Hi City Kids Parents! There are lots of things to do in Baltimore over the summer, but my experience has been that living so close to the city, I never explore what options are available to me. Recently I spent some time looking up different activities and events in the city for young families. Here are just a few fun and inexpensive ideas that I found:

1. Port Discovery's Family Fun Nights -  On the 3rd Friday of every month Port Discovery has a Family Fun Night with tickets at $2 a person after 4PM. The museum is open until 8PM on these nights and families are free to explore any of the exhibits. In addition to the regular exhibits, there are special activities available at different times during the evening, including crafts and safety demonstrations. The next Family Fun Night is this Friday, July 17. For more information visit: http://www.portdiscovery.org/generalinfo/tickets  

2. Baltimore Museum of Art's Free Family Sundays - Every Sunday at the BMA, the museum provides families with the opportunity to create a piece of artwork modeled after a famous artist. This Sunday families have the opportunity to create a collage portrait like those of Van Gogh and other Impressionist painters. The event is free and takes place every Sunday from 2-5 PM. For more information visit: https://artbma.org/events/family.html

3. Carrie Murray Nature Center - The Carrie Murray Nature Center is located inside Gwynn Falls/Leakin Park and houses reptiles, amphibians and injured or orphaned wildlife. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM - 4:30PM and costs $2 per person. During the year, the Nature Center also hosts a series of programs and activities for families. The next two events are not until late August. The first is an “Owl Prowl” from 7PM-9PM on Friday, August 21 ($7 per person) and the second is a frog study on Saturday, August 29 from 12PM-2PM ($5 per person). For more information about both these events visit: http://www.carriemurraynaturecenter.org/events/

4. Maryland Science Center's Fridays After 5 - Every Friday after 5PM, the Science Center is open to families at a reduced rate of $9 per person. On these nights the permanent exhibit halls, the planetarium, and the IMAX theatre are open to visitors. Planetarium presentations take place at 6:00PM and IMAX shows are at 7:00PM (both are included in the $9 entrance fee).  For more information visit: http://www.mdsci.org/event/friday-after-5/2015-06-26/

5. Fort McHenry - Fort McHenry is a great place to explore with older children. Begin by stopping in at the Visitor’s Center for a brief orientation film and then explore the fort on your own. The park is free for children, but costs $7 for adults 16 years and older. If you go with your children, you may want to have them try out the Junior Ranger Program. The children are provided with an Activity Booklet at the Visitor Center that you can help them complete during your visit. Once the booklet is finished, the child can receive a Junior Ranger certificate and badge. The park is open everyday from 9AM - 5PM. For more information visit: http://www.nps.gov/fomc/planyourvisit/justforkids.htm