Top 6 #FamilyFun Activities to do this Summer in #Baltimore | #FamilyTravel #VisitBaltimore #MyBmore

Today on the blog, I am sharing #MYBmore TOP 6 Family Fun activities everyone should add to their child’s Summer Break list of things to do in Baltimore! This past weekend my #HeighPartyof3 drove the easy 5 hr ride to Downtown Harbor East and stayed at one of our favorite hotels, Hyatt Place. One of the reasons I was there was to cover the 4th Annual Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival (be sure to check out my photo recap>>>here) but to also take #outandaboutAva to some museums and attractions in Baltimore. Here is my list of TOP 6 Family Fun Activites :

  1. See an Orioles Basesball Game -Orioles Park at CAMDEN YARDSA summertime visit to Baltimore would not be complete without a visit to the undisputed best ballpark in the nation! Oriole Park at Camden Yards is celebrating their 25th anniversary. We joined others to take in a game on an absolute beautiful evening. It was my little one’s very first MLB game and she loved it. Camden Yards is designed where there is not a bad seat in the house. She was also able to get up and close to the field pre game to watch the players stretch and interact with their fans. A night to remember for all.
  2. Learn and Play at Port Discovery Childrens MuseumBaltimore’s Port Discovery Children’s Museum is an expansive building dedicated to kids. They play and learn. Sometimes at the same time. This place has so many things to do, it can fill up an entire afternoon. From a faux diner called Tiny’s where the little ones can serve you lunch items {albeit plastic of course} to jungle gyms and a whole area dedicated to solving the mystery of what happened to a missing family, this place is amazing. My daughter enjoyed the Oasis room where she could sit quietly and read.There is plenty of hands on exhibits and interactive areas that the kids will simply love. A must stop for any families visiting with children. When you arrive grab your map at the front desk, arms in and let fun begin!
  3. Eat,Drink and Be Royal at MEDIEVAL TIMES Dinner & TournamentGo back in time to King Arthur’s day and visit the Medieval Times castle for a Dinner and Show you will never forget!  This attraction is not in Downtown Baltimore, but in Arundel Mills Mall (aprox 30 mins away by car).  Along with a medieval dinner (that you eat with your hands only),…we enjoyed entertainment like jousting,horse dancing and a real Falcon soaring above our heads to do a stunt!  This is all entertwined with a storyline the narrator explains.Medieval Times is great place to take someone who proclaims that they have seen it all. A mix between a Broadway show and Polo…Nothing compares to this experience. My daughter and her Grandma truly enjoyed their ‘Knight’ out! 
  4. Take a Joy Ride thru History at B&O RAILROAD MUSEUMDid you know that Baltimore is the home for modern commercial Railroading? The B&O railroad, which operated from 1828 to 1987, had many people skeptical {and scared} of this “new” technology. That didn’t last long as the B&O proved sucesseful in (per it’s motto)”Linking 13 Great States with the Nation”. We learned all about the rich history at the B&0 Railroad Museum while enjoying the impressive collection of vintage trains. We even took an actual 1.5 mile ride on an original section of the line! The museum does an excellent job telling the story of the railroad, which mirrors the story of America itself. Children can enjoy a hunt to collect stamps at stations throughout the museum in a little passport booklet which they turn in at the end for a free present at the gift shop! They also have a kid play area and rides outside which makes this a fun informative museum the entire family will love. I made a YouTube video full of highlights from our visit. Watch it here and Enjoy! SobeSavvy Tip: Check out this special circus themed event ‘Under The Big Top’ happening Now thru June 30 For more info visit www.borail.org.             

5. Take a cruise aboard the ‘Fearless’ and become a pirate for the day with URBAN PIRATES 

A day at the world famous Inner Harbor demands that one gets out on the water. We chose to take a trip back in time with a company called “Urban Pirates”. Based out of the Ann Street Pier in the Fells Point area, Urban Pirates takes visitors on a 90 min trip around the Harbor on a vintage looking ..well pirate ship. We didn’t know what to expect when we boarded along with other families. We were given official pirate names with tags and some pirate attire to wear for our voyage. https://www.instagram.com/p/BVu67NbBU55/ 

Once out on the open water, the crew did a great job of entertaining all of us (and especially the kids) with songs, dances and all sorts of seafaring games. We even had an attempted sea hijack that we all thwarted with their water cannons! I don’t want to give away too much but let’s just say be prepared for a great experience unlike any other.

6. Discover close to 20,000 animals at NATIONAL AQUARIUM The National Aquarium with its unique spiral floor plan, it’s huge rain forest in the rooftop, the diverse species of fish plus sharks and dolphins make it THE aquarium to visit. We chose to go early on Sunday morning and it paid off for being less crowded since this is Baltimore’s most popular attraction. 

The close encounters of being able to touch horseshoe crabs and a real moon jellyfish in the Living Seashore exhibit made the experience that much more real. This aquarium is a crown jewel for both kids and adults alike and we always look forward to learning something new with each visit.

Now that you know “Where to Play” your next visit to Charm City, be sure to check back here on Friday when I’ll be sharing “Where to Eat” and “Where to Stay” in Baltimore. Also check out www.baltimore.org for any information you need to plan your trip.

Check out my fun photo video recap of these listed attractions : https://youtu.be/8lWvmmN9LRs

#TravelTuesday Where to Go: @BaltimoreMD – My 5 Fave #InnerHarbor Spots #FamilyTravel

Baltimore is one of our favorite cities to visit as a family.

Why ?

It’s a great place that ends up pleasing almost everyone who has ever visited there. Waterfront fun, world class restaurants and attractions play a big part in it’s charm

Our recent visit centered around the Inner Harbor and all it has to offer.

Baltimore‘s Inner Harbor

Here are my 5 favorite places to stay~eat~play with my family while visiting downtown Baltimore: 

Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor East 

The Hyatt Place Hotel was our base camp for our stay. Located in the trendy Harbor East area, Hyatt Place is situated perfectly to access all the Inner Harbor has to offer. Superb bedding, modern and chic style are everywhere, but it is their superior customer service and local knowledge that sets them apart from other choices. Their breakfast is awesome and they have a great room service menu to boot!

To see a more in depth hotel review, read here.

National Aquarium

My little one LOVES fish and all things in the ocean so The National Aquarium was a easy choice.

Within walking distance from Hyatt Place you will find one of the world’s greatest aquariums. Opened in 1981, this structure houses an impressive array of fish, shark and coral reef species. It’s open design allowed us to view all sorts of sea animals while at different levels of the building. Rays and sharks. Jellyfish and giant groupers. My daughter just LOVED the Dolphin tank. They have many interactive kid sized exhbits. She even put on a puppet show ! Most of their viewing windows are low enough for her to see at eye level. The rain forest was simply amazing. I don’t want to give away too much, but let’s just say keep looking carefully in the trees and you will be surprised

Phillips Seafood

Blue Crabs are THE quintessential Baltimore summer food so what better place to go then Phillips Seafood Restaurant.

Walking distance from the Aquarium sits world renowned Phillips. They have an over water crab deck open for diners in the summer, so we indulged in crabs and shrimp right over the water. My daughter loved seeing the ducks swim by to say hello. Their kids menu is much more varied than most places. They had everything from grilled salmon to clam strips. Stellar service matched the laid back cuisine.It lived up to it’s iconic reputation.

We recently did a “Tasty Thursday” feature of this restaurant , as seen here. Check out this photo slideshow of some of the deliciousness we enjoyed on the crab deck at Phillips Seafood Baltimore!

Baltimore Water Taxi

We also wanted to get ON the water and there’s no better way than to buy a daily ticket on The Water Taxi. For just $14 you have on and off rights all day long. The Water Taxi stops at various popular destinations throughout the Inner Harbor area. We embarked at Fells Point and went on a short cruise to Fort Mchenry.

*Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine 

Fort Mchenry was the decisive battle that decided the War Of 1812. That battle inspired our national anthem. We toured the grounds and the cannons. You could still feel the weight of history here. We also witnessed some folks in historic dress telling visitors about the rich history of the Fort.

We caught the Water Taxi back to Fells Point to transfer on another boat. The warm breeze on the ride was a welcome relief from the summer heat ! Next stop was for Harborplace on the west side of the harbor. Besides being a major restaurant and shopping destination, Harborplace also has some entertaining attractions.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Baltimore

Located in the HarborPlace, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium Baltimore was a fun and fascinating entertainment spot. It is Filled with artifacts and interactive exhibits. My little one spent extra time in their kaleidescope dancing mirror area ! Hubby tried to measure up to tthe world’s tallest man !

After some window shopping off we went again on the Water Taxi back to Fells Point. An easy walk back from there back to the Hyatt Place for some well needed rest. Baltimore is a great place with so much to do. Until next time

Go to Baltimore.org and discover more about the exciting things you can only see and experience in “Charm City”. We love the Inner Harbor and hope you get a chance to visit some of our faves !

BTW…Baltimore has had a rough last year and seems to be bouncing back . This T-Shirt just exemplifies how I feel about this port City. Hope you feel the same way too https://www.amazon.com/Idakoos-Baltimore-Cities-Sleeve-T-Shirt/dp/B01KOUL45U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1471824436&sr=8-2&keywords=keep+calm+and+love+baltimore

Explore the Romantic Side of #Baltimore ! @BaltimoreMd @hyattplacebalt #Hyattplace @FlowersFancies @artBMA~Recap SobeSavvy .com

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This past Valentine’s day weekend, my husband and I decided to drive up to the quintessentially American city of Orioles and Ravens..Baltimore. We have traveled here before with our daughter to enjoy the charm of charm city by visiting many of its attractions. This time we wanted to explore the romantic side of Baltimore!

The city has many special neighborhoods to enjoy. Folks kept advising us that we HAVE to explore Harbor East. Apparently this is a newer built up area east of downtown proper. Trendy shops and restaurants abound. The buzz in the air is palpable. The problem with trendy is that style often trumps substance. I wanted to take no chances with my lodging choice for the weekend. I wanted a spot with all the amenities. That spot was the Hyatt Place Inner Harbor.

With a stylish and discreet business center in the lobby, it can be assumed that this Hyatt brand is geared toward extended stay business travelers. While that may be the case on the surface, it’s also a great place for leisure travelers and romantics alike. Check in was very friendly and efficient. When I entered our guest room, there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Baltimore’s premier florist, Flowers & Fancies
Per their website,”Since 1971 Flowers & Fancies has strived to serve its clients with a higher standard of high quality florals, inspired designs, and world class customer service”. Just take one look at these beautiful flowers and I am sure you will agree with their statement. They also provide same day delivery. Romantic flowers for a romantic weekend. Make sure you use them on your next visit to Baltimore.
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After being mesmorized by the floral arrangement, I could finally take in the oversized guest room. With a very strategically place partition, it made the space seem even bigger. The design was perfect for our romantic weekend. Ceiling to Floor windows! Modern furniture that was very comfortable. Even the wall art was tasteful and stylish. We loved it!
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They have a cocktail and coffee bar in the lobby that also serves a wide variety of desserts. Although we had a dinner reservation at one of the many nearby restaurants , we wanted to do something a little intimate with a group of friends. The hotel reserved a special space in their gallery where we hosted an after dinner dessert extravaganza for our party. Coffee to Cocktails is open till 12:00AM and it was the perfect place for me and our guests. Dessert choices are but not limited too – Cheesecake, Cupcakes, Cookies and Chocolate “Lava” Cake which was fabulous.
The Key Lime pie slice was my favorite. Our friends had a great time ending the evening with us.
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Some of the other perks of Hyatt Place include:
* 24 hour a day food menu . That's right. If you really want a Bacon & Cheddar burger at 3:30am, they make it happen !
* Quiet Rest. This is a urban location so the floor to ceiling windows are double paned.
* Modern business center is also at your disposal 24 hrs a day.
* Meeting spaces are also available for corporate or casual meetings. State of the Art Audio /Visual equipment is present in the meeting rooms.
*Indoor heated pool? Check . Modern workout fitness room ? check.
* An awesome free A.M Skillet breakfast. Eggs done two ways, waffles and various juices. They even offered almond milk.
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That delicious full breakfast provided us the energy to explore more of the Romantic side of Baltimore as we prepared to leave the Harbor East area and visit the Baltimore Museum of Art. It was a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day by visiting one of the romantic art museums in the city. A great date is satisfying to the mind and heart which made this a perfect outing because I love art. The BMA houses the world’s largest Matisse collection, an array of African and Asian art and a wild contemporary wing.
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Overall, it was a great stay in Baltimore. Due to inclement weather we ended up extending our visit one extra day. Hyatt Place offers free WiFi, so I was able to work remotely in the comfort of our room!
If you are planning a visit to Baltimore, MD and looking for a place to relax, work or have a romantic rendezvous consider Hyatt Place Inner Harbor. #TheresAPlaceForYou

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#VisitBaltimore & #GetARoom @HI_InnerHarbor @BaltimoreMd & Dine at #EdenWest #DottiesCafe

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I recently shared with you all the family fun things to do in Baltimore but did not mention where we stayed.This was not an oversight. I intentionally wanted to dedicate a post specifically to accommodations and let you know when looking for a budget friendly place to stay that is within walking distance to all Inner Harbor attractions, choose Holiday Inn Inner Harbor-Baltimore!

It has 365 rooms, including 12 suites and a pillow menu option. The Holiday Inn Inner Harbor makes comfort and hospitality their priority. At the front desk, lollipops and smiles await from the friendly and helpful staff. It was lunchtime, so we were advised to dine at the hotel’s restaurant, Eden West.

Featuring classic Maryland Cuisine, Eden West Restaurant pleasantly surprised and satisfied our appetites! Delicious, fresh and innovative, this place is a hidden treasure to tastebuds everywhere! Oh and kids eat free! An extra plus for budget friendly family travelers.

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Mac & cheese, fruit and milk includes a sweet treat at the end! Crayons and coloring sheet provided by the restaurant kept my Li’l one entertained.

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Our waiter advised us of some recently new items on the menu. For starters I tried the Sweet & Tangy St Louis styled Applewood smoked BBQ Ribs. They are made with homemade lemonade BBQ sauce. So good, tender and I really enjoyed the flavors. It was the first time my 4 yr old tried BBQ ribs because she normally doesn’t like sauce on anything. She is now a fan!

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Next I had the signature Eden’s Salad: mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, cucmbers, mushrooms topped with salmon. As you can see in the picture it’s a big portion so you get alot for a reasonable price! You also get the option of chicken or beef to top your salad if you like. It was super fresh and fulfilling!

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No visit to Baltimore is complete without trying a crab cake sandwich, so I was happy to see this option on the menu. A nice mix of broiled lump crab meat and old bay. Served on a pretzel roll with lettuce and tomato. It came with a side of fries. This was good to the last bite! We ended our meal with a dessert at the recommendation of our waiter. His favorite was the hot apple crisp and it’s now my favorite too!

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After a long travel day, it was time to get comfortable in our ‘home’ away from home during our stay. This hotel has complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel and a 24 hr fitness center. There’s also an indoor pool with sauna but they also have suites complete with whirlpool baths! Here are some pictures of our contemporary stylish suite :

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Remember…Kids Stay Free, a Holiday Inn North America program expectation!

The next day before we set out to explore the Baltimore area   we stopped at Dottie’s Cafe. It’s a coffee shop located in the lobby and has plenty of nibble and nosh options! Souvenirs, newspapers and sundries are available too as well as local and regional goods.
“Dottie Kmoch opened our hotel in 1964 as a switchboard operator (when they actually used plug-in wires) and was most recently our Director of Human Resources until she passed away last year.  She was a feisty redhead and loved by all – this is her Holiday Inn legacy!”, says Judy Wilbur Director of Sales & Marketing at Holiday Inn Inner Harbor – Baltimore.

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Be sure to sign up for the IHG Rewards Club to earn points when you stay or make any purchases !

After a fun filled day, we had a sweet dreams treat waiting for us. Who doesn’t love tasty surprises?! Thanks Holiday Inn! We ❤  you and Baltimore too!

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#Travel to @BaltimoreMD , enjoy the charm of #CharmCity and Fall in Love with #Baltimore ! #visitBaltimore @HI_InnerHarbor @MDScienceCenter @NatlAquarium @BmoreWaterTaxi ~Recap by #SobeSavvy .com #soDMVsavvy #soTravelsavvy

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I had the great fortune of being born and growing up in Baltimore, Md. There are bigger cities. There are smaller cities. But there is NO city more quintessentially American than the city of Baltimore. It’s not even close. Baltimore is literally the seam in our nation. Birth of the Star Spangled Banner. It is where north meets south. It was where slavery and freedom existed. Unique indeed. It is a great port city. Proud of our blue collar reputation. Ethnic neighborhoods abound. Sports is in our soul. From Johnny Unitas and Cal Ripken to Ray Lewis. Festivals more than one can count. The only person who has ever disliked Baltimore has never visited there. Yea, I am biased. I am from Baltimore. Everything here starts from the city center and radiates outward. This city center is where I went back home to spend a beautiful early fall weekend to get out enjoy as many of my cities attractions that locals sometime take for granted.

The Holiday Inn on Lombard street http://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/baltimore/baldt/hoteldetail was a fantastic base camp for the weekend. One block from Pratt Street and within walking distance to both Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Stadium where the Ravens play. Hospitality at it’s best. Their Eden West restaurant also lets kids eat free for breakfast, so what’s not to like !

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Here are just a few examples of things we had fun doing last weekend:

The National Aquarium http://www.aqua.org/ . Opened in 1981, it has consistently been ranked as a top aquarium in the nation. The National Aquarium, Baltimore, features a living collection of more than 20,000 fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and marine mammals living in award-winning habitats. In summer 2013, the Aquarium opened Blacktip Reef, a breathtaking exhibit replicating an Indo-Pacific reef and featuring more than 700 animals, including a school of blacktip reef sharks.

My family had an amazing time there. So much too see and experience. The huge open pool full of sharks, giant turtles and fish was magical. My four year old especially loved the jellyfish exhibit and the dolphin tanks the most. The aquarium floorplan slowly leads up to the roof their iconic rainforest sits. There was an elusive sloth that we searched and searched for but alas eluded us ! What a magnificent place that reinforces the natural wonders of our oceans.

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The Maryland Science Center http://www.mdsci.org/ on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor has interactive exhibits combined with the state-of-the-art Davis Planetarium that was opened to the public in June 1976. The addition of a new atrium lobby in 1986, and the very successful IMAX Theater in 1987, stimulated annual attendance.A major expansion and renovation of the entire facility was completed in May of 2004. New exhibitions were added on all levels as well as the addition of a permanent hall showcasing dinosaurs and earth sciences, and a dedicated gallery for housing temporary exhibitions. Upgrades to the IMAX Theater introduced 3D film technology and improvements to the physical plant updated and enhanced visitor amenities and services. Today, as it has been in the past, the Maryland Science Center continues to focus on remaining a vital community resource and economic development engine now and in the future.

Entering the MD Science center was instant education. Education in the most fun hands on way possible. A huge portion of the complex was interactive hands on experiments. Whether it was generating electricity with handlebars or letting my little one use her hand to break up a tornado, we simply never ran out of things to do and learn about. Without a doubt our favorite part was playing a paleontologist in their dinosaur/fossil area. What a blast! We can’t wait to return to this gem.

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Although on a nice day you could get alot of excersize by walking around the entire harbor area or you can take the water taxi. It has stops near all the major attractions in and around the harbor. From Fells point and Harbor East to harborplace and more. http://www.baltimorewatertaxi.com/ A great way to travel around the harbor and a scenic trip for sure !

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A person can only be from one place. I am lucky that MY place is Baltimore. Come to visit this fall and fall in love..with Baltimore !

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