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Port Discovery offers interactive fun for the whole family. The young and young at heart will enjoy the Dream Lab and the Exploration Center, where visitors make their dreams come true and learn how to make their own art and jewelry. Children are particularly amused by Port Discovery's three-story treehouse, where they are encouraged to climb, crawl, swing and slide. The museum is also a great place for your child's birthday party. See their website for further details. The museum will have special winter hours and limited weekend hours in September due to exhibit maintenance.
Commissioned in 1855, the USS Constellation was the last all-sail ship built by the United States Navy. Today, the historic vessel lies at anchor in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, where visitors can climb aboard and learn about the ship's history, including its mission to disrupt the slave trade and its latter role in delivering famine relief supplies to Ireland.
The historic vessels and landmarks of this museum bring to life the history of American naval power. The US Coast Guard Cutter Taney (surviving warship in Pearl Harbor), USS Torsk (fired last two torpedoes in World War II), the lightship Chesapeake (served as floating lighthouse for 40 years) and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse (helped sailors navigate Chesapeake Bay for more than 100 years) all played a vital and heroic role in US military war and peacekeeping. Special student programs are also available at Historic Ships in Baltimore.
This aquarium is perhaps the greatest attraction in Baltimore's celebrated Inner Harbor. The exhibits start small with samples of marine life from local waters, but visitors soon find themselves eye-to-eye with sharks, rays and other very large creatures. The simulated rainforest ecosystem is truly awe-inspiring. The regularly scheduled dolphin shows are very popular, especially with children.
Federal Hill Park is a pristine park offering spectacular views of the Inner Harbor and a wonderful, fenced-in play area for the kids, complete with slides, a sandbox and monkey bars. Dogs are also welcome. While you're visiting the park, take a moment to learn about one of Baltimore's most prominent citizens. A monument details the life of Major General Samuel Smith, who helped defeat the British attack on Baltimore during the War of 1812. He went on to become a Congressman, then president of the Senate and, finally, mayor of Baltimore.
This 117 acre (47 hectare) park is located on the Southwest area of Baltimore. The park is home to various sporting fields, nine hole golf course, playground, outdoor skating facility, basketball courts, hiking trails and much more. Aside from all of the facilities this park is also known for hosting the German festival once a year.
Baltimore's first municipal park, Druid Hill Park, spans across 745 acres (300 hectares) and is featured on the National Register of Historic Places. The famed park is apt for evening strolls, picnics, ball games, riding, or simply lazing under the shady trees. Fringed by Jones Falls Expressway, the verdant park has plenty of water features like springs and lakes. Moreover, it is home to the Conservatory and Palm House.
Following the Gwnns Falls stream, this 15 mile urban nature path provides a beautiful and scenic retreat in the city of Baltimore. Popular among hikers and cyclists, the trail runs through one of the largest wilderness parks in the United States and makes its way through 30 various neighborhoods. Perfect for a leisurely stroll or afternoon picnic, Gwynns Falls Trail will having you enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
Nestled in one of the city's most picturesque parks, this zoo is home to more than 2,250 animals. Although the zoo boasts contemporary exhibits where lions, giraffes and elephants roam freely, remnants of the Victorian era remain. Some mammals are housed in large barred cages that were built a century ago. The Maryland wilderness exhibit, where visitors explore a cave populated by timber rattlesnakes and walk under swimming river otters, is very popular, as is the children's barnyard.
“Literary Finds for Mutated Minds.” This is the sign that welcomes visitors to this bookshop, a haven for counter-culture fans and would-be revolutionaries. The store's inventory includes comic books, magazines on conspiracy theories and body art, and B-film videos. You'll also find an odd collection of action figures, from Ozzy Osbourne to Kiss, and plastic replicas of Van Gogh's ear.
The sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the 'Star Spangled Banner'. The fort is best known for the part it played during the War of 1812, successfully holding off an attack by the British Navy. When Scott Key saw the flag still flying over the fort after surviving the attack, he wrote the poem that became the national anthem. Today, the fort is a National Historic Park. The restored barracks hold exhibits of military and historical artifacts and a well-kept trail runs along the water's edge, affording spectacular views of ships entering and leaving the busy harbor.
With over 300 acres (121 hectares) of lush greenery, this park runs through the Belair Edison neighborhood and straddles the Herring Run stream. With open fields, mature trees, tinkling stream nearby, and winding paved paths, this park is the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. The denizens of Baltimore can be found hiking, biking, dog walking or taking leisurely strolls. Two important sites within the park include monuments honoring Christopher Columbus and war veterans.