Taking the Kids to Baltimore
Baltimore's Inner Harbor
What makes your kids smile?
Maybe it's a Whoopee cushion bench or a welcome mat made out of toothbrushes, which spells out smile. Maybe it's a 3-ton, four-story whirligig, a throne made out of bottle caps, (fake) spaghetti coming out of a miniature bathtub faucet or a giant mosaic egg.
You'll have plenty to giggle about at the
In fact, this is one of the coolest museums I've visited in a while. Kids will love that the artists whose work is displayed here are untaught. They're farmers, housewives, mechanics, retirees, the disabled, the homeless, as well as the occasional neurosurgeon who use everything from carved roots to embroidered rags and even toothpicks -- there's a huge model of the Lusitania made from 193,000 toothpicks. The "What Makes Us Smile" exhibit was co-curated by
Kids will love the collection of whimsical interactive automata, including the dog eating spaghetti out of the bathtub faucets, the larger-than-life robot family fashioned from recycled materials. And movies that will, of course, make you smile will be shown all summer on a giant screen outside.
Sometimes in our rush to take the kids to see major museums and historic sites, we skip smaller cities like
I bet there is a smaller city not far from your home you haven't explored with the kids lately. I've always loved
Come cheer on your home team -- or the Orioles. You'll spend a lot less than in
If you opt to explore a smaller city this summer, check out local festivals. Bring your hairspray if you come to
I love all the quirky museum options too. Pretend you are a giant astronaut who has stumbled on a miniature world of futuristic vehicles from the past at the "Out of This World Toys" exhibit at Geppi's
The kids might even learn a little history along the way. Visit Fort McHenry where
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, leading historic attractions have new exhibits (www.civilwarbaltimore.com) and the
The best part about visiting places off the beaten path is the thrill you'll get from experiencing things you won't find everywhere -- like at the
Hopefully, they'll leave feeling inspired that they, too, can be artists.
At the very least, they'll leave smiling. And when you're traveling with kids, that is a very good thing.
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(c) 2011 EILEEN OGINTZ DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
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