We live only about 80 miles north of Baltimore and have been there to visit and have fun several times. Mostly we hang out in Inner Harbor and are huge fans of the National Aquarium and love all the little shops. What’s not to love about a Barnes and Noble that’s three stories high?! Recently we had a chance to visit Baltimore again and while we made sure to hit our favorite attractions, we also took some time to explore some new stops and had a total blast at a couple of really amazing museums.
Our first stop was the American Visionary Art Museum. We actually hoped to grab lunch there and then explore the three buildings but the restaurant, while having an amazingly unique menu, was not really fit for our antsy kids, so unfortunately we had to skip out early and feed some growling bellies. But, we took the time to explore one of the buildings and I am just dying to go back! Next time you’re in Baltimore, GO TO THIS MUSEUM! Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it. SO cool!
Like love, you know it when you see it. But here’s the longer definition, straight out of our Mission Statement: “Visionary art as defined for the purposes of the American Visionary Art Museum refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.” In short, visionary art begins by listening to the inner voices of the soul, and often may not even be thought of as ‘art’ by its creator.
They don’t allow you to take pictures inside so I don’t have many to share with you other than that fantastical mirror tree just outside their building. They have some really cool exhibits outside, too! My daughter’s favorite part was the welcome mat made of toothbrush handles. What I love about this place is that it really drives home the message that art is everywhere. My kids loved the big throne-like chair made of yardsticks, and I will admit we all had a good laugh at the fart display. Yup, I said fart. Hitting a button and making a fart noise come out is not a joy to be outgrown. I was really hoping to making it back later in the day to see more of the other buildings but they close at 6pm and we just didn’t get to it. But I know where our first stop will be next time we’re in town!
We headed over to Inner Harbor to feel the troops and then we went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. All four of us had the best time! This is one fun museum and it’s definitely a place to visit if you have little kids. The Odditorium features all kinds of out-of-this-world exhibits that are both educational and entertaining.
My kids had fun being their short selves next to these two tall guys! That robot on the left is made entirely of car parts. It’s so neat to look at close up. And the world’s tallest man is…wow. Just look at the size of his hands!
Check out this cool penny made of pennies! My daughter really liked this exhibit. I wonder how long it took to make that?! It might be hard to tell from the photo but that penny is taller than I am.
Look at my little disco daughter! This exhibit was a huge hit and I think we danced off a sizable portion of our lunch in here! This cool kaleidoscope/light show/dance stage had some rockin’ music and really fun effects. I did have to drag her out of there to go see the rest of the museum! Think I can get one of these in our basement to keep the kids busy while I made dinner?
I could share photo after photo after photo of all the unique exhibits at Ripley’s. The collage above includes a few more of our favorites. Yes, those are my kids dancing in front of a picture of Justin Bieber made out of candy! The place really does just inspire you to let loose and have a good time! Anyone recognize Hogwarts in there? That’s Harry Potter’s school made out of 500,000 matchsticks. I just started reading the book when we were there so I thought that was neat!
Finally, at the end of the walk through to museum you can go through the Marvelous Mirror Maze. We had such a good time in here we did it twice! And we went a different way both times because the first time we found this funky room lit up in green lights and the second time we didn’t. Luckily there was only one face plant into a mirror (my son – he laughed it off!) and most of the time was spent spinning around saying, “This way. Over here. Where are you?” FUN, I tell ya! My kids are still talking about it.
I hope on our next visit to Baltimore we’ll have more time to explore some of the sights we don’t usually see. Before your next trip spend some time on the Visit Baltimore site and I bet you’ll find some new things you didn’t know were in town. Just make time to check out the American Visionary Museum and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Both are extremely cool and tons of fun for the whole family!
I was provided with complimentary admission to attractions in exchange for this review. The opinions in this post are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.