As a local DC area family, we're excited to share our top things to do in Baltimore with Kids including easy planning insights to help you make the most of your family's visit. We've got you covered whether you're looking for exciting attractions, outdoor adventures, or educational experiences. Get ready to explore Charm City easily and make memories that you and your children will cherish.
Table of Contents
- 10 Paid Fun Things To Do in Baltimore with Kids
- 10 Free Things To Do in Baltimore with Kids
- Family Friendly Hotels in Baltimore
- Baltimore with Kids Map
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10 Paid Things to Do with Kids in Baltimore
National Aquarium in Baltimore with Kids
The National Aquarium in Baltimore is world-renowned for its captivating exhibits and commitment to marine conservation. Located in the heart of the Inner Harbor, it is one of the largest in the country. My kids' favorites were the dolphins, puffins and jellyfish!
Mom Tips: Consider purchasing tickets in advance to avoid long lines, and ask the information desk what the times are for the marine life feeding and interactive exhibits. Be sure to allocate ample time, as there's so much to see and learn at the National Aquarium—it's an unforgettable experience for both kids and adults alike.
Check out this post on the Baltimore Aquarium and Parking for where we parked.
Maryland Science Center (my kids' favorite thing to do in Baltimore)
The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore has gained fame for its hands-on approach to science education, making learning a fun and interactive experience for visitors of all ages. This is my kids' favorite place in Baltimore, located right along the Inner Harbor! They loved the science labs, planetarium, and water tables the most.
Mom Tips: Plan to visit during the weekdays or early mornings on weekends to avoid large crowds, and consider purchasing tickets online to save time. Check the schedule at the beginning of your visit so you won't miss the interactive demonstrations.
I wrote an entire post on my top 5 favorite things to do at the Maryland Science Center and parking tips, so check it out for all the pictures and info!
Port Discovery Children's Museum, Baltimore
Baltimore's Port Discovery Children's Museum is a dynamic and interactive children's museum that sparks creativity, curiosity, and learning through play. It's truly a beautiful space for kids ages 0 - 7. From a life-sized climbing maze to a kid-powered carousel, there's no shortage of fun adventures waiting to be explored.
Port Discovery is located along the Inner Harbor kind of in the middle between the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center.
Maryland Zoo - Druid Hill Park, Central Baltimore
The Maryland Zoo is home to over 1,500 animals representing more than 200 species! It is located in Druid Hill Park and provides a chance for families to connect with creatures from around the globe. From majestic lions to playful penguins, the diversity of animals on display is truly captivating. Plan your visit around the daily animal encounters and feedings to get up close and learn more about the residents. Bring comfortable walking shoes, as the zoo is spread across a large area with hilly terrain. Consider a stroller rental if you have young children.
Mom Tip: If you have time and a special event like a birthday, check out the incredible Penguin Encounter where you can go inside the exhibit and feed the penguins!
A boat tour is a great way to see Baltimore's Inner Harbor from a different perspective, and without walking! This highly rated boat tour is a 3-hour long with "board narration that points out easy–to–miss landmarks, from Fells Point to the USS Constellation." There are indoor and outdoor observation decks so you are set no matter the weather.
Children are allowed but infants must sit on your lap. There is also a bar with drinks available for purchase.
Camden Yards with Kids
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is an iconic baseball stadium with a rich history. Opened in 1992, it is often regarded as the ballpark that revitalized the modern era of baseball stadium design. Camden Yards introduced the concept of a retro-classic ballpark, combining modern amenities with a nostalgic, old-fashioned feel. This innovative approach to stadium architecture influenced the construction of many subsequent ballparks across the United States.
You can catch a Baltimore Orioles game during the baseball season or take a stadium tour on non-game days to explore behind the scenes. (As of Fall 2023, currently unavailable but check back for updates.) The stadium is conveniently located in downtown Baltimore, making it easily accessible by public transportation or car.
And check out this Ballpark Mysteries called Baltimore Bandit, an early chapter book set in Baltimore for grades 1 - 4!
American Visionary Art Museum
The American Visionary Art Museum focuses on the power of creativity and the celebration of outsider art. This one-of-a-kind museum is renowned for its eclectic collection of self-taught and visionary artists' works, showcasing a diverse range of artistic expressions. What makes it truly exceptional is its commitment to promoting the belief that everyone is an artist. Kids, in particular, find the museum fascinating as they explore the imaginative and whimsical art on display.
Located very close to theMaryland Science Center!
B&O Railroad Museum
The B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore is like a time machine that takes kids on a fascinating journey through the history of trains. Imagine exploring enormous steam locomotives, old-fashioned passenger cars, and the iconic "Tom Thumb" locomotive that was one of the first steam engines in the United States!
You can even take a ride on a real train and feel what it was like to travel in the past. So, if you're curious about how locomotives worked, or if you just love trains, the B&O Railroad Museum is the perfect place to discover the exciting history of railroads in Baltimore and beyond. All aboard for a fun and educational adventure!
Hours and details about the B&O Railroad Museum here.
Photo credit: Esther Westerveld Creative Commons, link here.
Historic Ships of Baltimore Harbor
The Historic Ships of Baltimore Harbor is a collection of well-preserved historic vessels that offer a glimpse into America's maritime heritage. You can visit these ships with your kids:
- USS Constellation: The USS Constellation is a sloop-of-war, the last sail-only warship built by the United States Navy. It served during the Civil War and is now a museum ship where visitors can learn about life at sea during that era.
- USS Torsk: The USS Torsk is a Tench-class submarine that saw service during World War II. Visitors can tour the submarine to gain insight into the challenges and conditions submariners faced during the war.
- Lightship Chesapeake: The Lightship Chesapeake is a floating lighthouse that guided ships through the Chesapeake Bay. It provides a unique opportunity to learn about the importance of navigation aids in maritime history.
- Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse: This historic lighthouse once stood in the Chesapeake Bay and is now part of the museum. Visitors can explore the lighthouse and discover its history.
Lightship 116 (LV116) Chesapeake
For the older kids, check out the haunted side of Baltimore and its dark history on this walking tour of the Fell’s Point neighborhood. From the Ghost Tour website: "Learn about the spirit of Edgar Allen Poe and his mysterious death along the way. You’ll be stopping at several pubs/bars/saloons, the cemetery, and a hotel, where you’ll hear tales of the haunted places from your guide along the way. Have your guide show you the most haunted places in Baltimore."
Free Things to Do in Baltimore with Kids
Inner Harbor with Kids
This is the main tourist spot in Baltimore and for good reason! It has a lot of the attractions I've already mentioned including the National Aquarium, Port Discovery Children's Museum, Maryland Science Museum and the Historic Ships.
Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade or enjoy a boat ride on the Inner Harbor. There are various water taxis and paddle boats available for a fun and scenic experience as well as Ripley's Believe it or Not, tons of restaurants, shopping, and street performers.
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore MD
This museum is huge and free! Their collection includes 36,000 objects from around the world from 5000 BCE to 21st century.
The museum often hosts family-oriented programs and workshops. These hands-on activities can engage kids and deepen their understanding of art. Be sure to inquire about any scheduled family events when you arrive.
Inner Harbor New Playground Rash Field Park
There is a wonderful new playground at the renovated Rash Field Park along the Inner Harbor close to the Maryland Science Center. Check out their website for great photos! The park also includes a skate park, basketball courts, green spaces, splash pad and hosts lots of events and festivals.
Rawlings Conservatory - Beautiful Free Kids Activity in Baltimore
The Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens, located in Baltimore's Druid Hill Park, is a stunning and historic greenhouse complex that has been enchanting visitors for over 125 years. It is definitely a hidden gem for families as kids enjoy the lively koi, stroll the beautiful plant rooms, and enjoy the wonderful orchid room.
The Rawlings Conservatory offers educational programs, workshops, and events for visitors of all ages. These programs provide opportunities to learn about plant care, gardening, and the importance of conserving plant species.
Fort McHenry - Francis Scott Key's inspiration
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is an iconic fort and a great historical place to take kids. Fort McHenry played a pivotal role in the War of 1812 and is famous for its association with the writing of the national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key.
Start your visit at the Visitor Center, where you can watch a short film about the history of Fort McHenry. This provides valuable context for your tour of the fort. Join a flag talk, where park rangers raise and lower a replica of the historic 15-star, 15-stripe flag. Kids can learn about the flag's history and significance.
Mom Tip: The park offers a Junior Ranger program, where kids can participate in educational activities and earn a Junior Ranger badge. It's a fun and educational way for children to learn about the fort's history.
Federal Hill with Kids in Baltimore
Federal Hill is a historic neighborhood in Baltimore and offers a mix of history, green spaces, and family-friendly activities. Federal Hill is located near the Inner Harbor and has a great view of the city, Civil War Canon, Under Armour Basketball Court and a playground right on top!
Little Italy, Baltimore
Exploring Baltimore's Little Italy with kids can be a delightful and family-friendly experience. This historic neighborhood is known for its vibrant culture, delicious Italian cuisine, and welcoming atmosphere. Check out this great blog postabout Little Italy from Visit Baltimore.
We loved Di Pasquale's, an Italian deli with multiple locations, one being near the Maryland Science Museum.
Patterson Park - Beautiful Park in Baltimore
Patterson Park, located in the heart of Baltimore, is a wonderful place to spend time with kids. This historic urban park offers a range of activities and attractions for families plus a beautiful Observatory which is an 1890 tower resembling a pagoda. The park also includes playgrounds, a boat lake, an Audubon Center, splash pads, a dog park, and sports fields.
Druid Hill Park
Druid Hill Park is one of the oldest urban parks in the United States and offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions including the Maryland Zoo and Rawlings Conservatory mentioned previously.
Druid Hill Park also has boating, hiking, playgrounds, and a mini train! Check out all the details on the city's website here.
The Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore is a hidden gem for families seeking a peaceful and educational outdoor experience. This 207-acre urban oasis offers a diverse collection of trees, plants, and gardens, making it an excellent place to connect with nature and enjoy quality family time. Check out their website for details on kids' programs, scavenger hunts, photography at the arboretum and the Butterfly Garden.
Family Friendly Hotels in Baltimore
- Location - The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel is 1 block from the Inner Harbor and close to Port Discovery Children's Museum and the National Aquarium.
- Stars - 4 stars
- Rating - "Very good" at 1,614 reviews
- Amenities - Indoor pool! Fitness Center, 3 Restaurants
- Parking - Onsite parking for $36
- Location - The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront is located on the inner harbor, next to Little Italy, and close to the National Aquarium and Historic Ships.
- Stars - 4 stars
- Rating - "Excellent" at 975
- Amenities - Fitness Center, 2 Restaurants
- Parking - Onsite parking for $26
- Location - The Hampton Inn & Suites is located 2 blocks from the Inner Harbor and close to Port Discovery Children's Museum and the National Aquarium.
- Stars - 4 stars
- Rating - "Very Good" with 527 ratings.
- Amenities - Breakfast included, Indoor Pool, Fitness room, Family Rooms
- Parking - Valet parking $42 a night