Tag: kids activities

This Week is Baltimore Museum Week

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Museum Week

catch of the day fish (2)Well, look who’s hosting the world’s largest gathering of museum professionals. Oh you know, just Baltimore. This week, nearly 5,000 museum professionals from 64 countries will be descending on our fair city for the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) Annual Meeting & Museum Expo. But what does this have to do with you? With the average non-museum-professional Baltimorean? Well, these museum people don’t just keep the good stuff for themselves, of course. That’s their whole bag—sharing  knowledge, culture, and treasures with the rest of us. So as the city swells this week with these museum professional-types, local museums will likely swell with visitors—taking advantage of special deals, tours, and events all week.

Catching Up with 2012’s Little Characters

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Sydney

This year’s Wee Chic Little Character’s Search is well underway. We thought we’d check in with some of the kids who were selected last year. Where are they now? Turns out, the same places we found them — enjoying Baltimore’s parks, snow ball stands (well, maybe in a few months), and all things “regular kid.” We caught up with Sydney and her mom, Melissa to see how the experience was for them.

BFB: How was it to be part of Little Characters last year? Was the photo shoot fun? Did friends recognize you in the ads?

Sydney:  It was fun to be a part of Little Characters. We got to get our hair done, try on great clothes and get our picture taken.  My friends and family recognized me online and in the magazine.

Winter Break Fun at Port Discovery

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Port Discovery Winter Fun

catch of the day fish (2)How quickly cries of “Hooray! Winter break!” can change into an endless loop of “I’m boooooored”s. Now that the extended family has gone, the presents are opened, and Santa is back to his 364-day hibernation, suddenly, it seems, there is nothing to do. Not, of course, that the kids wish school was in session. Anything but that. And yet, we don’t exactly have the stuff for days spent snow-shoeing and building snowmen. Thankfully, the Port Discovery Children’s Museum hears our (or our kids’) cries. Through January 1st, the museum is offering daily activities geared at keeping kids entertained and engaged while we wait for school to start up again.

The Nutcracker at the Lyric

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The Nutracker at the Lyric in Baltimore

catch of the day fish (2)As a child, I didn’t much care for watching or participating in ballet. But I was a big fan of all things that involved playing pretend, dressing up in costumes, and generally being covered head to toe in tulle and sequins and feathers. Thus, my first experience of the Nutcracker was actually attending the local ballet school’s annual fundraising rummage sale, where they sold off all of the worn out, old costumes, many of them from the Nutcracker. Priced at less than a dollar a piece, my mother was thrilled to be able to hand over a few dollars and take me home with a lifetime’s supply of tutus, headdresses, sequined ankle thingys, and more.  On the way I asked her why the ballet school had such amazing things, and why on Earth they would get rid of them. Over the drive, she explained to me what the Nutcracker was, and the next year we went to see my neighbor perform in it—she played a mouse.

Holiday Festival of Trains and Toys at the B&O Railroad Museum

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Trains have been associated with Christmas about as long as they’ve been a viable form of transportation. Though these days most of us fly or drive when we’re heading home for the holidays, images of steam engines trudging over snowy hillsides persist as part of the holiday scenery. For some of us, the potential magic of trains was captured in that classic children’s book The Polar Express. For others, we remember actually getting a model train set as a child—and what could possibly be cooler? Either way, historians and advocates of the locomotive are always ready to capture our imagination and remind us of the romance and charm of the old iron horse. And throughout December, the B&O Railroad Museum has rich offerings in this regard.

Christmas Trees and More at Applewood Farms

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Applewood Barn Maryland

So, I love the holiday season—the lights, the cheer, the long-lost friends and relatives. But I am no fan at all of the cold. And I know I’m not alone in that. But even for those of us who welcome the freakish-but-maybe-the-new-normal 60 degree days of December, it can be hard to get into the holly jolly swing of things when it just doesn’t feel like winter. No, my solution is not draping your lawn and window sills with bunch of synthetic snow (though to each his own, I guess). But a good way to get the holiday season feel while making the most of the weather that is decidedly not seasonal is to head out to the country and get your Christmas tree right on the farm.

For 35 years, Applewood Farm in Whiteford (that’s about 50 minutes north of the city) has been selling Christmas trees and hosting holiday fun intended for those who wish to experience and create a family memory.  The family-run farm (the founders’ son just took over a few years ago) offers an extensive display of lights and greens, many model train displays, a reindeer antler toss, a petting zoo, a “kiddie maze”, and lawn bowling. As though that weren’t enough, guests can take a ride on the The Applewood Express—a narrow gauge 1870’s vintage steam train that runs on a scenic 3/4 mile tour of the lower meadow area of Applewood Farm.  Hay wagons run continuously through the fields of Christmas trees, allowing families easy access as they choose and harvest their own tree right there on the farm. Sure, there might not be any snow on the ground, but maybe that’ll make the stroll through the rows of trees just that much more leisurely.

Applewood Farm is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-4pm. Admission to the farm is free, though a ride on the Applewood Express costs $4.00 for those over 3 years old. For more information, visit www.applewoodfarm.org

HARBOR EAST UNVEILS WINDOW WONDERLAND – A HOLIDAY ARTS EXHIBIT

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Window Wonderland unveiling in Harbor East in Baltimore

Absolutely save the date (it should be easy—it’s two days from now). On Thursday, November 15th, Harbor East merchants are unveiling the Window Wonderland Holiday Arts Exhibit in a grand event from 5:30pm-8pm. But what makes the event so noteworthy? So worth cramming everyone into the car for? It’s got everything!

Closest Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze to Baltimore

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Rodgers Farms near Baltimore

Halloween is one of the few holidays that doesn’t have to come with associated stress. There are no presents to buy, no visiting in-laws to accommodate, no giant meals to prepare. It’s pure debauchery, pretending, and general fall revelry. And yet, it is only one day a year, and you want to be ready. You want to make Halloween count. I mean, you could carve a pumpkin and go on a hayride any time, but it’s like Valentine’s Day: sure,  you could give your loved one chocolates, flowers, and a thoughtful card expressing how much they mean to you on any old day of the year, but are you really going to do that? Of course not.

Thus, if you haven’t yet grabbed a pumpkin and a ticket for a hayride, we encourage you to make the time before the month is over. If you’re short on time and gas money, you can hop over to Rodgers Farms (formerly North Run Farm). The farm has a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, a corn maze, hay-rides, a farm animal zoo, and plenty of other kid-friendly activities.  It’s less than fifteen minutes from downtown Baltimore, so there’s really no excuse this year.  Plus, if you’re looking for a good scare, there is one flashlight maze left this month (October 26th). Visiting the farm is of course free. Admission to the maze itself is $8 dollars for adults, $6 dollars for children 12 and under, and is free for children 3 and under.

Rodgers farm is located in the historic Greenspring Valley just outside of Baltimore. For directions and hours, visit www.rodgersfarms.com

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