The state of Maryland boasts miles and miles of scenic shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay, as well as dozens of various historic places that have helped shape the history of the United States. There quite a number of fun and interesting places for families with kids to visit throughout the state, ranging from historic sites and a diverse variety of museums to state parks to amusement parks and pirate adventures to sandy beaches and more. There’s plenty of things to entertain kids for the day throughout Maryland.
1.Adventure Park USA
© Adventure Park USA
Adventure Park USA is the largest entertainment center for families in the state of Maryland. Open throughout the entire year, rain or shine, this massive indoor complex provides adults and kids alike with hours of fun, no matter what the weather may be outside. With a little bit of everything, ranging from the Hang ‘em high ropes course and the Rustler’s Ridge Rock Wall to West World laser tag to the Stampede Arcade, Adventure Park USA offers plenty of indoor fun. As for outdoor entertainment, there’s the Wild Cat, the Wild West Express, the Sky-Coaster, miniature golf, and the Blazing Trail Go-Karts.
11113 West Baldwin Rd, Monrovia, MD 21770, Phone: 301-865-6800
2.Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
© Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum is home to several different exhibits focused on the life and career of the famousGeorge Herman "Babe" Ruth, Baltimore native and the first sports celebrity in America. The “Ruthian Record: exhibit explores why Babe Ruth is one of the greatest baseball players of all time, including his record as a slugger, pitcher, and catcher. “Playing The Babe” highlights actors who have portrayed the “Great Bambino” on television and movies. The “Babe: Husband, Father, Friend” exhibit focuses on the life of Babe Ruth and his relationships with his family and friends.
216 Emory St, Baltimore, MD 21230, Phone: 410-727-1539
3.Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum is home to the most comprehensive, most historic, and oldest American railroad collections anywhere in the world. Dating back to the beginnings of the railroad in the United States, the museum collection includes historic buildings, rolling stock and locomotives, and small items that document how the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad impacted the development and growth of early railroading. The collection covers nearly every aspect of the railroad industry, and is representative of the first, last, and best of rolling stock and locomotives, as well as ones that are the only one of their kind left in existence.
901 West Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21223, Phone: 410-752-2490
4.Baltimore Museum of Industry
© Baltimore Museum of Industry
The Baltimore Museum of Industry is located within the last surviving cannery in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, taking a proud look at the work world of “Charm City.” This unique museum celebrates Baltimore’s industrial leadership during the 1800’s up through modern times through exhibits focusing on garment manufacturing, printing, canning, and seafood packing. Visitors to the Baltimore Museum of Industry are welcome to explore antique delivery trucks, sit down at an antique desk with an old telephone, walk through the museum’s old-fashioned grocery store, and more. The metal shop displays artifacts in a timeline of Maryland’s industry history.
1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230, Phone: 410-727-4808
5.Bear Branch Nature Center
© Zsolt Biczó/stock.adobe.com
The free to visit Bear Branch Nature Center in Westminster, Maryland has been a part of Carroll County for over twenty years, providing family-friendly and quality nature programs, a variety of outdoor activities, and festivals throughout the year. Open five days out of the week, Wednesday to Saturday from 11:00am until 5:00pm and Sundays from 12:00pm until 5:00pm, the Bear Branch Nature Center consists of an observatory and planetarium, a bee hive for observation, a library; a Discovery Room designed for younger children with puppets, puzzles, and games; live animals, and educational hands-on exhibits.
300 John Owings Rd, Westminster, MD 21158, Phone: 410-386-3580
6.Brunswick Heritage Museum
© Brunswick Heritage Museum
The Brunswick Heritage Museum has been committed to preserving the history of Brunswick, Maryland for more than thirty years. Known as the town of Berlin during the Civil War, this small town located along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal became the town of Brunswick in 1890. The Brunswick Heritage Museum can be thought of as two museums within one, focusing on life in Brunswick during the turn-of-the-20th-century on one floor and showcasing an HO Scale model railroad spanning 1,700 square feet on another. The Brunswick Heritage Museum is only open on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
40 W. Potomac St, Brunswick, MD 21716, Phone: 301-834-7100
7.C&O Canal Boat Rides
Now a preservation of the early transportation history of the United States, the C&O Canal first started as a dream for “passage to Western wealth.” The canal operated for almost one hundred years and served as a lifeline for the communities located along the region’s Potomac River as agricultural products, lumber, and coal floated to market down the waterway. The C&O Canal today continues as a path to discover recreational, natural, and historical treasures. Park Rangers guide boat rides and provide narration from the Visitor Center down the canal, pass historic buildings and through an 8-foot lift lock.
11710 MacArthur Blvd, Potomac, MD 20854, Phone: 301-767-3714
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8.Cabin John Regional Park
The Cabin John Regional Park provides something to do for nearly any sports lover. Located only minutes away from Washington, D.C., the park offers a wide variety of recreational activities, including ball games, indoor and outdoor tennis, Tai Chi, and ice skating year-round. Visitors can explore nature with several environmental nature programs, take a ride aboard the park’s model train, or simply spend an afternoon in the playground and picnic areas. The Adventure Playground is a particular favorite attraction in the Cabin John Regional Park for children. There are also biking and hiking trails and seven walk-in campgrounds available.
7400 Tuckerman Ln, Bethesda, MD 20817, Phone: 301-495-2595
9.Calvert Marine Museum
The Calvert Marine Museum invites guests to explore how the maritime heritage, natural environment, and Prehistoric past come together to share the unique story of the area around Chesapeake Bay. The Discovery Room contains fossils ranging from eight to twenty million years old that kids can search for. The touchscreen computer helps visitors identify their finds, and kids can even take fossils home. Children can also climb the Cove Point Lighthouse model to turn the light on or roleplay as the lighthouse keeper. Other exhibits include the boat shop, a touch tank, the Marsh Walk, and the Estuarine Biology Gallery.
14200 Solomons Island Rd, Solomons, MD 20688, Phone: 410-326-2042
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10.Catoctin Mountain Park
© Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
The Catoctin Mountain Park offers an abundance of scenery, fly-fishing, camping, scenic drives, trails for hiking, historic buildings, wildflowers, and wildlife. Visitors can also choose to spend the night in the park for even more fun inside one of the historic cabins of Camp Misty Mount. For the adventurous, Catoctin Mountain Park features more than twenty-five miles of hiking trails, traversing upper Maryland’s mountains. The diverse cultural resources found throughout the park provides a number of vignettes of the history of the country in a single location. Pets are allowed in outdoor areas as long as they are leashed.
14707 Park Central Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788, Phone: 301-663-9388
11.Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo
The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, from pythons to panthers, lemurs to llamas, boasa to bears, monkeys to macaws. There’s animals from the alligator to the zebra, providing a chance for nearly everyone to see an animal that interests them in the fifty-acre zoological park. The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo also contains more interactive feed and touch opportunities with animals than any of the other animal parks within the region, including touching a tortoise shell or the fur of a chinchilla and getting up close and personal with zebra, ostrich, and camels.
13019 Catoctin Furnace Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788, Phone: 301-271-3180
12.Chesapeake Children's Museum
© Chesapeake Children's Museum
The Chesapeake Children's Museum is tucked away within busy Annapolis, Maryland on over five acres of quiet woodland located at the start of Spa Creek. The museum’s mission to educate children about the Chesapeake Bay in interesting and fun ways. Kids can build their own city within the museum’s Hard Hat exhibit area, catch a glimpse of wildlife through the large Bay Window, or learn about how runaway slaves relied on nature in order to survive in the Underground Railroad Trail area. The hands-on Chesapeake Children’s Museum is open daily from 10:00am until 4:00pm, or 5:00pm during the summer.
25 Silopanna Rd, Annapolis, MD 21403, Phone: 410-990-1993
13.College Park Aviation Museum
© College Park Aviation Museum
The College Park Aviation Museum preserves and promotes innovations in aviation in Prince George’s County and at College Park Airport, while also fostering lifelong curiosity, inventiveness, and research about the science and history of flight. The museum first opened its doors to the public in 1998 and is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate. Inside the College Park Aviation Museum is a 1.5-story open exhibit space, highlighting a display of artifacts and unique aircraft and telling the story of the many firsts of the College Park Airport. The gallery is home to reproduction aircraft and historic aircraft that are associated with the airfield’s history.
1985 Corporal Frank Scott Dr, College Park, MD 20740, Phone: 301-864-6029
14.Discover Annapolis Tours
© W.Scott McGill/stock.adobe.com
Discover Annapolis Tours provides a unique way for visitors to explore the city of Annapolis, Maryland with amazing guides, plenty of sights, and charming streets as they relax aboard the cool trolley. Two different types of public tours are available on a daily basis from April through November. The only true difference between the two is the length of time, or how much guests wish to see of the city. Tours run on the hour, nearly every hour from 8:00am until 5:00pm, and lasts either approximately forty minutes or sixty minutes, departing from the Annapolis Visitor Center.
2404 Nichols Rd, Annapolis, MD 21401, Phone: 410-626-6000
15.Discovery Creek Children’s Museum of Washington
The Discovery Creek Children’s Museum of Washington’s mission is to help all children appreciate, experience, and become stewards in their community of the natural environment, doing so by offering them a space for fun environmental education. The children’s museum provides immersion-based exhibits, special events, weekend family programs, teacher and school programs, and more. Housed inside of Washington, D.C.’s only one-room schoolhouse still in existence, Discovery Creek features opportunities to get up close and personal with wildlife, trails for hiking, a bird’s eye view from inside of a treehouse, natural rock outcroppings for climbing, and much more.
4954 MacArthur Blvd NW, Washington, DC 20007, Phone: 202-337-4954
16.Great Falls Park
The Great Falls Park is located just outside of Maryland in McLean, Virginia. Home to one of the first canals built in the country, the Patowmack Canal, the Great Falls of the Potomac, and several hiking trails along the dramatic clifftops of Mather Gorge as well. The Great Falls of the Potomac River with rushing water flowing over jagged rocks, is the gem of Great Falls Park, although many guests come to see the remains of the historic canal. There are three overlooks for viewing the falls within a short walk from the park’s visitor center.
9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102, Phone: 703-757-3101
17.Green Meadows Petting Farm
© Green Meadows Petting Farm
The Green Meadows Petting Farm provides a chance for families with kids to get up close and hands-on with almost two hundred farm animals, including llamas, pigs, goats, horses, and much more. Visitors can experience the thrilling pig races, try their skill at milking a cow, and take a ride on a wago among several other fun activities. The Green Meadows Petting Farm also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, such as Easter Egg Hunts during the springtime, the Trail of Jack O’Lanterns during autumn, and Santa’s Farm Fest during the winter months.
10102 Fingerboard Rd, Ijamsville, MD 21754, Phone: 301-865-9203
18.Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
© Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
The Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum is a place where nature and history surrounds visitors and is a great destination in Maryland for families with kids wanting to get out into nature and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Encompassing 560 acres of scenic land along Calvert County’s Patuxent River, Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum includes over 65 archaeological sites and approximately nine thousand years of human occupation, at least that has been documented. Visitors will find opportunities for picnicking, hiking, biking, kayaking, and canoeing, as well as the Indian Village, Discovery Room, and the Visitor and Exhibit Center.
10515 Mackall Rd, St Leonard, MD 20685, Phone: 410-586-8501
19.Jolly Roger Pier Amusements
© Jolly Roger Pier Amusements
Jolly Roger at the Pier is an amusement park and an iconic symbol of fun in Ocean City, Maryland. The only full-service “Family Amusement Facility” in the city provides entertainment, fishing opportunities, a wide variety of games, and several amusement park rides. There are also a number of iconic businesses located inside the building at the Jolly Roger Pier as well, such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Thrasher’s French Fries. Attractions guests can enjoy at the Jolly Roger Amusement Park include the Kraken, the Slingshot, the Looping Star Roller Coaster, and the Giant Wheel, an Ocean City Boardwalk icon.
South Atlantic Ave, Ocean City, MD 21842, Phone: 410-289-3031
20.NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
© NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is a unique attraction for both kids and adults alike, offering an experience like no other, plenty of knowledge, and look into the future. Located in Greenbelt in Maryland, the center is just around thirty minutes away from several major cities, including Annapolis, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, making it a great place to get away from the city for a day. The Goddard Space Flight Center’s Visitor Center is home to a variety of exhibits, activities, and events, and is open every day but Monday, with the exception of a few holidays.
8800 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt, MD 20771, Phone: 301-286-2000
21.National Aquarium in Baltimore
© Steve Lagreca/stock.adobe.com
The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland is one of the Inner Harbor’s most popular attractions, home to approximately twenty thousand animals within numerous award-winning habitats. Visitors can explore the “Living Seashore,” become immersed in 4D films, view hundreds of different jellyfish, see the bright colors of the Atlantic coral reef, explore the tropical rainforest exhibit, and even get a look at animals from the Australian Outback. Other special reasons for families to visit the National Aquarium are special tours providing behind-the-scenes glimpses into the inner workings of the aquarium and a chance to walk the catwalk above the sharks.
501 East Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202, Phone: 410-576-3800
22.Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake
© Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake
Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake is one of the most popular attractions for kids in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore area, and the state of Maryland in general. Pirate Adventures in Annapolis, Maryland is a destination for pirate dress up, sunken treasure, water cannons, face painting, and more, having been listed as one of the “Best Kids Activities in Annapolis” and one of the “100 Best Places to Take the Kids in Maryland.” This family-friendly pirate cruise taps into the imagination of children, taking them on a real life adventure and they pretend to be pirates looking for sunken treasure.
311 Third St, Annapolis, MD 21403, Phone: 410-263-0002
23.Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery
© Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery
The Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery is the only surfboard art gallery and surfing and surfboard museum in the state of Maryland. The museum and gallery are open to the public most days of the week during its open season, however, it’s only open by appointment. The Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery is closed during a part of winter, typically between the beginning of January and the end of March, as well as when surf conditions are good. The museum houses a private collection with a focus on the culture and sport of surfing.
5005 Bayside Rd, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732, Phone: 240-464-3301
24.Surratt House Museum
© Surratt House Museum
The Surratt House Museum in Clinton, Maryland is a historic house operated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, as well as the Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Department. When it opened in May of 1976, it was Prince George’s County’s first public historic house museum. The Visitor Center houses photographs and artifacts associated with the story of the Surrat family and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, including a map that highlights John Wilkes Booth’s escape route. The Surrat house was where weapons and supplies for the plot to kidnap Lincoln were hidden and where Booth first stopped as he fled.
9118 Brandywine Rd, Clinton, MD 20735, Phone: 301-868-1121
24 Best Things to Do in Maryland with Kids of All Ages
- Adventure Park USA, Photo: Adventure Park USA
- Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, Photo: Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
- Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum, Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
- Baltimore Museum of Industry, Photo: Baltimore Museum of Industry
- Bear Branch Nature Center, Photo: Zsolt Biczó/stock.adobe.com
- Brunswick Heritage Museum, Photo: Brunswick Heritage Museum
- C&O Canal Boat Rides, Photo: jonbilous/stock.adobe.com
- Cabin John Regional Park, Photo: milicanistoran/stock.adobe.com
- Calvert Marine Museum, Photo: flownaksala/stock.adobe.com
- Catoctin Mountain Park, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo, Photo: Mr/stock.adobe.com
- Chesapeake Children's Museum, Photo: Chesapeake Children's Museum
- College Park Aviation Museum, Photo: College Park Aviation Museum
- Discover Annapolis Tours, Photo: W.Scott McGill/stock.adobe.com
- Discovery Creek Children’s Museum of Washington, Photo: andov/stock.adobe.com
- Great Falls Park, Photo: nathanallen/stock.adobe.com
- Green Meadows Petting Farm, Photo: Green Meadows Petting Farm
- Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, Photo: Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum
- Jolly Roger Pier Amusements, Photo: Jolly Roger Pier Amusements
- NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
- National Aquarium in Baltimore, Photo: Steve Lagreca/stock.adobe.com
- Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake, Photo: Pirate Adventures on the Chesapeake
- Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery, Photo: Surfing Museum and Surf Art Gallery
- Surratt House Museum, Photo: Surratt House Museum
- Cover Photo: Christian Hinkle/stock.adobe.com