Don’t break a sweat trying to plan a fun day with the family this summer. Baltimore boasts ample budget-conscious options ranging from fast-paced fun to full-on relaxation, and everything in between. The best spots to spend a summer day offer a little bit of everything, so pack up the kids and head out for summer memories everyone will love.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
333 W. Camden St
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Price: $8 to $110 per ticket
This is Birdland, so put on your O’s cap and snack on peanuts, hotdogs and nachos with your family while watching Baltimore’s home team smack a few home runs. Parking lot passes may be purchased in advance for about $10, or consider taking the light rail down, which has a stop right in front of the park that was made famous by retired baseball player Cal Ripken. Enjoy ample audience interaction throughout the game, including prizes and special entertainment for kids. Above all, don’t forget to bring your glove to catch that ball.
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East of the Inner Harbor
Baltimore, Md. 21231
Fells Point District is famous in Baltimore because of its naval past, but is beloved for its quaint cobblestone streets, historic sightseeing, storefront shopping and delectable dining. This popular area is bounded on the north by Aliceanna Street, on the east by Wolfe Street, on the south by the harbor, and on the west by Dallas Street. Stroll along the harbor front to get some sun, stop for a cup of joe at one-of-a-kind coffee shops such as The Daily Grind, or shop at one of many area stores for antiques and collectibles, original clothing lines, and homemade crafts. With a wide selection of amazing restaurants and more than 120 pubs, it’s easy to spend the whole day leisurely walking around and exploring — or take the more thrill-seeking option and participate in a one to two-hour ghost tour. Also, every Saturday families flock to the Farmers’ Market from May through September. Fells Point is easily accessible by water taxi, highway and bus lines, making it a convenient destination no matter where you’re traveling from.
Druid Hill Park
Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks
2600 Madison Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21217
One of the oldest landscaped public parks in the U.S., Druid Hill Park is home to recreational, cultural and educational opportunities that span across 745 acres. The hardest part is choosing what to do: have a picnic on the tranquil shady lawns, fly a kite along the rolling hills, lay a blanket down by the picturesque lake, or hike through the forest. On a hot summer day, there’s plenty of water features to keep families cool, including natural springs, streams and the lake. Also located within the park are the Maryland Zoo, the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and the Botanic Gardens of Baltimore, including the historic Palm House and Orchid Room built in 1888. There are even free workout stations available for the public. An 18-hole disc golf course and the Jones Falls Trail, an excellent hiking and bicycling trail, guarantee that the whole family will sleep well that night.
Baltimore, Md. 21202
Referred to as one of the city’s crown jewels, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is one of America’s oldest seaports, making it a premier tourist attraction, especially in the summertime. It’s home to a host of restaurants, shops, museums and street performers, which makes spending a day here a great choice for families trying to find something fun for everyone. Throughout the summer, stop by for waterfront and neighborhood festivals including Artscape, a three-day event honoring the arts, and not-to-be-missed attractions such as Harborplace and The Gallery, the National Aquarium, the World Trade Center, Maryland Science Center, and art, cultural and historic museums. Best of all, the chance to dine on some delicious Maryland blue crab is never far away. The Inner Harbor is both family and pet friendly, has lots of options for parking, and is easy to reach by car, metro, bus, boat or on foot.
The Maryland State Fairgrounds
222 York Road
Lutherville-Timonium, Md. 21093
The Maryland State Fairgrounds once again brings the best of events and entertainment to the community this summer. Fresh flower sales, horse racing, robotics competitions, train shows, a reptile and exotic animal expo, motorcycle races, the Baltimore County 4-H Fair, German and Polish festivals, and concerts make this the place to be all summer long. Additionally, the Farmers’ Market every Wednesday from June through October gives families the opportunity to meet with local farmers who offer high-quality Maryland-raised produce, meats, milk, honey, ice cream and eggs. Camping is available throughout the year, except during the Maryland State Fair from Aug. 24 to Sept. 3.
Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her on Twitter at @KtBlue16 and online at Examiner.com