May 2016

Nearly everyone loves a good party. Throwing that good party, however, is not always easy, especially when expectations, can be high. Thankfully, this month’s Baltimore's Child has a handy guide to throwing not only a good party, but the right party. Our party package includes tips for staying on budget, suggestions for destination birthdays and ideas for the perfect gift, among other important advice from a local party planner.

And if your party doesn't turn out quite as planned, don’t think of it as a failure, but a great future story for your child to look back on fondly. When we asked some notable Baltimoreans about their most memorable birthday party, the answers revealed that it really is the thought that counts—even where something went wrong, it was always done out of love.

Where there is a party there is inevitably plenty of sugar. Though common wisdom would tell you that all that sugar will have your kids bouncing off the walls, it turns out that conclusion may be a bit hasty—at least, the science doesn’t back it up, as we see in "Don't blame it on sugar".

May is also the month of Mother's Day. Our "Last But Not Least" columnist explores what motherhood means to her and what it means to become a mother. And be sure to check out calendar for some great ideas for Mother's Day plans, along with the rest of the month!

B’More Social

There’s no shortage of ways to bring in Memorial Day weekend.

By Hannah Monicken

It’s Memorial Day weekend! If you’re not already headed out on a much-deserved vacation, revel in the (finally!) nice weather and consider these great options for your local stay-cation.


The sun is shining and the rain has receded (for now), so enjoy it while you can! This Friday marks the first concert of the 13th season of Summer Sounds at the Square. A Belvedere Square tradition, this year’s first band is The New Romance, your new favorite ’80s tribute band. Introduce your kids to the sounds of your past. Singing along is definitely encouraged! Free. 6-9 p.m. at Belvedere Square.[whole story]

Take a Ride Through the Looking Glass

The sequel may not live up to its source material, but you’ll have a good time.

By Joyce Heid

It’s been six years since Tim Burton’s live-action interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic “Alice in Wonderland” and now Alice, the Mad Hatter, and all of their friends have returned for the sequel, “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” At the helm of Alice’s second trip to Underland is director James Bobin, best known in the Disney realm for the two most recent Muppet films. Don’t worry, Tim Burton is still part of the adventure—this time as producer—and his ever-faithful fried Danny Elfman once again provides a compelling score.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) has not been resting on her laurels following her previous adventures with the Hatter (Johnny Depp). Since her last escapade she has been bucking 19th century stereotypes, battling pirates and the high seas while serving as captain of the Wonder, her father’s ship. Upon her return to London, she is scoffed by the scorned Hamish, Lord of London whose proposal she rejected in “Alice.” As he ridicules her determination to return to the sea, Alice once again flees his presence and the troubles that surround her, returning to Underland.[whole story]

Cosplaying Around

Balticon brings the fun for kids of all ages.

By Kimberly Uslin

Be honest: Even though your eight-year-old may be drawing stares at Safeway, sometimes you wish you could wear an alien costume in public, too—so why not spend Memorial Day weekend soaking up all things science fiction? Don your alternate reality finest and head to the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel starting Friday for Balticon!

The annual convention is celebrating its 50th year, and that means pulling out all the stops: "Game of Thrones" creator and author George R. R. Martin is this year's honored guest, and fundraising efforts are currently underway to bring other big names to Baltimore. And, as always, there will be tons to keep sci-fi fans of all ages busy, including film screenings, panel discussions, games and LARPing, kids' and teens' programming and more.

For more details and to check out the full lineup, head to

Seeing Clearly

Local organizations join forces to provide vision care for Baltimore kids.

Byline: By Kimberly Uslin

There are few things more important to a child's education than sight. Whether it's the capacity to see the board, textbooks or simply a friend's facial expressions, it’s practically impossible to learn when everything is blurry. And while this may seem self-evident, for many children in Baltimore, clear sight is an unattainable luxury due to the high costs of optometrist appointments and eyeglasses.[whole story]

Tale as Old as Time

‘Beauty and the Beast’ comes to the Hippodrome.

By Hannah Monicken

If you’re looking to treat the family this week, how about a night at the theater? The beloved Disney movie-turned-Broadway-musical “Beauty and the Beast” will be playing at the Hippodrome through Sunday.

With all your favorite songs—“Be Our Guest,” in particular, is a rousing crowd-pleaser—and several new ones, the show is two hours of Disney magic brought to life on stage by a talented cast and an impressively versatile set design. And if the actors oversell it on occasion by several notches (looking at you, Gaston and LeFou), well, you’ll indulge it because the kids around you will be having such a great time.

If the trio of young girls sitting...[whole story]

Spotlight on Camps

2016 Camp and Summer Programs Directory

Compiled by Joyce Heid

Below is a listing of scores of area programs that are looking forward to keeping your children happily engaged and occupied during the summer of 2016. We’ve made this listing as comprehensive as possible, but space does not permit us to include every program in the area. To find some of the programs we couldn’t fit into these pages, you can check out our online Camp and Summer Programs Directory, on our website, at And remember that your local recreation and parks program, neighborhood groups, and religious organizations may be offering programs this summer as well.

Sponsored Content

Spring Break at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

During spring break, my family and I had the opportunity to visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I have to admit I had not visited the park since the 1970's, so I was wondering how my childhood memories would compare to the park of today and what my own children would think.

Busch Gardens opened in[whole story]

Sponsored Content

Why Preschool Children Need STEM and Spatial Reasoning

By Elizabeth Andrews, Head of Garrison Forest Preschool


You don’t have to look very hard to find young children using the spatial reasoning, logic and problem solving skills that are critical to careers in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Children use these skills naturally as they build with blocks, run cars down a ramp, complete a puzzle and even figure out how to get from one end of a play structure to the other. The curiosity that lends itself to thousands of questions, the intentionality that screams, “I’ll do it myself!” and a fascination with putting things together and taking them apart (often over and over) are the foundation of scientific thought and process. [...whole story]


Product Reviews and New Stuff

We get all kinds of stuff sent to Baltimore’s Child, stuff for children, stuff for parents, stuff for parents to use with their children, stuff to watch, stuff to read, stuff we thought we would never get the picture. We’ll share our impressions and be adding new items to “Stuff” just about every week. New - Snapper Rock Take a look!

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