Baltimore is buzzing with things to see and do at all times of year – but there’s nothing to compare with the opportunities that Fall brings.
Baltimore doesn’t have to be a prohibitively expensive city, with a wide choice of cheap or free attractions on offer. If you’re visiting Baltimore over the coming months and would like to build an itinerary of affordable ways in which to spend your time, there’s plenty to pick from, ranging from festivals to museums to simply enjoying the city’s outdoor public spaces. Here are 10 of the best.
Take in some free culture
One of Baltimore’s most acclaimed cultural institutions, the free-to-enter Baltimore Museum of Art invites visitors to come and explore its treasure trove of 19th-century modern and contemporary artworks from across the globe. Among the museum’s highlights is the largest and most significant collection of Henri Matisse’s works in the world. Be sure to spare time to wander the museum grounds too, where you’ll find the lavish Sculpture Gardens, featuring two terraced gardens, fountains and over thirty sculptures.
10 Art Museum Drive / Weds & Fri-Sun 10am-5pm Thurs 10am-9pm Closed Mon-Tues
No-one enjoys going to the dentist, but it’s worth remembering how far this particular branch of medicine has come down the years. In celebration of its past, present, and future, the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, located on the site of the University of Maryland’s first “Dental Infirmary and Laboratory Building”, showcases some 40,000 objects including dental instruments and equipment, personal oral care items, artwork, and more – all serving to capture the often-overlooked history hidden behind your smile and the scientists, tradesmen, and professionals that have shaped the field. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.
31 South Greene Street / Weds-Fri 10am-4pm CLosed Sat-Tues
Pick up some local produce at a farmers’ market
Public markets are a great way to experience the sights and smells of a city all in one place. And among Baltimore’s multiple markets, perhaps its most popular is the Baltimore Farmers’ Market & Bazaar. Perched underneath the Jones Falls Expressway at Holliday and Saratoga streets, the market brims with traders selling their wares every Sunday, with their stalls stacked high with fresh fruits, veggies and herbs. As well as the local produce, the market also pulsates to the beat of live musicians and street performers.
East Saratoga Street & Holliday Street / Sundays 7am-12pm
Attend a fun-packed festival
A Baltimore tradition for over two decades, the two-day Charles Village Festival takes place in the scenic environs of Wyman Park Dell, a 16-acre city retreat full of wide green lawns and walking paths. The event features a huge assortment of attractions, including local and national craft vendors, live music from local bands, kids’ games, a pet parade, a soccer tournament and a garden walk. There’s also plenty of food, fine craft beers and wine to keep visitors well refreshed.
Wyman Park Dell / 1-2 October 2022
One of Baltimore’s most illustrious former residents, the late great singer Billie Holiday’s legacy lives on at the annual Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. The event is designed to display the musical and artistic talents as expressed today and highlight the contributions and achievements of generations past – including those of Holiday, widely considered one of the most influential jazz singers in history. As well as dynamic musical performances, there’ll also be presentations and informative workshops.
Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street / 8 October 2022
Enjoy the Autumnal colours of a public park
Baltimore’s parks are at their most scenic during Fall. Named in honour of the late Baltimore businessman and community leader Pierce John Flannigan III, Pierce Park is a one-acre public space that is far more than a humble park. Indeed, it’s no less than an imaginative place of discovery designed to allow to children admire and interact with locally-created metal sculptures intended for climbing, learn homonyms engraved in the sidewalk, and make music using the dulcet sounds emanating from the statues when bonged.
Columbus Center, 701 East Pratt Street
Get into the festive spirit at a Christmas market
Inspired by their German cousins across the pond, Christmas markets have become a major feature of the festive season in cities all over the US. And one of the biggest and best takes place each year at Baltimore’s vibrant Inner Harbor. From Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, the Christmas Village in Baltimore sees vendors in wooden booths selling traditional European food, sweets and drinks, while there are also great shopping opportunities with a variety of holiday gifts, ornaments, jewellery, and arts and crafts on offer.
Inner Harbor / 23 September – 21 December 2022
Catch a football match
As in most US cities, football (of the American variety) in Baltimore is a seriously big deal. The local NFL team is called the Baltimore Ravens, who play their home matches at the M&T Stadium in the heart of the city. Seasons usually start in September, right at the start of Fall, providing the perfect opportunity to catch this most quintessential of American experiences. While official tickets can be pricey, you can often find very reasonable deals on resale websites – especially if you book last minute.
M&T Stadium, 1101 Russell Street
Go apple picking
Apples are at their most ripe for picking during Fall, making it one of the best – and cheapest activities to enjoy at this time of year. There are several outstanding orchards in and around Baltimore where you can spend the day picking your own apples, together with other family-friendly activities including having a picnic in the orchard, or indulging in some freshly baked fall treats.
By Paul Joseph