50+ Family Friendly Things To Do In Baltimore With Kids
Baltimore is Charm City and for good reason! Check out these 50+ Family Friendly things to do in Baltimore with kids!
Baltimore is known as Charm City. It is the home of Edgar Allen Poe, Babe Ruth, the Star Spangled Banner, and beehive hairdos. Baltimore is Washington DC’s highly irreverent and quirky sibling and there are so many ways families with kids; especially young kids, can have a blast!
I have done a lot of research to find most, if not all the fun things to do in Baltimore with kids. I hope you find this list useful!
The List: Fun Things To Do In Baltimore With Kids
1. Port Discovery
Port Discovery, located about a block away from the Inner Harbor, is the perfect place to play with the family if you have kids ages about 9 and under. With the major renovations that were unveiled in summer 2019, Port Discovery became an even more awesome destination for kid friendly fun! Check out our Ultimate Guide to Port Discovery.
2. National Aquarium
The National Aquarium is one of the crown jewels of the Inner Harbor. Ticket prices can be a little pricey but the pay off is pretty huge. There are so many distinct habitats, fish, animals… everyone in the family will love spending the day here! Want to know more? Check out these 14 reasons why the National Aquarium is fantastic for kids!
3. Maryland Science Center
The other crown jewel of the Inner Harbor is the Maryland Science Center. The Science Center has tons of STEM activities for young children, tweens and teens, and even adults. Don’t miss the Planetarium, the IMAX, or the Sun Observatory. And if you have young kids, the 4th floor is a must!
Check out our in-depth review of the Maryland Science Center.
4. The Maryland Zoo
Our family absolutely adores The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. It is perfect for younger kids because the animals are so accessible, there are tons of play areas, and it’s incredibly walkable. Everyone in the family will love experiencing the animals up close though– especially the giraffes, lions, chimpanzees, elephants, and bears!
Read our in-depth review of the Maryland Zoo here.
5. B&O Railroad Museum
If you have a train lover, you absolutely must visit the B&O Railroad Museum! There are plenty of fun kid’s activities and regular special event train rides. You can read our review of the B&O Railroad Museum here, as well as tips for the best times to check it out!
Hop on board the USS Constellation, a submarine, Coast Guard cutter and more!
Speaking of ships, if your kids want a super fun adventure, try your hand at becoming an actual pirate for a day! You will learn to talk, dance, and play games like a pirate, blast enemies with water cannons and navigate treacherous waters to discover vast treasures.
This amazing quirky, wacky art museum in Baltimore is perfect for Charm City. Your kids will love it too. They regularly host make and take projects on the weekends, Flicks on the Hill in the summer, and plenty of art exhibits that will keep your kids interested for at least an hour or two. Best bets: Check out the Flatulence Post (I am totally not joking) where your kids can have permission to make fart sounds and not get in trouble. Also, the robots are fun, as is the massive Pez dispenser display!
This small but very engaging art museum is FREE! How can you beat that cost? For families the best part is the basement, which hosts free drop-in art activities every weekend, as well as classes (with a small cost) on a regular basis.
The 3rd major art museum in Baltimore is pretty amazing for kids too! The Baltimore Museum of Art has some great exhibits that will keep your kid’s attention for sure. Families can pick up a FREE activity booklet to enhance the experience for kids. Also, every Sunday from 2-5pm the Baltimore Museum of Art is FREE and there are free hosted drop-in art activities to engage kids and parents!
11. Fort McHenry
Check out the spot where our National Anthem was penned! ‘O, Say Can You See…’ The is a National Park so make sure your kids snag their Junior Ranger booklet from the Visitor Center. In the summer the Fort McHenry Guard provides cannon and musket firing demonstrations, fife and drum performances, and period games and demonstrations. And of course, don’t forget to commemorate Defender’s Day (13-14 September)!
The Orioles have a number of super kid friendly programs. Kids Cheer Free is a popular initiative that allows fans ages nine and younger to attend games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards free of charge. Plus, every Sunday home game during the summer kids can run the bases after the game, and some Friday nights Camden Yards hosts post-game music and fireworks. How awesome is that?
13. Bengies Drive In
Bengies Drive-In is home to the biggest movie theatre screen in the USA. This is an authentic mom-and-pops drive-in movie theatre that plays both kid friendly and more adult movies from early spring through the fall.
This place is great for all ages but tween and teens will get the most out of this gem at the Inner Harbor. The big draw for kids will continue to be the Video Game Wizard exhibit, where kids can actually try their hand at designing a video game. How cool is that?
This amazing playground was built by the community… then destroyed… then built a second time– completely through community donations and sweat equity. It is one of our favorite playgrounds in Maryland too!
16. The Baltimore Symphony
Did you know that one of the best symphonies in the world is located in Charm City? Yeppers. It’s pretty awesome and the BSO has a thriving program for young kids and families.
- Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Box Concert Series: Aimed at ages 3 and younger. Various dates and locations
- Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Family Concerts: for kids age 4 and up. If you get tickets early enough you can also sign up for a family luncheon post-concert!
Baltimore boasts a lot of claims to be the biggest and best. Every July, Baltimore puts on the biggest (and probably best) FREE Outdoor Public Arts festival in the country! This 3-day festival includes live concerts from three stages, an Artist’s Market with over 150 artisans, performance art, art cars, Visual art installations, poetry workshops, comedy, cooking demonstrations, and more.
18. The Charmery
The Charmery is probably the best ice cream you can get in Baltimore (I am sure those are fighting words.. I stand by my choice!). They have a rotating menu of ice cream flavors that are concocted just for the Charmery. You can get a special sundae made from scratch, root beer floats, and hand spun milkshakes. With three locations in the Baltimore area there are plenty of ways to get your ice cream fix!
19. Little Italy
Little Italy is a small but mighty neighborhood in Baltimore, right next to the Inner Harbor, Harbor East, and close to Fell’s Point. It is a few blocks full of fantastic Italian restaurants– many of which are incredibly kid friendly (our favorite is Amicci’s). There are a number of fun festivals put on by the community every year too. Check out the Maddonari Arts Festival– a sidewalk chalk art festival which takes places every September!
20. Patterson Park
Another fantastic area of Baltimore to check out is Patterson Park. The defining feature of Patterson Park is the beautifully restored pagoda but families will love it for all the activities! There is ice skating in the winter, a pool in the summer, 2 playgrounds, a fountain, and tons of amazing annual events like flea markets, the annual lantern parade, free summer concerts, and more!
21. aMuse Toystore
This fantastic toy store in Fell’s Point specializes in curating the best and coolest toys for kids that encourage imagination, STEM, and just plain fun. If you are looking for something you can’t find at a box store, this is the perfect place to shop!
22. Sweet Side Cafe
This fun Baltimore Cafe has a full menu that is absolutely delicious. But– the main selling point for kids is the bakery! From festive cupcakes and donuts, to other fancy treats, you and your kids will positively drool with delight. Also, this cafe holds regular movie nights with some family friendly cinematic fun on a Friday night too!
23. Blue Moon Cafe (2 locations- Fell’s Point and Light Street)
Another Baltimore kid friendly cafe with a serious sweet tooth, the Blue Moon Cafe is the perfect place for breakfast or brunch with kids. Breakfast is their game and they are totally on it. There isn’t a kid menu per se, but come on.. Captain Crunch French Toast is their most famous dish. That, along with ginormous cinnamon rolls, and tons of specialty pancakes, there is no way your kids won’t be happy with their food!
24. Pierce’s Park
This awesome little park is tucked away in a corner of the Inner Harbor. If you didn’t know it was there you might actually miss it. But that would be a shame because it boasts some pretty fun play features like a horn slide (that is what it looks like anyway), spinners, playground instruments, and a willow tunnel. A great place to decompress if your kids are getting a little overwhelmed.
A Creative workshop space in Baltimore where both kids and adults can make art! On weekends they hold Kid Studios– basically themed drop in art activities.
26. Papermoon Diner
This diner is so awesome for kids! The menu is awesome (you have to save room for a milkshake). But the real winner for families is the decor. It is sooo fun and wacky. Every time we eat here we play a big game of I Spy!
27. Miss Shirley’s
Another fantastic option for family dining in Baltimore is Miss Shirley’s. There are two locations– the Inner Harbor and Roland Park. We love the Inner Harbor location because it is literally 1 block away from Port Discovery. Don’t worry about the wait. Their waiting area is equipped with games and toys… you won’t want your buzzer to ring! And the kid’s bento box option is really super fun and delicious!
There are multiple branches of this Baltimore City public library. Of course you can pop in for books. But the Enoch Pratt library system also has a ton of kid friendly events, from storytime to crafternoons to coding for kids!
If the weather outside is not frightful (so, not the dead of winter) and you would like a fun way to experience the Inner Harbor, check out the Baltimore Water Taxi. With service across the harbor, to Fell’s Point, Canton, and Ft. McHenry, this cool taxi is the way to go!
Creative Alliance is a fantastic community arts space that has everything from live performances to workshops to family friendly activities. Kids will love Kerplunk!– their free Family Art Drop-in, lantern-making workshops leading up to The Great Halloween Lantern Parade, Día Del Niño, Dog Days of Summer Block Party, World Refugee Day, workshops with the Artesanas Mexicanas, and much more!
31. Sherwood Gardens
Every fall, 80,000 tulip bulbs are planted in this small but lovely garden in the heart of Baltimore. Then, every spring, the garden overflows with the bright happy colors of both tulips and (if you time it right) azaleas! So, pack a picnic and come out to experience the loveliness that is Sherwood Gardens. You won’t regret it!
34th Street in the Hampden neighborhood is, quite literally, Christmas Street. Every year, the residents outdo themselves in order to make their street shine with the biggest and brightest Christmas lights and inflatables and everything else decorative in the area. Plus this event is totally FREE!
The Cylburn Arboretum off of Greenspring Avenue is just really fantastic. The grounds are sprawling and there is so much open space to run and play and enjoy seeing the trees and other plant life. There are over 20 individual gardens and some of the coolest old trees I have ever seen. The arboretum is a fantastic place to check out cherry blossoms, magnolias, and azaleas every spring!
The US Botanic Garden in DC is not the only place to see plants and flowers year round. This conservatory is located in Druid Hill Park, literally on the way to the Maryland Zoo. The Conservatory is fantastic to visit anytime, but their main public events are the Orchid Display, a Spring Display (tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and grape hyacinths), and their Holiday Display (Poinsettias and Santa!).
If you have a sports lover in your family you should not miss spending an hour or so at this museum. It’s dedicated to one of baseball’s greatest players ever, Babe Ruth!
With Maryland locations in the Inner Harbor and Ocean City, this place is off the hook. It is really very funny and quirky and everything you would expect it to be. It is also super fun and would make a great filler activity if you are hanging out in Baltimore. Definitely an example of wacky fun things to do in Baltimore with kids!
Such a cool museum dedicated to chronicling the African-American experience in a fun and informative way. This is a very unique museum which focuses on the presentation of life-size, life-like wax figures highlighting historical and contemporary personalities of African ancestry.
This museum focuses solely on African American history in Baltimore and Maryland. It is an impressive museum which is probably best suited for older kids. However, they do have regular special event days that younger kids would love!
Baltimore’s very own authentic German Christmas market! For real, you can get hot cocoa, hot cider, mulled wine, and even shop for Kathe Wolfhart Christmas decorations (but they are pretty marked up). For kids there are live music performances, an activity table, and of course.. Santa himself.
This is a HUGE deal. Every other year Baltimore puts on a truly amazing air show and fleet week. You can tour ships, there are tons of air and ship themed festivities and there is always an awesome air show over the Inner Harbor!
What happens when you take an unmissable Light festival and merge it with a world-renowned book festival? Starting in 2019 Baltimore combined these two powerhouse events for Brilliant Baltimore. There are too many family friendly activities to mention. But one thing is for sure– you have to check it out!
Every June, 4 blocks in the Hampden neighborhood host one of the best and quirkiest festivals in the country. HONfest celebrates the working women who helped make this great city what it is. You can even have your daughter get a Hon beehive just for the occasion!
To get the best view of Baltimore and the Inner Harbor for a fairly reasonable price ($6 and under), make the Top of the World Observation a must-do on your Baltimore bucket list!
44. Duck Pin Bowling
Why not try Duck Pin bowling, which Baltimore claims as its own (duck pin bowling is with smaller balls). Stoneleigh Lanes is the perfect place to check it out!
This is THE perfect place to have a picnic and get the wiggles out on a visit to Baltimore. The views are quite possibly the best in the city AND there is a gated playground that your kids will love!
Can you believe this is lovely nature center is part of the 3rd largest urban park in the United States? There are plenty of trails, outdoor art exhibits, and inside the nature center insects, snakes, turtles, and more! This is a great low key example of fun things to do in Baltimore with kids.
Before cars, people in Baltimore got around the city on streetcars. Now you can visit this museum, learn about them and even ride them! Yep.. your kids will love that! Included in your admission fee is unlimited streetcar rides, which run every 30 minutes. So, pack a picnic and enjoy the afternoon here!
I know what you are thinking… what?! Ha. But for real, you can actually see George Washington’s wooden teeth. This hidden gem is worth a trip just for that! And if you don’t think it will be kid friendly, I have to tell you my daughter went on a field trip here in preschool.. and she still talks about it.
50. Graffiti Alley
Graffiti Alley and the adjoining Graffiti Warehouse are the only places in Baltimore where street artists can legally create their art. It’s pretty fantastic for Instagram and other shots. And really, such a fun place!
You might not think a huge library is a great spot for kids… but don’t take your kids here to check out books. Take them here because it is considered one the most beautiful libraries in the world! It is affectionately called the ‘Cathedral of Books’ and it is definitely worth a few moments for you to admire it in awe.
52. The Book Thing
If you want a great place to get a book for your kids (and you).. for FREE, pop into The Book Thing. This great place takes the concept of a free library to a whole new level. They accept book donations and you can take books for free.. absolutely free!
53. Social Studio Art Classes
This fantastic Baltimore art studio hold classes and every weekend a weekend workshop for kids. Each week there will be a different “Make & Take” art activity. Each month there will be a different theme.
These fun dragons are one of the more noticeable features of the Inner Harbor. Operated and managed by Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the Chessie Dragon paddle boats and electric Pirate Ships of Baltimore (added in 2018) are popular family-friendly attractions.
One of Baltimore’s most famous sons. You can visit Edgar Allen Poe’s house and trace his steps around the city!
At the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House is a fun-filled experience where you and your entire family will become part of one of the most important stories of our nation’s history – the sewing of the flag that inspired our National Anthem.
Here, you’ll meet Mary Pickersgill, the spirited woman who made the flag. You’ll learn what life was like in the 19th century and your kids can take part in activities that let them experience it for themselves.