With a beautiful waterfront, world-renowned museums, and the original Washington Monument, there are tons of free things to do in Baltimore,
Maryland—you just have to know where to look.
With its stunning harbor, fun cultural activities, and culinary delights, Charm City is certainly, well, charming. But an afternoon at Oriole Park or a trip to the Edgar Allen Poe house can add quite the cost to your family vacation.
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car insurance, has done a little digging to put together this travel guide that won’t break the bank. Whether you’re on a family vacation or looking for a romantic weekend getaway, we have the best free things to do in
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Free outdoor adventures in Baltimore
#1. Gwynns Falls Trail
Address: Gwynn Oak Ave., Baltimore, MD 21207
With 15 miles of asphalt and crushed stone trails, the
Gwynns Falls Trail is ideal for running, walking, cycling, and pet walking.
The trail winds its way through historic sites, natural areas, the Inner Harbor, and over 30 neighborhoods, and runs alongside the Gwynns Falls stream and the Patapsco River. Some favorite sites along the trail include the Ellicot Flour Mills, Carrollton Viaduct, and Port of Baltimore, each of which is marked by placards with more information about its history.
#2. Pierce’s Park
Address: 701 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202
Pierce's Park is the place to be if you're heading out with the kiddos and looking for an affordable way to spend the afternoon. Kids love its musical fence, whimsical sculptures, and walkways lined with homonyms.
Plus, the rain garden and native plants provide a unique opportunity to teach them about the benefits of sustainable landscaping.
#3. Cylburn Arboretum
Address: 4915 Greenspring Ave., Baltimore, MD 21209
Cylburn Arboretum has been a Baltimore mainstay since the late 1800s when businessman Jesse Tyson built the mansion as his private estate. In 1954, it became the Cylburn Wildlife Preserve and Garden Center and, later, the Cylburn Arboretum.
Today, visitors can tour the 207-acre park and more than 20 themed gardens for free from Tuesday through Thursday. The park is home to hundreds of species of trees, and it is also the home of the Baltimore Bird Club.
#4. Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Garden
Address: 3100 Swann Dr., Baltimore, MD 21217
Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Garden offers plenty of opportunities to stop and smell the roses with three greenhouses, two display pavilions, and several outdoor gardens. The garden features distinct areas meant to showcase plants from Mediterranean, desert, and tropical environments.
Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested.
#5. Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar
Address: E. Saratoga St. & Holiday St., Baltimore, MD 21202
You can find fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs throughout the year, plus dozens of artisans and makers. Keep an eye out for free samples from food vendors, and enjoy the talented musicians and street performers.
Baltimore’s free events and festivals
Address: W. Mt. Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201
Every summer, Baltimore plays host to America’s biggest free arts festival,
Artscape, for three days. More than 350,000 visitors converge on Charm City to experience art, live music, food, dance, and more, with acts ranging from the traditional Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to the punk Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
The completely free event offers so much that most attendees say there’s no way to see it all in just one weekend.
#7. Power Plant Live!
Address: 34 Market Pl., Baltimore, MD 21202
Just three blocks from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor,
Power Plant Live! is a collection of bars, clubs, and restaurants, including Leinenkugel's Beer Garden and Baltimore Comedy Factory.
While a meal or club admission can be quite pricey, simply strolling the area is free of charge. During the summer, you’re likely to find a local or national act on the free stage, and there are many other complementary events throughout the year.
#8. Free Outdoor Movies
Address: 300 Warren Ave., Baltimore, MD 21230
Every Thursday in July and August, visitors can catch a free film on Federal Hill. The American Visionary Museum sponsors the movies, and admission to the museum is also free after 5 pm on film days.
You’ll also find free movies on Broadway Pier in Fell’s Point on Wednesday evenings during the summer months.
#9. First Thursdays Concert Series
Address: 3001 Boston St., Baltimore, MD 21224
On the first Thursday of the month between May and September, Baltimore radio station WTMD hosts a
free concert series in Canton Waterfront Park. Visitors can listen to live tunes at no charge and stroll the park, where historical markers detail the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the neighborhood of Canton. Beer and food are available for a fee.
#10. Fleet Week
Address: Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
Sail on, sailor. Everyone is welcome to watch the boats as they dock and the planes as they fly overhead during
Fleet Week. In addition to the thousands of uniformed seamen strolling around town, you’ll also find many (free) family-friendly activities scheduled throughout the week.
The festival is not limited to military formalities—talented artisans, performers, and chefs all make an appearance at the local-favorite festival.
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Free museums, monuments, and more
#11. The Baltimore Museum of Art
Address: 10 Art Museum Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218
Baltimore Museum of Art is one of the city’s premier cultural destinations—and it’s free! During your visit, you can see the museum’s renowned Cone Collection, the most extensive Matisse collection globally, and thousands of other paintings and prints that span the centuries.
Outside the BMA’s walls, there are fountains, gardens, and sculptures, and every Sunday, there are hands-on workshops for the family.
#12. American Visionary Museum
Address: 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230
American Visionary Museum displays works from self-taught, intuitive artists. While the museum itself charges an admission fee, roughly 10% of its collection (including a mosaic of mirrored glass and the “Giant Whirligig”) lies outside the walls and is free to browse.
#14. Walters Art Museum
Address: 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201
Walters Art Museum, open to the public since 1934, boasts an internationally renowned collection spanning from the third millennium BC to the present. Visitors can browse works completed in many mediums, including sculpture, paint, and ceramics. The museum even features crowd-favorite Faberge Eggs.
All exhibits are free and open to the public, and there are activity carts for the kids throughout the museum.
#15. Fort McHenry National Monument
Address: 2400 E. Fort Ave., Baltimore, MD 21230
Fort McHenry was built on a Peninsula in 1776 to protect Baltimore during the Revolutionary War. It served a role in the Civil War, World War I, and the Battle of Baltimore throughout the years.
Today, it’s a part of the National Park Service, and the grounds and monuments are free to explore (though there’s a fee to view the interior).
#16. Graffiti Alley
Address: Station North Arts & Entertainment District, behind Motor House
While not a traditional museum, Graffiti Alley displays artwork from countless local creators. Located in the entertainment district of Baltimore, the L-shaped alley is constantly changing.
Throughout the year, officials paint over the walls, so new artists can come in and refill them with their own unique visions. Stop by and see what’s new—and don’t be surprised if an impromptu breakdance party happens.
Unique free activities in Baltimore
Address: 200 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202
Located in the Inner Harbor, just steps from the water,
Harborplace offers visitors a unique shopping experience. But don’t fret—even if you don’t feel like spending money, it’s a wonderful place to visit.
Window shopping is a true treat, with everything from national retailers to local Baltimore treasures. Plus, in the warmer months, you’ll likely find performers and demonstrations outside the building all day long.
#18. The Baltimore Basilica
Address: 409 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201
Formerly named The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the
Baltimore Basilica was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States.
Today, it’s an impressive work of architecture and a National Historic Landmark that’s open to the public for tours (and for Mass). The free
Washington Monument is also nearby and can easily be visited on the same day.
#19. Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center
Address: 847 N. Howard St., Baltimore, MD 21201
Eubie Blake Cultural Center was birthed out of a 1960s demonstration project aimed at garnering support for the arts. Today, the center offers free film series, dance workshops, exhibits, and more throughout the year.
Visit the gallery to view works from local artists, or stop by on any Friday night for open mic.
#20. Westminster Hall and Burying Ground
Address: 515 W. Fayette St., Baltimore, MD 21201
The final resting place of many notable Baltimore residents—like Edgar Allen Poe—the
Westminster Hall and Burying Ground is a popular Charm City destination. Throughout the grounds, you’ll find plaques commemorating the people buried there, and guests can tour the catacombs with the help of a guide.
Guests can enjoy “Lunch Under the Pipes” with the park’s 1882 Johnson Pipe Organ, a performance event put on six times a year.
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