A hip Baltimore neighborhood with an energetic bar scene and a cornucopia of small restaurants and shops, Federal Hill is a walkable neighborhood, perfect for families to do some exploring. Many structures in Federal Hill are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so if architecture is of interest, then a walking tour of Federal Hill will reveal dozens of old homes that are now considered treasures to the community.
Families can begin their exploration of Federal Hill with a trip to the Maryland Science Center. Easily one of the most educational Baltimore attractions for kids, the Science Center combines learning with fun. Kids can enjoy a hands-on experience while learning about subjects like gravity, paleontology and energy. They can even check out a movie at the IMAX theater. There’s usually a showing on space or sharks. The dinosaur exhibit overlooking the Inner Harbor — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
You may find yourself spending three hours at the Science Center, and you still won't have seen everything. However, it's ample time to stimulate those young minds in your brood and work up an appetite.
After the Maryland Science Center, take an easy stroll into the heart of Federal Hill. You'll quickly notice that Federal Hill isn't short on places to stop for a bite to eat. Small restaurants, cafes and shops line South Charles Street.
If you're interested in visiting one of Baltimore's historic indoor markets, then take the family to Cross Street Market. Built in 1846, the market houses an array of vendors selling various wares and foods ranging from chicken and pretzels to barbecue and seafood.
If you want something small to satisfy that sweet tooth, then go around the corner (back on South Charles Street) and check out Midnite Confections Cupcakery. This small shop sells some of the moistest and most flavorful cupcakes in town. Your kids will love you! A deliciously sinful four pack from Midnite Confections Cupcakery — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
Following lunch, walk a few blocks east to 337 East Hamburg Street, where you'll see one of the oldest homes in Federal Hill. This house served as headquarters for Union Army General Benjamin Butler, who helped prevent Maryland's secession from the Union.
To continue the history theme at a more relaxed and low-key pace, walk two miles North to Federal Hill Park. Work off lunch and climb the steps to the top of the hill to see one of the best views of the Inner Harbor and Baltimore’s skyline.
You'll have a bird's eye view of the American Visionary Art Museum. If you still have energy, you can make plans to visit its eclectic gallery: it’s a short walk from the park. But while you're still at Federal Hill Park, note that there are several historical monuments that highlight early events in Baltimore’s history. It also has benches, and a playground for the kids to enjoy.
Once you're done taking it all in, enjoy any of the park's grassy areas and take a well-deserved breather with the family. Iron wheel in York Alley from old streetcar turnaround — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith