Timing is everything. Visit Baltimore’s National Aquarium on a beautiful summer day and it’s a bit like Disneyland. Between you and what you want to see you’ll nearly always find a line of people. Your arms will be exhausted from lifting up your stocky boys nearly a hundred times. Hungry and tired you’ll want to eat but the lines at the cafe and the neighboring restaurants will be jammed with similarly cranky visitors.
October is different. The sky is clear. The temperature is nearly 70 degrees. There is parking. Older children are tucked away behind desks. Your two year old twins can roam free traveling from window to window; all within you watchful eyes. They see the sharks, dolphins, turtles and scores of marine creatures from jellyfish to puffins.
It’s worth taking a day off to visit during the offseason. Take advantage of the elbow room and it’ll be entirely better experience for your kids. Put yourself in your kids shoes, instead of spending the day looking at the backs of legs and butts they’ll see the magic. The amazing display of aquatic life will stay with them forever.
Our kids are two months shy of their third birthday. It’s about the youngest age I’d suggest bringing kids to the aquarium.. I doubt we’d have seen 90% of the aquarium if they were younger. They weren’t scared by the sharks like they may have been. They were enthralled by the dolphins and actually didn’t want to leave despite 4+ hours on their feet.
We parked in a nearby garage and spent about $25 on a Monday. The aquarium cafe has the normal museum quality eats, which is actually pretty good nowadays. The prices are a bit high so you might be better off getting your hands stamped and heading to one of the nearby choices, like Chipotle or Potbelly.