Free Things To Do in Baltimore
Planning your trip on a budget? We have plenty of options.
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.
Explore an Exhibit at School 33 Art Center
Walk, Wonder and Create at the Walters Art Museum
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.
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
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.
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.
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. Learn more about our top picks here.
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!