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Fun for All Ages: Family Friendly Baltimore

Whether its climbing o'er the ramparts, getting face-to-face with a terrifying Tyrannosaurus, or getting list in the brushgstrokes of an Impressionist masterpiece, Baltimore has plenty of offer for kids of all ages. Many of the city's museums and attractions offer special activities and discounted admission for youngsters.

 

  • A family trip to Baltimore is not complete without a stop at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The new visitor center boasts interactive, multi-media exhibits that tell the story of the War of 1812 and the birth of the National Anthem. At the fort itself, National Park Service rangers engage visitors of all ages in the history that continues to inspire the nation today.
  • Continue the dive into history with a walking tour of the Inner Harbor and the neighborhoods of Historic Jonestown and Little Italy. Urban rangers lead visitors along Heritage Walk, a 3.2-mile walking trail that connects 20 historic sites and museums. Recommended for youth 12 and older, Heritage Walk is a great way to get oriented to the city and learn about four centuries of Baltimore history.
  • Plan a visit to the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, the home of seamstress Mary Pickersgill. In 1813, the commanding officer of Fort McHenry commissioned Pickersgill to create two American flags to fly over the fort. It was these flags that inspired Francis Scott Key to write what would become our National Anthem. In the Discovery Gallery, kids can create their own flags and play with games and toys from the early 1800s.
  • Located in the historic Mount Clare Station, the B&O Railroad Museum boasts an impressive railroad collection of locomotives and railcars. In the roundhouse is the Choo Choo Blue Kids Zone with interactive play, crafts and story times. The museum also has rides for kids and the Mile One Express, a 20-minute round trip train ride along the first commercial mile of railroad track laid in America.
  • Port Discovery Children's Museum offers three floors of interactive, educational exhibits and ever-changing programs for children. Kids can explore the tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh, climb into a three-story treehouse, and solve mysteries with their sleuthing skills.
  • Whether exploring the wilds of Australia or the ocean depths, or just watching the playful dolphins, the National Aquarium has plenty of activities and exhibits for kids of all ages.
  • America's national museum for self-taught art delights visitors even before walking through the front door. The American Visionary Art Museum is decorated with a mirror mosaic and boasts a 55-foot-tall whirligig at the entrance. Inside kids discover art in a setting that is decidedly different from an old-fashioned museum.
  • If the little ones are getting restless, there are plenty of city parks with playgrounds and open spaces for throwing a Frisbee or just talking a walk. Take in the view from Federal Hill Park, a literal highpoint at the Inner Harbor. Riverside Park boasts walking paths, a public pool, several athletic fields, and a playground. Patterson Park, northeast of Fell’s Point, has two playgrounds, a public pool, and an Audubon Center with public programs.
  • The Maryland Science Center at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor features three levels of fun and engaging exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater. Popular exhibits include Dinosaur Mysteries and interactive experiments in Newton’s Alley.
  • Feed the giraffes, watch the elephants, and ride a camel at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Kids learn about animals in their own backyard, as well as those in more exotic locales, when they take a trek through the Maryland Wilderness and visit the award-winning Children’s Zoo. The zoo is located within Druid Hill Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country with more than 700 acres.
  • Take a trip around the world exploring the galleries and collections of the Walters Art Museum. The museum boasts more than 55 centuries of art and more than 28,000 objects. From Greco-Roman statues to ancient Egyptian mummy masks to medieval European armor, kids will see works of art from all corners of the globe.
  • Throughout the year, the Baltimore Museum of Art presents family programs, including hands-on art workshops and special tours. A free family audio tour, Artful Stories, lets kids of all ages explore 20 objects in the museum’s collection and discover neat facts about the art. 
  • With workshops and exhibits, kids can explore how things are made at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Learn about Baltimore's role as one of the busiest and most important ports in the nation and interact with the technologies that forged the Industrial Revolution and brought us to modern times.
  • Climb aboard downtown Baltimore’s fleet of historic ships. Four vessels, docked at three piers in the Inner Harbor, and a lighthouse form the collection of the Historic Ships in Baltimore. Walk the deck of the USS Constellation, the last full-sail vessel commissioned by the U.S. Navy. Explore the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney (which survived the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor), scamper through the cramped quarters of the submarine Torsk, and get a feel for life on the sea at the lightship Chesapeake.
  • North of the city in Lutherville, the Fire Museum of Maryland has lots of activities for children. Kids can dress up in gear and climb on a 1938 fire engine, ring bells, and run the lights. The museum has lots of antique engines on display along with memorabilia, models, and photographs.
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