Getting cabin fever and need some ideas of where to take the kids to burn off some energy while not spending a lot? Here’s a list of 8 fun and cheap family-friendly things you can do in and around Charm City this winter.
Harvest some maple sap
Did you know February is maple harvesting time? Several Baltimore locations have free or inexpensive, family-friendly Maple Sugaring events – they are sure to be a sweet time:
- Maple Magic at Irvine Nature Center– 11201 Garrison Forest Road; Owings Mills —February 9, 10, 16 & 17: $2 for member families & $10 for non-member families – registration required
- Maple Magic at Ladew Topiary Gardens — 3535 Jarrettsville Pike, Monkton — Saturday, February 16 and Sunday, February 17: registration required, Free – $12
- Maple Sugar Weekends at Oregon Ridge Nature Center– 13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville —February 16, 17, 23 & 24 – drop-in, no registration required — FREE
- Maple Sugaring in Maryland at Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum — 300 Oella Ave, Catonsville — February 23: $3 per person and $10 per family
Go roller skating
Roller skating is a great way to burn off energy while staying warm. It’s cheap fun for the whole family, with a little bit of nostalgia thrown in.
- Northpoint Skateland — 1113 North Point Rd., Dundalk — Open daily, call for pricing
- Sportsmans Hall — 15500 Hanover Pike; Upperco — Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: $6-$10 entry; $3 skate rental; family pricing packages available
Try out Duckpin Bowling
This variation of 10-pin bowling using smaller pins and balls is believed to have originated in Baltimore around 1900. Great, inexpensive (with a little competitive fun thrown in!) way to spend time with the family when it’s cold outside. There’s no shortage of duckpin bowling centers around Baltimore. Here are some to check out:
- Stoneleigh Lanes — 6703 York Rd.; Baltimore
- Patterson Bowling Center — 2105 Eastern Ave.; Baltimore
- AMF Dundalk Lanes — 1101 Merritt Blvd.; Baltimore
- Parkville Lanes — 7607 Harford Rd.; Parkville
- Pinland Bowling Lanes — 10 N. Dundalk Ave.; Dundalk
- AMF Towson Lanes — 701 Southwick Dr.; Towson
The Walters hosts drop-in art programs every weekend and the third weekend of each month features a special Paint Party and Walk-in Family Tours. All for FREE! Your family can also take part in the FREE Lunar New Year Celebration on February 10, where you will celebrate the Year of the Pig with art activities, a zodiac scavenger hunt through the Arts of Asia collection and a traditional Lunar New Year performance by the Johns Hopkins Lion Dance Troupe.
- Walters Art Museum — 600 N. Charles St. Baltimore
Enjoy First Fridays & Half-Price Friday Nights at two area attractions
On the first Friday of each month, the Maryland Science Center invites all visitors to experience its interactive science exhibits and planetarium from 5pm-8pm for just $10 (members are free!). Every Friday throughout the year, visit the National Aquarium in Baltimore after 5pm and half off the regular admission price.
- Maryland Science Center — 601 Light Street, Baltimore
- The National Aquarium — 501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore
Robinson Nature Center has an entire calendar full of winter programs geared to families (there are some just for adults, too). Family Fridays under the Dome in the “NatureSphere” Planetarium and Toddler Time at the Nature Center are just a few. General admission to the Center is $5 for adults and $3 for ages 3-17. Under 3 are FREE. Some programs have an additional fee and pre-registration is required.
- Robinson Nature Center — 6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia, MD
While the construction of brand new 2019 exhibits is underway, Port Discovery is still offering interactive learning experiences for children at 2 locations:
- The Construction Zone at the Atrium at Port Discovery — 35 Market Place, Baltimore: features areas where children can make mini-robots, build with giant life-sized building blocks, launch rockets towards the moon, and create theatrical plays. It is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and is located directly next door to the main Museum. Admission is $5 per person (members and children under two enter for free).
- Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth — 800 Kenilworth Drive, Towson: located on the lower level and FREE for all visitors, this new temporary learning experience offers young ones opportunities to build, create art, and participated in educational activities. Open Wednesdays through Sundays. Check here for the most up-to-date operating hours before visiting. Admission is free for all visitors and Port Discovery members. Please note: Visitor capacity is limited in this unique experience.
Relax at storytime
Chill out with the kids at storytime at one of Enoch Pratt Free Library’s 22 branches. Storytimes geared for different age groups are scheduled everyday, and they’re free! Check out the schedule here.
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- 18 free (or cheap) things to do with kids in Baltimore
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- Where to get free tax preparation services in Baltimore
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