Ahhh, November. You never really know what you're going to get from Mother Nature, especially in the Baltimore area. What that means if you have kids is that you should always have a Plan B (and perhaps even a Plan Z). Fortunately, there are so many fun, family-friendly events going on in the area as we approach the fervor of the holiday season, and we've shared many of them below. Let's talk turkey...and so much more.
Light City + Baltimore Book Festival = Big Family Fun in Baltimore's Inner Harbor
"Waterlight Graffiti" by Antonin Fourneau Photo Courtesy of Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts
The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts (BOPA) is uniting two of Baltimore's marquee events this year - Baltimore Book Festival and Light City - into one Brilliant Baltimore celebration, illuminating the city with both literature and world-class light art installations! The festivals' move to November in conjunction with the end of daylight savings will provide visitors with a greater opportunity to view the light art installations earlier in the evening and to engage more authors as most new books are released in mid-autumn. Families can enjoy walking through awe-inspiring light installations, live performances, concerns, a fun-filled family zone, as well as author appearances, book signings, readings, cooking demonstrations, and special children's activities. The festivities will take place November 1st - 11th at the Inner Harbor and surrounding neighborhoods; the full schedule is available HERE. Don't miss the Dance Baltimore Flash Mob on Saturday, November 2nd between 3 - 5 p.m.!
Learn About Light & Science With Light City at Port Discovery Children's Museum
Let there be light! It's dazzling, it’s electrifying, and it’s all around you! Join Port Discovery November 1st - 11th as they join Baltimore in diving into all things light during Light City! Plus, explore science and STEM as part of Maryland STEM Festival celebrations. Enjoy science-themed drop-in programs, hands-on science fun, interactive science shows and more! Admission is free with museum entry, but hours do vary so make sure to check the website.
Strap on Those Skates and Get in the Spirit at Various Spots in the Baltimore Area
The ice skating rink at Baltimore's Inner Harbor pops up every year to the delight of locals, as it makes the area even more festive during the holiday season. Skates are available for rent and events are often going on to bring the magic to life for children and adults. The ice skating season begins November 1st. The Four Seasons Hotel transforms its fifth floor Harbor Terrace into a dazzling 1,560-square-foot synthetic ice rink filled with hundreds of twinkling lights, holiday decor and music. They don't have an opening day on the calendar yet but did confirm that it is coming back, so make sure to check their website. And Glen Burnie Outdoor Ice Skating is also not to be missed, as you can glide around the ice with friends while listening to great music in the middle of Glen Burnie Town. Their social media accounts confirm that they will be open in early November, but you can check HERE for hours and pricing.
A Full Day of Family Fun at Fall Fest at the Eden Mill Nature Center in Pylesville, MD - FREE!
Winter can wait because Fall Fest on Saturday, November 2nd is a great opportunity to get out and enjoy nature before Jack Frost has his fun. Entertainment for the whole family, Fall Fest allows you to visit the nature center, educational garden area, or historic grist mill museum, all while playing the Passport Scavenger Hunt. There will also be games, prizes, live animals, corn grindling, face painting, a gourd hunt, and an opportunity to bid adieu to autumn by catapulting pumpkins! Kids of all ages will enjoy a day of becoming one with nature. Entrance is free but you’ll want to bring cash for concessions, the honey sale, and the pumpkin chunkin’ activity.
Embrace Nostalgia With The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show at The Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills, MD
This critically-acclaimed production features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets faithfully adapted from four stories by author/illustrator Eric Carle: Brown Bear; 10 Little Rubber Ducks; The Very Lonely Firefly and, of course, the star of the show, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. For decades, Carle's well-known books have captivated readers with iconic, colorful, hand-painted tissue paper collage illustrations and distinctively simple stories. And now, this timeless classic has made its way off the page and onto the stage. The show is on November 3 at 3 p.m. Be sure to go early to enjoy The Gordon Center's fun pre-show activities. Save 44% off tickets with this CertifiKID deal!
Quit 'Lion' Around - See Great Big Animals as Part of The BSO Music Box Series at The Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills, MD
Think big! Elephants, whales, and rhinos are the stars of this show. Hosted by celebrity storyteller Maria Broom, this very special Baltimore Symphony Orchestra series is geared toward children ages 6 months to 3 years and their families. Your child will explore music and the sounds of these majestic animals through highly-engaging and interactive performances by a small ensemble of BSO musicians. Light-hearted classical tunes help youngsters develop musicality, creativity, coordination, and literacy. Each concert is 30 minutes. Come early and enjoy fun pre-show activities. This performance is on Sunday, November 19, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., but make sure to check The BSO Music Box Series schedule to find out about upcoming shows. Save 35% off tickets with this CertifiKID deal.
Casual Joggers and Running Zealots Agree - Zoo Zoom at the Maryland Zoo is Zee Bomb!
Photo Courtesy of the Maryland Zoo
If you've always wanted to run wild through the zoo (without others glaring at you), this is your chance! Dress up as your spirit animal and choose from either an 8K race or the 1 Mile Family Walk/Fun Run on Sunday, November 17th. Both Zoo Zoom courses will take you on an adventure through the center of the Maryland Zoo and past the NEW African Journey exhibits. What's even better is that every dollar raised for this event goes directly to animal care, education programs, and wildlife conservation. Members save an additional $5 off the lowest ticket price. When prompted during registration, just fill in your membership number for the discount!
Shop + Shimmy at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival in Gaithersburg, Maryland
If you're up for about an hour road trip outside of D.C., the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival is a super fun way to get a jump on your holiday shopping list. Artists, crafters, makers and designers from near and far bring their talents together for an engaging event the whole family will love. The event will take place at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds from November 22nd - 24th. On top of the incredible, all-handmade creations, the festival features live music and art demonstrations, hands-on workshops, family-friendly entertainment, and tasty treats to sample. Enjoy 50% off Sugarloaf Crafts Festival Admission with this special CertifiKID offer. Bonus - Kids under 12 get in FREE!
Holiday Spirit Left the Station? Ride THE POLAR EXPRESS™ at the B&O Railroad Museum
Photo Courtesy of Carol M. on Yelp
All aboard for THE POLAR EXPRESS™! Create a Christmas memory that you and your family will cherish forever – a journey to the North Pole via THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Immerse yourself in the award-winning classic children’s book THE POLAR EXPRESS™ by Chris Van Allsburg. In this beloved tale, a young boy takes a magical Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole and receives a special gift from Santa Claus. Characters come to life through this magical holiday journey. The conductor punches your golden ticket. Chefs serve you hot chocolate and cookies while you listen to the story. Santa’s helpers provide holiday cheer and every passenger personally receives a silver sleigh bell. Children of all ages (and possibly some parents!) will BELIEVE. Climb aboard select dates from November 16th - 30th.
Scrooges Need Not Apply For the Truly Spectacular Tree Lighting at THE AVENUE at White Marsh
THE AVENUE at White Marsh Tree Lighting (taking place this year on November 22nd) is one of the area’s most celebrated events, complete with holiday music and giveaways for children. Santa will arrive to light the Christmas tree, followed by a very special Skate with Santa on THE AVENUE’s 6,900 square-foot outdoor ice rink! Ice Rink patrons will have access to the coveted rink-side spots to view the tree lighting and the opportunity to skate with Santa, himself! Plus, hot chocolate and cookies will be available for ice rink guests after the tree lights, compliments of Red Brick Station.
Channel Your Spirit Spider Monkeys at ClimbZone White Marsh
The family that climbs together stays together! The 80 climbing walls at ClimbZone White Marsh include some extra-wide options so everyone can climb together. No boring bare walls here. It’s all handcrafted, stunning, climbable art. Whether you're scaling up the 28' tall Knight in Shining Armor or scrambling up Jack’s beanstalk, your scenery will be as entertaining as your climb. It's a great place for beginners who are just learning the ropes all the way up to experts looking for a challenge. Fans of American Ninja Warrior? They have three different warped walls! Whether one of you opts out or simply needs a break, there's an open seating area to enjoy a purchased or brought-from-home snack. Save up to 36% off admission to ClimbZone White Marsh with this CertifiKID deal.
Marvel in the Magic of An Authentic Holiday German Market at Baltimore's Inner Harbor
From November 23rd through Christmas Eve, the Christmas Village in Baltimore returns for its seventh season, featuring thousands of lights, holiday trees, more than 50 vendors selling authentic European food, ornaments and arts & crafts from all over the world, and Santa, of course! Wow friends and family with gifts that don't smack of the same old-same old by shopping in this whimsical wonderland. If you can wait until December to check it out (I know, waiting is soooo hard!), you can save 50% off weekend admission with this CertifiKID Deal.
Tis the Season For A Magical Cirque Christmas at the UMBC Event Center in Catonsville, MD
The producers of Broadway’s smash hit The Illusionists have brought together the world’s greatest entertainers for this spell-binding and incredible new holiday production. Experience the magic of Christmas with dazzling performers and breathtaking cirque artists from all corners of the world, accompanied by your favorite holiday music performed live. Get the whole family into the spirit of the season with this performance of A Magical Cirque Christmas on Wednesday, November 27th at 7 p.m. Save up to 53% off tickets with this CertifiKID deal.
Work Off Those Mashed Potatoes at the Annapolis Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot
With Thanksgiving coming up on November 28th, you need to get your ducks - er, turkeys - in a row. There are plenty of Turkey Trot options but if you're close to Annapolis, it's hard to beat their annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. In its 13th year, this run features a stunning tour of downtown Annapolis. Ultra-family friendly, the race - which benefits the Run Greater Chesapeake and the Annapolis Police Foundation - allows kids, dogs, and strollers.
Broaden Your Family Horizons With American Heritage Weekend at Port Discovery Children's Museum
Photo Courtesy of Port Discovery Children's Museum
Learn about the traditions and heritage of local American Indian tribes throughout American Indian Heritage Weekend. Get an up-close and personal look at the American Indian heritage from the Baltimore American Indian Center, enjoy an intertribal dance performance, and partake in hands-on activities - all day on November 29th.
Fly High With 30% Savings at iFLY Indoor Skydiving in Baltimore!
This family-friendly adventure will literally blow you away as you enjoy the most thrilling part of skydiving - the freefall. And the best part - there's no need to jump out of a plane to experience it! Flyers as young as age 3 soar like birds in an exhilarating wind tunnel of smooth air. Flight instructors are with you every step of the way to ensure your safety and make the most of your flying adventure. Save 30% off TWO weekday flights for one person with this super fly CertifiKID deal.
Kids Bouncing Off the Walls? Bounce Into Sky Zone in Timonium or Rosedale!
The bane of every parent's existence once the weather gets chilly is finding a way to get kids' noses out of the tablets and into something that will burn some energy. Sky Zone is the answer! On top of being the ultimate trampoline experience, Sky Zone has Fusion Ultimate Dodgeball, Zip Line, Warped Wall & Free-Climb, Trapeze & Swing & Silks, Sky Ladder, Ninja Obstacle Course, and more. There's also a Toddler Zone for the bitty bouncers in the family. Save up to 37% off admission to Sky Zone Timonium or Sky Zone Rosedale with these CertifiKID deals.
Ignite Your Holiday Spirit at the Annual Train Garden at the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville, MD
Photo Courtesy of the Fire Museum of Maryland
Steeped in history, the Fire Museum of Maryland operates an annual train garden with multiple trains operating, local businesses, a "working fire," and even a subway. German immigrants started the tradition of putting trains in their gardens, and the trains later became electrified. Capt. Eugene Daly, of Baltimore City’s Engine Co. 28, is believed to be the first in the area to set up a Christmas Train Garden in 1917 during World War I. The Fire Museum honors this time-old tradition by opening The Train Garden each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. This year, that day falls on November 30th and it runs each Saturday thereafter until New Year's Eve. Grab the fam for this festive Holiday Train Garden event - then stick around to learn about the history of firefighting. Click HERE to save 56% off tickets to the Fire Museum of Maryland.
Visit the Newly Expanded Hyper Kidz Indoor Playground in Columbia, MD
The uber popular Hyper Kidz Indoor Playground in Columbia is adding another 4,000 square feet of fun, including more play equipment, a designated ball pit, a volcano slide, four new attractions with slow moving parts, two new family restrooms, water fountains up front, a redesigned lobby, a separate party entrance, separate exit points, ocean-themed flooring, and more. Whew! The expansion is expected to open early-to-mid November, but the construction is closed off from current operations and play areas, so the facility can be enjoyed as usual before the big unveiling. Be the first to check out the newly expanded play space and save 38% off admission with this CertifiKID deal.
For even more family fun this month, check out The Best Things to do With Kids in Washington, D.C. in November.
CertifiKID was founded by a mom with a passion for helping parents provide the best experiences for their children on a budget. From outings to adventures, classes to camps, theater to sporting events, amusement parks to getaways, CertifiKID provides the best family-friendly experiences at unbeatable prices. Sign up for family-friendly deals in your area and start saving!