College Park Aviation Museum
College Park Aviation Museum

Fun Family-Friendly Activities

By Jennifer Buchet
College Park Aviation Museum
College Park Aviation Museum

Beat the boredom with these family-friendly activities guaranteed to please kids of all ages.

Get Wet: Kayaking, Paddle Boarding and Tubing

Maryland’s many lakes or rivers are the ideal destination for families who love to play together. For heart-pounding, whitewater-kayaking, visit Valley Mill Kayak School (VMK) in Germantown. The first Olympic medals in kayaking were given to VMK paddlers, and these days they offer everything from beginner lessons to freestyle clinics, all along the beautiful Potomac River. Ultimate Watersports in Baltimore County also has a variety of cool watersports classes, including stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), windsurfing and sailing. Prefer a gentler ride along the water?  Grab an inner tube and idle down Antietam Creek with River & Trail Outfitters, located near historic Harper’s Ferry. 

Reach New Heights: Zip Line Courses

If you’re looking for a different perspective on outdoor activities, try swinging through the trees. Terrapin Adventures in Savage and Adventure Park at Sandy Spring both offer multiple zip line courses from beginner’s glides to advanced aerial adventures. Nearby you can fly high along one of Rock Creek Park’s Go Ape courses. In Deep Creek, Wisp Resort offers stunning tree-top vistas as you soar through their Flying Squirrel Canopy Tour.

Indoor Adventures

What do you do if the weather’s not cooperating?  You can beat the rainy day blues by scaling the walls at one of Earth Treks’ three indoor rock climbing locations throughout Maryland. Their Rockville location houses the largest indoor climbing wall in the U.S., with more than 38,500 square feet of vertical fun. In Perryville, Great Wolf Lodge's 126,000-square-foot indoor water park kept at a cozy 84 degrees means weatherproof fun all four seasons. SkyZone’s indoor trampoline park in Columbia or Timonium will definitely put a spring in your step and a leap in your legs. Try a game of Sky Slam basketball or ultimate dodgeball on one of their wall-wall bounce courts. Take friends, family or even your business colleagues for an adventure of laser tag at one of three Shadowland Laser Adventures locations, Frederick, Columbia or Gaithersburg. I-Fly Baltimore in White Marsh is (appropriately) located close to Martin State Airport. Find out if you have what it takes to go sky-diving - indoors!.

Amusement Parks

Maryland is home to some of the most exciting amusement parks in the Mid-Atlantic. Largo’s Six Flags America is packed with thrill rides, from jaw-dropping roller coasters to tiny-tot escapades to Maryland’s largest water park. New Market’s wild-west themed Adventure Park USA offers family-friendly entertainment and rollicking rides, including laser tag, go-karts, arcade games and even gem mining.

Explore Outdoors & Nature

If you’re looking for something a little calmer, take the family to one of the many beautiful gardens and nature centers. Enjoy a relaxing walk by the Middle Patuxent River at the Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, which also features a digital planetarium. You can picnic with the butterflies in Wheaton’s 50-acre Brookside Gardens. The kids will love roaming through the Fairy Folk Garden and visiting wildlife friends in the nature center. Frederick’s historic Rose Hill Manor Park has 43 charming acres to explore, including a blacksmith shop, carriage collection and two barns. There’s also an interactive children’s museum and guided manor tours.

Playtime for Parents and Kids

Love a good outdoor mystery? Then take a walk in the woods and discover hidden objects on a geocache excursion with Adventure Sports Center International in McHenry. Enjoy a world of pretend at Bethesda’s Playseum, which engages curious minds as it both educates and entertains. And spinning aboard the antique Dentzel carousel in historic Glen Echo Park puts a smile on everyone’s face.


College Park Aviation Museum
College Park Aviation Museum
Rose Hill Manor in Frederick
"Hop" over to these public gardens in Spring (and other times of year) to see hundreds of blooms.