Melissa and John Wesby love living in Patterson Park. Not only is it close to work for Melissa (a nurse at Johns Hopkins Bayview), the central location provides easy access to New York City when John, a producer for BET, needs to travel. But more than that, they’ve found a vibrant community to raise their family.
Olivia, Mitchell, and Lydia are active kids with lots of interests! Olivia loves upcycling materials to create art and just spent two weeks at MICA’s summer camp. Mitchell loves to swim and competes with MD Metro Swimming. All three love exploring the neighborhood on their bikes (they even bike to school most days!). Their favorite place to spend a summer day? Merritt Clubs roof top pool in Canton.
The Wesby Family took us around to their favorite neighborhood kid spots — complete with ice cream and swimming! Here’s where we went…
Kid Takeover: Patterson Park
Play in Patterson Park!
Of course, the first stop on our neighborhood tour was the 134 acre urban park for which the neighborhood is named after! You may know the park for its iconic Pagoda, but kids know it for the two playgrounds, ice skating rink, swimming pool, and the Audubon Nature Center. Chances are, if your child attends Patterson Park Charter School or Hampstead Hill Academy, he or she has gone on a field trip to Audubon! Why? Because the center is on a mission to connect city kids with nature. Through education programs (don’t miss their monthly preschool program!) and community stewardship activities, Audubon aims to improve the vibrancy of Baltimore City and increase the habitat for its wildlife. While we were in the park, Miss Erin gave all of the kids nets so they could see what critters were in the park. They found ladybugs, caterpillars, bees, and more!
If you stop by the entrance of the park at Linwood and Baltimore Streets, you’ll walk past a Little Free Library. This library was built by Olivia’s Girl Scout Troop! And it was truly a community initiative. Need a new read? Stop by and pick one up. Have a book you’re no longer needing? Drop it off at the Free Library and it will find itself into the hands of a new reader.
Both John and Melissa mentioned that they love the Patterson Park Concert series. It’s a don’t miss for their family during the summer.
Favorite Place for a Treat? BMore Licks
With over thirty flavors of handcrafted ice cream, it’s no surprise that BMore Licks is a favorite spot for the Wesby kids! But the flavor options don’t stop with the ice cream; you can also get special flavored cones (who’s in the mood for a coconutter cone?) and of course, your favorite toppings. We ordered a round of rainbow sprinkles!
Not in the mood for ice cream? Try one of Bmore Licks’ famous snowballs. Note that the shop doesn’t take cash, so be sure to have your credit or debit card handy.
Best Place to Get Artsy… And Doubles as a Favorite Date Night Spot
When the kids want to get crafty – – or John and Melissa want to sneak a date night in — they head to the Creative Alliance. The multipurpose art center on Eastern Avenue offers something for everyone in the family!
On Saturday afternoons, the center offers FREE drop-in art programs for kids through their Kerplunk! series. The gallery space features various shows throughout the year with a focus on local artists. Check out their calendar for frequent theatre and musical performances, too.
Oh, and the climbable BUS art outside is a HUGE hit with kids of all ages.
Great Place to “Chill Out”
If it’s a really hot day, you’ll find the Wesby kids at the Merritt Club Canton — and in the rooftop pool! It’s almost like taking a little afternoon vacation with the resort-like setting. And what could be better than sliding with the spectacular view of the city?
Thank you John, Melissa, Olivia, Mitchell, and Lydia for showing us around your neighborhood!
ABOUT OUR “KID TAKEOVER” 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.