African-American Cultural Tours, 10 E. Lee St., suite 707, (410) 727-0755.
Baltimore-Area Convention and Visitors Association, 100 Light St., (410) 659-7300, (800) 282-6632.
Baltimore City ArtsNet, www.baltimorecity.gov/arts/orgs.
Baltimore Office of Promotion, 200 W. Lombard St., (410) 752-8632, www.baltimoreevents.org.
American Dime Museum, 1808 Maryland Ave., (410) 230-0263, www.dimemuseum.com, $5, children ages 6-12 $3, children ages 5 and under free. This midtown museum celebrates the sideshow, and of everything in its odd collection, probably nothing captures the sideshow spirit better than the Horrible Giant Bat. Go see why.
American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900, www.avam.org, $6-$8. Sort of like folk art but definitely not folk art, the operators of this waterfront museum stress, the works on display here are made by the self-taught. Appropriate for the times, the current exhibit (up to Sept. 2) is The Art of War and Peace.
B&O Railroad Museum, 901 W. Pratt St., (410) 752-2490, www.borail.org, free-$8. "The birthplace of American railroading" invites you to come aboard and explore Baltimore's train-travel history.
Baltimore Civil War Museum/President Street Station, 601 President St., (410) 385-5188. Although Baltimore was officially with the North, much of its heart was with the South. Learn about the city's conflicted Civil War status at this downtown museum. Special summer events include walking tours (June 2, July 7, and Aug. 14) and talks ("The American Battlefield Protection Program," May 29; "The Washington Brigade," June 26; and "Confederate Soldiers, Bushwhackers, Pirates, and Spies: Fort McHenry Military Prison, 1861-1865," July 31).
Baltimore Maritime Museum, piers 3 and 5, Inner Harbor, (410) 396-3453, www.baltomaritimemuseum.org. The USCGC Taney is a survivor, the last warship still afloat from the Pearl Harbor bombing, and it's waiting for you at the Maritime Museum.
Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, (410) 396-7100, www.artbma.org, free-$7. From Renoir to Warhol, the state's biggest art museum has more than 100,000 works, including the famous Cone Collection, featuring many works by the Cone sisters' pal Henri Matisse. Temporary exhibits include a show of Cezanne landscapes (to Aug. 25).
Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, (410) 727-4808, www.thebmi.org. People who think of Baltimore only as blue-collar and beer-guzzling might be surprised to hear it has a museum of art at all, much less one with such a fine collection (see previous entry). Something closer to those folks' expectations is the museum of industry, which offers exhibits, replicas, and room-size installations on Industrial Revolution-era Baltimore.
Baltimore Public Works Museum, 751 Eastern Ave., (410) 396-5565. If the kids think visiting a museum is boring, you'll have a particularly hard time selling them on this one, which has exhibits on water purification, waste disposal, and road construction. But it's more interesting than it sounds, and the little ones are apt to enjoy climbing through the outdoor pipe display.
Baltimore Streetcar Museum, 1901 Falls Road, (410) 547-0264, www.baltimoremd.com/ streetcar. A streetcar by any other name, like "light rail," would smell as sweet. Learn all about B-more's bygone streetcar days at this museum, where you can even ride one of the old-school conveyances.
Baltimore Zoo, Druid Hill Park, (410) 366-5466, www.baltimorezoo.org, free-$10. Besides more than 2,000 animals and a children's zoo, the Baltimore Zoo offers classes, behind-the-scenes tours, and camps for kids.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cathedral and Mulberry streets, (410) 727-3564. Take a guided tour of the nation's oldest metropolitan Roman Catholic cathedral at noon on Sunday, or see the church in action during mass any day--call for times.
Clyburn Arboretum, 4915 Greenspring Ave., (410) 367-2217. On the inside: a nature museum and a horticultural reference library. On the outside: 207 acres of gardens and wooded trails.
Contemporary Museum of Art, 100 W. Centre St., (410) 783-5720, www.contemporary.org. The name pretty much tells you what to expect at this Mount Vernon gallery.
Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center, 847 N. Howard St., (410) 225-3130, www.eubieblake.org. This recently renovated Mount Vernon museum honors Baltimore jazz greats such as Eubie Blake and Billie Holiday.
Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St., (410) 516-0341, www.jhu.edu/historichouses. Built in 1857, this 48-room Italianate mansion is home to Picassos and other artworks, plus historic items such as Shakespeare folios. On display to June 30 is Camelot at Dawn: John and Jacqueline Kennedy in Georgetown, May 1954, a collection of photographs by Orlando Suero.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Fort Avenue and Wallace Street, (410) 962-4290, www.nps.gov/fomc. "Jose can you see . . ." OK, that joke is very old, and so is historic Fort McHenry, which withstood the War of 1812 attack on Baltimore and spawned "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the process.
George Peabody Library, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place, (410) 659-8179, free admission. One of the most beautiful Baltimore buildings you've probably never been inside, this five-story library holds more than a quarter-million volumes dating back to the 1500s. On display to June 28 are newspaper articles, books, and maps regarding the mysterious 1845 disappearance of British naval officer Sir John Franklin and more than 130 men while attempting to navigate a northwest passage through the Arctic from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.
Great Blacks in Wax Museum, 1601 E. North Ave., (410) 563-3404. The nation's first wax museum of African-American history boasts a hundred-some figures.
Harbor Boating and Water Taxi, 1615 Thames St., (410) 563-3901, www.thewatertaxi.com. Walking is often an enjoyable way to get around Baltimore, but unless you're Jesus Christ, that's hard to do across the harbor. Instead take the Water Taxi, which stops at dozens of attractions.
Hi-Flyer Tethered Balloon Ride, 35 Market Place, (410) 949-2359, www.portdiscovery.org, $8.50-$15. Float 450 feet into the air in a helium-filled balloon for a great view of the city way, way below.
Homewood House Museum, 3400 N. Charles St., (410) 516-5589, www.jhu.edu/historichouses. Declaration of Independence signer Charles Carroll built this Federal-style home in 1801 as a wedding present for his son. The newlywed couple are long gone, but their furnishings and artworks remain.
Jewish Museum of Maryland, 15 Lloyd St., (410) 732-6400, www.jhsm.org. Experience Maryland's Jewish past by visiting this museum's rotating exhibits and the Lloyd Street and B'nai Israel synagogues, which date back to the mid-1800s. There's a children's museum too.
Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., (410) 685-3750, www.mdhs.org. Along with the Historical Society's many permanent displays is the temporary show An Extraordinary, Ordinary Life: The Life and Times of Miss Treva K. Walking, an exhibit of aprons, order pads, and other work-related items collected by a pack-rat Baltimore waitress of 47 years (the show is up until June 16). Also on display all summer is the photographic exhibit Built to Last: Ten Enduring Landmarks of Baltimore's Central Business District.
Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., (410) 685-5225, www.mdsci.org, free-$16. There's plenty to learn about Maryland science at the Maryland Science Center, such as the history and current health of the Chesapeake Bay. Plus there's a giant simulated asteroid, a temporary exhibit on international space stations (May 25-Sept. 2), a 3-D IMAX screen, and a planetarium.
Minnie V. Twilight Lecture Cruises, Inner Harbor, (410) 685-3750, ext. 321, www.mdhs.org. This series of summer-evening cruises (June 25-Aug. 1) invites you to take a pleasant boat ride and learn something about the Chesapeake Bay too. Topics include bay watermen (June 27), the B&O Railroad (July 9 and July 11), and African-Americans on the bay (July 30 and Aug. 1). If you think you can stand the host, WBAL radio's blustery Alan Walden, consider the popular annual July 4 cruise.
National Aquarium in Baltimore, Pier 3, 501 E. Pratt St., (410) 576-3800, www.aqua.org, free-$16. Baltimoreans are often asked how come their aquarium is designated the "national" one. "Dunno" is usually the answer. Find out during a visit to this harborside attraction, which features a huge walk-through shark tank, an Amazon rain forest, and dolphin shows.
Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, (410) 727-8120, www.portdiscovery.org, free-$11. What the hell to do with the kids during the summer? Try Port Discovery and its three floors of attractions including an art studio, an urban treehouse, and a robot zoo (cool!).
St. Jude's Shrine, 512 W. Saratoga St., (410) 685-6026. Are you filled with despair? Feel like there is no way to overcome it? Jude, the patron saint of desperate and hopeless causes, is the saint for you. Let him take your sad song and make it better.
Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, 31 S. Greene St., (410) 706-0060, www.dentalmuseum.org. Once the home of the United States' first dental college, this is now the home of the artificial teeth worn by the United States' first president (no, they aren't wooden), plus old tools and other historic dental items.
Top of the World Observation Level and Museum, 401 E. Pratt St., (410) 837-8439, $2-$4. Baltimore's World Trade Center has two connections to the targets of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington: its name, of course, and its shape (the Baltimore skyscraper is the world's tallest pentagonal building). "So what?" you say? Well, the name was relevant enough to close the 27th-floor observation level for more than six months. But now the tourist attraction, with its 360-degree view and its museum on Baltimore history, is reopened for your viewing and learning pleasure.
U.S.S. Constellation, 301 E. Pratt St., (410) 539-1797, www.constellation.org. The last all-sail ship built by the U.S. Navy, the Constellation once roamed the seas searching for slave vessels. Now it rests in the Baltimore harbor, welcoming visitors.
Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St., (410) 547-9000, www.thewalters.org, free-$8. So the BMA uptown has the Cone sisters and their Matisses and Andy Warhol and his self-portrait. The Walters downtown has things too, good things--such as ancient, medieval, and Renaissance artworks, plus suits of armor and other historic items.
Washington Monument, Charles and Monument streets, (410) 396-0929. For bird's-eye views of Baltimore, you certainly want to visit the World Trade Center and Federal Hill. But don't miss the more center-city perspective from the top of this Mount Vernon monument to George Washington. Take some time before heading up to look at the displays about the first U.S. president in the monument's base.
Westminster Burying Ground, Fayette and Greene streets, (410) 706-2072. Writer Edgar Allan Poe is buried near the front gate to this cemetery--or is he? Some say his body was moved from under the large monument that bears his likeness to elsewhere in the graveyard. Others say it was moved to a different cemetery altogether. Whatever, the 19th-century author/poet is surely dead and interred somewhere, and this is as good a place as any to pay your respects. While you're there, take a walk around the quaint old burial grounds, which serve as the final resting place for several generals from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Or do they?
Artscape, 6-10 p.m. July 26, noon-10 p.m. July 27-28, Mount Royal Avenue between Lanvale and Cathedral streets, (410) 396-4575. Sometimes it's kind of hard to find the art at Artscape, but planners of what is billed as the nation's largest arts festival promise to do better in that regard this year. Don't worry, though--along with the visual art there is still plenty of the music and food that draw the big sweaty crowds each year.
Balticon 36: Maryland Regional Science-Fiction Convention, noon-2 a.m. May 24, 10-2 a.m. May 25-27, Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel, 101 W. Fayette St., (410) 752-1100, www.balticon.org. Think of The Simpsons episode about the sci-fi convention, and you get the idea: lots of animation, art, books, films, games, music, poetry, and nerds.
Baltimore by Foot Walking Tours, 10 a.m.-noon June 1 and 9, (410) 235-7985, $25, Baltimore Heritage and Maryland Historical Society members $10. The best way to see a city--all its nooks and crannies--is on foot, and the group Baltimore Heritage conducts two walking tours of selected areas in June: Lauraville on the 1st and Eutaw Place on the 9th.
Baltimore Herb Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 25, Leakin Park, (410) 496-4655, $5. It's not what you think--this annual event celebrates the herbs you eat, not the ones you smoke.
Big Kaabooom!, July 4, American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, (410) 244-1900, www.avam.org. Now this is the way to celebrate the nation's birth--with a pet parade and other wacky activities all day, leading up to this evening's Big Kaabooom! in the sky: the annual Inner Harbor fireworks display.
Camp Widget, June 24-Aug. 9, Baltimore Museum of Industry, 1415 Key Highway, (410) 727-4808, www.thebmi.org. This annual summer program for kids ages 8-12 encourages new ways of looking at history, invention, sociology, and economics.
Charles Village Festival, June 1-2, Wyman Park Dell, 29th and Charles streets, (410) 662-7777, www.charlesvillage.net. The sunken, once-soggy Wyman Park Dell is now a dry and pleasant place for Charles Village's yearly celebration of itself. The 2002 version of the Chuck Village Fest includes a parade Saturday morning, a garden walk Sunday afternoon, and food, crafts, and live entertainment all weekend.
CitySand 2002, noon-4 p.m. June 15, Harborplace amphitheater, Light and Pratt streets, (410) 332-4191, www.harborplace.com. Would you believe a juried sand-castle contest? Believe it.
CPHA Rally for the Region, 6 p.m. June 6, Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St., (410) 539-1369, ext. 225, www. CPHARallyForThe Region.org. Let's hear it for the region! The Baltimore region! But this is no pep rally. This Citizens Planning and Housing Association program addresses problems such as urban sprawl, traffic congestion, air and water pollution, poverty, and crime.
Duchess Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 22, 200 block of East Biddle Street, (410) 528-1512. Born 106 years ago in Baltimore, Wallis Warfield led quite an eventful life--marrying the Prince of Wales, plunging Great Britain into a constitutional crisis, and gracing the cover of Time magazine as its 1936 Woman of the Year. Celebrate all that with a street festival outside of her birthplace. The event, which fortunately doesn't take itself too seriously, includes a Warfield look-alike contest and a pug-dog parade.
Ethnic Festivals. Remember Festival Hall? On second thought, why torture yourself? Instead just be happy that the indoor festival venue is long gone and Baltimore's ethnic fests are back out in the open air like God intended. Among the ones planned for this summer are the Polish Festival, May 31-June 2, Patterson Park, (410) 837-4636, www.pattersonpark.com; the Greek Festival, June 7-9, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, (410) 837-4636; the African-American Heritage Festival, June 21-23, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, (410) 318-8286; and the Latino Fest, June 29-30, Patterson Park, (410) 783-5404, www.eblo.org.
Fells Point Walking Tour, 10 a.m.-noon May 25, June 22, July 27, and Aug. 24, starts at 808 S. Ann St., (410) 675-6750, www.preservationsociety.com. How better to learn a little about Baltimore's history than to take a walking tour of its oldest neighborhood?
First Fridays on the Avenue, 6-8 p.m. June 7, July 5, and Aug. 2, West 36th Street in Hampden, (410) 235-5800. Hampden gets hopping, hon, during this monthly celebration that includes live music and children's activities.
Garden and Home Tour, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8, 1-4 p.m. June 9, Park Avenue and Reservoir Street, (410) 383-8535, $10, $8. This annual event gives you a peek at private gardens in the Bolton Hill and Reservoir Hill neighborhoods. Take a do-it-yourself tour June 8 or a guided walk June 9. There's live music, gifts, and an art exhibit too.
HERO AIDS Walk Maryland, June 2, registration 7 a.m., opening ceremonies 9:30 a.m., Baltimore City College High School, 3220 the Alameda, (410) 685-1180, ext. 266. The Health Education Resource Organization works year-round to provide services for people with HIV/AIDS, and one day each summer it asks that you work a little--or rather, walk a little--to raise funds for the organization. Live entertainment awaits at the end as a thank you.
Honfest, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8, Café Hon, 1002 W. 36th St., (410) 243-1230. Saying "ambulantz" and "wooder" (as in, "She fell down at the harbor, by the wooder, and we had to call a ambulantz") might get you strange looks from out-of-towners, but it can get you a prize during the annual Bawlmerese and Baltimore's Best Hon contests. Step up and be proud of your hometown weirdness, or just admire it in others. The Honfest also includes other activities with a strong local flavor, such as a screen-painting demonstration/workshop and Spam bowling.
Kids' Stuff, 10:30-11:15 a.m. July 2 and Tuesdays and Thursdays July 9-25, Federal Hill Park, between Warren and Battery avenues, (410) 837-4636, www.baltimoreevents.org, free. This annual series of outdoor shows for kids ages 10 and under includes music, dancing, and drama.
Little Italy Open-Air Film Festival, dusk Fridays July 5-Aug. 30, Da Mimmo Italian Restaurant parking lot, 217 S. High St., (410) 727-6876, free. The one that started the whole outdoor summer film-fest frenzy, Little Italy's third annual series starts with Yankee Doodle Dandy, ends with Cinema Paradiso, and offers seven flicks new and old in-between.
Maritime Memorial Day Remembrance, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 25-27, Baltimore Maritime Museum, Inner Harbor Pier 5, (410) 396-3453. Through stories and exhibits, the folks at the Baltimore Maritime Museum pay homage to Americans who lost their lives at sea during military service.
Pride 2002, June 15-16, (410) 837-5445. Maybe one day there will be no need for sexual minorities and the transgendered to declare pride in themselves. Until that day comes, Baltimore's GLBT community will hold a weekend of Pride events each June. This year's activities include a Saturday-night block party at Eager and Charles streets and a Sunday festival in Druid Hill Park. The annual King and Queen of Pride Contest takes place June 7 at the Hippo nightclub.
Sowebo Festival, noon-9 p.m. May 26, Hollins Market, 1100 Hollins St., (410) 244-8368. If you're new to Baltimore, you're probably asking, "What the hell is Sowebo?" Answer: Southwest Baltimore, the home of this yearly unjuried art festival with lots and lots of live music too.
Spice It Up, 7 p.m.-midnight June 7, Baltimore Clayworks, 5707 Smith Ave., (410) 578-1919, admission $25, in advance $20, children ages 12 and under $10, in advance $7. This annual street festival with spicy international food and live music kicks off Baltimore Clayworks' seconds sale of clay items on Saturday and Sunday.
Uplifting Minds Talent Competition, 1-5 p.m. Aug. 24, Security Square Mall, (410) 366-3900. You think your kid has talent, huh? See how he or she stacks up against other young wannabes during this annual contest for ages 7-21. Categories include art, fashion, literature, and music.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, 216 Emory St., (410) 727-1539, www.baberuthmuseum.com. Baltimoreans hate the New York Yankees, except for one: hometown boy-turned-home-run king Babe Ruth. This museum celebrates his career as well as the history of the Baltimore Orioles, Colts, and Ravens.
Baltimore Bayhawks, Ravens Stadium, Russell and Hamburg streets, (410) 481-7328, www.BaltimoreBayhawks.com. Can the Bayhawks successfully defend their 2001 divisional championship, or go even further this year? Only the gods of lacrosse know, and they want you to attend some games to find out. The schedule includes a home game on the Fourth o' July against Boston.
Baltimore City Amateur Golf Tournament, May 31, Pine Ridge Golf Course, (410) 235-2700. You don't have to swing a golf club well, you just have to swing it during this first-annual benefit for Baltimore's Shape Up Parks program.
Baltimore Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 333 W. Camden St., (410) 685-9800, www.TheOrioles.com, $8-$40. The "rebuilding" Baltimore Orioles try to avert a fifth consecutive losing baseball season as they battle American League rivals, plus a National League team or two, all summer to Sept. 29. Even when the team is on the road, there are things to do at the Orioles' home field, such as taking one of the daily ballpark tours--call (410) 547-6234.
Bocce Tournament, 8 a.m. June 9, Little Italy bocce field, 902-904 Stiles St., (410) 685-7013. Watch as teams of four battle on the bocce field, and perhaps off of it too. Or get in on the fun and fighting yourself--call for registration information
ESPN Zone, 601 E. Pratt St., (410) 685-3776. Sure, this is a megacorporate, chain, themed restaurant/bar, but it's our megacorporate, chain, themed restaurant/bar--sort of (Baltimore's is the very first ESPN Zone). Play video games, air hockey, and such while drinking overpriced beer and eating overpriced burgers. Makes you darn proud, doesn't it?
Gwynns Falls Trail, Leakin Park, (410) 396-0808. When the making of this trail is complete, it will run all the way from Leakin Park in West Baltimore to the Inner Harbor. For now, it stretches four miles through woodlands along the Gwynns Falls Stream.
Mount Pleasant Golf Course, Northern Parkway near Harford Road, (410) 254-5100. Mount Pleasant offers inexpensive, challenging golf amid pleasant (hence the name) surroundings.
Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training 5K/10K Run, 8 a.m. (registration 7-8 a.m.) May 26, War Memorial Plaza, Lexington and Gay streets, (410) 576-9626, www.finishedproduct.com, $20, in advance $15. This open, amateur fund-raising run offers cash prizes for some and T-shirts for all.
Patterson Park, Eastern and Linwood avenues, (410) 276-3676. This very nice 155-acre park in East Baltimore offers a swimming pool, softball fields, and lots of greenery. Events this summer include the Bike Jam biking festival May 25, Bark in the Park (dog events for canines and their humans) June 8, and a craft market June 22, July 27, and Aug. 24.
Pimlico Race Course, 5201 Park Heights Ave., (410) 542-9400, www.marylandracing.com. The home of the Triple Crown's prestigious Preakness is also home to regular old horse racing Wednesdays to Sundays to June 16.
Antique Row, 800 block of North Howard Street. Antique shops one after the other after the other line this block in Baltimore's historic Mount Vernon neighborhood.
Baltimore Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-noon Sundays, Holliday and Saratoga streets, (410) 752-8632, www.bop.org. It's a summer rite for urbanites: buying their weekly supply of produce, baked goods, and other edibles each Sunday morn at this downtown farmers market.
Craig Flinner Contemporary, 505 N. Charles St., (410) 727-1863. There are many, many art galleries along and near Charles Street in Baltimore's midtown area, and this one, as the name suggests, focuses on contemporary works--like Ruth Channing's drawings and mixed-media pieces, on display and for sale until May 31.
Harborplace and the Gallery, Light and Pratt streets, (410) 332-4191, www.harborplace.com. These downtown waterside shopping malls are just like the ones you've probably seen in other American cities, only with crab key chains and Orioles T-shirts.
Lexington Market, 400 W. Lexington St., (410) 685-6169, www.lexingtonmarket.com. The nation's oldest continually operating city market (opened in 1782) is undergoing a facelift, but the seafood, meats, produce, and Berger's cookies remain the same.
Second Sunday Antique Market, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. June 9, July 14, and Aug. 11, Broadway Square, 800 S. Broadway, (410) 675-4776. Old furniture, old art, and old whatever are offered by Maryland dealers. Can't find what you want? Take a look in the many nearby shops throughout the lovely and lively waterside Fells Point neighborhood.
Steven Scott Gallery, 515 N. Charles St., (410) 752-6218. You might not care to be reminded about the heat and humidity, but the Steven Scott Gallery is doing it anyway, with its annual The Long Hot Summer artwork collection July 5-Sept. 28.
Ten Thousand Villages, 1621 Thames St., (410) 342-5568. It takes a village--actually lots of them, from around the world--to supply the arts and crafts for sale at this Fells Point store. And the best thing is that the artisans were paid fair wages to make them.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201