The 100 Best Places To Take Kids In Maryland This Summer!
Don’t get bored this summer. These are our top picks for the best places to take kids in Maryland! Updated for 2021!
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!
Related: Check out the Kid Friendly Maryland comprehensive resource for parents: Things To Do In Maryland With Kids!
Best Places To Take Kids In Maryland
Quick Links for easy reference: Since this is a long post you can skip to the section you most want to check out!
- Summer Starts here (#1-#5)
- Movies, Movies, and more Movies!
- Indoor fun, flower picking, and playground (#8-#15)
- Children’s Theatre, Go-Karts, and the Enchanted Forest! (#16-#25)
- Turtles, Safaris, Art, outdoor play, and shark’s teeth! (#26-35)
- Butterflies, Lions, Eye Spy, caves, and a mountain rollercoaster (#36-#45)
- Explore Maryland beaches, waterfalls, river, outdoor gardens, and pet baby animals (#46-#54)
- Badlands, Splash, make Art, Yogi Bear, Trains, and more! (#55-#64)
- Miniature trains, Lighthouses, Ponies, Ocean City, Sunflower Mazes, and Amusement Parks (#65-#74)
- Obstacle Courses, Jousting, Pirates, Dragons, and Royalty (#75-#84)
- Biking, playground challenge, festivals, and peaches! (#85-#94)
- Swim, splash, enjoy nature, airplanes, and fireworks! (#95-#100)
Summer starts with berries, a big re-imagining, waterfalls, climbing, playgrounds and more! (#1-#5)
1. 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!
3. 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.
Related: Check out these awesome playgrounds in Maryland— including more information about the tire playgrounds!
In 2019, Port Discovery will unveiled the most awesome renovation they have ever done! Kidworks (the ginormous play structure) was taken down and was replaced with a 4-story Skyclimber, an awesome Port Exhibit where kids can actually pretend to work at a functioning port, and the coolest slide you will have to try out (it is sooo fast!).
5. Visit the National Harbor!
Take a ride on the Capital Wheel and finish off with a ride on the Carousel at the National Harbor. Don’t forget to play in the sand and climb on the sculpture!
Movies, Movies, and more Movies!
6. See an outdoor movie.
Here are some of the best kid friendly options for outdoor movies this summer:
- Flicks on the Hill (AVAM) (not running in)
- National Harbor Family Movie Nights on the Potomac— Select Thursdays throughout the summer. Click link for more details.
- Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival (back for 2021! Click link for details!) Movies include Princess and the Frog, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Shazam, and more!
- 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): Offering movies like Spiderman Far From Home (6/26), 1917 (7/3), First Man (7/10), Tom and Jerry (7/17), Rocketman (7/24), and more! Movies every week from June through October. Must reserve seats.
- Ocean City Free Movies on the Beach:
- So many dates– every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the summer. Click the link for the 2021 schedule!
- Hagerstown Outdoor Movies at City Park: Great options for this summer movie series include The Croods (6/11), Greatest Showman (6/18), Tom and Jerry (7/9), Jurassic Park (7/19), Princess Bride (8/27), and Shrek (9/18).
7. See a free (or super cheap) indoor movie!
Here are links to some good options this summer:
- Regal Summer Movie Series 2021: Movies are back for Summer 2021! Regal is bringing back $1 Movies for Kids this summer! Just pop in on a Tuesday or Wednesday matinee! Movies showing this summer include: Wonderpark, Smurfs, LEGO Movie, Storks, and more!
- Cinemark Movie Clubhouse 2021: $1.50 per movie! 2021 films include Trolls World Tour, Secret Life of Pets 2, How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, LEGO Movie 2, Angry Birds 2, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Minions, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Indoor fun, flower picking, and great playgrounds to check out! (#8-#15)
8. Go rollerskating
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).
9. Try your hand at Black Light Monster Mini Golf!
10. Scale Mount Rushmore at Climb Zone. There are two locations– Laurel and White Marsh!
11. Perfect your high jump at an indoor trampoline park.
Here are a few favorites in Maryland:
- Skyzone (Maryland locations in Columbia, Timonium, and Gaithersburg)
- Launch (Columbia and Rockville)
- Stratosphere Trampoline Park (Eldersburg)
12. Pick Flowers at a local farm.
13. Follow the yellow brick road to the Wizard of Oz Playground.
It really is as fantastic as is sounds!
14. 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:
16. Check out one of the new or newly renovated playgrounds in Maryland!
These playgrounds either just opened or went through massive renovations during 2020… and your kids will love them all!
Sophie and Madigan’s Playground
Blandair Regional Park North Playground
Downs Memorial Park Playground
Kinder Farm Park Playground
Lake Waterford Park Playground
Children’s Theatre, Go-Karts, and the Enchanted Forest! (#16-#25)
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!
17. Explore nature at Wild For Water Day at the Robinson Nature Center.
18. Spend the day playing at Annie’s Playground.
19. 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.
20. Visit the Enchanted Forest and feed the goats at Clark’s Elioak Farm.
21. Take a leisurely walk around the gorgeous Centennial Lake
Then let the kids burn even more energy at their awesome playground!
22. Dig for dinosaur bones and lay on a bed of nails at the Maryland Science Center.
23. Indulge in a Blackberry or Raspberry Breakfast at Milburn Orchards
Then spend the morning playing in their BIG Backyard!
24. Bring your favorite stuffed friend along for the Teddy Bear Picnic (or the also awesome Super Hero Picnic) on the Walkersville Southern Railroad.
25. 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
Turtles, Safaris, Art, outdoor play, and shark’s teeth! (#26-35)
28. Play Laser Tag and Go Bowling at Main Event!
29. Bottle Feed baby cows and enjoy a scoop of Maryland’s finest ice cream at South Mountain Creamery.
30. Play on the Irvine Nature Center or Oregon Ridge Nature Center nature playgrounds.
31. Walters Art Museum drop in art projects.
32. Find the fart machine at the American Visionary Art Museum (it really works!).
33. Search for Shark’s Teeth at Calvert Cliffs State Park or Flag Ponds Nature Park.
34. Take a hike to Cunningham Falls and then cool off at the beach afterwards.
35. Frederick Summerfest Family Theatre (awesome kid friendly bands!) concerts every Thursday morning!
Butterflies, Lions, Eye Spy, caves, and a mountain rollercoaster (#36-#45)
36. Spend a few hours playing at the Angel Park Playground
37. Feed the fish and hang with the turtles at Brookside Gardens
After that see how many butterflies land on you during Butterflies Alive!
38. There are so many new animals and habitats to check out at the Maryland Zoo.
Have you met the new polar bears? The new cheetahs? Have you seen the new Giraffe yard or Lion habitat! You have to check it out!
39. Baltimore Museum of Art has free art-making workshops perfect for kids every Sunday afternoon.
40. Play Eye Spy and grab delicious kid-friendly lunch (don’t forget the milkshakes) at the Papermoon Diner.
42. Make plans to see the Columbia Orchestra Pops Concert at the Chrysalis!
43. Go underground and explore the Crystal Grottoes Cavern.
44. Ride a mountain rollercoaster at the Wisp Resort.
45. Visit Swallow Falls State Park and take in the breathtaking Muddy Creek Falls.
Explore Maryland beaches, waterfalls, river, outdoor gardens, and pet baby animals (#46-#54)
46. Spend the day at the southernmost tip of Maryland.. which happens to have great beaches– Point Lookout State Park
47. Check out the beach or Float on an inner tube down the Gunpowder River at Gunpowder Falls State Park.
48. See the waterfall that inspired a movie.
49. Play hide and go seek among the topiaries at Ladew Topiary Gardens.
50. Become a fairy and create fantastic art at the Annmarie Sculpture Garden.
51. Pet the animals at the Green Meadows Petting Farm.
52. Spend the day relaxing at one of the Chesapeake Beaches. Favorites include Breezy Point Beach, and North Beach.
53. Tour the USS Constellation and other Historic Ships in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
54. Climb through the inside of a gigantic tree (fake) and slide down this super long slide at the Woodland Wonderland playground.
Badlands, Splash, make Art, Yogi Bear, Trains, and more! (#55-#64)
55. Scramble up an indoor mountain at Badlands Nature Playspace.
56. Enjoy Sensory Friendly days and Toddler time at the B&O Railroad Museum.
57. Reserve a cabin or campsite now for a weekend of non-stop fun at Jellystone Park in Hagerstown.
58. Paint a masterpiece at Artsy Partsy Family Paint Night or Open Studio time.
59. Try a ropes course at TreeTrekkers, Terrapin Adventures or the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring.
60. Burn a ton of energy at the South Germantown Regional Park Adventure Playground and then cool off at their amazing water park.
61. Grab a slice of pizza, a scoop of ice cream, and sign up for one of the many kid friendly fun nights at Peace A Pizza in Catonsville.
These events are amazing– paint nights, bingo for kids, craft nights, cookie making classes… all awesome!
62. Tap into your kids STEM interests at the new Kid Museum in Bethesda.
63. Get lost in imaginative play at either the Bethesda or Annapolis location of the Be With Me Playseum.
64. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle over the ruins of 90 WWI-era sunken ships at Mallows Bay Park.
Miniature trains, Lighthouses, Ponies, Ocean City, Sunflower Mazes, and Amusement Parks (#65-#74)
65. Ride the miniature train and then play on the massive playground at Cabin John Regional Park.
66. Play with the otters and climb up the lighthouse at the Calvert Marine Museum.
67. Make plans to see the famous wild ponies at the Assateague Island National Seashore.
68. Hang out on the Ocean City Boardwalk, grab some salt water taffy and boardwalk fries, and ride the rides at Trimpers.
69. Build a sand castle at the lovely Greenbrier State Park Beach.
70. 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!
71. Get lost in a sunflower maze at Goldpetal Farms.
72. Introduce your kids to the iconic crab experience at Crabtowne USA
Bring Quarters for the room of over 100 video arcade games!
73. 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)
74. Visit Maryland’s largest amusement park (and water park) at Six Flags America.
Obstacle Courses, Jousting, Pirates, Dragons, and Royalty (#75-#84)
76. Cheer the knights and horses at the Medieval Times dinner show.
77. Pretend to be a pirate at Chesapeake Pirates.
78. Enjoy the Inner Harbor attractions like the dragon paddle boats and the World Trade Center!
79. Explore the Marsh Boardwalk trail at Jug Bay Wildlife Refuge.
80. Explore lighthouses and a living shoreline at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s.
81. Transport yourself back in time and spend the day at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.
82. 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
- Pottery Cove: Catonsville, MD
- The Clay Bakers: Annapolis, MD
- Meltdown In Maryland: Eldersburg, MD
- Hot Pots: Timonium, MD
83. Climb the big blue mountain and ride the carousel at the Wheaton Regional Park.
84. Great Falls National Park (there are great views on both the Maryland and Virginia side!)
Biking, playground challenge, festivals, and peaches! (#85-#94)
85. Go biking along the C&O Tow Path or Baltimore-Annapolis Bike Trail.
86. Watch the planes fly in while playing on one of Maryland’s most unique playground at the Thomas Dixon Playground.
87. Try to play on as many of Prince George’s Counties Imagination Playgrounds as you can!
88. Get lost in the Garrett State Forest Rock Maze!
89. 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
90. See two of the nation’s largest sunflower fields. McKee Beshers in July and Clear Meadow Farms in September.
91. 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!
92. Let your kids get lost in the huge indoor Hyperkidz playground.
93. Check out one of the other awesome indoor playground in Maryland like the Wiggle Room, Wiggle Up, Totsville, or Omni Fun.
94. Get your splash on at the Jolly Roger Splash Mountain!
Swim, splash, enjoy nature, airplanes, and fireworks! (#95-#100)
95. Spend the day at a mountain lake (Deep Creek State PArk and New Germany State Park are great bets!)
96. Visit one of the nature parks in the area like the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, or the Merkle Wildlife Area.
97. Splash at an indoor waterpark. The North Arundel Aquatic Center is loads of fun.
98. Do you have a budding pilot or astronaut?
99. Explore Colonial History at the Piscataway Park
100. Celebrate the 4th of July! Visit your local parade and make plans for an amazing fireworks celebration!
Here are some great ones!