After a few years of going “over the top” for our kids’ birthday parties and completely exhausting myself in the process, Ben and I made an active decision to invest in experiences over things.
The four of us all celebrate our birthdays in August, September, and October, so we decided that this year, we’d take a little mini-trip to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. With October being the peak of my wedding season, this little trip was a welcome break from the grind!
We left mid-day on Wednesday in a pouring rainstorm and slowly made our way from the Lehigh Valley to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. We stayed at the beautiful Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore and splurged on a room that had a view of the Inner Harbor. I am SO thankful we did because the views of the city were just breathtaking! The first thing the girls did was run to the window and check out the boats through the veil of the rainstorm.
Just around dinner time, there was a pause in the rain long enough for us to get out and explore. Most of the museums and activities in the city close around 5:00 pm, so we just took some time to stretch our legs and walk around the Inner Harbor area. Our first stop was to IT’SUGAR candy store where the girls stocked up on some of our favorite candies like Swedish fish, chocolate candy rocks & sour gummy worms.
The rain seemed to keep most people in, but we were just so excited to explore that we took our time jumping puddles and checking out Baltimore’s historic ships that were anchored in the harbor.
Just as the sun began to set, we made an impromptu decision to visit Baltimore’s World Trade Center which offers a beautiful memorial to those who were lost during 9/11 and showcases 360 degree views of the city of Baltimore & the inner harbor on the 27th floor at the Top of the World attraction.
After dinner at Mo’s Seafood, we had a night swim at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court’s rooftop pool and wrapped up our first day in Baltimore!
We began our day with breakfast in our pjs and enjoyed our sun-drenched morning views of the harbor over chocolate chip pancakes–what a treat!
We were thankful for the sunshine, but weren’t quite prepared for the wind Mother Nature sent our way! Thankfully, most of the attractions at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor were within walking distance of our hotel, so though it was blustery, our walk was quick.
The girls were most excited about our visit to the National Aquarium. There was so much to see! A rainforest exhibit, touching jellyfish, and a dolphin show were some of the highlights of our visit.
After lunch, we took a little rest, then decided to walk to Federal Hill Park which is on the south shore of the Inner Harbor. It has a great playground for the kids and amazing views of the city (hello! Baltimore wedding portraits, anyone!?). It was still really windy and cold, so we didn’t stay too long before deciding to abandon that idea for the warmth of dinner at the Rusty Scupper.
Another night swim at the hotel pool sent us to bed exhausted, but thankful for such a wonderful day together!
(A special thank you to the Good Samaritan who took a quick photo of me with the girls on the staircase in the hotel lobby!)
Our final day in Baltimore was much more pleasant weather-wise! We had sunshine and mild autumn weather in the city. Again, we walked to our activity for the day which was a trip to Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Our girls had the best time climbing up the four story SkyClimber, playing pretend in “Tiny’s Diner” and putting themselves in a bubble in “Wonders of Water” exhibit. I confess that I didn’t have my camera out too much during this portion of the day–it was a little bit crazy in there with all of the kiddos running around and it was so hands-on, that we were quite busy!
After a fun morning of play, we took a picnic lunch to the waterside to say our farewell to the Inner Harbor. We checked out of our hotel, then made our way to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Because we spent so much time at Port Discovery, we were only able to check out the zoo during their their final open hour. We spent our time in their African animal exhibit where we saw a lion and lioness, flamingos (Cora’s favorite!), and elephants before heading home to the Lehigh Valley!
Our trip to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor was such an amazing time for us. I completely fell in love with the city and cannot wait to come back soon! It’s definitely one of my goals to make it back to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to photograph a Baltimore wedding!
Alyssa is a Lehigh Valley wedding photographer serving the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia & beyond. If you’re looking for your Baltimore wedding photographer, get in touch here!