Soon the leaves will fall, littering the ground in a collage of marvelous color. Get out and enjoy fall with your family without spending much more than a dime. Many museums and attractions are offering free (or really cheap) organized activities this fall. What would peak your family’s interest?
The Great Halloween Lantern Parade & Festival
Creative Alliance at The Patterson
3134 Eastern Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21224
Date: Oct. 26, 2013
This year, Patterson Park becomes Cosmic Park for the free Great Halloween Lantern Parade hosted by The Creative Alliance, which celebrates the stars, celestial bodies and other phenomenon in the universe. Prior to the parade, check out the free festival featuring lantern workshops, a costume contest, hay rides, plus food trucks and more. As darkness falls, witness the parade of glowing lanterns surrounded by a spectacle of artist exhibitions, performances, gliding water floats and “video projections” bathing the ice rink in light. Participate in the parade by carrying your own lighted lantern, and if you wish, wear a costume. It’s a fun way to show off your family’s spirit and shared talents.
Free Egyptian Family Festival
Walters Art Museum
600 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Date: Oct. 26, 2013
Learn to dance and chant like an ancient Egyptian as you travel back in time to the Faiyum Oasis. Listen to the legends from ancient Egyptian mythology and learn their alphabet to write secret messages. Other activities include finding crocodile eggs, building a palace, creating Egyptian-inspired art and enjoying performances during the day. Families will enjoy discovering ancient Egyptian history and culture together as team. Best of all, it’s free!
Irvine Nature Center
11201 Garrison Forest Road
Owings Mills, Md. 21117
Date: Nov. 24, 2013
Storytellers are like any other artisan, except they use the spoken word as their medium. The Irvine Nature Center and Baltimore Folk Music Society will host a gathering of Baltimore’s most talented storytellers. In addition to great stories, this free event will feature music and dancing, crafts and food. This fun family event might prompt children to create their own stories. Later in the afternoon, younger children may want to check out the animal encounter and children’s story room.
Related: Best Places To Catch Fall Foliage
Holiday Open House
Cromwell Valley Park
2002 Cromwell Bridge Road
Baltimore, Md. 21234
Date: Dec. 7, 2013
Although not free, the Holiday Open House at Cromwell Valley Park offers many fun activities for $2 each person. Help end the fall season by decorating Sherwood House for the winter holidays with activities including decorating cookies, listening to holiday music, making holiday crafts and drinking hot apple cider. Santa himself will be dropping by for a visit. You can even pick out a tree or poinsettia (not free) at TALMAR farm.
4915 Greenspring Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21209
Fall is a great time to take a stroll through the woods at Cylburn Arboretum admiring the colored leaves. This 207-acre nature park features a Victorian-era mansion encompassed by well-kept gardens. You can see a wide range of trees, including Maryland oaks, magnolias, Japanese maples and a variety of conifers. The many forest trails offer fitness walking opportunities to keep Baltimore families fit while exploring the natural beauty of fall. The park is open year round.
Michael Townsend lives in Baltimore and has an Associate’s degree from Harford Community College. Working for Examiner.com as the Baltimore Family Entertainment Examiner, Michael writes about family-oriented and budget-conscious activities. His interests include nature, history, mythology, crafts, photography and cooking.