June 16, 2012

Baltimore's Inner Harbor Sailabration

An important battle of the War of 1812 was fought in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.  It was after this battle, when he saw the U.S. flag still waving,  that Francis Scott Key wrote the poem which eventually became our National Anthem.  To celebrate the bicentennial of the war of 1812, Baltimore is hosting a week-long Star-Spangled Sailabration with lots of fun events in and around the Inner Harbor.

My 2nd and 3rd graders recently learned about the War of 1812 and visited the related sites of Fort McHenry, Federal Hill and the Flag House on a field trip last month.  Since yesterday was a gorgeous day and we didn't have anything special planned,  I decided to take them downtown to check out the festivities.

Overall, we had an awesome time.  (I say overall because there was still a fair amount of their customary whining in between the fun stuff.)  The festivities in Baltimore continue until Tuesday, so if you're in the area, I recommend stopping by.  I definitely think it was worth the parking fees (and any occasional bickering of your kids).

Check out some of the fun we had...

Visiting all the tall ships

The dozens of ships docked in the Inner Harbor were the main reason
I wanted to go the Sailabration.
There were several ships from countries all over the world
as well ships from the here in United States.
We really enjoyed going aboard many of the ships 
and even meeting some of the sailors from faraway lands.

Getting balloons from a balloon artist

The whining was starting to reach a fevered pitch ~
"Mommmmm, he's stepping on my flip flops on purpose."
"Mommmm, I want something to eat."
"Mommmm, I want to hold your hand and there's not enough hands."

Luckily, a talented balloon artist was there to save the day.
For a couple bucks tip, we got two puppies on a leash 
and a balloon gun in a holster and everyone was all smiles again.

Playing in the Sondheim Fountain

I think splashing in the interactive fountain at the harbor was
the highlight of the kids' day.
("You're going to let us go in with our clothes on?")

Making their own wooden sailboats

Part of the festivities included a children's area
with different little projects and activities.
The kids got to decorate their own little sailboats
and then let them set sail in a little pool set up nearby.

Some extra little fun things

We also got to see a talented sandcastle builder hard at work,
got to experience being locked in some stockades,
(despite a brief moment when I wanted to keep my whiners locked up, I let them all out ;)  )
got to see where the original  flag that inspired
the Star Spangled Banner was made
and even got to see the Blue Angels
making a practice flight over the city.

 I feel very fortunate that we live so close to a major city, especially one with so much history. As I said, if you're in the area, I definitely recommend stopping by in this next week to check out the Sailabration festivities.  Even if you're not able to visit this week,
definitely plan a trip to the Inner Harbor area, there's a ton of cool things to see.


  1. We just visited Baltimore this spring right before the Sailabration. It was so much fun even if the weather was pretty chilly. The kids loved the ships and I'm sure they would totally flip out with all of the ones that are docked there now. Have you ever visited the Museum of Industry? That was a very cool place.

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