Best Of Baltimore - Page 12 - Arts and Activities (6)

Best Of Baltimore
- Page 12
Arts and Activities (6)

PLACE TO TAKE THE KIDS
PORT DISCOVERY CHILDREN’S MUSEUM

 

Port Discovery has been enriching Baltimore kids for roughly 40 years— the first 20 at the Cloisters, the last 20 in the old Fish Market building near Power Plant Live. It’s always been a source of entertainment, education and wonder, offering everything from STEM workshops to Curious George.

 

So we were a little nervous when it largely shut down in January to prepare a new Port Exhibit But the plans look so cool (and include a massive ship’s prowl that will make kids feel like the captain of their own vessel) we were hooked immediately.

 

Museum president and CEO Bryn Parchman promises a “bigger, better, bolder Port Discovery,” one that will be intrinsically Baltimore. “We wanted something that pays homage to the industry of the port that was here even before the city was,” she says.

 

Happily, even with all the construction, the museum is keeping kids entertained and engaged, thanks to The Construction Zone in the Atrium, focusing on “design, building, engineering and creativity” (which folks can take advantage of on weekends for a reduced-price admission of $5), as well as a free Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth in Towson.

 

But when that new Port opens in late May or early June (an exact date has yet to be announced) — well, is there a maximum age for taking the helm of that ship? Because if not, we’re there!

 

35 Market Place, downtown. 410- 727-8120. portdiscovery.org

 

READING SERIES
PRESIDENT’S READING SERIES AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY

 

Since 2013, the President’s Reading Series has brought such prominent international writers to campus as Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith. This year’s lineup was particularly outstanding, featuring such literary stars as Colson Whitehead, Paul Beatty and Lorrie Moore. Will your favorite author visit Baltimore next year? He will if he’s Ian McEwan.

 

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Charles Village. writingseminars.jhu.edu

 

SCENIC DRIVE
GREENSPRING VALLEY ROAD

 

The bucolic stretch between Reisterstown and Falls roads in Baltimore County winds past grazing horses, the Stevenson University campus, a home modeled after a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece and a gray stone church with a bright red door. Watch leaves bud and then drop, or stop by the side of the road to measure your height against stalks of corn.

 

TOURIST ATTRACTION
ORIOLE PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS

 

More than a quarter-century old, and still the country’s best ballpark. Fans from all over come to B-more to savor its mix of old-school charm and modern amenities (a mix plenty of other ballparks have tried to emulate, with middling results). The warehouse alone makes OPACY a distinctive gem. The O’s fortunes may have waned, but their ballpark remains a winner nonpareil.

 

333 W. Camden St. orioles.com.

 

VIEW OF THE CITY
FEDERAL HILL PARK

 

People have been savoring this view of Baltimore since before there even was a Baltimore, and who are we to buck such longstanding tradition? The view of the skyline is unsurpassed, and the park that preserves it includes19th-century cannons, statues of War of 1812 heroes and a play area for the kids. Next time a tall ship sails into port, this is where you’ll want to watch.

 

300 Warren Ave., Federal Hill. bcrp.baltimorecity.gov/parks/federalhill

 

WEDDING VENUE
THE CLOISTERS

 

If Robin Hood and Maid Marian were getting married in 21st-century Baltimore, they’d feel right at home at The Cloisters, a medieval castle on a hilltop just outside the city.

 

OK, it’s not exactly medieval, built from 1929 to 1932 by the president of an ornamental iron work company and his writer wife, but it sure looks it, complete with stone towers, heavy wooden doors, stained-glass windows (including one that’s an estimated 800 years old) and even an adjacent windmill.

 

Turn off Falls Road, wind your way up the tree-shrouded half-mile-plus driveway, and The Cloisters appears as if Friar Tuck himself might come out to greet you. Its builders, Samuel A. and G. Dudrea Parker, imported pieces from all over Europe to help their home invoke centuries long past.

 

Weddings here — and they only book one event a day, so there’s never a rush to clear out in time for the next wave of guests — can take advantage of three floors of rooms, a covered outdoor walkway that makes for a glorious processional, an outdoor plaza perfect for group photographs, fireplaces enough to ward off any winter chill, even a timeworn garden bell that tradition dictates should be rung for good luck.

 

Hey, this place was good enough for Will Smith and Jada Pinkett when they got married, which counts for plenty.

 

10440 Falls Road, Lutherville-Timonium. 410-821-7448. cloisterscastle.com

 

— Chris Kaltenbach and Mary Carole McCauley