Things to do in Baltimore With kids

10 Things To Do In Baltimore With Kids

We’ve only lived in Baltimore for two years, but it’s already very much home. We love the ease and charm of the city, and there’s no shortage of family friendly fun here, starting with my favorite ten spots…

1. American Visionary Art Museum. This is the only non-children’s museum we’ve found that kids actually enjoy going to as much as we do. I mean, there’s a farting bench. A farting bench! The whole thing is just visual overload in the best possible way. Plus, the gift shop has lots of cheap goodies to bribe the kids for good behavior with. Not that you’ll really need to.

2. The Farmer’s Market Under the Jones Falls Expressway. An outdoor farmer’s market under an expressway isn’t the most ideal location, but on Sunday mornings from April to December, it’s the place to be. There’s everything from produce to meats to seafood to homemade crepes, pickles, pastries… pretty much everything you can imagine. I can’t say that my kids love it there, but they survive it. Especially when they get to pick out lunch. (Just have them hold their noses as you walk through the stinky parking lot.)

3. National Pinball Museum. OK, so the museum part is a little boring for the kids, but the room upstairs, filled with nothing but pinball machines? Pure awesomeness. They even have stools so little arms can reach every button and gadget they’d need to. You can spend hours there and all be happy. {Note: The Pinball Museum is temporarily closed while they look for a new location.}

4. Fell’s Point. Cobblestone streets, restaurants and shopping don’t exactly say kid-friendly, but the balloon sellers and numerous ice cream stores help with that. The kids do love the water taxis you can take to the various waterfront areas, and there are always street performers to be found on the weekends.

5. Papermoon Diner. If there is any restaurant that says Baltimore to me, this is it. Breakfast all day, sandwiches, salads, pasta, soups… this place has it all, with enough variety for even the pickiest of children. The decor, with old toys and Pez dispensers covering every inch, is over the top kitch and a natural for never ending games of “I spy.” Oh, they have bacon milkshakes. That’s right, bacon milkshakes. Don’t miss it.

6. Port Discovery Children’s Musuem. I’m not saying this just because they threw me a book launch party. It’s a great place to go with kids (under seven; any older and they’ll lose interest pretty fast.) The kids just adore it and it’s one of the best children museums we’ve come across. Plus, Joe Squared is right across the street for lunch and has some of the yummiest pizza in the city.

7. Orioles Games. Camden Yards is a great park and seats are cheap enough that you won’t be annoyed for leaving early and available enough that you can get them last minute. Like any sporting event, you’ll pay an absolute fortune for snacks, so be sure and pack your own.

8. The Walters Art Museum. What’s better than a museum that the kids don’t hate? A museum that’s free, of course. Not only is admission free at the Walters, but every weekend from 10-3, they provide free drop-in art activities for kids. The boys love the armor, Lily is partial to the jewelry, and I think it’s all pretty cool. And if the kids end up melting down and needing to leave, it’s not the end of the world.

9. Fort McHenry is a coastal star-shaped fort best known for its role in the War of 1812, when it successfully defended Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British navy in Chesapeake Bay September 13-14, 1814. It was during the bombardment of the fort that Francis Scott Key was inspired to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The place is oozing with history, but even more, it’s a perfect place to let kids run around and burn off some steam. (The uniformed park rangers will keep them in line.)

10. Belvedere Square’s Market. If you’re looking for somewhere fun to eat that can please every palate, this is a great bet. They have some of the best smoked fish ever (sadly my kids would rather die than eat it, but maybe you’ll have better luck) and fabulous soups, sandwiches, desserts and more. The kids love the pasta and I love that we can all eat whatever we want. There’s also a great Tuesday Morning across the street where you can find toys for a steal.

Got any tips to share about traveling to Baltimore with kids? Leave them in the comments!