Looking for fun winter activities for your kids and family to enjoy around Baltimore? From indoor play to outdoor holiday markets and family-friendly nature trails, we’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit with kids during the cold winter months.
Number one on our list is Port Discovery Children’s Museum! With three floors of interactive exhibits and a four-story SkyClimber soaring high in the Museum, Port Discovery has fun interactive exhibits and activities designed for children ages birth to ten. It’s all indoors, so it’s perfect for winter-time! Plus, Port Discovery has a lot of fun winter programs and events starting this December.
Downtown Partnerships Dollar Days are back (sort of)! They are relaunching their popular program, but it will look a little different. Rather than two days like in previous years, Discovery Days will last from January 3-14. Check their website closer to January for more information.
Visit the Maryland Zoo for some fun winter and holiday events! See Zoo Lights or eat breakfast with Santa and friends. Or you can just visit on a winter day to check out the penguins, polar bears and other animals that call the Zoo home.
Visit the Oregon Ridge Nature Center this winter and make maple syrup! Ladew Topiary Gardens and Irvine Nature Center have also done maple syrup activities, so it’s possible that they will bring those back this year.
Check out the new park off of Key Highway! This park just opened on November 6, 2021. It features a nature park, a playground, a lawn with porch swings, a skate park, a glass pavilion with a café and an overlook with waterfront views! If you want a nature-filled, relaxing space for you and fun space for your kids downtown, this is the place to go.
Go duck pin bowling with your family this winter at the oldest duckpin bowling center in the country, Patterson Bowling Center. Or check out another iconic Baltimore duckpin bowling alley, Stoneleigh Lanes. In addition to being a fun indoor activity, bowling helps kids build physical skills like coordination – and it helps burn off some energy, too!
Visit The Avenue at White Marsh and go ice skating outdoors. Afterwards, you can see a movie, go shopping or grab a bite to eat! You can also find some nearby activities like Urban Air Trampoline Park and the popular Honeygo Run Regional Park to make a day of it.
Looking to go ice skating downtown? Visit the Inner Harbor Ice Rink. Purchase individual tickets or a season pass! The rink is open Monday-Sunday with differing hours each day. Check their website for more information.
If you’re, cold from your ice skating adventure, stop by the famous Pitango for a cup of hot chocolate. Or, if you’re craving something as cold as the temperature outside, try some of their gelato!
Take part in the 50th annual Monument Lighting on Thursday, December 2nd from 5-8 p.m. Watch the Washington Monument get illuminated, listen to music and eat some food from well-known vendors!
Visit Old Ellicott City for their 43rd Annual Midnight Madness event on December 3rd! Shop, eat and drink, listen to performances and watch the tree lighting and Menorah lighting ceremonies. Although the title says “Midnight” the event begins at 5:30 with a tree lighting ceremony, carols and appearances from Santa, his Elf and even the Grinch. If you can’t make it for Midnight Madness, no problem! They have plenty other fun winter festivities.
Head down to the Inner Harbor and visit the German Christmas Market. Modeled after the famous Christmas Markets in Germany, this market offers food, sweets, drinks and artisanal shopping. It’s another great place to make family memories (plus find some unique holiday gifts)! Enjoy the market from November 20th through December 24th from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. every day.
Check out the festive decorated houses on 34th street in Hampden. Famous in Baltimore, this is one bright adventure you won’t want to miss! This adventure is usually best seen on foot (many nights the street is blocked off from traffic). For those who can't easily walk, you'll have a better chance of driving on the block Mon-Wed nights in early December. Every year, the official lighting is at 6 p.m. the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the lights are on EVERY NIGHT through New Years Eve.
Take a stroll through Candy Lane! Open Wednesday- Sunday from November 30- December 23, you can enjoy food trucks, entertainment and larger-than-life candy-themed installations.
Have a little one (or grown up) that loves trains? Visit the B&O Railroad and participate in their famous Polar ExpressTM Train Rides or their Reindeer Railway evening train rides which include food and drink! The B&O also hosts Toddler Time every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the Month in January through October.
Visit the Shops at Kenilworth for their holiday events. Take your train-lover to their Train Garden and grab some photos with Santa while you’re there or visit their Holiday Market with local vendors on select Saturdays.
That’s the end of our list of 16 family friendly places to visit this winter in Baltimore! Let us know your suggestions by tweeting us @portdiscovery.