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Baltimore’s Best Happenings for Families

Here are some of Baltimore’s best happenings for families this summer:

The National Aquarium’s Blacktip Reef Exhibit
A trip to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will be the closest way to experience an environment of sharks and an endangered coral ecosystem without traveling thousands of miles or even getting wet. Starting July 10, the National Aquarium’s Blacktip Reef exhibit will give visitors an up close and personal look at not only blacktip reef sharks, but also stingrays, a 400-pound green sea turtle, 15 other major marine life species, and 60 additional varieties of fish all within an integrated, self-contained 260,000-gallon coral reef ecosystem. http://www.aqua.org/

Summer Events at the Inner Harbor
Kick off summer 2013 with an array of FREE fun-filled activities, including:

· Baltimore’s very own NEW Urban Beach Bash Series (on most Sundays, May 26 through September 29): Splash around in the Walter Sondheim Interactive Fountain all summer long with live music, a Waterfront Kids Zone where kids can take part in balloon tosses, obstacle courses, games, fitness programs and more. Food trucks including The Gypsy Queen Café recently featured on Food Network’s Eat St. and other highly recognized “food on wheels” like Chicken N Waffle will be there to serve patrons.

· Waterfront Wellness Series (May 25 through September 29): Back by popular demand, the series offers FREE wellness classes, including yoga, boot camp, CrossFit and Zumba, most Saturdays and Sundays at West Shore Park at the Inner Harbor. These public classes are suitable for all skill levels and are taught by local professionals in the wellness industry.

· Free concerts at Harborplace Ampitheater: Grab a front row seat or just relax near the Inner Harbor in the evenings and enjoy live music by regional and local bands on Hot Harbor Saturdays and Celebrate America Sundays throughout the summer.

Urban Pirates
Climb aboard Baltimore’s pirate ship The Fearless for an hour-long interactive adventure in the historical waters of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. . Once onboard you’ll be dressed in pirate gard, learn how you talk, sing and dance like a pirate, search for treasure, and blast enemies with water cannons. http://urbanpirates.com/web/

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Now open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, visitors can hang out with the furry creatures and enjoy special programs this summer including:

· The Safari Express: The free shuttle will offer free rides on Saturdays in July and August for visitors from the Baltimore Visitor Center to the Maryland Zoo.

· Breakfast with the Animals: Everyone can come in contact with animals such as elephants, chimps, polar bears, and more every Saturday morning. http://www.marylandzoo.org/events/

It’s Just as Fun and Cooler Indoors
If families want to take the fun indoors, there are a number of other family-friendly attractions that will keep things cool and educational. For the sports fans, the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum hits it out of the ballpark “O” Say Can You See: The Star Spangled Banner in Sports, a new short film that examines the connection between our nation’s most famous musical work and athletics; from its genesis in the World Series on September 5, 1918 with Babe Ruth on the pitching mound at Comiskey Park, to its modern-day presence as the soundtrack for the start of American sporting events.

For those looking to be moved by art, the American Visionary Art Museum has many exhibits that move themselves! There’s Fifi, the pedal-powered poodle, a three-story tall whirligig and a school bus decked out entirely in mosaic right outside of the museum. Coming up on May 4 is the can’t-miss, highly anticipated East Coast Kinetic Sculpture Race Championship where amphibious, human powered works of art custom built for the race compete for awards like “Next to the Last Award.”

Other attractions to visit with the family include, Port Discovery Children’s Museum offering three floors of educational and interactive exhibits including The Wizard of Oz Children’s Educational Exhibition running through Sept. 15; Geppi’s Entertainment Museum features a collection of old and new pop culture artifacts including comics, toys, dolls, games and memorabilia of every conceivable category; the Maryland Science Center brings out the detectives in everyone with the new traveling exhibit Sherlock Holmes and the Clocktower Mystery on May 25; and, last but not least, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum possesses the oldest, most historic and comprehensive American railroad collection in the world and visitors can ride along the first commercial mile of railroad track by climbing aboard the Mile One Express (choo! choo!).

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