Esteemed American actor Michael J. Fox once said, “Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” In recent years, Baltimore has become increasingly LGBT-friendly, and is also rated as a popular destination for LGBT families. While the city is known for its rich history that includes having more monuments per capita than any other city in the USA, it’s also home to a number of quirkier family destinations. Whether you call Charm City home or are merely passing through, be sure to pay a visit to some of the most unique and exciting destinations in the city.
Catch a glimpse of Hogwarts at Ripley’s Believe it or Not – If you and your family are fans of Harry Potter (and who isn’t?) a trip to Ripley’s Believe It or Not in the Light Street Pavilion should be at the top of your list of places to visit with your family. One of the most striking attractions among the 500 on display at Ripley’s is an unbelievably intricate model of Hogwarts crafted out of an astonishing 600,000 matchsticks. Other attractions that will thrill both young and old include a T-Rex made from pop tart wrappers, a 4-D moving theatre, and a mind-blowing mirror maze. Ripley’s is open seven days a week, which makes it the perfect destination for both weekend and holiday visits for families with children of school-going age.
Grab a bite to eat at the Papermoon Diner – If you and your family enjoy kitsch on occasion, a visit to the delightfully glittering Papermoon Diner is an absolute must. Restaurateur Un Kim, together with her friend David Briskie, has transformed the once dreary diner into one of the city’s most talked-about destinations. You won’t find boring wall art and other decorative trinkets in this eatery, but rather countless mannequins, plastic toys, and an impressive Pez collection, which is bound to delight adults and children alike. The menu is as festive as the atmosphere in the diner, and features quirky items such as a Bacon Milkshake, a Bangin’ Burger Quesadilla and a Crabbi Platter. When visiting the diner with a baby, leave your heavy stroller at home and make use of a lightweight one that is easier to navigate through all the paraphernalia scattered throughout the diner.
Spend some time at the National Electronic Museum – Any electronics-loving member of the LGBT community (and their families) will have an absolute blast at the National Electronic Museum, which features more than 10,000 artifacts in celebration of science, technology, and engineering. The museum boasts nine permanent exhibitions, including a Modern Radar Gallery, a Countermeasures Gallery, an Electro-optical Gallery, and an Underseas Gallery that explains the basics of underwater sound transmission and antisubmarine war systems. Although very small children may not find the museum overly intriguing, their older siblings and parents will undoubtedly have a blast learning about some of the world’s greatest electronic innovations.
End your day with an icy dessert from The Charmery – Ice cream may seem pretty ordinary until you indulge in a scoop or two of frozen goodness courtesy of The Charmery. With two branches (one in Hampden and one in Towson) there is no reason why your family can’t enjoy what can only be described as some of the best ice cream in the entire state. Although classic flavors such as chocolate and vanilla have a well-deserved place on the menu, adventurous ice cream eaters can indulge in a range of slightly more exciting offerings. Some of the most popular flavors include Cinnamon Ramen, Sticky Mango Rice, Black Licorice, Spiced Butter Pecan, and Peanut Butter & Jelly.
Fun family outings undeniably make for some of life’s greatest moments. With so many adventures awaiting you in Baltimore, you’ll never have to spend a boring day at home with your loved ones again.