What’s New in Baltimore

Offerings Present New Ways for Visitors to Experience Baltimore This Summer

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 2:30pm

BALTIMORE, MD (April 2016) – As temperatures rise this summer, Baltimore offers more reasons to get outside and experience festivals, family fun and national parks.

Story Ideas

Find Your Park. As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial, Baltimore invites you to explore the city’s many parks and historic trails. Enjoy a range of special events and other activities taking place all season long May through September at parks including Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Patterson Park, Druid Hill Park, the Inner Harbor’s West Shore, and the historic trails and byways that pass through the city. www.findyourpark.com

Summer Festivals. Baltimore’s festival season kicked off with Light City in March, but there is even more to do. Annual festivals celebrate everything from food and music to culture and art. To name a few: the nation’s largest free arts festival, Artscape, celebrates 35 years in July; HONfest honors the essence of a true Baltimore “hon”; the African American Festival generates excitement with lots of family-friendly entertainment; Rainbow Fest, a LGBT film festival, celebrates five years and its new name to reflect expanded offerings. Learn more about the many festivals in Baltimore by visiting www.baltimore.org/ultimate-guide/festivals-baltimore.

Summer Family Fun. Baltimore is a great destination for family fun during the summer months. The city’s location on the East Coast and proximity to a major airport make getting here simple, but the great deals and discounts at local attractions, hotels and restaurants are what really draw the crowds. Check www.baltimore.org/special-offers to find ways to save money and have fun. Don’t miss the National Aquarium’s “Icky, Creepy, Slimy, Cool” immersion tour that brings guests up close and personal with some slimy friends; Port Discovery’s new exhibit, “Heart and Seoul: Growing up in Korea,” is a great way for children to learn about life in another culture; and hop on the free shuttle that takes guests from the Visitor Center at the Inner Harbor to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

What’s New & Coming Soon

Charm City Clue Room
34 Market Place
Now open
Visitors have just 60 minutes to solve the puzzles in a locked room with friends, family or colleagues. Work with your group to solve the mysteries in the themed rooms such as what really happened in Edgar Allan Poe’s final days and how to stop a railroad robbery on a Baltimore & Ohio train. www.charmcityclueroom.com

Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show Baltimore
October 10-17, 2016
Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show in Baltimore celebrates the rich naval traditions of the Chesapeake Bay and the contributions of Marylanders to the defense of the nation. The Blue Angels’ Boeing F/A 18 Hornet jets and other aircraft will be on display on the Martin State Airport tarmac and in the skies over Fort McHenry and Middle Branch while schooners and U.S. and allied navy vessels will be ready for boarding visitors in the Inner Harbor, Fell’s Point and Locust Point. www.visitmaryland.org

Recreation Pier Boutique Hotel
Fell’s Point
Early 2017
Originally a dance hall and once a social and educational hub for early 20th century Baltimore immigrants, the Recreation Pier has a rich place in Baltimore's history. Built in 1914, it once housed the harbormaster's office. Families used to gather on the pier for a swim or an afternoon of sunbathing. More recently, it served as a stand-in for a police station in the NBC drama “Homicide: Life on the Streets.” Sagamore Development, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s development company, is converting this historic structure to a 128-room ALOFT hotel. The original head house will be the hotel entrance containing the main lobby and bar on the ground level, with office space on the upper level. Two levels of guestrooms wrap around the existing pier with 60 percent of the rooms having views onto the harbor while the others look over an interior landscaped courtyard. The hotel will have three floors of rooms, a restaurant and a ballroom, and there will be an outdoor pool and bar at the end of the pier. www.bhc-architects.com

Find Your Park

Rhythm & Reels
May – September 2016
This summer, Baltimore’s area parks will present free movies and concerts to locals and visitors alike. Nearly every day of the week, park-goers can plan to attend events such as the Summer Social Series, African American Film Fest, the Farmers Market concerts, Music and Films on Pier, and First Thursday performances in parks including Canton Waterfront Park, Druid Hill Park, Mount Vernon Park, Fell’s Point Broadway Pier, Patterson Park and West Shore Park at the Inner Harbor. bcrp.baltimorecity.gov

Fort! Flag! Freedom!
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
June 23 – August 28, 2016
Find your park through Fort! Flag! Freedom! This summer, Fort McHenry will offer “hands-on history” seven days a week. www.nps.gov/fomc

Daily: Help hoist the grand Star-Spangled Banner flag over the ramparts, be a member of a cannon crew or take part in one of the Ranger-led programs.

Wednesday-Sunday: See the Garrison “on duty”: Dressed in uniforms of the soldiers, sailors and civilians who defended Baltimore in 1814, this living history program offers an interactive touchstone to the past.

Fun, Fury, Fife & Drum!: Hear the thunderous beat of drums and shrill of fifes of Fort McHenry’s nationally recognized fife & drum corps.

Citizens Stand & Young Defenders: Discover how average Baltimoreans contributed to the city’s defense against the British and learn about flag making, fashions from 1814, historic cooking and life on the home front. The young and young-at-heart can drill with wooden muskets, help stitch a flag, try on a replica uniform, make a paper shako or chapeau, or write letters using the same types of quill and ink Francis Scott Key used when he wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Latino Fest
Patterson Park
June 25-26, 2016
This music-filled weekend features live Latin music including salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia, reggaeton, duranguense and mariachi; dancers in colorful costumes from their native lands; bomba and plena performances; salsa dancing; and the hottest Latino DJs. Visitors can also experience arts and crafts displays; Latino cuisine from the Americas and the Caribbean; information booths; and family fun activities such as rock climbing walls, clowns, face-painting, two stages of entertainment and more. www.latinofest.org

Flicks from the Hill
Federal Hill Park, American Visionary Art Museum
Thursdays in July and August
Grab a blanket, picnic under the stars and watch a great film selection inspired by AVAM's current exhibition, The Big Hope Show. The Hughes Family Outdoor Theater features seating for more than a thousand on the natural amphitheater formed by Federal Hill; a 30-foot wide screen held from above by Adam Kurtzman's Giant Golden Hand; a twinkling view of the city; and an amazing, all-ages, community experience that is free. www.avam.org

Baltimore Pride
Mount Vernon and Druid Hill Park
July 23-24, 2016
Baltimore Pride has celebrated the diversity of our community in Maryland and throughout the Mid-Atlantic for more than 40 years. Attended annually by an estimated 30,000 people, Baltimore Pride is recognized not only as the premier LGBTQ event in Maryland, but also one of the largest festivals in Baltimore city. The parade and block party are held in Mount Vernon, one of the most historic areas of the city and one of the centers of LGBTQ life in Baltimore. The festival takes place in a lakeside setting in beautiful Druid Hill Park, which provides a pleasant and casual environment for the festivities of the day. www.baltimorepride.org

Special Events & Exhibitions

Question Bridge: Black Males Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture April 28 – August 30, 2016 This innovative video installation probes the lives of black men as they ask and answer provocative questions such as, “Why am I a traitor for dating outside of my race?” “What’s your greatest fear?” The videos are woven together to simulate a stream-of-consciousness conversation, through which important themes and issues emerge, including family; love; interracial relationships; community; education; violence; and the past, present and future of black men in American society. www.lewismuseum.org

All American House
Carroll Mansion and throughout Baltimore
May 1 – July 10, 2016
Carroll Mansion will serve as the epicenter of the citywide celebration of Baltimore’s built environment and cultural heritage that has played a leading role throughout our nation’s history in defining America’s design heritage and aesthetic. Carroll Mansion and 25 other iconic Baltimore destinations designated as the nation’s first official American Treasures sites will showcase the best of Baltimore’s design heritage with tours, lectures, design winners and culinary experiences at participating locations. www.madeinamerica-usa.org

Matt Sesow: Shock and Awe
American Visionary Art Museum
May 27, 2016 – June 4, 2017
Washington, D.C.-based self-taught artist Matt Sesow’s “raw, visceral, good to the bone” paintings will be displayed in the museum’s third floor gallery of its Zanvyl A. Krieger Main Building. Among the original 150-plus works on display, visitors will witness Sesow’s salute to the first 100 American soldiers killed in the Iraq War, his fantastical depictions of animals and birds, personalized tributes to great humanitarians, his own autobiographical paintings, and an illustrated “Key” to understanding the artist’s repeated singular language icons. www.avam.org

Heart and Seoul: Growing up in Korea
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
May 30 – September 2, 2016
Ride “Hallyu” (the Korean Wave) with the debut of a brand-new exhibit that digs right into the heart and soul of the culture. Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea focuses on five South Korean children’s everyday lives. Through their diverse interests, customs and ambitions, including their love of K-Pop and Korean cuisine, their habit of texting to communicate, and even their dreams of being accepted into a good college, their drive is what keeps them studying after school at “hagwon” (or cram school) until midnight. You’re invited to connect to the world’s “most wired country,” where there’s plenty of Wi-Fi and almost everyone owns a Samsung cell phone. www.portdiscovery.org

40 Summers of Science
Maryland Science Center
June 11 – September 5, 2016
In the summer of 1976, the Maryland Science Center opened its doors at what would later become Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor. Forty years later the Science Center kicks off a seasonal celebration with a 40th birthday party featuring music, science, hands-on activities and an admission rollback to 1976 pricing. “40 Summers of Science” runs through Labor Day with signature events like MessFest; Bubble Days and Backyard Science; and a host of “forty”-themed events including exploding 40 hydrogen balloons, dropping 40 paint-filled balloons off the roof and performing our 40 best live science demonstrations from years past. www.mdsci.org

36th Street, Hampden
June 11-12, 2016
A truly original festival, HONfest celebrates all things "Bawlmer" and embodies the warmth and affection bestowed upon neighbors and visitors alike by the city's historic working women. The nationally recognized event covers four city blocks in Hampden, a revered old-style Baltimore neighborhood filled with quirky shops, quaint restaurants and endearing residents. www.honfest.net

Little Italy Open Air Film Fest
Little Italy
Fridays in July and August
One of Little Italy’s more popular events, sponsored by the Original Little Italy Restaurant Association, the Open Air Film Fest has thrived since 1999. Movies are projected onto the outside wall of Ciao Bella Restaurant in the Da Mimmo Ristorante parking lot from a row home across the street. Folks arrive early to set up lawn chairs, listen to live entertainment, stroll the neighborhood and eat at one of Little Italy's many restaurants. www.littleitalymd.com

African American Festival
Camden Yards Sports Complex
July 2-3, 2016
This festival is a celebration of African American life, music and culture. This family-oriented event is filled with celebrity artists and entertainers, children’s activities, arts, history, education, financial literacy, health and wellness information, and more. The festival features more than 150 vending booths and attractions, as well as two stages of entertainment. www.africanamericanfestival.net

Fourth of July Celebration
Inner Harbor
July 4, 2016
Celebrate the Fourth of July with live music and celebratory fireworks at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The fireworks show, choreographed to festive music, begins at 9:30 p.m. The holiday fireworks can be viewed from several locations in downtown and the surrounding areas, including Federal Hill, Fell’s Point and Harbor East. www.promotionandarts.org

Mount Royal Avenue & Charles Street
July 15-17, 2016
The nation’s largest free arts festival is back to celebrate its 35th anniversary with the theme of “Space: Explore What’s Out There.” You’ll find continuous musical performances by local, regional and national talent on multiple outdoor stages; indoor and outdoor visual arts exhibitions; sculptures; art cars; film; theater; crafts; opera; dance; street theater; and children’s activities. www.artscape.org

Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week
July 22-31, 2016
Baltimore offers a unique dining experience that encourages guests to dine their way through the city. Participating restaurants offer specially selected three-course lunch and dinner prix fixe menu options as the city celebrates its diversity in dining. www.baltimorerestaurantweek.com

Rainbow Fest!
Creative Alliance
July 29-31, 2016
For the fifth anniversary of the fabulous annual LGBTQA Film Festival, the Creative Alliance is expanding this high quality event to include dazzling performances, stand-up comedy and a drag party! www.creativealliance.org Visit Baltimore – the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, visit www.baltimore.org.


Moneé Cottman
Visit Baltimore
[email protected]