Weekend Getaway for a Child's Birthday in Maryland

By Hope I. Mason
Maryland is historic, scenic, and full of family-oriented attractions.
Maryland is historic, scenic, and full of family-oriented attractions.

Planning a weekend getaway in Maryland to celebrate your child's birthday is not hard to do and will provide her with memories that last a lifetime. There are so many options around the state that choosing someplace fun, interesting, interactive, and even historic is just a matter of knowing where to go in Maryland. Whether it's the mountains of Western Maryland or the bustling city of Baltimore, your child's birthday getaway is sure to be special.

Rocky Gap State Park

Rocky Gap State Park is located on more than 3,000 acres of land in the mountains of Alleghany County, Maryland. There is a large visitor center within the park that offers guests a panoramic view of the park's large man-made lake, Lake Habeeb. The park offers camping so families and pets can enjoy sitting around a campfire or sleeping out in nature. If you lack the gear to camp and are in the military, the park's OPERATION:CAMPOUT! program provides a tent, chairs, stove, lantern and more, free of charge to ensure a memorable birthday visit. Bike trails, boating, fishing, full-facility cabins, a public swimming beach and a participatory visitor center that provides nature hikes, crafts, demonstrations, and other special events are just a few of the many attractions and amenities at Rocky Gap State Park.


The small town of Cumberland has several tourist attractions that will provide hours of exploration and wonder such as the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and Queen City Creamery, an ice cream store with an authentic 1940s era soda fountain. Built in 1913, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad uses steam and diesel locomotives to travel from Frostburg, Maryland and back. The train travels northwest through two natural water formations between two mountains. Passengers get to travel coach, first class, or in a reserved caboose on short trips to several surrounding tourist attractions such as the popular Queen City Creamery. Cumberland has eight hotels located in the town including the historic Bruce House Inn, a European-style bed and breakfast.

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park

Another frequented family destination is Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park located in Hagerstown, Maryland. This park is also a campground and offers a variety of engaging activities including the Water Zone water park that has two 400 feet water slides, Lazer Tag, an electronic treasure hunt game called SniggleHunt, seasonal themed activities, and a miniature golf course just to name a few. They even offer amenities for parents such as an outdoor movie theater, a “quieter" pool, and free Wi-Fi for your campsite or cabin. The park is just off the crossroads of Interstate 81 and Interstate 70 making day trips to surrounding attractions such as the Crystal Grottoes Caverns in Boonsboro, Maryland and Antietam Creek Canoe, a unique canoe, kayak & tube getaway for families, just a hop-skip away.

Baltimore Inner Harbor

Bustling is the best description for Baltimore's Inner Harbor any time of the year. With so many activities that will keep the interest of any age some attractions will be left for next time. The world famous National Aquarium, considered one of Maryland's leading attractions, gets over 1.6 million visitors a year. In addition to the 16,000 creatures that reside at the aquarium, there are self guided tours, a 4-D Immersion Theater and a realistic exhibit of Australia with a 35-foot waterfall. In addition, there are several other interactive attractions to see such as the Maryland Science Center with the Planetarium and IMAX Theater, local boat cruises, and Port Discovery, a museum just for children. Be sure to introduce your child to American history with a visit to Fort McHenry, home of the Star Spangled Banner. There are at least a dozen hotels conveniently located in and around the Inner Harbor including the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Courtyard by Marriott Baltimore Downtown and the Pier V Hotel just to name a few.

About the Author

Hope I. Mason's work has been peer reviewed and published by organizations such as the London International Conference of Education. She is a Johns Hopkins and Coppin University alumni with 25 years of combined diversified experience. In 1996, she produced an award-winning cable TV program recognized for its innovative content.