Whether you are planning a trip to Baltimore and the surrounding area or looking to host an event nearby, there are dozens of places to choose from. The city is home to dozens of hotels, from familiar chains to boutique hotels to comfortable owner-operated bed and breakfasts. You will find a similar range of options for areas to host events, including ballrooms, historic buildings, mansions, and outdoor spaces with gorgeous scenery. Baltimore, Maryland aims to please, offering something for everyone, whether you are just passing through or live in the area and want to make sure your upcoming special event is one that you will remember for years to come. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.1840s Plaza

1840s Plaza
© 1840s Plaza

The 1840s Plaza is a popular spot in Baltimore for weddings and other events, and is divided into multiple spaces. It is right in the area's historic Jonestown neighborhood, making it easy for attendees to access. The plaza has its own dedicated event team as well as elegant accommodations for those staying overnight. They work with a range of caterers, providing seamless service with your choice of company. The 1840s Ballroom is a favorite for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and more with views of the landscaped garden courtyard, which can be booked as well. The second floor has the 1840s City Lites event space with the feeling of a fun lounge, while the first floor has the 1840s Cabaret with Latin-inspired décor.

29 S. Front Street, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-385-1840

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2.AVAM - American Visionary Art Museum

AVAM - American Visionary Art Museum
© AVAM - American Visionary Art Museum


For a unique location for your Baltimore venue, consider hosting it at the American Visionary Art Museum. This is an exciting, unique venue perfect for all types of special events. The building stands out with its collection of art as well as its amazing architecture, which has won awards both nationally and internationally. The venue is well connected via public transportation, is centrally located, and has a list of approved caterers on hand. The Sculpture Barn & Garden can hold 125 seated or over 250 in a cocktail-style reception, while the Jim Rouse Visionary Center banquet room can hold 400 guests; guests can even rent out both spaces for larger events.

800 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-244-1900

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3.Baltimore Museum of Industry

Baltimore Museum of Industry
© Baltimore Museum of Industry

One of several local museums with facility rentals for your wedding or other special occasion, the Baltimore Museum of Industry has the choice of two locations for events. The Alonso G. Decker Gallery has floor-to-ceiling windows and includes the Industry Terrace and has room for 300 guests seated, 250 seated with a dance floor, or 500 for cocktail service. The open-air pavilion has views of the water and can sit up to 300 guests with clear walls that can be used in poor weather. All guests of events receive free parking and, for an additional charge, the museum can open their galleries to your guests for the first hours of the event.

1415 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-727-4808

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4.Belvedere and Co. Events

Belvedere and Co. Events
© Belvedere and Co. Events


The Belvedere Ballrooms is located right in downtown Baltimore and has been hosting extraordinary events for more than a hundred years, during which time it has been lovingly preserved. The sparkling chandeliers and soaring ceilings make your weddings or other events a day to remember. The ballroom can host events of all sizes, with room for anywhere from 40 to 400 for cocktail receptions, meals, and more. Brides and grooms are assigned their own wedding coordinator to help them with vendors, design, day-of logistics, and more. The typical wedding will also include a cocktail room, a three-course meal, a champagne toast, and the bridal parlor.

One East Chase Street, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-332-1000

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5.Over the Top Events & Catering at The Champagne Ballroom

Over the Top Events & Catering at The Champagne Ballroom
© Courtesy of AS Photo Project - Fotolia.com


Over the Top prides themselves on hosting events complete with catering at an affordable price. Their events are hosted at the elegant Champagne Ballroom, once Martin's Champagne Room, the perfect venue for weddings, proms, banquets, and other parties. Their chefs have a carefully crafted menu with a range of options featuring the freshest ingredients. Wedding packages also include the bridal suite and a rehearsal along with the option of hosting your wedding ceremony on site; they even have their own officiant available. Menus are buffet style in most cases and can include multiple entrees and sides along with an open bar and dessert buffet.

2701 W. Patapsco Ave., Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-644-3434

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6.Chase Court

Chase Court
© Chase Court


Chase Court offers a picturesque location for your wedding or other event. The building was constructed in 1879 in the Gothic style, previously serving as an Episcopal parish house. They are an extremely popular venue for weddings and pride themselves on being LGBTQ friendly, something which is also true of every single approved caterer and recommended vendor they work with. The wedding ceremonies can host up to 150 guests in a cocktail-style setting or be as small as a romantic elopement just for the bride and groom. Most weddings are held outdoors, with the indoor space serving as the backup plan in case of rain.

1112 St Paul St., Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-727-1112

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7.Corradetti Glassblowing Studio & Gallery

Corradetti Glassblowing Studio & Gallery
© Corradetti Glassblowing Studio & Gallery

As a glassblowing studio and gallery, Corradetti offers a truly unique and gorgeous setting for weddings and other celebrations in Baltimore. The venue is within the historic Clipper Mill and covers 3,300 square feet with 20-foot ceilings, bamboo hardwood floors, large windows, and exposed brick walls for lots of style. Clipper Mill has earned multiple awards for historic renovation with the glassblowing studio sitting in the middle of it. When the studio is rented for events, guests also receive access to the gallery level with its artwork. There is an elevated stage on one end, a built-in bar, hanging party lights, and a glowing glass furnace.

2010 Clipper Park Rd #119, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-243-2010

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8.The Engineers Club at the Garret-Jacobs Mansion

The Engineers Club at the Garret-Jacobs Mansion
© The Engineers Club at the Garret-Jacobs Mansion

The Engineers Club is within the Garret-Jacobs Mansion, which has been lovingly cared for, so it maintains all its former glory. Its elegant appointments are perfect for weddings, with gourmet dining, attentive staff, and a range of picture-perfect locations throughout the building. Between the ballroom, library, landings, drawing room, bride's room, the Posey Room, and more, there are plenty of options. Banquets and other events will also have everything they need, from audiovisual systems to an expansive space. Brides and grooms who choose to have their wedding at the Engineers Club even get to enjoy a complimentary 4-week dancing course to prepare them for their opening dance.

11 West Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-539-6914

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9.Evergreen Museum and Library

Evergreen Museum and Library
© Evergreen Museum and Library

The Evergreen Museum and Library gives you a range of indoor and outdoor spaces to enjoy for your party, with the picturesque gardens offering the perfect backdrop for a wedding. The Upper Garden can be tented, fitting 500 people standing or 400 when sitting with a dance floor. This location gives you marble statues, a historic fountain, and manicured grounds with the Main House in the background. The Carriage House can have a tented or untented patio with up to 400 people when standing as well as a dance floor. Or guests can book the meadow with its 5 acres of lawn, a meandering stream, matured trees, and a picturesque footbridge.

4545 N Charleston St., Baltimore, MD, Phone: 443-840-9585

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10.The George Peabody Library

The George Peabody Library
© Courtesy of Andrea Izzotti - Fotolia.com

For those who feel that a library is the perfect place to host an event, the George Peabody Library will gladly be the venue for your wedding or other special occasion. They specialize in weddings, but also accommodate holiday parties and private dinners. The library can hold as many as 350 guests standing or 200 seated, with capacity dropping slightly to 170 seated with a dance floor in place. There are three caterers for guests to choose from and all rentals include a library manager and security. To maintain the venue, no amplified music is allowed, but there are alternatives available.

17 E. Mt. Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 443-840-9585

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11.Gramercy Mansion

Gramercy Mansion
© Gramercy Mansion

The Gramercy Mansion is just outside of Baltimore but a sibling property to the 1840s Carrollton Inn within Baltimore. This mansion is a beautiful and relaxing bed and breakfast, perfect for a stay or hosting an event. There are a range of rooms and suites for guests to choose from and many of the guestrooms have whirlpool tubs and fireplaces. Some may have other features like oriental carpets, French antiques, four-poster beds, two-person showers, and wrought-iron balconies with private porches. Suites have room for four people with a separate master bedroom. The day always begins with a fresh breakfast made to order. Those looking for an event venue will love the property's landscaped gardens and the Carriage House, both of which can be reserved. The indoor spaces feature elegant antiques perfect for pictures, while the exterior is perfect for ceremonies or cocktail receptions. Renting the venue gives access to the entire first floor, atrium, gardens, and back lawns. The wedding package is designed to include the essentials, such as tables and chairs, a cocktail hour, an on-site attendant, access to all furnished rooms, and free parking. Wedding weekend packages are also available for enhanced affairs.

1400 Greenspring Valley Road, Stevenson, MD, Phone: 410-486-2405

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12.Harbor Tower Events Legg Mason Tower

Harbor Tower Events Legg Mason Tower
© Courtesy of jonbilous - Fotolia.com

Harbor Tower Events delivers panoramic views of Baltimore Inner Harbor to you and your guests when you choose to have your event at Legg Mason Tower. There are outdoor balconies to enjoy the outdoors in nice weather and floor-to-ceiling windows so everyone can admire the scenery during the reception. The on-site chef uses locally sourced ingredients to create gourmet dishes. The ceremony can be held in the Atlantic or Mediterranean rooms, the Cook Commons, or the Outside Balcony, with space for 160 to 220 guests, depending on the venue. The reception can host as many as 250 people and Harbor Tower Events takes care of nearly everything except the music. Things to Do in Baltimore

100 International Drive, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-454-2678

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13.Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore
© Courtesy of shchus - Fotolia.com

This hideaway in the Inner Harbor provides luxury in a location that is easy to access from the urban offerings of Baltimore. The boutique hotel has 202 guest rooms and is in the old B&O Railroad Headquarters. The building is a 1906 beaux arts structure that today offers accommodations as well as an event space. Rooms vary greatly, including options with soaking tubs for couples and those with bunk beds for families. The hotel always hosts an evening wine hour and provides complimentary tea and coffee. It also offers in-room spa services, luxury toiletries, a fitness center, Kimpton public bikes for use in town, and yoga mats. On-site dining is at the B&O American Brasserie. The party rooms have 10,000 square feet divided into multiple different spaces that can be combined. All have opulent décor from early in the century and the B&O Brasserie gladly handles all the event catering. Those interested in hosting a wedding can enjoy a reception for as many as 150 guests or a cocktail reception for up to 300. The hotel can accommodate receptions, brunches, rehearsal dinners, and other celebrations.

2 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 443-692-6170

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14.Martin's Caterers

Martin's Caterers
© Courtesy of sunlover616 - Fotolia.com

Martin's Caterers has seven locations in Baltimore and the surrounding area, including Martin's East and Martin's West within the city itself. They have been hosting events for over 50 years and do more than just catering. For weddings, Martin's works closely with you and your wedding planner to complete your checklist, including providing a dedicated hostess on the day, a range of ballroom layouts, wedding suites, and plenty of photo opportunities. They can also host banquets and dinners, with groups ranging from 50 to 2,000 people and a range of extensive menus. Dinner can include buffets featuring chef carving stations, three-course meals, or something in between. Off-site catering is also available.

9000 Pulaski Highway, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-686-8500

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15.Mobtown Ballroom

Mobtown Ballroom
© Courtesy of wideonet - Fotolia.com


The Mobtown Ballroom is in historic Pigtown and is perfect for weddings, conferences, live music, dancing, and more. They host everything from weddings to art shows in their restored church from the 1870s with its 2,500-square-foot sprung dance floor as well as a 1,200-square-foot stage. There is also a gorgeous oak bar, a sound booth, and an air-conditioning system that will keep everyone cool even after hours of dancing. The experienced staff can help any event go smoothly and rentals include the tables, chairs, sound system, and stage. There are bottled water and soft drinks for sale behind the bar, which you can reserve. The Mobtown Ballroom also has its liquor license.

861 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 443-699-3040

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16.Pier 5 Hotel

Pier 5 Hotel
© Pier 5 Hotel


The Pier 5 Hotel is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton and is located along the Inner Harbor within a short walk to local attractions. The 66 guest rooms have oversized vanities, custom furniture, HDTVs, Wi-Fi access, and available harbor views, furnished balconies, or living areas. Some even feature entertainment centers, fridges, microwaves, seating for eight, while the Mystic Suite comes complete with a whirlpool, panoramic harbor view, and Swiss shower. All rooms have Keurig coffeemakers, plush bathrobes, work desks, and a king or two queen beds. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the hotel's atrium lobby and get a meal at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse or McCormick & Schmick's. Those looking for an event venue can reserve a flexible ballroom or waterfront terrace with room for as many as 300 guests. The hotel can host conferences, tradeshows, and smaller meetings as well as special events like weddings. The waterfront garden is the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony, which can be followed by a reception in the Harbor Club with its 270-degree panoramic views facing the Inner Harbor. Their award-winning team helps with planning as well.

711 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-539-2000

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17.Preston Hall

Preston Hall
© Preston Hall


Preston Hall is right in the heart of the Cultural District in Baltimore, making it a convenient location for guests to find. It is also incredibly easy to access from surrounding areas thanks to its convenient location off I-83. The venue at Preston Hall is perfect for social and business events, including weddings, networking functions, corporate events, and more. The grand ballroom includes a balcony that overlooks the main area. The main level accommodates 350 people banquet style or nearly 500 in a meeting setup with both areas in use. The rental also includes free parking in a staffed parking lot for all of your guests.

25 West Preston Street, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-802-4372

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18.Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore
© Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore


The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore sits on the waterfront for a picturesque location with charm, a laidback style, and plenty of refinement. There are 203 guest rooms to choose from, each of which features thoughtful amenities. At 420 square feet, the guest rooms are all oversized and include dual-line speaker phones, private voicemail, high-speed wireless internet, reading chairs with reading lamps and ottomans, 40-inch LCD TVs with cable, Keurig coffeemakers, hair dryers, mini-fridges, in-room safes, irons and ironing boards, and triple-sheeted beds. Guests can choose from a room with two queens, a single queen, or a single king. There are also suites with sleeper sofas in the living rooms, extra TVs, and even better views. The hotel has a fitness center, tennis courts, racquetball courts, an indoor swimming pool with dry sauna and whirlpool, library, and a business center. Dine at the Explorers Restaurant & Lounge or get coffee at Formula Espresso. There are over 12,000 square feet of space for events and meetings with dedicated event management staff on the payroll. Explorers can provide catering for weddings and other events held on site.

550 Light Street, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-234-0550

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19.Tabrizi's Wedding Venue

Tabrizi's Wedding Venue
© Courtesy of hreniuca - Fotolia.com


Tabrizi's Wedding Venue is a restaurant as well as a wedding venue, but the latter is their specialty. As a waterfront venue, they offer a classic view perfect for photos that will set your special day apart from those of others. The space can hold 230 guests and Tabrizi's prides itself on extraordinary service. The ballroom space sits right on the water, making it perfect for parties and social events. If you choose to have a dance floor and area for the band, you can still fit up to 220 guests. The patio offers a full bar and sits underneath an open sky. If you prefer, you can also have your wedding ceremony done on site, on the first floor's outdoor patio right on the water with a cocktail hour to follow.

500 Harborview Drive A9, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-727-3663

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20.The 13th Floor

The 13th Floor
© Courtesy of Africa Studio - Fotolia.com


The 13th Floor is one of the several venues offered by Belvedere & Co. Events, and it sits at the top of the historic Belvedere. This unique setting provides elegance for any event and has been among the most popular venues within the building since its full-scale renovation back in 2012. The 13th floor draws in the eye with its gorgeous architecture and other touches, while the professional service ensures it is a day to remember. The space is ideal for smaller events, holding up to 100 guests in a cocktail reception or up to 90 for seated and served banquets without a dance floor. You can still fit 80 guests with a 485-square-foot dance floor.

One East Chase Street, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-332-1000

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21.The Center Club

The Center Club
© The Center Club


The Center Club was established in 1962 and is the premier private business dining club in Baltimore. It is members-only and also hosts events that are unforgettable. Its event spaces are perfect for weddings (both the ceremonies and receptions), corporate meetings and receptions, retirement parties, anniversary parties, bar mitzvahs, school events, reunions, galas, and more. This is known as one of the top venues in Baltimore for those in search of a prestigious and elegant setting. The Center Club helps develop the themes, prepare a custom menu, and take care of the floral arrangements, decorations, and linens. The seasoned staff work closely with hosts to create your perfect event.

100 Light Street, 16th Floor, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-727-7788

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22.The Elkridge Furnace Inn

The Elkridge Furnace Inn
© Courtesy of ilfotokunst - Fotolia.com


The Elkridge Furnace Inn dates back to around 1744, making it one of the many historic sites in Maryland. The Elkridge Furnace Inn is both a restaurant and an event venue; they also provide off-site catering throughout Maryland for those who want their food but prefer a different venue. The Manor Home was added in 1810 and has three floors that are professionally decorated, along with porches. There is a three-room bridal suite with a fitting room, full bathroom, and dress fitting room plus a groom's room on the floor below with its own private patio. There is an outdoor ceremony point with contingencies in place for inclement weather. The inn also offers weddings a range of hors d'oeuvres that is customizable with cocktails in the Manor House and reception in the tent next to the home.

5745 Furnace Avenue, Elkridge, MD, Phone: 410-379-9336

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23.The Grand

The Grand
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The Grand aims to provide the bride and groom with a fairytale feel to their wedding. It has 45,000 square feet of space that can be adapted between the 19 different unique ballrooms, providing for celebrations of all sizes. The building dates back to 1866 for historic flare and The Grand has its own onsite expert event planners plus a gourmet onsite catering service. To make planning easier, The Grand offers a range of packages, such as those including champagne toasts, hors d'oeuvres, and a three-course dinner. The Grand has experience hosting a range of weddings, including multicultural affairs and LGBTQ ones and has kosher meals available.

225 N Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 443-573-8444

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24.The Inn at Henderson's Wharf

The Inn at Henderson's Wharf
© The Inn at Henderson's Wharf


The Inn at Henderson's Wharf sits along a secluded cobblestone street in a quiet area of Fell's Point but within easy access of all the Baltimore attractions. This historic building once housed a tobacco farm and today is luxury hotel that has won numerous awards. There are 38 upscale rooms for guests to choose from, each with vessel sinks, Hemingway-style furniture, plush pillow top beds, and high-end furnishings. Some other amenities include a personal butler service, Wolfgang Puck coffee service, Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, and fresh flowers. In addition to the hotel, the Inn at Henderson's Wharf also hosts waterfront weddings with event spaces both indoors and outdoors. There are enough venues in the building to host the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and brunch the following day all in different spots. The Gallery can accommodate 60 guests at round tables and still have room for a dance floor. The Central Courtyard Garden is perfect for the ceremony with its small sitting area and walking path, or you can even reserve the whole property. Of course, the Inn can also host other meetings, events, retreats, and social gatherings.

1000 Fell Street, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-522-7777

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25.The Mansion at Valley Country Club

The Mansion at Valley Country Club
© Courtesy of alex.pin - Fotolia.com


Getting married at the Mansion at Valley Country Club provides a historic site that was built in 1858 and used to be a 500-acre estate, equestrian property, and cattle farm. The Donovan Family of Baltimore acquired it in 1955 with the goal of hosting parties and events, honing their skills and creating memories over the years. The Mansion is the focal point and ideal for weddings and receptions with its classic architecture and unique sports bar. It has three working fireplaces, fine antiques, a grand Victorian staircase (perfect for wedding photos), a spacious veranda, and more. The venue can host up to 220 guests in the ballroom, complete with its dance floor. They offer an all-inclusive package to make wedding planning easier.

1512 Jeffers Road, Baltimore, MD, Phone: 410-825-7110

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25 Unforgettable Wedding Venues in Baltimore, Maryland



Attraction Spotlight: Sherwood Gardens

Sherwood Gardens, located in Baltimore, Maryland, is a peaceful, beautiful, and tranquil place to visit. Although it is well known for its tulips, there is more to enjoy on the grounds as well and visitors should allow ample time to see it all. Sherwood Gardens was dreamed up by local businessman, John Sherwood, after building his house adjacent to the property.

History

Although he was not a professional landscaper, he hired a team of designers to help him fulfill his vision for the property. He brought in evergreen trees from every country and transplanted them in the gardens, then expanded that into the many tulip varieties seen on the property today. It was first open to the public in 1930, and was featured in National Geographic in both 1941 and 1956. After he died in 1965, he left funds from his estate to ensure the gardens would continue giving the public enjoyment many years into the future. There are no public or city funds going toward the garden, and it is only through the support of donors and friends that it continues.

Permanent Attractions

Although Sherwood Gardens is considered a private park, the more than six acres that make up the gardens is open to the public so that guests can visit the grounds at their leisure and enjoy all the beauty that is inside. No reservations are required (with the exception of larger groups and organized events) and there is no admission fee charged. The best time to visit is between April and May, as the gardens are at their best and fullest bloom. All tours are self-guided, as no guided tours are offered at this time.

Tulip Guide - The Sherwood Gardens website offers a full tulip guide, updated yearly. The tulip guide highlights each specific breed of tulip and where it is located in the garden. From purple flag, to Alibi, to Leo Visser, there are over 27 different varieties of beautiful, colorful tulips to stroll through and photograph.

Spring and Summer at the Garden - Spring at the Garden is often considered the best time to visit, as the tulips are in full bloom. After strolling through the garden, visitors are encouraged to find a piece of land and sit for a while, taking in the full beauty of everything that the garden has to offer. In Summer, the garden is still mostly in bloom and still a spectacular place to visit.

Fall and Winter at the Garden - Although all the tulips may have been pulled and the majority of the garden is in hibernation for the cooler weather, the gardens is still a great place to visit and take a stroll through, especially when there is snow on the ground. It is still quite beautiful this time of the year!

Important things to note before visiting Sherwood Gardens: there are no public restrooms available, so plan ahead for that before visiting. There are also no paved walkways, pathways and/or trails, so it is not wheelchair or stroller accessible. Picnics are welcomed; however, it is imperative that all trash is picked up afterwards to help keep the garden beautiful. There are no garbage cans at the garden, so plan ahead. Dogs are allowed; however, all waste must be immediately picked up and disposed of. Again, as there are no garbage cans, it is important to plan ahead for waste disposal.

Most of all, have fun!

Special Events

Every May, Sherwood Gardens hosts an annual “Tulip Dig.” Guests can bring their own shovel and a bag or a bucket and dig up their own tulip bulbs. The cost in years past has been about 30 cents per bulb and the proceeds help benefit the gardens. There are also pre-dug bags for guests that prefer to not get their hands dirty. Visitors are also encouraged to print out and bring their up to date tulip map/guide so that they can pick the varieties that they are the most interested in.

Special events are also welcomed at Sherwood Gardens, during daylight hours only. Events held on the grounds must maintain the gardens peaceful, tranquil environment and not disturb other guests. Any event with more than 15 people must have prior approval. Weddings, even small weddings, must have prior approval as well. There are also a specific set of guidelines that all wedding events must follow, all of which are listed on the website.

Sherwood Gardens, 4200 Saint Paul Street, Suite 100, Baltimore, MD, 21218, Phone: 410-889-1717

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Attraction Spotlight: Baltimore Museum of Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art has over 94,000 works in the permanent collection, and among them is the largest collection of works by Henri Matisse in the world. The permanent collection spans thousands of years and includes historical pieces as well as 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. Highlights from the contemporary collection include works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg.

Over 100 sculptures, photographs, and paintings are displayed in the Contemporary Wing as well as a dedicated display of contemporary photographs, prints, and drawings. Modern works include the Cone Collection, donated by sisters Claribel and Etta Cone, which includes over 500 works by Henri Matisse as well as paintings by Pablo Picasso and Paul Cezanne. Other modern works include sculpture by Alberto Giacometti as well as paintings representative of surrealism and German expressionism. African art at the BMA consists of some of the earliest and most important collections in the United States. The collection of over 2,000 objects spans more than 200 African cultures, from ancient Egypt to contemporary multi-media and video installations. Art from the Americas also represents a wide range of time and space. The collection dates back to 2500 BC, with works of the native people of South and Central America. Native American art includes textiles, ceramics, sculptures, and beadwork. Art from the United States spans the colonial era to the late 20th century. Notable pieces include decorative Tiffany glass and paintings by Georgia O’Keefe. The Asian art collection dates back to the 13th century with a Song Dynasty wine jar and includes paintings, decorative and spiritual objects, furniture, and jewelry. A Pacific Island art collection may be viewed by appointment, and includes what is perhaps the United States’ most notable collection of art from Melanesia and Polynesia.

History: The Baltimore Museum of Art was founded in 1914 with a single painting, donated by Dr. ARL Dohme, chief of a city-wide congress established to create a master plan for Baltimore. In response to the master planning effort, the city noted that Baltimore was lacking “in regard to matters of aesthetic interest.” Thus, an art museum was conceived and modeled after two of its most notable predecessors at the time, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Today, it is recognized as a cultural destination and holds one of the widest and most diverse collections of art in the world. The collection of over 95,000 pieces (including 1,000 of the works of Henri Matisse) is held in a 210,000-square-foot building designed and built in the 1920s by John Russell Pope, a renowned American architect known for designing both the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Two landscaped gardens cover almost 3 acres and host a variety of sculptures on the museum grounds. General admission at the museum is free. The museum hosts approximately 200,000 visitors annually.

Ongoing Programs and Education: The BMA takes pride in hosting a wide array of diverse educational programming. Free tours of current exhibits and the permanent collection are available at pre-scheduled times approximately once per week. Free Family Sunday occurs once weekly and provides families with hands-on art-making activities. Open Hours is a once monthly free program that brings the community together though speakers, workshops, and hands-on activities; past Open Hours have included a holiday recipe swap, a community discussion about Baltimore’s vacant housing, and a rug-making workshop.

Past and Future Exhibits: The BMA presents a wide variety of traveling exhibits as well as special curated exhibits from works in the permanent collection. Currently, the museum is showing Black Box: Kara Walker & Hank Willis Thomas. This exhibit begins a critical conversation on the legacy of slavery with two works from the permanent collection by two of America’s most critically acclaimed contemporary artists. Upcoming exhibits include Annet Couwenberg: From Digital to Damask, which will display 11 of the Maryland-based artist’s works. Couwenberg is a Maryland Institute of Art professor and her work combines the influence of damask from her Dutch background with biology and technology. Past exhibitions have included art made by Baltimore area students, and exhibit on Matisse and Diebenkorn, a Japanese kimono and obi exhibit, art of Eastern Africa, and photographs from Russia and Belarus.

What’s Nearby: The museum is adjacent to the Johns Hopkins University main campus in Charles Village.

10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, Phone: 443-573-1700

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Attraction Spotlight: The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is an internationally renowned museum with an acclaimed collection that includes art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe. Founded in 1934 and located in Mount Vernon-Belvedere, the Museum began creating its collections during the mid-19th century by major American art and sculpture collectors, the Walters, which has grown into the world famous collection it is today.

Father and son, William and Henry Walters refined the collection and placed them in an elaborate stone palazzo-style structure on Charles Street for the public to view and on Henry’s death in 1931, Henry Walters bequeathed his entire collection of over 22,000 works and the Charles Street Gallery in the City of Baltimore.

Highlights of the current collection housed in Charles Street include ancient Egyptian and Greek sculptures, Roman sarcophagi, illuminated manuscripts, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, Art Nouveau jewelry, medieval ivories, Old Master paintings, ancient Middle Eastern items, and 19th-century European and American masterpieces.

Ancient art

The Walters Art Museum has an extensive collection of ancient art with an example from several regions, including Greece, Egypt, Rome, Etruria, Nubia and Near East. Highlights of the collection include two enormous lion-headed statues of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, gold bracelets and jewelry from Greece, a bronze banquet couch, portrait heads, and marble sarcophagi from two prominent Roman families, the Licinians, and the Calpurnians.

Art of the Ancient Americas

The collection also features several exquisite pieces of native art dating back to the ancient Americas, including 100 gold artifacts from Panama, pottery and stone from Central America, Mexico, and South America, and pieces from the Maya, Aztec, and Olmec cultures.

Asian Art

Highlights of the Asian Art collection include lacquers, porcelains, and metalwork from Japan and China, an earthenware camel from the T’ang Dynasty, and a finely painted wine jar from the Ming Dynasty. The museum is the proud owner of the oldest surviving Chinese wood-and-lacquer image of the Buddha that dates back to the late 6th Century, A.D. as well as the largest collection of Siamese/Thai scrolls and bronze banner paintings in the world.

Islamic art

Among the highlights of the Islamic collection include an Iranian (ancient Persian) silver bowl from the 7th century, copper, silver, and gold candlestick from the Egyptian Mamluk era, and a handmade Indian silk sash from the 17th century. The collection also features an array of Islamic manuscripts dating back to the 15th century.

Medieval Art

Henry Walters gathered an extensive collection of art from the Middle Ages period, which forms the basis of the Museum’s current world-renowned medieval collection. The collection includes examples of sculpture, stained glass, textiles, metalwork, paintings and other icons, such as ivories, silver, enamels, illuminated manuscripts, and post-Byzantine art. Highlights of the collection include the earliest surviving image of the "Virgin of Tenderness" by Rubens and a 12th-century ivory casket carved with scenes of jousting knights from France. There are also several beautiful late Medieval Italian paintings by Alberto Sotio, Giovanni del Biondo, Master of Saint Verdiana, and Tommaso da Modena.

Renaissance, Baroque, and 18th Century Art

The Museum’s collection of European Baroque and Renaissance art features a range of furniture, sculptures, paintings, ceramics, arms and armor, and metal work. Highlights include "Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata" by El Greco, "Donor with Saint John the Baptist" by Hugo van der Goes, and "Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva" by Tiepolo, and one of ten surviving examples of the ship-shaped Sèvres potpourri vase from the mid-18th century.

19th Century art

The Walters Art Museum features many inspiring works by Impressionists and late 19th Century French academic masters, including Ingres, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Delacroix, and Edouard Manet, with a particular interest in the courtly arts of 18th Century France. Highlights of the collection include paintings by Gericault, Henri Rousseau, Jean-Francois Millet, Delacroix, Sisley, Monet, Manet and Antonio Rotta. The collection also includes some beautiful Sèvres Porcelain, Fabergé jeweled objects, Art Nouveau-styled jewelry by Lalique, and jewels by Tiffany & Co.

The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 N. Charles Street Baltimore and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm with free admission. Parking is available in front of the building in Baltimore's historic Mt. Vernon Cultural District and the Museum is wheelchair accessible. The Museum offers docent-led tours for individuals, families, groups and school groups and includes free audio tours from the Visitor Services Desk for use in the permanent collection.

The Museum Store sells a range of art-inspired souvenirs, art reproductions, jewelry, china, books, and a selection of activities and gifts for kids and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Walters Art Museum offers a range of educational programs, tours, lectures, seminars, workshops and special events that give fresh insights into past civilizations and contemporary cultures through their world-renowned collection of art.

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600 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, Phone: 410-547-9000

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