Precor equipment, free weights, bands, floor exercises, balance training and stretching.

NEW! Foundations of Yoga with Kelly Felix

This class will explore yoga as a means of fitness and overall well-being. Students will learn basic postures, breath work, meditation and much more. This class is suitable for all levels with no experience needed. Please bring your own mat and blanket or towel. 

Gentle Yoga/Yoga 1

This yoga class is suitable for both new and continuing students preferring a less vigorous version of a Yoga 1 class. Move through poses to increase flexibility, strength and balance while emphasizing mindfulness and breath
awareness. Yoga props used. Modifications offered so you can comfortably achieve the benefits of each pose. Must be able to get up and down from floor. Bring a yoga mat.


NEW! LaBlast

LaBlast is a revolutionary, ballroom dance, partner-free, fitness program based on the dances seen on Dancing with the Stars! It fuses dance into a calorie-burning workout. Take your mind, body, and soul through ballroom dances from different countries and cultures.


NEW! Mat Pilates with Doreen Sheppard

Pilates strengthens the core muscles of the pelvis, abdomen and back to improve balance, trunk strength, flexibility, body awareness, and whole body movement. Mat Pilates exercises are performed in a controlled, precise manner and require concentration. The slow and graceful movements make this format accessible for most regardless of age or fitness level. The benefit of Pilates mat work is that it can be done anywhere with just an exercise mat. Props (provided by the instructor) such as the Pilates ring (or Magic Circle) and mini-balls are used to challenge strength and stability. Bring a yoga mat.

Monday Mornings at the Barre with Margaret Wolf, ACE

A fusion of yoga, Pilates, strength training and ballet; barre classes incorporate specific sequencing patterns and isometric movements that target specific muscle groups. Class improves strength, balance, flexibility and posture.

NEW! Posture Rejuvenation with Pam Beck

Take time to learn how you can decrease your risk of injury while feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. This session blends traditional forms of stretching and body weight movements with the ancient techniques of Tai Chi and Qi Gong to focus on form, posture and balance. Increase your range of motion, improve your balance and practice proper posturing to use both during exercise and throughout your every day activities.


NEW! UnBarred with Doreen Sheppard

UnBarred movements are inspired by ballet, yoga, Pilates, and functional movements. The movements are performed without a ballet barre. Classes include modifications for any level, so you may feel successful while achieving an amazing workout that lengthens, strengthens and tones your body. Props such as resistance bands, mini-balls, gliders, and folding chairs are used to sculpt and stretch your entire body! Dance experience is not required. Bring a yoga mat and water.


NEW! YOGACISE for Active Adults with Kathy Whelan, RYT-200

Stretch and strengthen your body! Increase flexibility and balance while developing strength. After a yoga-inspired warm up, move through strength, core and balance activities. The use of bands, straps and chairs are used to allow all participants to participate, regardless of fitness level.

Lifelong Learning

For more information about Lifelong Learning programs, please contact Ruth Coleman at 410-313-7311 or rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov


• In order of level.

Bridge Basics

Bridge is an enjoyable card game! It challenges your mind while making new friends. This class is for both those who have never played bridge and for those who would like a refresher.

Bridge Hand Play
Making Bridge Contracts and Other Topics with Dennis Serpico


Declarer and defensive hand play strategies, opening leads, and defensive signaling are discussed. Several conventions, including New Minor Forcing and Inverted Minors, are introduced. All class discussion is supported by play of class hands followed by auction and hand analysis; additional practice hands are provided for home study.


NEW! Basics of Mindful Meditation

Learn meditation techniques and discover applications for mindfulness. Enhance positivity and self-awareness. Studies show benefits to one’s health. Info: Ruth Coleman, 410-313-7311 or rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov

NEW! Mindful Meditation & Artful Journaling for Grief and Loss

Using the principles of mindful meditation, journaling and community support, learn methods to release pain and uncover the peace that already flows within.


Table Tennis

Fundamentals of Modern Table Tennis with Jeffrey Smart

Through ITTF Level 2 Certified Coach Jeff Smart, learn techniques to execute the forehand (FH) and backhand (BH) topspin drive, FH&BH underspin push, basic footwork, topspin, underspin, and sidespin serves.


For more information about photography programs, please contact Ruth Coleman at (410) 313-7311 or rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov.

Digital Photography 101

With today’s digital camera, anyone can take great pictures! Come learn by focusing on the fundamentals. Learn the elements and techniques that produce compelling photos, and then do hands-on tasks. Digital camera required (DSLR or point-and-shoot with manual controls). 10% off two or more people

Digital Photography 102

Comfortable with your camera? Ready to take your photography to the next level? Than this is the class for you! Come pick up where Digital Photography 101 left off. Learn and practice intermediate photography techniques relating to lighting, action, composition, and more. Digital camera required (DSLR or point-and-shoot with manual controls).

Shooting with a Smartphone

“The best camera is the one you have with you” certainly applies to smartphones. Smartphone cameras can’t always compete with higher-end digital cameras, but they’re a whole lot more portable! This class will teach some of the same concepts as Digital Photography 101, with a focus on how they apply to getting great, smartphone snaps. 10% off two or more people

NEW! Photography Tours: Winter Photo Walk

Join us for a scenic walk after sunrise as we take advantage of the early morning glow. Learn some tips to improve your photos while we keep an eye out for wildlife while working with the weather. 55 yrs + 10% off two or more people 

NEW! Speaker Series

Speaker Series

In order by date.

Behind the Scenes at an Opera Production

Learn what goes on to get ready for an opera production. Hear from professional opera singers and learn what goes into preparing for a show from the first round of auditions to closing night. Listen to some great music, see some amazing performances and discuss insider knowledge. This is sure to be a one-of-a-kind experience! 


NEW! Create Your Vision Board

A healthy lifestyle involves a nutrient-dense diet, regular exercise and stress-management. A positive mindset and the ability to manifest your aspirations are critical to your wellbeing. Enjoy this inspirational workshop led by an Integrative Nutrition Health through vision boarding - a technique used by influential people (ex: Jon Assaraf, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey). Gain practical tools to map out your goals and dreams to become the healthiest and happiest version of you!


Annuities and How They Work

Instructor: Frances Lev Makino Fun and educational lecture, covers the types of annuities. Learn the difference between fixed, unfixed and variable annuities and learn how the Income for Life riders work


Preparing for Retirement

Instructor: Bradley Fine This introduction to and discussion of important retirement planning topics includes documents, budgeting, investments, incapacity and estate.  


IRAs and How to make them work for you

Instructor: Frances Lev Makino Learn about the difference between traditional, Roth and Simplified Employee Pension IRAs in a fun and informational setting! Talk with a financial advisor with over 30 years of experience without a sales pitch. Learn who can contribute, how to draw down the IRA account and how to invest in them. 


Welcome to Encore Adulthood! Now What?

Adults are living longer and healthier lives. Dr. Elizabeth Mahler provides an overview of encore adulthood (50-75 years). Discuss the future, opportunities, and reflect on the past and present. 


Meet the Artist: Joyce Ritter - Paintings Made of Fabric

Joyce Ritter is an artist who has taken the traditional art of quilting and made it into something brand new! Watch her at work in her studio as she begins her creative process and see some of her finished pieces. Then, move into a classroom where you will get to try your own hand at this unique artistic medium.


NEW! Decoding Food Labels

An easy way to support healthy eating is to become an expert at interpreting nutrition labels and food packaging. It is important to pay attention to food labels as they may be misleading - and be “health food fakes.” Join Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Beth Romanski to learn common mistakes and be empowered to make healthy choices


For more information about these sport programs, please contact Ruth Coleman at (410) 313-7311 or RuColeman@howardcountymd.gov.

50+ Co-Rec Volleyball

Join senior men and women of various volleyball skill levels for competitive and fun volleyball play. Previous volleyball experience helpful. Prior to registration, visit the Meadowbrook Athletic Complex and see if this program is for you. The program meets twice a week. The fee is based on when you register and is good through the end of the calendar year. 

50+ Tennis

Advanced beginners through intermediate players, pair up to play doubles or singles through October 31. 


Congratulations to our Fall Team Champions! Check back here in late February/early March for information on our Spring League.

Saturday League Champions

Monday League Champions


Table Tennis Fundamentals of Modern Table Tennis with Jeffrey Smart

Through ITTF Level 2 Certified Coach Jeff Smart, learn techniques to execute the forehand (FH) and backhand (BH) topspin drive, FH&BH underspin push, basic footwork, topspin, underspin, and sidespin serves.


Encore Volunteer Program

Are you looking for a way to give back to your community? Sign up to be an Encore Volunteer! You will participate in industry-level trainings, have opportunities to socialize with other volunteers and share your time and/or skills with others in a Recreation & Parks program. Visit our volunteer website to sign up today!

HoCo Volunteers 

Encore Adventures


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Encore Adventures was a winner of the the National Recreation & Parks Association's Healthy Aging in Parks contest! Read the winning entry by clicking here: Encore Adventures

Did you know...

we also offer Trips & Tours! Visit our website to see where we are going next.