Don’t get bored this summer. These are our top picks for the best places to take kids in Maryland! Updated for 2023!
There are approximately 100 days between the start of Memorial Day weekend and the end of Labor Day weekend (101 to be exact). Why not get out and explore all that Maryland has to offer? There are so many fun destinations activities for kids. You will never have to hear the dreaded words, ‘I am bored!’
These ideas will give your kids a summer they will absolutely remember. So, start making your plans now and have the best summer ever!
Go Strawberry Picking
The Orange Gove/Avalon Area of Patapsco Valley State Park is a natural wonderland for kids! The hike to Cascade Falls is super easy, and you can walk across the cool swinging bridge and explore the Grist Mill Trail area too!
Test your balance running across the tires at a tire playground.
There are great tire playgrounds at Patapsco Valley State Park Hilton Area, Calvert Cliffs State Park, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Tuckahoe State Park, and Seneca Creek State Park.
If you haven’t visited Port Discovery Children’s Museum in a few years, you must make plans to visit this summer! The new’ish 4-story Skyclimber and the awesome Port Exhibit where kids can actually pretend to work at a functioning port are incredible additions to Port Discovery. And all the kid favorites like Water Works are still there too!
Go Shark Tooth Hunting
Sign up for a shark tooth hunting tour with Paul from CHAPTours and explore the wild side of Maryland!
Movies, Movies, and more Movies!
See an outdoor movie.
Here are some of the best kid friendly options for outdoor movies this summer:
- Outdoor Movies at City Park in Hagerstown
- National Harbor Family Movie Nights on the Potomac— Select Thursdays throughout the summer. Click link for more details.
- Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival
- Rockville Movies In the Parks (various locations): Check the website for details on specific movies. The movies will run throughout August at 4 different parks in the Rockville area.
- Movie Night at the Wine Bin (Old Ellicott City)
- Ocean City Free Movies on the Beach:
- So many dates– every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the summer.
- North Beach Movies on the Beach!
See a free (or super cheap) indoor movie!
Here are links to some good options this summer:
- Regal Summer Movie Series 2023: Movies are back for Summer 2022! Regal is bringing back $2 Movies for Kids this summer! Just pop in on a Tuesday or Wednesday matinee! Check the website for details closer to the summer!
- Cinemark Movie Clubhouse 2023: $1.50 per movie!
Great options for Maryland include Skate Zone (there are special hours during the summer for kids 10 and under), Laurel Skating Center, Hot Skates in Woodlawn, Temple Hills Skating Palace, and Wheels Skate Center in Odenton (kid only skating on Saturday mornings).
Try your hand at Black Light Monster Mini Golf!
Monster Mini Golf is so much fun for kids and adults. The black lights kick the fun up a notch and they have an arcade too!
Scale Mount Rushmore at Climb Zone
Great climbing courses that are suitable for even younger kids!
Perfect your high jump at an indoor trampoline park.
Here are a few favorites in Maryland:
- Get Air (Maryland locations in Glen Burnie)
- Launch (Columbia and Rockville)
- Sky Zone (multiple locations throughout the state)
Pick Flowers at a local farm.
Follow the yellow brick road to the Wizard of Oz Playground.
It really is as fantastic as is sounds!
Kids bowl for FREE this summer!
Yep– Registered kids get to bowl 2 games every day for FREE all summer long! Here are a few participating bowling alleys in Maryland:
Check out one of the new or newly renovated playgrounds in Maryland!
Maryland has been building new playgrounds or renovated existing playgrounds at a break neck speed since 2021. Check these gems out!
Sophie and Madigan’s Playground
Blandair Regional Park North Playground
Ballenger Creek Park
Kinder Farm Park Playground
Really, the entire Urban Air Adventure Park is sooo much fun! There are trampolines, ninja course, battle beam, the amazing Sky Liner, and more! There are locations in Laurel, White Marsh, and Frederick!
Explore nature at Wild For Water Day at the Robinson Nature Center.
Spend the day playing at Angel Park Playground
Challenge each other to go-kart races and batting cages.
Here is a great list of all the outdoor and indoor go-karting tracks in Maryland.
Visit the Enchanted Forest and feed the goats at Clark’s Elioak Farm.
Take a leisurely walk around the gorgeous Centennial Lake
Then let the kids burn even more energy at their awesome playground!
Dig for dinosaur bones and lay on a bed of nails at the Maryland Science Center.
Indulge in a Blackberry or Raspberry Breakfast at Milburn Orchards
Then spend the morning playing in their BIG Backyard!
Bring your favorite stuffed friend along for the Teddy Bear Picnic (or the also awesome Super Hero Picnic) on the Walkersville Southern Railroad.
Check out a minor league baseball game.
If you time it right you will get baseball, games, and fireworks! Here are some great leagues to check out:
- Bowie Baysox
- Aberdeen Ironbirds
- Frederick Keys
- Hagerstown Suns
- Delmarva Shorebirds
- Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Play Laser Tag and Go Bowling at Main Event!
Bottle Feed baby cows and enjoy a scoop of Maryland’s finest ice cream at South Mountain Creamery.
Play on the Irvine Nature Center or Oregon Ridge Nature Center nature playgrounds.
Walters Art Museum drop in art projects.
Find the fart machine at the American Visionary Art Museum (it really works!).
Also, you can see the iconic sculptures from the Kinetic Art Parade!
Take a hike to Cunningham Falls and then cool off at the beach afterwards.
Check out some fantastic and FREE Summer Concerts or theatre!
You can meet the cows, mix up your own flavors, and sample Prigel’s best ice cream!
Feed the fish and hang with the turtles at Brookside Gardens
After that see how many butterflies land on you during Butterflies Alive!
There are so many new animals and habitats to check out at the Maryland Zoo.
Whether it’s the grizzly bears, the lions, giraffe, elephants, chimps, or just petting the goats– The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is perfect for kids of all ages!
Baltimore Museum of Art has free art-making workshops perfect for kids every Sunday afternoon.
Play Eye Spy and grab delicious kid-friendly lunch (don’t forget the milkshakes) at the Papermoon Diner.
Go Rail Biking with Tracks and Yaks in Frostburg!
Rail biking is so much fun and the trail in Frostburg is gorgeous!
Go underground and explore the Crystal Grottoes Cavern.
Visit Swallow Falls State Park and take in the breathtaking Muddy Creek Falls.
Spend the day at the southernmost tip of Maryland.. which happens to have great beaches– Point Lookout State Park
Check out the beach or Float on an inner tube down the Gunpowder River at Gunpowder Falls State Park.
See the waterfall that inspired a movie.
Play hide and go seek among the topiaries at Ladew Topiary Gardens
Become a fairy and create fantastic art at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden.
Pet the animals at the Green Meadows Petting Farm.
Tour the USS Constellation and other Historic Ships in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
Climb through the inside of a gigantic tree (fake) and slide down this super long slide at the Woodland Wonderland playground.
Check out a new indoor playspace like KidzVille Indoor Playground
Enjoy Sensory Friendly days and Toddler time at the B&O Railroad Museum.
Reserve a cabin or campsite now for a weekend of non-stop fun at Jellystone Park in Hagerstown.
Paint a masterpiece at Artsy Partsy Family Paint Night or Open Studio time.
Try a ropes course at TreeTrekkers, Terrapin Adventures or the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring.
Burn a ton of energy at the South Germantown Regional Park Adventure Playground and then cool off at their amazing water park.
Plan a Day Trip to Havre De Grace or Berlin, MD!
Both of these towns are cute and great for kids!
Tap into your kids STEM interests at the Kid Museum in Bethesda.
Get lost in imaginative play at either the Columbia Mall or Easton location of the Be With Me Playseum.
Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle over the ruins of 90 WWI-era sunken ships at Mallows Bay Park.
Ride the miniature train and then play on the massive playground at Cabin John Regional Park.
Play with the otters and climb up the lighthouse at the Calvert Marine Museum.
Make plans to see the famous wild ponies at the Assateague Island National Seashore.
Hang out on the Ocean City Boardwalk, grab some salt water taffy and boardwalk fries, and ride the rides at Trimpers.
Build a sand castle at the lovely Greenbrier State Park Beach.
Go camping at Rocky Gap State Park. Bring your hiking shoes and bathing suit.
The trails are great for kids and so is the beach!
Get lost in a sunflower maze at Goldpetal Farms.
Introduce your kids to the iconic crab experience at Crabtowne USA
Bring Quarters for the room of over 100 video arcade games!
Check out the smaller, family friendly amusement park Adventure Park USA.
The outdoor attractions are super fun (rollercoasters, rides, etc…). The indoor attractions are great too (laser tag, virtual reality, arcade games)
Visit Maryland’s largest amusement park (and water park) at Six Flags America.
Try out a ninja course at Zava Zone
Cheer the knights and horses at the Medieval Times dinner show.
Pretend to be a pirate at Chesapeake Pirates.
Enjoy the Inner Harbor attractions like the dragon paddle boats and the World Trade Center!
Explore the Marsh Boardwalk trail at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary.
Explore lighthouses and a living shoreline at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s.
Transport yourself back in time and spend the day at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
Spend the afternoon being creative at one of the many paint-your-own pottery studios.
These ones are particularly kid-friendly:
- Pic ‘N Paint Pottery: Pasadena, MD
- The Pottery Stop: Ellicott City, MD
- Kiln Born Creations: Easton, MD
- Pottery Cove: Catonsville, MD
- The Clay Bakers: Annapolis, MD
- Meltdown In Maryland: Eldersburg, MD
- Hot Pots: Timonium, MD
Climb the big blue mountain and ride the carousel at the Wheaton Regional Park.
Great Falls National Park (there are great views on both the Maryland and Virginia side!)
Go biking along the C&O Tow Path or Baltimore-Annapolis Bike Trail.
Watch the planes fly in while playing on one of Maryland’s most unique playground at the Thomas Dixon Playground.
Try to play on as many of Prince George’s Counties Imagination Playgrounds as you can!
Get lost in the Garrett State Forest Rock Maze!
Ride the rides, play in the corn crib, and watch the pig races at a county fair.
Some of the great county fairs are:
- Montgomery County Fair
- Howard County Fair
- The Great Frederick Fair
- Anne Arundel County Fair
- Charles County Fair
- Calvert County Fair
See two of the nation’s largest sunflower fields. McKee Beshers in July and Clear Meadow Farms in September.
Bite into a huge peach and let the juice run down your chin. Don’t forget to indulge in a peach slushie! We love the peaches at Baugher’s!
Let your kids get lost in the huge indoor Hyperkidz playground.
Learn About Harriett Tubman at the Visitor Center and Check out this Mural in Downtown Cambridge!
Get your splash on at the Jolly Roger Splash Mountain!
Spend the day at a mountain lake (Deep Creek State Park and New Germany State Park are great bets!)
Visit one of the nature parks in the area like the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, or the Merkle Wildlife Area.
Splash at an indoor waterpark. The North Arundel Aquatic Center is loads of fun.
Do you have a budding pilot or astronaut?
Explore Colonial History at the Piscataway Park or Historic St. Mary’s City
Celebrate the 4th of July! Visit your local parade and make plans for an amazing fireworks celebration!
Here are some great ones!
Great options for a day out with kids include:
– Maryland Zoo
– Port Discovery or the Maryland Science Center
– One of Maryland’s fantastic State Parks
– A day exploring the Chesapeake Bay
– Visit a destination playground
– Check out Ocean City and Assateague Wild Horses
– Go hiking in the Catoctin Mountain Region
– Go to a park and either play on the playground or go for a hike.
– Get out in nature and go on a nature scavenger hunt.
– Take advantage of all the free things to do in your area like kids bowl free, free movies and concerts, or programs at the library.
– Make slime or do other STEM projects.
– Learn a new skills like geocaching or baking.
– Get wet! Go to a water park, a pool, or just have a water balloon game in your backyard!