Whether it’s fin-bumping with dolphins at the National Aquarium, taking pics in front of sailboat-studded waters or noshing on crab claws and corn on the cob, Baltimore and its surrounding area is a hub of kid-friendly experiences. Here’s your cheat sheet on getting the most out of 72 hours in Charm City and a loaded calendar full of seasonal fun.
Get your vacation started off on the right foot by packing in the fun at these Inner Harbor (and nearby) hot spots.
1. Explore the Maryland Science Museum.
Located in the Inner Harbor, this three-floor fun center has something for everyone including interactive exhibits, a planetarium and an IMAX theater. Kids obsess over the Dinosaur Mysteries exhibit and the experiment encounters in Newton's Alley.
2. Eat at BricknFire Pizza.
Carb load for the rest of your weekend at this family-owned pizza joint located right off the Inner Harbor strip, near sports stadiums and historic theaters. Nosh on standard options like everyone's favorite margherita or seasonal picks like the carnie. All pizza ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible.
3. Check into Your Marriott Hotel
With so many awesome adventures happening during your long weekend, you'll want a comfortable and inviting place to kick back after your explorations. Turn to Marriott Hotels for a family-friendly experience. Book directly and save this season. Click here to find a hotel to suit your family's needs and to score up to a 20% discount if you book in advance.
4. Visit the Port Discovery Children's Museum.
This museum often tops the "best of" in nationwide lists—and for good reason! The four-story climbing-maze-treehouse alone is worth the visit (and be warned, the kids may never want to leave). Kids can explore a 1950s diner, an Egyptian tomb, an indoor soccer stadium (complete with a score board) and a toddler-sized soft play area with Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay Sea Monster.
5. Create Some Art.
Head to the Creative Alliance for some family art making and to see professional artists at work. This spot offers family-friendly performances, dinner and movie nights and much more. Saturdays are extra special as you can drop in for a free art-making workshop from noon to 3 p.m.
A day trip within a vacay? Yes, please! Load up your crew for a drive to Annapolis, Maryland’s state capital that’s just 30 miles south of Baltimore.
1. Explore Quiet Waters Park.
We love visiting Annapolis' Quiet Waters Park as there's something to do there any time of year. From November through March you can enjoy outdoor ice skating and in the warmer months, it's all about hiking around the park's six miles of nature trails and splashing in the refreshing waters.
2. Take in a Show at the Children's Theatre of Annapolis.
Imbue some culture into your day trip to Annapolis. All shows are kid approved and you'll find some new favorites like The Hobbit and Disney's Frozen Jr.
3. Go Historical.
History abounds in this city. Visit the Maryland State House, a building that dates back to 1772. This historic centerpiece of Annapolis will enchant everyone from the history buff to the art enthusiast in your family. Fun fact: this is the only state house to serve as the nation's capital.
4. Walk Around the City Dock.
This historic area of Annapolis is ripe with things to see, eat and do. Catch the sunset while dining outside, pick up a souvenir to commemorate your trip and watch the boats glide through the Chesapeake Bay. Whatever you choose to do here, you can't go wrong.
5. Eat at Boatyard Bar and Grill.
Rumor has it that this family-friendly spot offers the tastiest crab cake in the region. You be the judge. If your kid crew is into shareables, try an order of conch fritters or Gulf shrimp . . . or both.
6. Play at Sk8Zone.
Wheels up for your next adventure at this over-the-top roller skating rink offering public free skate and specialty skate events (think: Neon Lights Night!). P.S. This spot doubles as your rainy day back-up plan.
Don’t pack your bags to go home just yet! Spend your last day in Baltimore exploring some of the city’s neatest nooks and crannies.
1. Explore the National Aquarium.
With over 2,200,000 gallons of water, 17,000 specimens and over five floors of themed displays, the National Aquarium is one great way to experience the sea. One of the star attractions is Calypso, a 500-pound green sea turtle that was rescued from Long Island when her front left flipper had to be amputated to save her life.
2. Eat at Waffie.
If your sweet tooth is coming out, zip over to this cute waffle shop that specializes in Liège-style waffles, ranging from $3.50 to $4 a piece. Each member of your family can customize their pastry with an array of toppings including fruit, cookie crumbles and syrup. Warning: It might be hard to eat just one of these!
3. Play at the B&O Railroad Museum.
The tot lot will want to be on the lookout for Choo Choo Blue—the museum’s mascot, while mom and dad will enjoy “The War Came by Train” exhibit. Here, replica trains bring to life the last voyage of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Insider Tip: Look for the waving blue train symbol throughout the museum. That’s where you’ll find the kid-friendly activities.
4. Visit the Baltimore Art Museum.
If you've got some time to spare, swing by this art museum that's home to some 95,000 historical and current works of art. Located three miles north of the Inner Harbor and adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, the museum offers free admission every Sunday from 2-5 p.m. for family-friendly art-making workshops.
5. Board a Ship.
Climb aboard one of the historic ships docked in Baltimore for a visit to years passed. The ships make up one of the most impressive collections of boats in the world. Walk the decks and learn the ropes.
6. Explore Harborplace
After walking the ships, extend your time in Harborplace. Whether you're looking to do some shopping, grab a bite to eat or treat your kids to a sweet treat, this spot is a great destination with a little something for everyone.
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The Best Upcoming Events for Kids in Baltimore
If you’re looking for events and activities, don’t miss our local Baltimore events calendar, which has everything from story times to seasonal activities like ice skating, family festivals and outdoor movie nights.