Best Family Events in Baltimore - August 16-18,2013

Jazz up old shoes, party on the patio, family game night, bike around south Baltimore, explore backyard science, play in the mud, nosh on the best Italian food EVER, and so much more. Baltimore knows how to make the fun happen for kids all weekend long! Here are our picks for family-friendly events in and around Charm City this weekend:

Tax Free Shopping
Maryland’s Tax Free Shopping Week ends this weekend. What does that mean? No tax on qualifying clothing and shoe wear purchases under $100 from participating retailers. You got it. 6% sales-tax savings just for shopping this week. Check out our guide before you shop! MORE INFORMATION

Patio Party at The Maryland Science Center
Where can you dig for dinosaur bones, star gaze, construct a planetary rollover, sleuth like Sherlock Holmes, chat with friends, listen to live music on the waterfront and sip a glass of wine while watching the sun set? At the Maryland Science Center this Friday night! Family-friendly live music, nosh, beer/wine + science fun equals one funtastic evening. $8 per person gets you total access to the science center, an IMAX movie, entertainment, and a planetarium show. Kids under three are free. Adult beverages will be available on the patio at happy hour prices. 5 PM – 8 PM. MORE INFORMATION

DIY Sneaker ClinicPort Discovery Children’s Museum will be hosting its first Design-It-Yourself (DIY) Shoe Clinic on Friday, August 16 from 5pm-7pm. Children of all ages are encouraged to bring an old pair of shoes (i.e.: sandals, canvas or leather sneakers, etc.) and give them an all-new look using a variety of arts and crafts materials while under the guidance of local artists and designers. The event will coincide with Port Discovery’s Target Family Fun Night, where admission is reduced to just $2 from 4pm-8pm. Guests must bring a pair of shoes to participate, although donations of extra shoes are welcome. Participation will be limited to one decorating session per guest. MORE INFORMATION

Family Game Night at Irvine Nature Center
Are you smarter than a naturalist? Irvine puts a twist in game night with fun wildlife trivia, physical challenges and some friendly competition this Friday night from 7PM – 8:30 PM! Prizes will be awarded throughout the night. Snacks will be available to purchase and there will be a raffle for an awesome family game night basket! You will also get a special sneak preview of our fall youth programs. All ages (with adult). FREE! But please register. MORE INFORMATION

Baltimore Family Biking Pool Party
Ride on down to South Baltimore for a fun loop through Federal Hill, Riverside Park and Sharp-Leadenhall ending at the Solo Gibbs Park Splash Pad for the first Baltimore Family Biking Pool Party! They’re looking forward to rolling through South Baltimore again on August 17 with a ride from the Solo Gibbs Park Playground on bike lanes and quiet neighborhood streets. They’ll stop for snacks then head back Solo Gibbs Park where we can cool off at the brand-new Splash Pad. Admission to the splash pad is $1 per person – don’t forget to bring a suit and a towel for the pool party! Saturday from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM. MORE INFORMATION

Backyard Science Days at The Maryland Science Center
Science can happen in a lab, science can happen in space and science can happen in your own backyard! Come to the Maryland Science Center’s 8th annual Backyard Science Days this Saturday and Sunday for a day of animal encounters and hands-on activities. Stomp on stomp rockets, race vegetables, build a bird feeder and learn about the science that lives right outside your back door.  Step into the mysterious world of bats at Rob Mies’ famed Bat Encounters show on the Atrium stage at 1:00pm and 3:00pm both days.  Whether you like slimy or furry, snakes or turtles, bugs or birds – you are sure to run into your favorite neighborhood critter at Backyard Science Days. All activities are free with paid admission and completely free for members. MORE INFORMATION

Feast of St. Gabriel Italian Festival in Little Italy
Food! Vino! Fried dough! Games! Carnival games for kids! Beer! Vendors! Music! Dancing in the streets! Italian ice! Paesani! Bocce! Join the Italian community and residents of Little Italy for this grand annual LA FESTA! Proceeds benefit St. Leo the Great Catholic Church. Saturday and Sunday, 11 AM – 7 PM. MORE INFORMATION

Hot August Blues and Roots Festival
This Saturday! Voted Baltimore’s Best Music Festival, Hot August Blues and Roots is perfect for music-loving families. The 21st annual blues festival features Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Galactic, Antibalas, Greensky Bluegrass, 61 North, JD McPherson and several other acts. Great food, too. Kids Drum Circles and Harmonica workshops in the afternoon. And Kids 12 and under are FREE! MORE INFORMATION

Cane Pole Fishing at Oregon Ridge Nature Center
Get an early start on Saturday or Sunday  morning to catch huge, untouched bluegills and largemouth bass! Head to Oregon Ridge Nature Center on Saturday from 8 AM – 10 AM for Cane Pole fishing. They supply the pole and worms. No rod and reel needed! NOTE: fishing is only allowed in the park with a naturalist. Ages 4 and older. Fishing license required for ages 16+. $3/person ($2/members). Call to RSVP. MORE INFORMATION

Mud Day at Robert E. Lee Park
Discover the lost art of mud pie making while getting down and dirty with mud painting, mud sculpture, mud games, and more! Then, clean off by running through the sprinklers, or get hosed off by the fire department! Wear clothes that can get wet and dirty. Saturday at 2 PM. $5/person ($2/members). MORE INFORMATION

An Afternoon with Mirabelle
Join The Ivy Bookshop for an afternoon of family fun as we celebrate the adventures of Mirabelle, everyone’s favorite Boston terrier, and Mr. Muller, her devoted owner on Saturday at 1 PM. The festive outdoor event will feature Michael Muller (author of Mirabelle and the Bouncy Red Ball, Mirabelle Goes for a Walk and Mirabelle and the Butterfly) and, of course, Mirabelle herself. Refreshments will be available, and canine companions are welcome. We’ll be donating 10% of all Mirabelle event proceeds to the Falls Road SPCA. Bring in a donation of pet food to receive 10% off your Mirabelle purchase. Read the CP Interview with Michael and Mirabelle. MORE INFORMATION

Charm City Roller GirlsCharm City Roller Girls is Maryland’s premiere all-woman, flat-track roller derby league — and they’re playing at home Saturday night! A fun, family date night at DuBurns Arena. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. $12-$15; $5 for kids 12 and younger MORE INFORMATION

Primate Awareness Day at the Maryland Zoo
Go ape for all things primate! Take advantage of special activities, unique, hands-on learning areas, and interactive animal experiences for all ages on Sunday. Plus, don’t miss a special chance to take home Primate Awareness Day giveaways and get up-close with animal ambassadors in the Zoo’s Chimpanzee Forest. Keeper chats at the primate exhibits, live animal ambassadors from 10 AM – 3 PM at the EdZOOcation station and great giveaways! MORE INFORMATION

Up, Up, Up and Away
It’s your last chance to see Zap! Pow! Bam! before it flies off forever! Head to the Jewish Museum of Maryland and bid a fond farewell to this super exhibit – we will celebrate with a day of superhero activities, including crafts to help chill out  in the summer sun. And if that’s not enough to beat the heat there will also be plenty of frozen treats to help cool off! Sunday from 11 AM – 3 PM. MORE INFORMATION

Create an Atrium at the Baltimore Museum of Art
Make Sunday afternoon family time without spending a dime. Every Sunday, join the Baltimore Art Museum for activities the entire family can enjoy. Express your inner artist in a hands-on workshop or enjoy an interactive gallery tour. This month the BMA is exploring architecture. Build your own Atrium on Sunday! MORE INFORMATION