Gas prices are rising and many vacations have turned into “Staycations.” Save money this summer by exploring your local area. I’m sure there’s more to do than you realize.
If you live in the Baltimore/ Annapolis area there are numerous fun and inexpensive activities awaiting your family this summer. In fact there are so many great possibilities I couldn’t list them all, so here are my highlights.
If you don’t live in Maryland (or aren’t planning a trip in the near future) come back tomorrow. I’ll be sharing over 75 links to staycation articles written by bloggers around the web.
Year of the Staycation
Exploring Baltimore and Annapolis, Maryland
Free Outdoor Movies in Little Italy
Every Friday starting July 1, movies are projected on the outside wall of Ciao Bella Restaurant. Live music starts at 7pm, the movie starts at 9pm. Movies are free and so is the popcorn.
Baltimore Farmer’s Market
Every Sunday from April to December the Baltimore Farmer’s Market is located under the Jones Falls Expressway at Holliday and Saratoga streets. A trip to the Farmer’s Market is a great way to encourage your children to try new foods. My kids tend to eat food they discover at these markets.
Free parking is located at Guilford and Pleasant streets.
I love strolling around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Even when it is hot there’s a breeze and people watching is always entertaining. The Inner Harbor is filled with shops and stores, but window shopping is just as fun.
The Walter’s Art Museum
Free admission except for special exhibits. There are numerous free art museums in the greater D.C./ Baltimore area, but if you live close to this one stop by for a visit.
Historic Ships of Baltimore
My husband promoted on the USS Constellation, and I highly recommend taking a tour of this ship. A pass to visit all five ships in the harbor is only $11 for adults, $5 for children, free for military and children under 6.
U.S. Naval Academy
The U.S. Naval Academy’s campus is beautiful and the museum admission is free. Check the security requirements and bring an id for access to the campus.
Quiet Waters Park
The Quiet Waters Park is beautiful and admission is only $6 a vehicle, free for military and their dependents. The park has a beautiful playground, plenty of green grass to throw the frisbee or stretch out and enjoy the weather, and art exhibits. You could easily spend the entire day at this park.
Chesapeake Children’s Museum
I wouldn’t pay full price to visit the Chesapeake Children’s Museum, but take advantage of discounted days. This museum is old, and could use a little face lift, but it is totally hands on and your kids will love it! From finger painting to puppet shows your kids can enjoy the day exploring the different rooms of the museum, with minimal supervision.
Wednesday Night Boat Races
Every Wednesday during the summer months, hundreds of sailors take to the Severn River for this weekly race. Get a great view of the finish line from the drawbridge that separates Annapolis from Eastport.
National Cryptologic Museum
This free museum located next door to the National Security Agency is a fun place to spend the afternoon. If you plan ahead you can arrange for a scavenger hunt for the kids and learn more about our nation’s cryptologic history.
National Wildlife Center
The National Wildlife Center is actually closer to D.C. than Baltimore or Annapolis, but I highly recommend visiting this refuge. My family went a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed their time. The crowds are minimal and it is free. There is a small charge for the guided tram tours.
My Favorite Places
These are not inexpensive but are on my short list of favorite places to visit in the Baltimore/ Annapolis area.
If you want a taste of “real Maryland” try Cantlers. Butcher paper tablecloths, waitresses that call you “hon” and “sugar” and full crabs tossed right on your table is all part of this experience. This place is a local favorite so be prepared to wait on a weekend evening just to get a parking space.
The National Aquarium is expensive but well worth the price of admission. When we lived in Maryland we received a membership to the aquarium for Christmas. Personally, I think touring the aquarium takes more than one day if you have several children. My kids of every age loved our visits and learned a ton while exploring the multilevel building.
What are some of your favorite frugal activities in Maryland?