Baltimore (kid-friendly) things to do/restaurants

huskypantz

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#1
Yes, that's right - Baltimore. Family is going to head down to Philly in July and we need a second local destination as we've been there a few times. While we're in Philly we're definitely heading to Sesame Place and then one of the zoo/aquarium/please touch museum. We'll then have three nights in Bmore to see the city. We will check out a zoo or aquarium and then some other stuff. We're looking for good seafood/crabs and any fun city areas to traverse.
 

8893

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#3
The American Visionary Art Museum is awesome; one of the most unique and interesting museums I've ever been to and our whole family has enjoyed it.

Camden Yards for a baseball game. Great park, great food, great prices.

Faidley's in Lexington Market for crab cakes; I've tasted them everywhere and these are the best. The kids will also like Lexington Market--get sheet cake from Berger's Bakery, too.

Thames Street Oyster House in Fells Point also has a great crab cake, as well as other seafood.

Sound Garden record store in Fells Point is a great place to shop for lots of cool stuff.

Miss Shirley's, Blue Moon Cafe or Papermoon Diner for breakfast. All excellent with great savory and sweet dishes for everyone.

Go to R House in Remington for lunch; very cool place with something for everyone. Then go to neighboring Hampden for a walk though a cool Bohemian/artsy neighborhood and get ice cream at the Charmery.
 
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huskypantz

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#5
The American Visionary Art Museum is awesome; one of the most unique and interesting museums I've ever been to and our whole family has enjoyed it.
Thanks for the recommendations. This museum was mentioned in a couple of blogs - any idea if it would hold the interest of 6 and 4 year olds?
 

8893

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#6
Thanks for the recommendations. This museum was mentioned in a couple of blogs - any idea if it would hold the interest of 6 and 4 year olds?
I believe so--there is a ton of stuff there, most of which can be appreciated on many levels. Our daughter has been in college down there for a year and I have already been there three times and I still have not seen all of it. We have a non-resident family membership and she has an individual membership; I believe your kids would be free and there is usually a groupon for regular entrance discounts so it won't put you out much and I'm sure your kids will be interested enough for at least two hours worth of stuff. It's really cool.

ETA: Found this article about going with young kids:

The American Visionary Art Museum: Wonderful, Whimsical Art for All Ages
 

Fishy

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#8
Yes, that's right - Baltimore. Family is going to head down to Philly in July and we need a second local destination as we've been there a few times. While we're in Philly we're definitely heading to Sesame Place and then one of the zoo/aquarium/please touch museum. We'll then have three nights in Bmore to see the city. We will check out a zoo or aquarium and then some other stuff. We're looking for good seafood/crabs and any fun city areas to traverse.
Three nights is a very long time in Baltimore. Very long. Like, long.

Basically, you’re in the Inner Harbor.

Go to Camden Yards, if you can. If you want to go to the National Aquarium, buy tickets in advance. Day-of tickets can be hard to get and usually involves a very long line. Visit Poe’s grave, walk around Fell’s Point, the Visionary Museum, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, the railroad museum will be utopia if one or both of your kids is a boy.

As for food, I don’t remember being impressed by any of the places we went to, so I won’t recommend ‘em.
 

8893

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#9
Three nights is a very long time in Baltimore. Very long. Like, long.

Basically, you’re in the Inner Harbor.
Agree that three nights is a long time in Baltimore; taking a day trip into D.C. for one of the national museums might be a good idea. You can get there very cheaply and very quickly via commuter rail from Baltimore.

As for the Inner Harbor, I find it the least interesting part of Baltimore. Mostly manufactured tourist stuff. But it is centrally located and the best place to stay IF you don't have a car and plan on using it. Parking in the Inner Harbor sucks and is very expensive, and most hotels will add something like $40/day for parking (which may or may not have in/out privileges). There are a ton of reasonably priced, decent hotels there so try and lock in a good refundable rate (the Days Inn is relatively new and has among the best rates) and then check hotels.com, hotwire or priceline within a week or less before you go and see if you can do better (e.g., Lord Baltimore almost always has good rates a few days out).

When we drive down we usually stay at the Radisson Crosskeys or the Mount Washington Conference Center, both of which are in quiet, safe neighborhoods, have free parking and very reasonable rates.
 

8893

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#13
I would go to this place.
It’s a great place but it’s small. Maybe eight to ten tables. Been there twice so far, and because I am manic about such things, both times we got there “early,” i.e., before 9:00, and we beat the rush. By the time we left there was a line. Miss Shirley’s and Papermoon both have similarly decadent, interesting and diverse menus (and more offerings overall) and are much larger and able to accommodate and move crowds, and the lines start a bit later at each as a result.

I’m a big breakfast fan and this city seems to have a lot of really excellent and interesting places for it, these being the best I’ve found so far. My daughter has raved about a couple others that excel at brunch, including one with a legendary bottomless Bloody Mary and/or mimosa bar, but we haven’t hit them yet.
 

Fishy

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#14
It’s a great place but it’s small. Maybe eight to ten tables. Been there twice so far, and because I am manic about such things, both times we got there “early,” i.e., before 9:00, and we beat the rush. By the time we left there was a line. Miss Shirley’s and Papermoon both have similarly decadent, interesting and diverse menus (and more offerings overall) and are much larger and able to accommodate and move crowds, and the lines start a bit later at each as a result.

I’m a big breakfast fan and this city seems to have a lot of really excellent and interesting places for it, these being the best I’ve found so far. My daughter has raved about a couple others that excel at brunch, including one with a legendary bottomless Bloody Mary and/or mimosa bar, but we haven’t hit them yet.
That’s kind of funny.

When we’re on vacation, we don’t go out of our way at all for meals, especially not for breakfast.

One of the reason we like cruises is that it takes the entire “where are we going to eat” question right off the table.
 

August_West

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#15
we don’t go out of our way at all for meals, especially not for breakfast.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Make sure you are fueled up properly to take on the go go pacing of vacation.
 

8893

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#16
That’s kind of funny.

When we’re on vacation, we don’t go out of our way at all for meals, especially not for breakfast.

One of the reason we like cruises is that it takes the entire “where are we going to eat” question right off the table.
I plan most trips around meals. We often stop for lunch in Philadelphia on the way down or back just to try another, different one of the several legendary Roast Pork Italian Special sandwich places.

Being unable to explore on my own and being limited to the confines of a boat—no matter how big—would kill me. Hence why are not cruise people.
 

huskypantz

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#17
Baltimore trip complete. If anyone is heading down for a couple of days, there is a discount museum pass option at the visitors center. We visited the aquarium, port discovery children's museum, Top of the World Observatory and African American Museum and you basically get the latter two for free plus a few extra dollars off - which you could see in 2 1/2 days easily. The aquarium was great, best I've visited (have not been to ATL Aq yet). AA museum was really not for kids so wife and I just took in what we could. The observatory was a throw-in, fine to go to when it's free. Children's Museum was fun for the kids. Ironically there is a beer garden right outside the museum, which we had to visit as well. We did not get to any restaurants outside the inner harbor, so we ended up with Phillips for our seafood night, which was decent for a tourist trap. We also had a recommendation for LP Steamers but opted to stay local. We took one short cab ride when we first arrived. I asked the cabbie about walking around in the area and he proceeded to tell me about a couple of crimes a traffic light or two away. It was a pretty obvious play to push for us to use the cab instead of walking but do you really want to sell that image to your bread and butter customers? I'd definitely recommend our hotel - Hilton Garden Inn Inner Harbor. $180/night with taxes included. They had a welcome reception for HH members first night we arrived, staff was very nice and the hotel is clean. There's an excellent gym attached that had 3 pools plus hot tub - one pool dedicated for kids. Starbucks, parking garage also attached to the hotel and there was a whole foods across the street. Everything you'd need is in walking distance and it's relatively safe. 2.5 days in bmore was plenty. The only way I would have extended out another night was if we caught an orioles game but my kids (and wife) would never sit through that.
 


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