My last trip to Baltimore was in the company of 24 10-year-old girls. No, I’m not kidding. In my spare time, I’m the girl scout leader to 24 amazing girls and we chose to go to Baltimore to see the National Aquarium as our reward for our cookie sales. So I really can say this article is about visiting Baltimore with kids!

I always look forward to visiting Baltimore. Baltimore was my home for several years and I like to visit old haunts as well as see the many new places that have been built since I lived there. There has been a tremendous amount of growth in Baltimore over the past 30 years or so, and a family could easily spend a week there seeing all the sites that the city has to offer. My family’s particular favorites are the National Aquarium and the American Visionary Art Museum.

NATIONAL AQUARIUM

The National Aquarium is located on the northeast side of the Inner Harbor and is a great place to spend a day with the kids. Tickets can be purchased on line, with various discounts offered, or look for dollar days when for two days in December every year, entrance to the aquarium is only $1!

The features that most impress my kids are the ones that feel immersive, like the Australia exhibit which features native animals in a walk through experience, as well as the tropical rain forest.

The dolphin show is also very impressive with the trainers taking the time to explain all aspects of taking care of dolphins at the aquarium, from the education needed to be a trainer to how to tell the different dolphins apart. It’s a misnomer to even call this a dolphin show; I love how they focus on the scientific aspects of caring for dolphins at the aquarium. Even with 24 children, I could see that all were engaged with the many activities and exhibits at the aquarium.

AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSUEM

The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is located on the south side of the Inner Harbor. If you’ve never taken your kids to an art museum, this is the place to start. The art will catch their eye, make them laugh, and keep them fascinated. Just pulling up to the museum is exciting with the artwork on display outside, including the brilliant Gallery-A-Go-Go Bus by artist Nancy Josephson.

My kids ran excitedly from gallery to gallery inside, frequently backtracking to see a particular piece a second time. And while almost every museum has a gift store and restaurant, which I would usually recommend avoiding, I highly recommend making time to visit both at AVAM. Both are unique to the museum and should not be missed.

Hilton Baltimore is a fantastic place to stay when visiting Baltimore with kids; it’s located right next to Camden Yards, home to the Baltimore Orioles, and an easy walk to the Inner Harbor.

This article was originally published by Hilton Mom Voyage.

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