After a brief reprieve from the rain over the weekend, rain is back in the forecast and that makes this new series I’m running pretty perfect. Growing up in the country, I was pretty isolated and the nearest rainy day activity outside my house was probably a thirty minute drive today. I remember how boring it was and how much I wished I lived closer to my friends and fun things to do. Given that, I guess it’s no surprise that I love living in the city and especially LOVE raising a child in the city. There is no shortage of things to do, indoors or outdoors, and we can always creatively occupy our time.
This week, I’ll be highlighting a couple of my favorite recent rainy day activities in the Baltimore area. I try to do things that are inexpensive (preferably FREE!) and local (within the Baltimore beltway.. walking distance or public transit accessible preferred), so they should be pretty accessible to just about any parent in the Baltimore area. Try them out and let me know what you think!
Today, I want to discuss one of our favorite places to spend a dreary day in the city: the Maryland Science Center Located at Baltimore’s beautiful Inner Harbor, this is just a short walk from our house. If you are coming from out of town, the Light Rail stop at Camden Yards is the best way to get to this part of the city. Leave your car at a station further out of town and save yourself time and money versus parking in the city.
We have a membership here and if you are able to come 3 or 4 times (or more) per year, the membership option is definitely the way to go. Otherwise, entry is about $20 per adult and $17 per child over 3. I consider this a great value because of the membership ($125 for 3 people) and because we go there all the time. We long ago broke even on the investment and it’s been worth every penny.
The Science Center is great for kids (and adults!) of all ages. There are exhibits on natural history, weather, electricity, space and almost everything has some kind of hands-on, interactive element that encourages the kids to participate and really think about what they are seeing.
My daughter is a toddler, so we’ve spent most of our time over the past year just hanging out in the special room just for babies and toddlers on the third floor.
The baby area includes a water bed area with a sea theme and stacking blocks, a climbing area with giant legos, a reading and counting station and a computer station. There is also a nursing chair available for the mamas.
Just outside the baby area is an interactive area for toddlers and bigger kids featuring a water table, nature station, and several big play areas with an under water theme. My daughter has recently started to venture into this area and currently loves the water table and “earthquake” lego engineering station.
We have spent many rainy/snowy/just plain cold days at the Science Center and I definitely think it’s been great for my daughter’s development. Since she doesn’t go to daycare, this provides her with another opportunity to socialize with children her own age and explore the world outside of our family home in a way that’s safe and fun. I can’t wait to see how she enjoys the Science Center in the years to come.
Maryland Science Center
- Parking: No bueno. Locals should walk or take the Charm City Circulator. Out of towners should Light Rail to the Camden Yards station and walk the short distance from there.
- Stroller Friendly: Yes. Elevators and stroller parking available. Can be crowded at peak times.
- Bathroom Situation: Plenty of restrooms on each level. Men, Women, and Family.
- Economics: $$
- Can be pricey for single admission tickets.
- Recommend becoming a Member for best value.
- Occasional Groupon deals are available!