From the action-packed harbor to its many charming neighborhoods, the city of Baltimore, Maryland, provides locals and visitors alike with plenty of family-friendly activities and events throughout the year. For families with toddlers, this Mid-Atlantic city, known for Maryland blue crabs and its beautiful, entertainment-filled harbor, provides entertainment for even the youngest kids at many of its area attractions, parks and recreation centers.
The Port Discovery Children's Museum (portdiscovery.org) at the Baltimore Harbor is a kid's dream come true, featuring wall-to-wall interactive play exhibits and activities that are not only fun, but educational as well. Exhibits especially for toddlers include Tiny's Diner, where tots can pretend to run a restaurant and Tot Trails, a toddler-size indoor play space with play equipment that promotes motor skill development. The museum also regularly has visiting exhibits and children's celebrations of special holidays throughout the year. Also on the Baltimore Harbor, the Maryland Science Center (mdsci.org) has science-related interactive exhibits, ranging from exploring kinetic energy to learning all about the famous Maryland blue crab. The Kids Room is ideal for toddlers, and features a water play area and toys that foster curiosity, development and imagination. It's also home to a planetarium and a 3D IMAX theater.
Baltimore Parks and Playgrounds
Patterson Park in East Baltimore, the oldest park in the city, offers a variety of activities for the whole family, including tennis courts, an ice skating rink, a small lake and a swimming pool. It also has two toddler-friendly playgrounds, with one designed to represent famous landmarks and the row houses that Baltimore is known for. The 800-acre Druid Hill Park is one of the largest parks in the heart of Baltimore. Aside from a playground for toddlers, the park also has a wading pool for the youngest tots to safely splash around in during the warm summer months.
Situated in Druid Hill Park, The Maryland Zoo (marylandzoo.org) features more than 1,500 species of animal life from all over the world. It includes special animal programs just for toddlers, such as the Animal Adventures series. Toddlers can learn about various animals through games, crafts and activities, as well as get an up-close look at the animals. At the Baltimore Harbor, the National Aquarium in Baltimore (aqua.org) houses 16,000 sea creatures and animals in one of the biggest aquariums in the country. Exhibits at the aquarium ideal for toddlers include the tropical fish tanks, where toddlers can view exotic, brightly-colored fish, including plenty of "Nemos" and "Doras," and the Dolphin Discovery area where they can watch dolphins play, eat and work with trainers. It also features a 4D Immersion Theater and behind-the-scenes experiences.
Indoor Play Centers
Kids can get all their energy out at the Hoppin Tots Gym (hoppintotsgym.com) in North Baltimore, which aims to promote physical activity for kids as early as infancy. It offers several classes for toddlers, including kids-only gymnastic classes, parent-child classes and open gym time. Classes combine gym activities with music and games. Another indoor play center to check out in the White Marsh area of Baltimore is Bounce Party N Play (bouncepartynplay.com), which features floor-to-ceiling inflatables for kids to bounce, slide and play on, including toddler-sized inflatables. It offers several party packages and discounts for frequent visitors.