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Free Things To Do in Baltimore

Planning your trip on a budget? We have plenty of options.

From museums and monuments with free admission, to family-friendly festivals and concerts, there are tons of free things to do in Baltimore.

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Arts & Culture

Discover Masterpieces at the Baltimore Museum of Art

Explore the Baltimore Museum of Art’s internationally renowned Cone Collection and the largest and most significant collection of Henri Matisse’s works in the world—all for free. Outside the BMA’s walls lies the lavish Sculpture Garden, featuring two terraced gardens, fountains and 33 sculptures. Every Sunday the museum hosts hands-on workshops, interactive gallery tours and more activities for families, including the museum’s Family Audio Tour. The tour highlights 20 objects in the collection and is narrated by Raoudi, Matisse’s perky schnauzer.

 

A couple walking in the sculpture garden at the Baltimore Museum or Art.

The Baltimore Museum or Art’s sculpture garden is open to the public.

Explore an Exhibit at School 33 Art Center

Get in touch with your inner artist by exploring free exhibitions at Baltimore’s School 33 Art Center. The exhibitions showcase the work of artists from the mid-Atlantic region.

Walk, Wonder and Create at the Walters Art Museum

A person looking at art at The Walters Museum in Baltimore.

The Walters Art Museum’s popular Chamber of Wonders holds hundreds of small artifacts and preserved animals and insects.

The Walters Art Museum owns more than 25,000 pieces of art and offers free general admission. Enjoy the displays of knights’ armor, ancient statues, colorful paintings, Fabergé eggs and the chamber of wonders. The museum hosts a variety of free family programs as well, from drop-in art classes on Saturdays and Sundays to museum tours with family-friendly guides.

Be Inspired at the American Visionary Art Museum

The exterior of the American Visionary Art Museum is almost as interesting as what you’ll find inside. The building is surrounded by colorful and interesting sculptures that you can explore for free at any time. Museum admission fees apply for access to indoor galleries.

 

Grabbing a picture in front of the Cosmic Egg at the American Visionary Art Museum.

The sparkling mosaic “Cosmic Galaxy Egg” by Andrew Logan at the American Visionary Art Museum lends itself to a great photo opp.

Cozy up with a book at the Enoch Pratt Free Library

The Enoch Pratt Free Library is the oldest free library system in the country, and it continues to enchant book lovers of all ages with its immensity. The library has 22 neighborhood branches that feature free classes, musical performances, children’s story times, special guest speakers and more throughout the year.

Uncover the Beauty of the Basilica

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was the first metropolitan cathedral built in the United States. This historic site contains neoclassical architecture, a 17th-century organ, stunning artwork and more.

Be an Art Scholar for a Day at the Maryland Institute College of Art

On campus galleries exhibit student work as well as visiting artists that you can enjoy for free at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

 

Maryland Institute College of Art.

MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art, in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighborhood is recognized as one of the nation’s top art schools.

Historic Sites

Take a Walk at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

You don’t need to enter Fort McHenry to understand how it inspired our national anthem. Visit the surrounding park to take in the grandeur of the fort and stop in the visitor center to discover the history behind its walls. (It’s worth the entrance fee, though, just to stand atop the ramparts and check out the other exhibits at the star-shaped fort.)

See the Washington Monument

A tribute to former president George Washington, the Washington Monument is the centerpiece of Mount Vernon. Take a virtual tour and learn about the history free of charge with touchscreens at the base of monument. Admission applies to climb to the top of the tower.

Tour a Visiting Ship

Climb aboard, tour and learn the fascinating history of any one of the massive ships that visit Baltimore’s Inner Harbor each year. As host to about 24 ships annually, the harbor provides a port for tall ships (large, traditionally-rigged ships) and naval vessels from all over the world, as well as Baltimore’s very own Pride of Baltimore II. Visit www.sailbaltimore.org to view the schedule of incoming ships.

 

A tall ship visiting the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor hosts dozens of visiting tall ships each year which are open for public tours once docked.

Share a Toast at Edgar Allan Poe's Grave

Edgar Allan Poe and his wife, Virginia Clemm, are buried in the Westminster Hall cemetery. While you’re paying your respects to this great American writer, keep a look out for gravestones belonging to other prominent Maryland citizens.

Outdoor Activities

Play with the Kids in Pierce’s Park

Dedicated to Baltimore businessman Pierce John Flannigan III and located near Pier 5 Hotel, Pierce’s Park is much more than just a park. It’s an imaginative space of discovery where children can interact with locally created sculptures intended for climbing, learn homonyms engraved in the sidewalk and make music with the metal sculptures.

See a Free Outdoor Movie

On Thursdays in July and August at 9 p.m., grab a blanket or a folding chair and catch a free film on Federal Hill. Flicks from the Hill is sponsored by the American Visionary Art Museum, and admission into the museum is free on these days starting at 5 p.m. You can also see a flick on the Broadway Pier in Fell’s Point on Wednesday nights beginning at 8 p.m. in the summer.

Sample Local Flavors at Farmer's Markets

The Baltimore Farmers’ Market offers the best deals on produce, herbs, flowers, fruit and more. The market, located underneath the Jones Falls Expressway at Holliday and Saratoga streets, is open every Sunday from April to late December. Enjoy musicians, street performers, food samples and people watching. And while you’re at it, check out some of our other farmers markets around the city.

 

Flowers outside at the 32nd Street Farmers Market in Baltimore.

Find fresh produce and flowers at the 32nd Street Farmers Market in Waverly.

Beat the Heat at the Walter Sondheim Fountain

It’s a fountain you can actually play in! Come down to the Inner Harbor to let the little ones cool off with the Walter Sondheim Fountain’s 53 interactive water jets. While they play, you can sit back and enjoy people-watching and take in breathtaking views of the harbor.

Listen to Music on the Waterfront

On the first Thursday of the month from May to September, Towson University’s radio station, WTMD, hosts its First Thursdays concert series in Canton Waterfront Park. Come by to meet fellow music lovers, to see a live show and grab food from some of the best food trucks in town.

Take a Walk in the Park

Baltimore is lucky enough to have plenty of green space within city limits. Enjoy a leisurely picnic or go for a jog through one of our public parks like Patterson, Druid Hill, Federal Hill or Canton Waterfront. Find the perfect park for you.

Gaze at the Stars

Where can you find an open-air, rooftop observatory in the middle of the city? Just head to the Maryland Science Center, where every Friday evening you can stargaze like an astronomer with the help of the center’s 10-foot telescope. Fun fact: The refurbished telescope was built in 1927!

 

Child looking through a telescope at The Baltimore Science Center.

The Maryland Science Center’s rooftop observatory is open to the public every Friday evening.

Best Free Things to Do in Baltimore