The Best Maryland Attractions for Families

Do you live in Maryland and are curious about what there is to do with kids? Are you planning a trip to Maryland? Or, perhaps you are visiting DC or somewhere else on the East Coast and are driving through Maryland? This list of the best Maryland attractions for families would be a great place to start planning your family fun in the Old Line State!

Ocean City

Nothing says summer fun like a few days in Ocean City! Ocean City is fun off-season too though. The pristine 10-mile-long beach is the biggest attraction. However, spend some time on the famous Ocean City boardwalk, snack on some Thrashers fries, and enjoy all the family fun entertainment options!

While in Ocean City you can visit numerous amusement park rides, go on pirate adventures, play arcade games, and tons of other kid-friendly attractions.

Related: The Best Things for Families to do in Ocean City!

Assateague Island National Seashore

Just south of Ocean City is one of the coolest national parks in the U.S.! Assateague Island National Seashore is home to the famous wild horses. You can see these beautiful animals year round, as well as explore the unique ecosystems. And let’s be honest, the beach itself is pretty fantastic too!

National Harbor

Literally in Washington D.C.’s backyard, the National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD is a super fun place to visit with kids. Ride the 180 ft tall Capital Ferris Wheel, take in some of the free entertainment, festivals, and shopping, and visit the impressive Gaylord National for their seasonal events.

Baltimore and the Inner Harbor

Baltimore gets a bad reputation which is unfortunate, because it has some world-class family friendly attractions! The Inner Harbor is the crown jewel of Baltimore with attractions like the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, U.S.S. Constellation, and Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Related: 50 Kid Friendly Things to Do in Baltimore!

Baltimore has a rich baseball history as the Babe Ruth birthplace. Kids would love to run the bases at Oriole Park (Camden Yards).

However, if you venture beyond the Inner Harbor, families would love the Maryland Zoo, the B&O Railroad Museum, and Ft. McHenry, where Francis Scott Key penned the Star Spangled Banner.

Baltimore is great for art lovers too! There are three world class art museums: Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Museum, and the American Visionary Art Museum.

Historic St. Mary’s

Close to the most south point in Maryland, Historic St. Mary’s City in St. Mary’s county is a living history museum that kids of all ages would love! Visitors can check out the Maryland Dove, an indigenous village, and a 17th century town where re-enactors get kids involved in printmaking, playing 17th century games, and more!

Harriett Tubman National Visitors Center

On the other side of the Chesapeake Bay in Dorchester County, learn about Harriett Tubman and the Underground Railroad in this truly one of a kind museum and visitor center. The exhibits are very thought provoking and really bring this part of history to life.

Shark Teeth Hunting

The shores of Maryland are a treasure trove of… shark’s teeth! And not just any shark’s teeth, but megalodon shark’s teeth. There are various beaches that are famous for shark teeth hunting adventures. Some of the best known are at Calvert Cliffs State Park, Flag Ponds Nature Park, Purses Park, and Mataoaka Beach.

This is such a unique experience to Maryland and it combines the fun of a scavenger hunt with an educational experience and great outdoor fun! In addition to the actual shark teeth hunting, you can visit the Calvert Marine Museum to learn more about the Megalodon, visit a lighthouse, and more!

Maryland’s Lighthouses

Another unique piece of Maryland history is its role in seafaring and maritime activities. Because of all the nooks and crannies on Maryland’s coastline there are actually quite a few lighthouses. You can visit many of them! Some of our favorites include Concord Point Light in Havre de Grace, Drum Point Light in Solomons, and Turkey Point Light at Elk Neck State Park

The Chesapeake Bay

Speaking of the Chesapeake Bay, this entire region is full of fantastic day and weekend trip opportunities. The beaches are gorgeous, the food is delicious, and there are loads of opportunities to have kayaking adventures or see the most gorgeous sunsets you can imagine.

Great Falls and the C&O Canal Towpath

Another fantastic national park in Maryland is Great Falls. Actually, you can access Great Falls from both the Virginia and Maryland side. We prefer the Maryland side though because you get really fantastic views of the falls.

Your kids will love scrambling up the Billy Goat Trail too (if they are adventurous). And if you bring your bikes, the C&O Canal Towpath runs right through the Maryland side of Great Falls. 

Catoctin Mountain Region

Did you know Camp David is located in the Catoctin Mountain Region of Maryland? You can’t actually go to Camp David, but you can get pretty close.

There are so many parks in this area from Cunningham Falls State Park to Catoctin Mountain Park. Kids love to visit the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve where you can feed zebras and bison on their guided safari!

Six Flags America

Six Flags America is the largest amusement park in Maryland and it’s huge! We absolutely love the water park, Hurricane Harbor, as well as their huge list of rollercoasters, thrill rides, and family rides. This is a theme park that’s great for kids and adults of all ages!

If Six Flags is too much for you, another fantastic amusement parks that is fun for the whole family is Adventure Park USA in Monrovia. This smaller amusement park has family rides, thrill rides, and a ton of indoor fun experiences like virtual reality, an arcade, and laser tag.

Deep Creek Lake

The Deep Creek Lake region of Maryland (Garrett County) is the very definition of a nature playground. The lake itself is gorgeous and great for summer fun. However, in the winter months, Wisp Mountain Resort has some of the region’s best skiing and snow tubing.

Deep Creek Lake is also very close to some of Maryland’s best family friendly state parks like Swallow Falls State Park and the Muddy Creek waterfall.

National Battlefields and Historic Sites

It is mind boggling just how many historic sites and national battlefields are located in Maryland. Maryland has been in the middle of the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and the Civil War.

So, you know, basically everything you learned in early American history.

You can literally spend the morning touring a fort from the French and Indian War, eat lunch near the bloodiest Civil War battlefield, and then crack crabs in Baltimore in the shadow of Fort McHenry National Monument. Maryland is home to Antietam National Battlefield, Monocacy National Battlefield, and more!

In addition to the war memorials and history, Maryland was a central part of the United States’ civil rights history, colonial life, and pop culture favorites like Babe Ruth, Edgar Allen Poe, and John Waters.

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

Maryland is host to fun transportation themed experiences and museums too! Take a train ride aboard the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (in Cumberland) or the Walkersville Southern Railroad (Frederick County).

You can also tour the B&O Railroad Museum, the Oakland B&O Railroad Museum, the Thrasher Carriage Museum in Frostburg, and the Garrett County Transportation Museum.

If planes are your thing, the College Park Aviation Museum is fantastic for younger kids in particular. And the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum has a bunch of great airplanes and aviation-themed artifacts.

There is also a fantastic Fire Museum and a Trolley Museum in Maryland.

Get Medieval!

Tap into your inner King Arthur (or Game of Thrones if that’s your thing)! Any time of the year you can reserve a spot at Medieval Times Dinner Theatre. Chow down on a huge turkey leg while you watch live jousting! It’s really such a fun event!

And from the end of August through the beginning of October every year Lords and Ladies converge on Crownsville, MD for one of the best Renaissance Festivals in the country. This sprawling festival has fun events, attractions, and great eats that would appeal to kids and adults alike!

Flower Fields Forever

Because of Maryland’s great growing season, there are many opportunities to see gloriously beautiful flowers! Starting with daffodils and cherry blossoms in March, tulips and azaleas, and finally fields of golden sunflowers. Maryland is the perfect place to see gorgeous fields of flowers!

Read this! The Best Sunflower Fields in Maryland!

Where to see gorgeous tulips in Maryland!

Visit a Destination Playground

One of the things about Maryland that is utterly fantastic is the emphasis on truly wonderful playgrounds. Some of these destination playgrounds are part of the park system. Some of them are privately funded. These playgrounds are worth a stop on any Maryland road trip, or a side trip visit all on their own!

  • Wizard of Oz Playground at Watkins Regional Park
  • Sophie and Madigan’s Playground
  • Annie’s Playground
  • Angel Park Playground
  • Blandair Regional Park- North Playground

Here are the best playgrounds in Maryland!

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