Winters in Baltimore can be pretty harsh, and it’s possible for an active family to find themselves cooped up in the house with nothing to do and no budget to go out. Fortunately, Baltimore is a diverse city full of fun activities – some of them completely free. You just have to know where to look. We’ve done the looking for you, and here are our picks for things the entire family can go out and do without spending a dime.
Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
21 South Eutaw St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
The Bromo Seltzer Tower has been a Baltimore landmark for over 100 years now, since it was originally put up in 1911 as an ambitious advertisement campaign to sell a cure for headaches. These days, the tower is home to a variety of studios for literary and visual artists. Some of the most creative art in Baltimore is happening daily in this monument so beloved by Baltimore City residents. Baltimoreans love the Bromo Seltzer Tower, and Bromo Seltzer loves them back by opening the tower every Friday and Saturday for families to visit and explore the creative projects that bud and flourish in this historically rich setting. Adults and children alike may examine the impressionist paintings, literary genius and theatrical performances that Bromo Seltzer houses. The best part? It’s all absolutely free! Duck out of the winter cold and into the warm shelter provided by this masterpiece of past and present. Bring the entire family, and enjoy the entertainment, education and culture that it provides.
716 Eastern Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Going outside to a park is not always the most appealing prospect during the winter months. Parks are seen as places to jog, have picnics and toss around a ball or Frisbee, none of which are things a family wants to do when it’s cold outside. Pierce’s Park may just be the exception. This absolutely free park is a masterpiece of open-air sculptures and oddities meant to be touched, climbed on and played with. Featuring such things as a willow tunnel, a musical fence, a homonym sidewalk and the aforementioned climbing sculptures, this is a park that a family may actually enjoy bundling up and exploring before heading into one of the nearby establishments to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
Intersection Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Eutaw St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in January, and this monumental social reformer holds a special place in the hearts of Baltimoreans. To celebrate their appreciation and affection for this much-loved historical person, the City of Baltimore pours out to the boulevard that bears Dr. King’s name to march in a resplendent parade which warms the winter streets with celebration. Bring the family to this event, held on January 19th, and learn a little about the man who changed the nation, and a lot about how much the nation loves him back. Expect to see high school and community marching bands, decorative floats, civic organizations, high-stepping fraternities, honor and color guards, lively cheerleading squads and equestrian units.
The Mayor’s Christmas Parade
Poly Western High School
4600 Falls Road at West Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21209
Not unlike every other city in America, Baltimore is especially fond of Christmas. In honor of that fondness, the Mayor’s office puts on a beautiful Christmas parade every year, this year on December 7. Families attending will be treated to 2.5 miles worth of parade that feature, of course, Santa Claus – surrounded by a sea of marching units and floats. Local TV and radio personalities will announce and entertain the crowds as they watch a platoon of Harley Davidson motorcycles, a steam calliope, great bands, Mummers of Philadelphia, Miss Yuletide and Jr. Miss Yuletide. Families that particularly enjoy the event may order expanded photos of the event for keepsakes.
301 Light St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
Fudge in all of its rich, delicious forms is an American favorite. The Fudgery is a fudge shop, as the title suggests, but it is a fudge shop in which the fudge-making process is on display for all to see. Pile into its steamy, delicious-smelling Baltimore location and watch the happy staff mix up the ingredients, and then spin and spread the fudge. But wait, there’s more! More than simply showing the fascinating production of rich, fudgey treats, the staff puts on a production, singing in a cappella style to the visitors that watch them.
After you and the family have enjoyed the performance, finish off your visit with free samples of the treat you just watched being made.
Joel Furches is a freelance writer and researcher for The Examiner and Logos Software, and also manages his own catalog of writing on Hub Pages. Joel is on the board of directors for Ratio Christi. He has a bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Education.