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Features (Good Living)

He has many faces; here you’ll see some

What do children love most about Christmas? I’m betting it’s Santa Claus, the portly guy in the red suit who builds toys in the North Pole each year, then delivers them to well-behaved children on Christmas Eve.
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Give, and good comes back to you

It’s the season of giving, when our grateful hearts yearn to reach out to help one another. Yet the number of Americans volunteering annually is declining, leaving non-profit organizations scrambling to meet the needs of their communities.
    How can you turn your gratitude into action? Join the ranks of the 6,000 Anne Arundel Countians registered as potential volunteers with the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Center.
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Take your hike to the next level

Adventure is calling! How will you answer?
    This is the perfect time to take your hiking to the next level by upgrading your day hike to a backpacking trip.
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Ward Farm Recreation and Nature Park

Our summer on the cheap took us to a park still being born.
    Ward Farm Park in Dunkirk is not yet open, except for some hikes and camps.
    Naturalist Tania Gale led our group of seven children and seven adults on one of those hikes, pointing out plants and insects and filling us in on the history of the Ward family as well as what changes are coming.
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Kinder Farm Park

Summer can be an expensive season for parents. Ponying up for camps, sitters, theme parks and lots and lots of ice cream empties our coffers almost as fast as our kids tear through the kitchen pantry.
    Parks are a good solution, but picking the best may leave you driving in circles. This summer I have set a challenge to visit area parks and let you know which ones are worth the drive, the gate fee and enough summer fun to guarantee an afternoon nap.
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Your Fireworks Guide

Friday July  1

Chesapeake Beach
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The fun’s better when you stay safe

The Dream: You take family and friends out on your boat for an evening of spectacular fireworks. Your anchor sets on the first try. There is plenty of space between you and the other boats. You enjoy a picnic and a few cold ones. The weather is warm and clear; the kids enjoy taking a dip. Anticipation builds as the sky darkens; then the fireworks burst and boom. The colors are even more beautiful reflected in the water. Everyone oohs and ahs....

After three years in Chesapeake waters, Pride of Baltimore II resumes her voyages of goodwill

How long can you stay at home before the urge to get out of the house overwhelms you? That restless feeling also afflicts one of our local treasures: the sailing ship Pride of Baltimore II. This year she is finally escaping her home waters of the Chesapeake Bay, off on the high seas to do what she was built to do: travel afar to represent Maryland and foster friendships and economic relations.
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In a society dominated by technology and social media, what’s a 21st century father’s job?

Lance Garms and daughters Sofia, 15, Julia, 12

Lance, 46, of Annapolis, is an IT security ­consultant, sailor and single Dad.
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Sort through hundreds of sunscreens rated from best to worst

As a fair-skinned mutt of European descent, I depend on sunscreen as my summer best friend. However, sunscreen has been found to contain harmful chemicals that make it inefficient and much more of a foe than the friend I need.
    This year, I plan on winning the battle for sun protection. My weapon of choice is the Environmental Working Group’s extensively researched list of the most effective sunscreens.
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