Learning can be a lot of fun and, with Maryland’s rich cultural history, there are numerous educational activities for children to enjoy. Regardless of whether you have a busy toddler or a picky teen, you can find something that the entire family will enjoy, virtually all year long. Here are our top picks for educational activities in the state.
This place is so cool. If your kids are at all interested in spies, secret codes or history, they will love the Cryptologic Museum. Best of all—you will enjoy this museum too. You can walk back in time and see some of the machines they used during World War II to both send and decode messages, visit the Vietnam exhibit, see what they used during the Korean War, and so much more. It’s truly incredibly and they give kids a decoder to use so they feel like they are on their own adventure.
If you’re going to be in Baltimore, you should visit Fort McHenry. It’s an incredible experience, especially on the Fourth of July when they have people dressed in full costume reenacting what happened during the War of 1812 with the British. Your kids can see where the Star-Spangled Banner was written and learn why, tour the old fort, watch cannons being fired, and learn why everyone in Maryland is likely to say Huzzah from time to time.
Located on the South River, the views at London Town and Gardens are spectacular and this is definitely a favorite spot for outdoor concerts in the summer. What people don’t realize is that they are an excellent educational destination. They have an entire area that is set up to replicate what life was like for the first settlers and some historic buildings that your kids can tour, dress up in colonial clothing and discover what life used to be like in Maryland at the turn of the century.
Perhaps one of the best children’s museums in the country, Port Discovery is three floors of adventure. Young children have areas to play in like the water zone and bigger kids will have fun walking high above the lobby on the ropes course. With rotating exhibits and plenty to do, this is fun for everyone and your kids can seriously play here all day without getting bored.
Teach your kids about our nation’s naval history by attending this historic academy. The grounds are stunning but full of the rich history that makes up the United States naval tradition. They have a visitors center where you can watch a show and look at historical objects. Later, take a walk to the chapel and see the crypt for our country’s most famous naval captain. It’s a great day out that your children will enjoy as much as you do.
Get ready to learn about science and get your hands dirty in the process. The Maryland Science Center has static and rotating exhibits to teach kids all about science, how things work, and peak their interest in things like physics. Kids love spending time here and the museum is so large, you can visit several times without getting bored. It’s a fantastic family stop.
This is an amazing destination for kids interested in archaeology. They have found over 9,000 years of human life here and your kids can help to explore it. There is a visitors center and areas set up to recreate what life was like for the Native Americans and settlers in colonial times. They have events all throughout the year and admission is free.
Do your kids love wildlife, fish, and the open sea? If so, take them to the National Aquarium. There is such a large variety of wildlife here, much of which you will not find in a traditional zoo. You can see the world from below the surface—a look most people will never get. Your kids imaginations will be captured when exploring shark alley and everyone will have a great time. If you want a discount on tickets, try Friday nights.
Kids enjoy visiting this museum because of how interactive it is. They can interact with people who are building boats, go out on one, climb to the top of the lighthouse, and participate in regular activities designed to make them feel like a pirate, or at least a boat captain. Maryland is a waterman’s state and our history is greatly tied to the Chesapeake Bay. This is an excellent place to learn about and become part of that history.
There is not one particular place you should visit in historic Annapolis so you should plan to make a day of it. Your kids can learn about our state’s and nation’s history here since this is where Benjamin Franklin celebrated the signing of the Treaty of Paris (there is a hotel and restaurant there today) and where our nation’s first capital was prior to moving to Washington D.C. You should stop by the William Paca House and Gardens. He signed Maryland’s Declaration of Independence and was the third governor of the state. His home and gardens have been perfectly preserved and provide a glimpse into life when we declared our freedom from Great Britain.