Albemarle County beaches

Open daily Friday through Labor Day

The county’s swimming beaches at Chris Greene Lake Walnut Creek and Mint Springs will open for daily summer enjoyment as soon as its schools close their doors for the summer. Lifeguards will be on duty from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. The parks offer not only swimming, but also picnic shelters and hiking trails. Swimming lessons also are available. Canoes and kayaks may be rented at Chris Greene and Walnut Creek parks. Keep in mind that cashiers at the beaches will be able to accept only cash or checks. Season passes are $150 per family of up to five, $75 for ages 13 and older and $45 for ages 4 to 12; Albemarle County residents pay $100, $50 and $30, respectively. www.albemarle.org/parks; (434) 296-5844.

Highland Book Club’s June Meeting

6 p.m. Wednesday

James Monroe’s Highland

You don’t have to be a book club member to join the literary discussion at President James Monroe’s house, but organizers ask that you reserve your seat at museumshop@highland.org so they’ll know how many guests to expect. This month’s selection is “The Founders at Home: The Building of America, 1735-1817” by Myron Magnet, and Highland guide Michelle Thompson will lead the discussion. Free. highland.org; (434) 293-8000.

Archaeology Walking Tours: Hidden in Plain Site

1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

This 50-minute tour offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life during the third president’s time. The current archaeological excavation is uncovering new data about a 19th-century domestic site that enslaved agricultural laborers called home. Be sure to wear sturdy walking shoes. Tour plans are subject to change with the weather. Free with any day pass. monticello.org; (434) 984-9800.

First Friday Under the Stars

8 p.m. Friday

Ivy Creek Natural Area

Meet outdoors in the field next to Ivy Creek’s barn before a short indoor talk about celestial events you’re likely to see. Once darkness falls, volunteers will help you locate constellations and other interesting features in the heavens. Charlottesville Astronomical Society members will be on hand to answer questions and offer glimpses through telescopes. It’s also fine to bring your own. If skies are cloudy, the outdoor portion of the event likely will be canceled. Mark your calendars for the next events in the series, which take place on the first Friday of each even-numbered month of the year. ivycreekfoundation.org.

Journey from Slavery to Freedom Walking/Driving Tour

3 p.m. Saturday

James Madison’s Montpelier

Meet at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center and join the group to visit original structures and sites that are important in the history of the enslaved residents of President James Madison’s home. The tour includes a variety of sites near the mansion, as well as the nearby Gilmore Cabin and the1910 Train Depot. Mark your calendars for future tours on July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12. Free. montpelier.org. (540) 672-2728, Ext. 450.

Blue Star Museum

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sept. 2

Virginia Discovery Museum

Free admission will be available all summer long for active-duty military personnel, including members of the National Guard, Reserve, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps and NOAA Commissioned Corps. Up to five family members can come along, so you can plan to attend all kinds of events together. The Virginia Discovery Museum also extends the program to include military retirees and veterans. To take part, be sure to bring a valid Common Access Card, DD Form 1173 or 1173-1, DD Form 2 ID Card, DD Form 2765 ID Card or a veteran ID card. vadm.org; (434) 977-1025.

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