Baltimore on a Budget: Great Things to Do, Even on the Cheap

Baltimore on a Budget: Great Things to Do, Even on the Cheap

Experience Baltimore without spending a dime. Here is a list of 9 free things to do in Baltimore, Maryland.

Baltimore is a gorgeous city to visit with numerous activities, including historical sites and wondrous landmarks. There are also many activities you can do with your partner or with your family! Not only are there a ton of things to do, but they are a ton of things to do that are free! You won't have any trouble sticking to your budget in Baltimore. With all the free activities, you won't have a chance to think about doing something that will cost you money. You may even be able to splurge and go to a fancy dinner or buy some cool souvenirs for your family back home. When you're there, stick to this list and you'll have a blast while saving a whole lot of cash.

The Baltimore Museum of Art

Being the largest museum in Maryland, the Baltimore Museum of Art is filled with remarkable artwork and sculptures. Don't forget admission is free! The museum features the internationally known Cone Collection that many people come to see, and a vast collection of Henry Matisse's work, which all visitors marvel at. While browsing the entire museum, you will come across ancient artifacts and even contemporary art pieces. Outside the museum, there is the immense Sculpture Garden filled with many fountains and magnificent sculptures. Another great feature of the BMA is their Sunday activities. With hands-on workshops, interactive tours, and even more family friendly events, the Baltimore Museum of Art is perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. On your down time, eat at the museum's restaurant or pass by the gift shop. Relish the beauty inside and appreciate the peaceful outdoors on your trip to the art museum.

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“#artbma #museumsaturday”

All year long, Maryland’s largest art museum showcases a dazzling collection, ranging from ancient mosaics to contemporary art, plus ever-changing exhibitions, sculpture gardens, an eclectic museum shop and a scenic restaurant.


Live Concerts and Musical Performances

Whether you are a music lover or you want to have a fun night, leave the kids at the hotel this time. Here are two of the most lively spots to hang out for live concerts and musical performances.

Hard Rock Cafe

The Hard Rock Cafe is a well-known restaurant and can be found anywhere throughout the US. Here in Baltimore, the Hard Rock hosts many free live events, as they do in other parts of the country. Many people go to dance, drink, and meet new people. You can find many locals and tourists here because this is a party hot spot. May through September, they host concerts and live music Thursday through Sunday nights. You'll find a large crowd and lots of dancing at the Hard Rock Cafe. Let loose and party it up with the locals and other tourists.

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“Hard Rock @ the Power Plant. #innerharbor #magichour #baltimore #hardrock”

Power Plant Live

When the Hard Rock isn't in party season, the Power Plant is! Every Friday night, there are performances by local artists and national bands! Rock out to a band or party alongside the crowd with the variety of music. The locals turn their night up at the Power Plant Live with its giant display of performers. If the locals think it's a good place to party, what more proof do you need? Whatever time of year you visit, Baltimore will have a party ready for you.

Cylburn Arboretum Nature Preserve

It almost seems that the 207 acres this natural preserve holds is infinite. The Cylburn Arboretum is a public garden and nature preserve that makes you feel as if you are in the countryside. With hundreds of different trees to admire, you can walk in this preserve and feel so at peace. The city noise is muffled and you can have a picnic here with your partner, family, or friends and disconnect from the city for a while. Explore more than 3 miles of nature trails, wetlands, and maybe even pass by the famous historical Cylburn Mansion. While exploring, keep a look out for rare wild flowers and trees that are native to Baltimore. Take amazing pictures, check out the wildlife, and hang out around the park. This beautiful preserve is worth the visit so be sure to go and spend a well-deserved day at the Cylburn Arboretum.

Collections of Japanese maples, hollies, conifers, Maryland oaks, tree peonies and magnolias stand on spacious lawns and in luscious gardens surrounding the Victorian mansion.


Baltimore Civil War Museum

Located inside one of the nation's grandest railroad stations, the Baltimore Civil War Museum is a real historical site. The station was converted into a museum that shows how Baltimore was in the Civil War. This station is President Street Station and was a vital rail connection during the civil war. The museum also has exhibits that show Maryland's railroad history. President Street Station also played a major part in transporting slaves trying to make their way to the north. Baltimore's Civil War Museum is filled with history and Baltimore's part in it. With all the interesting exhibits, you will leave feeling as if you just finished reading the most interesting history novel ever.

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“Baltimore Civil War Museum”

Step back in time at one of the nation’s oldest surviving big-city railroad terminals.


Walter Sondheim Fountain

Perfect for a hot summer day, the Walter Sondheim Fountain is a nice sight to see, but it is not just any ordinary fountain. With 53 water shooting jets, the fountain is interactive and you can run through the bursts of water coming from the ground. This is a perfect spot to take the kids on a hot day to cool off and have some fun. While your kids are enjoying the refreshing spurts of water, you can either join them or sit back and relax. People watching is also another alternative as is reading. Take your favorite book and read as the kids get out their energy. No matter what, you and the whole family will have a blast!

It’s a fountain you can actually play in!


American Visionary Art Museum

Sometimes you can totally judge a book by its cover. The American Visionary Art Museum is just as interesting as it looks on the outside as it is on the inside. The outside is surrounded by innovative and different sculptures that you can go up to, touch, and feel. The inside of the museum is filled with the most creative art pieces made by self-taught artists. This museum is not only extremely interesting and quirky, but it also is incredibly entertaining by the uniqueness of all of the pieces. Pass by the museum, even if it is just to explore the outside. It may inspire you to create something or it may spark up your dormant creativity.

The building is surrounded by unique and curious sculptures that you can explore for free!


If you are visiting Baltimore in May, try and catch the quirkiest event of the year that is held by the American Visionary Art Museum. It is called the Kinetic Sculpture Race for the Ages and is on the water. Be a spectator and cheer on racers that are riding their homemade kinetic sculptures over land, mud, and water. Be there between 9 and 9:30 am for the opening ceremony and watch the whole 15 mile race occur. There are checkpoints around the whole race and you can actually camp out at one the night before so you can be ready to watch your favorite racer pass by. Some of the places the racers go through are mud hills or sandy plains. Whatever the racer is doing, you will be so intrigued to see their custom-built sculpture and its creative design overcome all of the obstacles in its way. This is definitely a sight to see so make sure to pass by if you are going to Baltimore in May.

Harborplace Amphitheater

The Harborplace Amphitheater always has free shows for the public to watch and reward with an optional tip. Pass by and watch live performances by singers, dancers, magicians, and more. It is a perfect family spot to entertain the kids during the day or night. Street performers are usually interactive and will keep everyone excited while watching. At night, many different bands perform here every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There are also a bunch of shops, restaurants, and a variety of eateries. Along with the waterfront entertainment, all of these activities will keep you and your family moving and having fun.

Maryland Science Center

Educate yourself at the Maryland Science Center with tons of amusing activities to do! All the exhibits are hands-on and there are three floors filled with them. There is an IMAX theater located inside the science center so save time for a film. You can also catch a show at the Planetarium or watch a live demonstration of science at its finest on the Demo Stage. If you can't make it during the day, at least pass by Friday night and stargaze! From 5:30 to 9 pm, you can explore the stars like an astronomer. The Maryland Science Center has a 10-foot telescope that you can gaze at the stars with. The telescope was actually made in 1927 and has been refurbished and used for this public activity for years. Enjoy a romantic night stargazing or take your children to spot some constellations. If you're lucky, maybe you will catch a shooting star.

Where can you find an open-air, rooftop observatory in the middle of the city?


Baltimore Farmer's Markets

Farmer's Markets are the best way to save money while getting the freshest quality of food you can. In Baltimore, you can pass by the markets and walk through to experience the ambiance, smell all the different types of foods they have, and maybe purchase a few things. Most stalls in the farmer's market give free samples so you can taste the freshness. They also have flowers, handmade crafts, and gifts. The markets are open from April to late December. Be sure to stop by and buy some fresh goods for you and some to take back home. You won't regret it.

Whatever season or month you will be in town, Baltimore will not disappoint. There are tons of free things to do and activities to be a part of. Experience Baltimore the right way and without emptying your wallet! This list of things to do will keep you out of debt and always busy on your trip to Baltimore.

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