We love family travel, going on a new adventure together, and living only a couple of hours away, we’ve regularly explored all the family-friendly things to do in Baltimore. Usually it’s a day trip, so when the folks at the Sheraton Inner Harbor offered to sponsor our stay so that we had more time to play we were thrilled. There’s a lot to pack in, and now that we’ve done Baltimore like this, over a 2-day period, I highly recommend it. We had SO much fun, made tons of new family memories, and discovered some new attractions that we hadn’t had time to visit before.
To help you make the most of your next trip to Baltimore, I’ve put together this list of our top 10 must-dos. Be sure to scroll to the end to see some video footage of our trip. The jellyfish at the National Aquarium are just WOW!
10 Family-Friendly Things To Do In Baltimore
1. Sheraton Inner Harbor
I mentioned above that this was the first time we had stayed overnight when visiting Baltimore. The Sheraton Inner Harbor is THE hotel to stay in when you go. Location, location, location. We parked the car when we arrived at the hotel and didn’t get back in until we left. We could walk everywhere we wanted to go!
Inner Harbor is literally one block away. You can easily get to Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium if you’re in town to see a sports game. The Sheraton Inner Harbor is actually the official hotel of the Baltimore Orioles! This is a picture I took from our suite. You can see M&T Bank Stadium on the left, and Camden Yards is the long brick building.
Speaking our our suite, it was SO comfortable! Be sure to check out the video at the end of this post for a tour of our room. One night we stayed in and watched a movie which the kids absolutely loved! And the staff at this hotel is simply fantastic. So friendly, so helpful, and they went above and beyond to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable.
You know what we enjoyed most about the Sheraton Inner Harbor? The Club Lounge! This is a suite on the top floor that has been converted into a lounge where breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres are served. You can grab a drink any time of day (ask my husband who was up there at 11pm getting a hot tea) and pick up some snacks in the baskets placed throughout the room.
The Sheraton Club upgrade is available to everyone for fee and totally worth looking into. We loved being able to grab a bite up there and get our plans laid out for the day before heading out to enjoy Inner Harbor.
2. Inner Harbor
We visited on a pretty cloudy weekend, but fortunately it was also pretty warm for January so we were happy. My daughter and I took this picture at the start or our first day in Baltimore. We had a lot on our agenda but part of the fun of being here is just walking around the Harbor. We may or may not have fed the seagulls while we were near the water. 😉
Not only were the staff in the Sheraton so friendly, but we had the same experience with everyone we encountered on our trip. We stopped to chat with a couple of ladies walking their dogs and my son Leo made fast friends with them. You never know when you’re going to make a sweet memory!
Inner Harbor at night is gorgeous, too. I love how the lights from the Aquarium reflect off the water.
3. National Aquarium
The National Aquarium is a must-do when you visit Baltimore. We have been so many times, and every single time there’s something new to see and learn. This time we caught one of the divers feeding a shark in the Blacktip Reef exhibit. So cool! They train them to eat like this so they don’t try to ‘hunt’ in the pool.
Another new exhibit we loved as a big beach-going family is the Living Seashore exhibit. My kids totally soaked this in because it these are the animals that we see when we go to the beach so they could really relate to it.
There are a couple of touch tanks in this area, one of which houses these moon jellies! I also love that the Aquarium has staff everywhere that’s available to answer questions and really engage children in active learning.
The prize of the day goes to the octopus, though. He put on the best show for us and gave us a good look at all of his suction cups on his legs. How cool is this?! Amazing!
4. Historic Ships
You’ll notice the ships in Inner Harbor when you go, and we haven’t actually ever done this before so this time it was fun to get tickets to board them and explore! I don’t think I could ever live on a ship. We went down, down, down into some of these vessels and it’s like being in another world.
I think our favorite was the submarine and there was an awesome guide on board that had actually served on a sub in the military and told us all about how the ship worked and his time at sea.
The kids had fun playing boat captain, too. We need to get this one a stool. 😉
5. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum is so much fun! We hit this attraction every time we’re in Baltimore because the kids just love it, and so do we.
You’ll find the most obscure stuff in here, like Harry Potter made out of Twizzlers, or a replica of the world’s tallest man. We’re always wowed by it, and there are some really fun interactive exhibits, too.
One of my favorite parts is the mirror maze at the end. It’s dark with just the floor lights to guide you and it’s an optical illusion because the walls are all mirrors! It’s tons of fun and a good challenge, too.
6. The Cheesecake Factory
I LOVE the The Cheesecake Factory. We don’t have one really close to us at home, so when I find one when we’re traveling, we eat there. There’s a great one right in Inner Harbor and the thing I absolutely love about this place is that their menu is HUGE. I mean it’s ridiculously huge. Everyone can find something they love. I got this almond crusted salmon salad, totally to die for.
And since I got a salad you know I had room for cheesecake. That was no accident, friends. Lily and I had fun choosing from so many delicious flavors! And we got it to go to eat back in our room at the Sheraton. A little bedtime snack!
7. Maryland Science Center
The Maryland Science Center is another attraction that was new to us. It’s kind of on the other side of the Harbor, across the water from the Aquarium, so we just never walked in that direction before but when I saw listed as an Inner Harbor attraction, I made sure to find it. We had a blast in here!
Nearly every exhibit is interactive and the kids have so much fun learning like this. You have to check out the video below to see how the kids did lying on a bed of nails!
8. Pandora Ice Rink
The Pandora Ice Rink is a seasonal attraction so check their website to see if and when they’re there when you go. And if they are, go skate!
Let me tell you, I’m horrible at this. Horrible. I had to get the little skate walkers (this is what I call them, a walker for ice skaters) to keep me upright but we had so much fun. No hands! I think that’s worth a photo (even with my walker).
9. Hard Rock Cafe
Another place we love to eat in Inner Harbor is the Hard Rock Cafe. They, too, have a great menu with a good selection for the entire family. My son, Leo’s dinner was served in a plate that was shaped like a guitar! Really the neat thing about this place is the atmosphere. They have tons of cool rock and roll memorabilia all over the place which takes my husband and I back. I mean, lunch with Billy Idol is kinda cool, right?!
10. Barnes & Noble
The icing on my Inner Harbor cake is Barnes & Noble. This one is two stories of books, a dream for people like us who can’t get enough to read. I’d hit it last so you’re not lugging around your bag of books the rest of the day. And make time to stop at the cafe on the 2nd floor and getcha a Starbucks. Books and coffee while looking out over the Harbor. Bliss!
10 Family Friendly Things To Do In Baltimore
So those are are top 10 must-dos when you visit Baltimore. See more pictures and video of our time in Baltimore, including a tour of our room at the Sheraton Inner Harbor in the video above. Be sure to check out their website for more information and pictures of the hotel, and find more fun things to do in Inner Harbor on the Visit Baltimore site. I hope you find something new here that your kids will love and plan a trip.
We had an amazing time, so much so that my son is already asking to go back! The location is perfect for a weekend getaway or a day trip for so many of us on the East Coast. Can’t wait to see what’s new next time we visit!