When dinner and a movie go stale and you need better date ideas, look no further than Baltimore-area museums. A wide array of interests are on display, from wacky art to the great outdoors. Whether impressing a new love or making the most of time away from the kids, spice things up at these museums that often host fun special events.


Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, Md. 21218
(443) 573-1700

Located on the Johns Hopkins campus, the Baltimore Museum of Art is undergoing a $28 million renovation, due for completion in 2015, and is celebrating its 100-year anniversary this fall. Visitors can view more than 90,000 pieces from throughout the globe, including African masks and ceremonial weapons, Chinese ceramics, European jeweled snuffboxes, Native American bead work and woodcarvings, as well as paintings, photographs, sculpture and textiles. The sculpture gardens merge art and horticulture and serve as the location for summer jazz concerts featuring local and national musicians. Continue the romance by grabbing a bite at the museum’s restaurant, Gertrude’s, where you may relax at the outdoor terrace by the fountain and reflecting pool for brunch, lunch or dinner. Indulge in plates both big and small from seafood gumbo to duck spring rolls, as well as plenty of cocktails.

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American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum
800 Key Highway
Baltimore, Md. 21230
(410) 244-1900

Offbeat couples will enjoy this museum that favors the unconventional. Before even glimpsing the exhibits within, you’ll see the building itself and mirrored outdoor objects, from the Cosmic Galaxy Egg to the Gallery-A-Go-Go Bus, lend themselves to the “Bling Universe” exhibition. Take your date to the annual Flicks From the Hill in July and August, where you can picnic and watch films while seated on the eastern slope of Federal Hill. The screen is located under the museum’s Giant Golden Hand and this year’s films are inspired by the museum’s current exhibition “Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity!” This art explores how artificial intelligence, computers, robotics and technology have affected human life. The AVAM also hosts a yearly Kinetic Sculpture race. Similar to a triathlon, participants create large works of art to travel on land, through mud and in harbor waters.

(credit: museums.jhu.edu)

(credit: museums.jhu.edu)

Johns Hopkins Evergreen Museum and Library
The Johns Hopkins University
4545 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, Md. 21210
(410) 516-0341

Impress your date at the Evergreen Museum and Library, a jewel of Italian-style gardens spanning 26 acres with architecture from the Gilded Age. The mansion formerly belonged to the Garrett family from 1878 to 1942 and, as John W. Garrett was president of the B&O Railroad, it touches on the area’s rich railroad history. Within 48 rooms, you’ll find thousands of the family’s possessions, specifically American art glass, Asian arts and European paintings, giving you a glimpse at the taste of the time. The library houses an impressive collection of rare books and manuscripts, and there’s also a theater and Carriage House. Reserve a space at a special event on May 29 when Dane Huckelbridge, author of “Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit,” recounts the history of the drink along with a bourbon tasting and snack pairings from the local Woodberry Kitchen. The Shakespeare Factory also comes to Evergreen from July through August with performances of “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Measure for Measure.”

Carroll County Farm Museum
500 S. Center St.
Westminster, Md. 21157
(410) 386-3880

Couples who love the outdoors get a glimpse into what rural farm life was like in the mid-1800s. The Carroll County Farm Museum offers tours April through October with new collections displayed bi-monthly. Learn from the on-site animals, like how sheep’s wool is spun into yarn and then knitted to make clothing and how fowl is used for more than just laying eggs. Today’s horses not only pull heavy machinery but are part of a Therapeutic Riding program. Walk along the beautiful garden trail to see growing flowers, herbs and vegetables. The museum is the site of the yearly Deer Creek Fiddlers’ Convention on June 14 with old time, bluegrass and Celtic music, clog dancing, crafts and food. There is also the annual Common Ground on the Hill festival July 12 and 13 with blues, rock and country music, a wine and beer garden, camping, food and crafts vendors. Check the events section for more upcoming fun, including Independence Day fireworks and the Maryland Wine festival.

Fort McHenryFort McHenry
2400 E. Fort Ave.
Baltimore, Md. 21230
(410) 962-4290

Fort McHenry in Locust Point is a great park for a stroll or picnic. However, the Fort is most famous as the location of the battle on Sept. 13-14, 1814 that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose “The Defense of Fort McHenry,” now known as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Memorial Day celebrations were held this weekend, but you can still show your patriotic colors on a date to other Fort McHenry events. Celebrate Flag Day on June 14 or enjoy Fourth of July with a cannon firing, parade, songs and a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

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Pam Smith graduated from Penn State with a B.A. in English and a passion for writing. Her adaptive nature led her to work in the scientific, energy supply, and business industries while writing on a multitude of topics for various online media. Pam currently resides in Baltimore County. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.