It’s pretty easy to explain how to spend a weekend in Baltimore during the summer months, isn’t it? Inner Harbor is hopping and there’s plenty to do for a quick day trip or even an overnight. But there’s not quite as much information out there on how to spend a weekend in Baltimore during the winter!
Let’s change that, shall we?! A weekend trip to Baltimore during the colder months is just as much fun, nearly everything is open and the crowds are significantly less!
My family recently took a weekend trip there, and had the best time! This coming from a family who not only visits often during the summer, but has 2 teenagers to boot! My almost 15 year-old son even posted a picture on Instagram with the caption “Best visit to Baltimore EVER!”
I’d say that’s a pretty solid endorsement!
I thought I’d share some of the attractions we visited as well as my tips for making the most of your visit during the winter months!
How to Spend a Weekend in Baltimore:
- Be sure to check hours ahead of time. I know, I know… this should be standard operating procedure no matter where you’re visiting. A lot of people visit Inner Harbor in the summer, though, and may just assume they already know the hours to their favorite attractions. Most of the attractions, though, have modified hours for the winter months, so it’s best to double-check ahead of time!
- We found that not only was nearly everything we wanted to visit was still open, but we were able to devote less time in our schedule to each attraction because the crowds are significantly less than they are during the peak season! This is awesome for places like the National Aquarium and the Science Center! Your kids will be able to get up-close and personal with the activities and exhibits!
- Speaking of those 2, they really deserve their own spotlight! This was our first ever visit to the National Aquarium, and my kids both declared numerous times that they could spend all day there! The touch exhibits with jellyfish and stingray were both highlights as well as seeing some of the employees don their scuba diving equipment and hop in the tanks to feed the fish and turtles. We loved seeing this 3-legged turtle get fed! He was putzing around slow as molasses until she jumped in with food, and you should have seen him take off! It was hysterical!
The aquarium is filled with information and interactive exhibits that focus on preservation of the Chesapeake Bay and our aquatic friends. There’s even a dolphin show and glass roof rainforest!
- While we didn’t visit the Science Center on this trip, I think it might be the first time ever that I can say we haven’t! It’s always been a highlight on previous trips when the kids were a little younger. The dinosaur exhibit when you first walk in is super impressive (even to adults)! The entire museum is one interactive exhibit after another. The pulley systems have always been a favorite of my two. Be sure to allow for plenty of time, because our kids always wanted to repeat most of the exhibits multiple times! It’s the perfect way to spend a winter afternoon at Inner Harbor
- While we have visited Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museums in other locations, this was our first time visiting the Baltimore location. What I love most about the Ripley’s Museums are that they are all different! You can visit each of them and have a totally different experience each time! Some of the ones we have visited (Ocean City, MD), are a bit more on the creepy/circus sideshow type. The one in Inner Harbor was perfect for families, yes, even ones with small kids! Filled with movie and music memorabilia, toothpick sculptures, candy “paintings” and a maze of mirrors! We love attractions like this that are interesting and fun for the entire family regardless of age.
- Winter is the perfect time to hop in your car and venture outside of Inner Harbor for a bit! We headed just a short drive away and visited Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. We really weren’t sure what to expect and were very pleasantly surprised! The dinner was delicious- half a chicken, tomato bisque, garlic bread, corn on the cob, potatoes and a slice of lemon pound cake. All 4 of us loved it!
The employees were so entertaining- they had us laughing and really interacted with the show! And the show itself was so much better than we expected! You feel so close to the action, and there was not one moment where we weren’t on the edge of our seats! My son’s only Instagram caption for this was “Coolest Dinner Ever!” From a 15 year old boy, that is pretty high praise! Be sure to check out my Instagram so you can see a video of the knights fighting!
- One of our favorite parts of visiting Inner Harbor is how walkable the area is. One thing I want to stress more than nearly anything is how important it is to find a hotel very close to the harbor area. Especially in winter! Yes, you might pay a little bit more, but honestly, it’s not that much more and is very worth it to not have to pay for parking everywhere you go! Not to mention the time it takes to find a parking spot! This visit, we stayed at the Kimpton Monaco Hotel which was the perfect location! This was our 1st time staying at a Kimpton, and we could not have been more impressed!
It’s a seriously jaw-dropping building with historical aspects everywhere you turned! We took a tour throughout the building just to see all the different features like an old-fashioned mail chute! It reminded my daughter of the mailroom from Elf! On top of that, the hotel is pet-friendly and welcomes your dog with treats!
There is a wine and appetizer hour every night and hot chocolate and coffee waiting for you in the morning! And can we just give a shout-out to these retro bikes that are available at the main desk?!
We stayed in the Mediterranean Spa Suite and had a separate bedroom with king-size bed. The staff graciously brought up a separate cot for the living room and our other teen slept on the pull-out sofa. Normally when we need a separate cot, that pretty much takes up our entire hotel room and we’re all tripping over it trying to get ready. I swear you barely noticed it in this room! It was so spacious! And this tub…
Guys, this tub was a highlight for my daughter! And let me tell you, this girl knows her tubs. She has made it her official duty to test them in each hotel we stay at!
Speaking of that girl and her tub…before she took her long bath, she placed a necklace on the bathroom counter. She had just received this necklace from a cousin a few weeks earlier for Christmas and declared it her very favorite Christmas gift! It spelled out a secret message in Morse code and was handmade by my niece.
And my daughter lost it. 🙁 It must have fallen off the counter, between the wall and none of us realized until we got home. I emailed the hotel, and they pulled through for us!! I received a call directly from the Supervisor of Housekeeping, as well as an email, and they not only found the necklace but sent it to us priority mail!
Seriously, this section on the hotel is turning into a post itself, but we were just SO thrilled with every part of our stay there! The location cannot be beat if you’re planning a trip to the Inner Harbor!
We were guests of Visit Baltimore and the Monaco Kimpton Hotel Baltimore for our stay. We received complimentary lodging and tickets, but all opinions are 100% ours.