If it’s Saturday morning and the Rhodes family just needs to get out of the house, chances are they’re at Batch Bake Shop picking out a cake-pop or at Silver Queen having brunch while the kids play in their play area.
“I grew up in Northeast Baltimore and I love that my children are as well,” said Josie Rhodes. “I love that Northeast Baltimore has the feeling of a small town, everyone is super friendly — in the case of Lauraville specifically, they probably know your name!), but has all of the amenities of the city; The diversity, access to parks and downtown, great schools, and just a short drive up Harford road and you’re in the countryside”
Josie and her husband Brett aren’t just choosing to live and raise their kids, Hunter and Nora, in Northeast Baltimore; they work there, too. Brett is the sales and special events manager for Zeke’s Coffee and Josie is co-owner of Red Canoe, a cafe in Lauraville.
“The best thing about being a business owner in Northeast Baltimore is the feeling that I am part of something bigger,” said Josie. “Most of the business owners in this community are from the community and we are all working together to make not only our neighborhood better but our city better.”
The whole family took us on a tour of their neighborhood — and here are some of their favorite kid-friendly spots!
Kid Takeover: Northeast Baltimore
“Must Play” Playground: Hall Springs in Herring Run
“We love the playground at Hall Springs in Herring Run,” said Josie. “It doesn’t necessarily have all the bells and whistles that some other playgrounds have but it’s wide open with great access to the park’s many trails. There are big shade trees and picnic tables so you can bring your lunch or rent the space from the city for a party!”
You may not know it, but Herring Run Park is actually 375 acres of woodlands in the Northeast part of the city. A trail extends from the Halls Spring Area (Harford Rd & Argonne Dr.) to Sinclair Lane, providing opportunities to walk or bike along the stream bed.
Plus the Hall Springs area of the park is within walking distance of several restaurants. You can grab a refreshment after playtime!
Favorite Place to Get a Sweet Treat: Batch Bake Shop
When Hunter and Nora visit Batch Bake Shop, their neighborhood bakery, they go straight for the cupcakes. Nora prefers chocolate; but Hunter is all about the cookie dough. All of the goodies made at Batch are made from scratch — and they offer everything from bagels to wedding cakes.
The macarons and cake pops also come highly recommended.
Best Kept Secret: Domesticity Fabric & Studio
Located just down the street from Red Canoe is Domesticity: Fabric Shop & Sewing Studio. The shop and crafting space owned by Christina Brunyate offers an extensive collection of modern fabrics and sewing classes for adults. Have a crafty kid at home? You can pick up a great sewing kit for kids here. Josie recently started taking classes and has several projects that’s she’s working on with her own kids.This summer, Domesticity will be moving a little further down the street into a bigger space and offering classes/camps for kids, too!
(We know you’ve been admiring Nora’s shirt. It’s an original! Josie made it after taking a class at Domesticity.)
Favorite Place to Get a Birthday Gift: The Children’s Bookstore
The Children’s Bookstore may be new to Lauraville, but it has been a staple in Baltimore for almost 40 years. The store has been a welcome addition to the neighborhood, offering story times and lots of author events for kids of all ages! Owners Melissa and Dan Doty know every kids book ever written — and can help you find the perfect new series for your pint sizer to binge on.
Plus, The Children’s Bookstore is located right next to Zeke’s Coffee. Books for kids + coffee for parents? They go together just like no-nut butter and jelly.
Summer Hot Spot: Snowballs at Walther Gardens
The one thing the Rhodes family can’t wait to do this summer? Get snowballs from Walther Gardens! With roots dating back to 1933, this may just be one of the oldest-running snowball stands in the country. They have classic flavors and some new ones. Hello, lavender snowball!
There’s just one thing better than an egg custard and marshmallow from Walther Gardens — being able to walk to the stand from their house.
Thank you, Josie, Brett, Hunter, and Nora for showing us your ‘hood! Next stop on this neighborhood tour? Patterson Park. Stay tuned!
About Our “Where We Live” Sponsor
As passionate residents and advocates for the city, the team at Live Baltimore envisions a stable population that cares for their homes and neighbors and will continue to cultivate and maintain thriving neighborhoods in Baltimore City. They help people find their home in Baltimore. They gather resources, simplify information, research money-saving incentives, and offer firsthand knowledge about the city with the goal of cultivating and maintaining thriving neighborhoods.
Photos by Laura Black.