Winter Family Fun in Baltimore, Maryland

During the winter months, it can be tough to think of fun things to do with the kids when you're visiting Baltimore, but there are a variety of indoor and out-of-the-elements activities available to visitors and residents with children.

The Northeastern United States experiences rather harsh winters, with temperatures oftentimes below freezing and wind chills that feel like single-digit temperatures. Although there are a few places to enjoy some fun in the snow, parents will likely want to keep their children out of the cold and hopefully indoors during their family outing.

Fortunately, even as the weather gets colder, there are plenty of things to see and do to keep the entire family entertained in Baltimore. Here are some ideas for fun-filled winter activities all ages will enjoy.

  • 01 of 08

    Spend the Day at a Museum

    Old tugboat and marina, Baltimore Museum of Industry, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    ••• Walter Bibikow/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Baltimore is full of great museums for families to enjoy. In the winter months, many of them are less crowded and some even offer free or discounted admission.

    One of the most popular of these museums for children is The Strong: National Museum of Play in Downtown Baltimore.which features a huge indoor playground, butterfly sanctuary, and interactive exhibits on some of America's favorite toys like LEGOs and Pinball.

    You might also consider taking your kids to the Port Discovery Children's Museum, the premier children's museum in the mid-Atlantic. Featuring interactive and constantly-updating exhibits and installations, this museum is sure to keep your kids entertained all day long!

  • 02 of 08

    Catch a Movie

    Maryland Science Center
    ••• Maryland Science Center. Google Images

    Whether you are catching the latest blockbuster at an area theater or taking in an IMAX film at the Maryland Science Center or National Aquarium in Baltimore, movies always make for a great day out, even when you're on vacation with your family.

    Big winter blockbusters typically release around the holidays, so if you're visiting Baltimore for Thanksgiving or Christmas and the weather gets too cold to go outside, you might consider checking out one of Baltimore's many theaters and IMAX screens to pass the time.

  • 03 of 08

    Go Bowling

    duckpin bowling
    ••• duckpin bowling. Wikimedia Commons

    You won't strike out with the kids if you take them to a local bowling alley, and there are several kid-friendly venues in Baltimore that offer this classic sport.

    The popular bowling alley chain AMF has Dundalk Lanes, Woodlawn Lanes, Southwest Lanes, and Timonium Lanes while there are also a number of local establishments like Mustang Alley's and Parkville Lanes.

    Baltimore is also famous for potentially inventing a variation of the sport called duckpin bowling, which dates back to the late 1800s. If you want to get a real taste of Baltimore life with your kids, visit Stoneleigh Lanes.

  • 04 of 08

    Take Part in an Event or Festival

    ••• Krautfest happens every January in Baltimore. Baltimore Sun

    Baltimore has a whole host of annual events and festivals, even during the winter months that are perfect for introducing your family to the traditions, history, and culture of this mid-Atlantic city. 

    Pay tribute to the visionary African American men and women who helped shape the nation during Black History Month (February); get your fill of sauerkraut and dance to Polka music at Krautfest (January); celebrate Edgar Allan Poe's birthday (January); or catch a lacrosse or indoor soccer game all winter long.

    There are also many free and discount monthly events worth checking out, so be sure to check out our guide to discounted and free events in Baltimore to plan your trip more effectively.

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  • 05 of 08

    Teach Kids the Art of Cooking

    pretend play ideas - kids baking in kitchen
    ••• School-age kids can pretend they're cooking up things in the kitchen but can also actually help do some tasks. Peter Cade/Getty Images

    Cooking is a hands-on activity that many children love, so if you have a child who's interested in the culinary arts, Consider teaching them how to make traditional Chesapeake recipes, such as Maryland-style crab cakes.

    If you're feeling up to it, you could also take your kids to area farmers markets, public markets, or ethnic markets so they learn more about where food comes from and the importance of eating healthy and sharing traditions.

  • 06 of 08

    Spend the Day at the Pool

    Baltimore native Michael Phelps, along with his teammates, celebrates winning gold.
    ••• Baltimore native Michael Phelps, along with his teammates, celebrates winning gold in the men’s 4 x 100-meter medley relay. Bryan Allison, wikimedia commons

    Many people reserve swimming for summer, but there are a number of indoor public pools in Baltimore and health clubs with pools that are open during the winter months.

    The winter season is also a great time to teach kids how to swim so they're ready to hit the water when summer rolls around. You never know, you might have the next Michael Phelps on your hands!

  • 07 of 08

    Stay Active

    The Lacrosse Museum and Lacrosse Hall of Fame pay tribute to America's oldest sport.
    ••• The Lacrosse Museum and Lacrosse Hall of Fame pay tribute to America's oldest sport. Inside, visitors will find rare photographs and art, vintage equipment and uniforms, striking sculptures and trophies, cherished memorabilia, and other artifacts. Photo by Katie Langer.

    Football season comes to a close in the winter months, but hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and indoor soccer are just a few of the sports that are going strong and your kids can play. There's also a number of gyms and indoor activity centers for kids in the city, so there's no shortage of opportunities for exercise over the winter. 

    If you’d rather spectate, you could catch a lacrosse or indoor soccer game at one of the colleges or high schools in Baltimore instead.

  • 08 of 08

    Shop ‘Til You Drop

    ••• Lexington Market, Baltimore. Flickr K. Kendall

    Whether your family is in need or some warm weather gear or you want to keep up with the latest fashions, shopping is another way to keep busy in the winter months.

    Although shopping can sometimes be stressful with children, these unique finds can be transformed into a fun winter activity for you and your kids. You could play dress up at vintage boutiques, get some deals at outlet malls near Baltimore, or go on a scavenger hunt in a mall.