There’s a reason why Baltimore is nicknamed Charm City. It is such a fun and kid friendly place to visit and it’s a short jaunt for anyone in the DMV. You can experience history, cheer on championship sports teams, get an up-close view of stingrays and sharks, and explore the eclectic neighborhoods of this harbor city. So, hop in the car–or on the Marc train–and enjoy a day in Charm City. We guarantee, you’ll love it!
American Visionary Art Museum
The American Visionary Art Museum is one of those “adult” museums that kids actually love. It focuses on the dazzling innovative works of art created by self-taught artists. It also houses an eccentric gift shop and sculpture garden. It’s brilliantly curated with quirky exhibits and installations. Set foot inside and you’ll immediately understand why everyone is wild about this museum. Prepare to spend hours in a museum full of extraordinary art that is amusing, distinctive, and enchanting.
800 Key Hwy.
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Port Discovery is the premier children’s museum in the mid-Atlantic and truly focuses on educating children and inspiring life-long curiosity. They provide a safe, smart place to engage in child-driven playful learning. Their mission is to create a world where the value of learning through play is recognized and respected. Who doesn’t love that?! Port Discovery features three floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits that encourage children to use their imaginations, ask questions, and explore how things work as they learn through play. Your kids will adore it and so will you!
35 Market Pl.
Maryland Science Center
The Maryland Science Center is one of the Inner Harbor’s main attractions. It’s fun and educational to kids of all ages, with hands-on exhibits and impressive displays about the wonderful world of science and technology. The center is made up of three floors created to exercise your imagination and challenge your mind. Prepare to see combustible reactions, optical illusions, or learn about lasers. Hands-on exhibits include a voyage through the human body and learning how microbes work. Most recently, the Science Center opened The Shed — part workshop, part laboratory — that hosts daily drop in activities. The SciLab is a hands-on laboratory where you can become real scientist by slipping into a lab coat and goggles, and conducting experiments at various stations. Make sure to spend some time in the Davis Planetarium which features programs allowing you to explore the sky and learn about space exploration.
The Walters Art Museum
One of the best art museums in the US, the Walters houses 55 centuries of art. Are you waffling back and forth about taking your kids to an art museum? No worries here as admission is free and exhibits include Egyptian mummies, medieval armors and 19th-century masterpieces. Yes, it’s FREE!From Tots to Teens, they offer special programming for the younger set and, if you need to take a break, read, or play, the Family Art Center is located on the lower level.
1 West Mount Vernon Pl.
B&O Railroad Museum
Hop aboard the complimentary Charm City Circulator bus in Harbor East and head to the B&O Railroad Museum—the birthplace of American railroading. The historical national landmark captures the nostalgia of the era with artefacts from locomotives to dining-car china. The B&O Railroad Museum brings alive the magic and adventure of railroading every day! The historic landmark allows kids to see, touch, hear and explore the most prominent railroad collection in America.
901 West Pratt St.
O! say can you see…Fort McHenry is a bayside star-shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully protected Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy in September of 1814. The bombardment of Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” During the Civil War, the fort served as a military prison. Another interesting fact: When a new flag is designed for use by the United States, it is first flown over Fort McHenry. Bonus, It’s a perfect place to let kids run around and burn off some steam.
2400 East Fort Ave.
Named for the Englishmen who founded a ship-building company in 1726, Fell’s Point is a lively waterfront neighborhood which celebrates Baltimore’s British nautical roots. Take a walk and explore the cobblestone streets, 18th- and 19th-century homes and storefronts. Kids will love to see the balloon sellers and ice cream shops they’ll meet along the way. Make sure to jump on a water taxi to get to the various waterfront areas. And make sure to introduce them to some oysters on the half shell to complete their journey.
Star Spangled Banner Flag House
At the , you’ll find something quite rare. A fun-filled experience where you and your entire family will become part of one of the most important stories of our nation’s history – the sewing of the flag that inspired our National Anthem. The house is dedicated to encouraging personal links to American history through the unique story of the Star-Spangled Banner.
844 East Pratt St.
If you love sports, no visit to Baltimore is complete without visiting Camden Yards and watching an Orioles game. Camden Yards is a great ball park! It’s located right in downtown Baltimore and seats are cheap enough that you won’t be annoyed if your toddler throws a fit and you have to leave, yet seats are available enough that you can get them last minute. Like any sporting event, you’ll pay an absolute fortune for snacks, so be sure and pack your own. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Camden Yards was named the best ballpark experience for the third consecutive year.
333 West Camden St.
Located just two blocks from Camden Yards, this National Historic Site is Babe Ruth’s birthplace and features rare artifacts, photos, videos and more. Just follow the 60 baseballs painted on the sidewalk from the Babe Ruth statue at the ballpark to the Museum. Re-imagined galleries tell the story of Babe Ruth as an American icon in the very house where he was born. See his uniforms, bats and balls. It’s a great place to learn more about the legend!
216 Emory St.
Photo: Alan Levine via Flickr
Under the Sea
The National Aquarium features more than 20,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals living in award-winning habitats! Check out the Black Tip Reef, a coral-filled exhibit, replicating Indo-Pacific reefs with a floor to ceiling viewing window, and Living Seashore, an interactive exhibit about the Mid-Atlantic shoreline featuring two touch pools full of jellyfish, stingrays, starfish and more. There’s even a live feeding show with stingrays and sharks!
501 E. Pratt St.
Urban Pirates is an interactive pirate adventure aboard a beautiful pirate ship, includes all things swashbuckling! Search for treasures and blast enemies with water cannons as you sail around the Inner Harbor.
Fleet Week in most cities may be over by fall, but Baltimore’s (October 3 – 9) is one of the only fall shows on the East Coast. It is also one of few in the country that hosts both an air and boat show. More than 2,500 sailors and a dozen naval ships will spend the week in Charm City; fitting, given Baltimore’s rich nautical history. The city has been a major U.S. seaport since the 1700s, and maritime lovers can relive history through interactive activities, tours and more at – the USS Constellation, USS Torsk, USCGC Taney, Lightship 116 Chesapeake and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse.
The Sandlot at Harbor Point
Baltimore newest development addition that recently opened is dubbed “the Sandlot”—a harbor-front oasis encompassing 30,000 square feet of open space of outdoor food concepts, recreation, live performances and family-friendly games. Parents can enjoy local
ly sourced brews and spirits while the kids can get ice cream served out of air stream!
1000 Wills St.
The hip Remington neighborhood has introduced a new launch pad for Baltimore’s most exciting chefs and concepts with R. House. Set inside a rehabbed historic auto shop, the 50,000-square-foot space features 15-foot tall windows with roll-up garage doors, 12,000 square feet of open seating and 10 chef-driven food and drink concepts so guests can get a taste of the best bites in Baltimore. This is a car lover’s DREAM! For the pint-sized foodies, BLK//SUGAR and Little Baby’s Ice Cream offers a variety of desserts and there are toddler sized table and chairs to encourage independent socialization amongst your little ones.
301 W 29th St.
Royal Sonesta Harbor Court
There’s so much to do in Baltimore that you might want to make your life easier and just spend the night…or two…so you can have more time to explore Charm City. The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court is located on the picturesque waterfront. It’s one of the top-rated hotels in Baltimore but oh, so family friendly! They have over 200 guest rooms, with terrific amenities and thoughtful touches with your comfort in mind. The Sonesta is super centrally located and provides access to a number of Baltimore’s most exciting attractions. It’s a hop, skip and a jump away from the Aquarium, in addition to countless shops and resteraunts. The hotel recently went through a large renovation and blends old and new. It incorporates up-to-date conveniences and designs while keeping some of the building’s rich architectural elements and furnishings. It has an indoor swimming pool because what kids doesn’t love a hotel swimming pool!? It also has tennis courts and even a bee apiary….YES, a bee apiary in the courtyard! And, no, they don’t sting!
550 Light St.