Spring break has already come for some students in the Baltimore/DC area, while others are still waiting until closer to Easter to take their breaks.
While this is great for the students, it leaves parents wondering what to do with their kids in the meantime.
I know that there are many kids who would rather catch up on their video game conquests, there is still room for a fun environment of learning during spring break.
Here are some that I have found that are free or low cost in the Baltimore/DC area (and maybe one appearance from Philadelphia.)
1. Visit the Smithsonian Museums.
One of the reasons I love to visit the Smithsonian Museums is that they are free. And since I live in Baltimore, what I like to do is drive to the Greenbelt Metro Station and hop on the train to the district. Believe me, it takes the headache out of parking and gives you great walking exercise.
There are many Smithsonian Museums and you have your choice of which to visit. There are many, including the National Zoo. My favorites are the Museum of American History and the Air and Space Museum. Believe me, you won’t run out of choices (even if you want to visit the Postal Museum). And if you or your kids enjoyed the “Night at the Smithsonian” movies, then this should be a treat for the whole family.
2. Take a trip to the Franklin Institute.
This is my Philadelphia spot. I went to the Franklin Institute quite a few times while in high school even when it wasn’t my science class on the trip.
The Institute is filled with interactive activities to learn all sorts of aspects of science. A side bonus is being able to take some time to visit the sites in Philadelphia as well.
If you don’t want to drive, you can always take the train or bus to Philadelphia as parking is tough in any major city. Check out the Institute’s website to see what the current exhibits are.
The ticket prices are about the same as any attraction in a major city with basis prices starting at $14.75 for adult admission. As a bonus, in-service teachers from schools in PA, NJ, DE, NY, and MD receive free individual same day Sci-Passes.
If you do plan on staying in Philadelphia to take in more sites, you may want to get a City Pass. This allows you access to six of the city’s best attractions as a huge discounts. Prices for this are $58 for adults and $39 for children ages 4-12. For more information on both the Franklin Institute and the City Pass, see the “Sources” section at the end of the article.
3. Get in some art.
One of the more popular free spots in Baltimore are our Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walter’s Art Museum. Both of these galleries have free admission and are easily accessible through public transportation. Also, both museums have activities for kids in addition to the regular and special galleries.
4. Learn about some local baseball legends.
Also in Baltimore we have the pleasure of having both the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and the Sports Legend Museum at Camden Yards. And since baseball season is just around the corner, this is a great time to brush up on your history of America’s pastime.
You can choose to visit either museum or both museums. For the Babe Ruth Museum, prices are as follows: Adults $6, Seniors $4, and Children 3-12 $3 with museum members being admitted for free. At the Sports Legends Museum, prices are as follows: Adults $8, Seniors $6, and Children 3-12 $4. However, if you would like to visit both museums, here are the admission prices: Adults $12, Seniors $8, and Children 3-12 $5.
5. Learn about Baltimore’s rich Catholic history.
Here in the Archdiocese of Baltimore we are blessed to have so many places for the faithful to visit regardless of religious affiliation. One of those places it the St. Mary’s Spiritual Center in Baltimore City. It is the place where St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint, began the first free catholic school in the United States. The site is also home to the Mother Seton House and the Historic Seminary Chapel.
Admission to this historical site is also free. Be sure to check the website for any upcoming events and to double check times of operation.
So, that is my list of the top 5 spring break activities for the Baltimore/DC area, with an appearance from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. I have tried to include activities the entire family can enjoy and also learn at the same time. Although there are hundreds of activities that could be done, it is important to take into account your families budget, available time, and personalities of your family. Check out the links below for more information.
Philadelphia City Pass and Franklin Institute Admissions Pricing
Baltimore Museum of Art
Walter’s Art Museum
Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards
St. Mary’s Spiritual Center and Mother Seton House