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Get Out There Our List of Festivals, Outdoor Fun and More This Summer

School’s out for summer! With only a few sunny months full of free time with the kids, you’re going to want to make the most of them. Lucky for you, our area is filled with dozens of events for kids of all ages (and some for just grownups) from outdoor concerts and food festivals to dog-friendly happy hours. Here’s our annual list of family-friendly favs for this month into next, along with a classic end-of-summer can’t-miss.

Fun on the Waterfront
For the first year ever, the Waterfront Partnership introduces the Fun on the Waterfront Concert Series on the summer’s first Fridays. Combining elements from past Yappy Hours, Brews & Views and Summer Social series, these outdoor concerts include local food trucks, bar service, lawn games, photo booths, face painting and more — basically the best of what we’ve come to love at family-friendly waterfront festivals. Through Sept. 13 at the Harbor Point Central Plaza. Free.

Kayaking Tours

How well do you know the Inner Harbor? Join the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks for a guided kayak tour through the harbor’s waters. Adventurous participants will discover historic ships from a new perspective, restoration projects and Baltimore’s much-loved, solar-powered trash receptor, Mr. Trash Wheel, all with the city’s skyline as a backdrop. This is perfect for your teenagers and you. Sundays through October, departing from the Maryland Science Center’s water taxi landing at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets start at $20.

Friends of Patterson Park Concert Series
Patterson Park’s Hampstead Hill, home to THE Pagoda, is a quintessential Baltimore concert venue — and its summer concert series is no different. Friends of Patterson Park hosts its Music in the Park series for the 17th year for warm nights of rhythm and summer sunsets. Let loose and dance around barefooted in the grass — summer doesn’t last forever after all. This year’s artists include Charm City Junction, Cara Kelly & the Tell Tale and Cimarron. Starts June 9. Free. Check website for the series’ seven dates.

Columbia Festival of Arts

This two-week summer festival features one-of-a-kind art, concerts and other creative endeavors that will be sure to spark inspiration. Kick off the week with LakeFest at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront and enjoy great food, live bands and plenty of art activities for the kiddos. June 14-30. Ticket prices vary.

Ocean City Air Show
See the Navy’s Blue Angels soar over the great blue ocean in a show that gets bigger and better every year. This weekend has always been a happening one in O.C., and this year should be no exception. Head to the shore and be prepared for some breathtaking air show tricks. June 15-16.

Sykesville Annual Strawberry Festival

The Sykesville Strawberry Festival offers fresh fruit, pony rides, entertainment, crafts and food. Oh, the fun your kids will have! Don’t forget that serving of legendary strawberry shortcake, and please note the new location. June 15 at the Gamber Volunteer Fire Department Carnival Grounds (3838 Niner Road, Finksburg), 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free.

Piney Run Youth Fishing Derby
Grab your fishing rod and tackle box and join Piney Run Park’s youth fishing derby for some fierce 15-and-under outdoor competition. When the fishing is over, enjoy Piney Run’s 550 acres of wooded hiking trails, playgrounds, tennis courts, climbing rock and more. June 15 at Piney Run Park & Nature Center, Sykesville, 7-11 a.m. $5 per participant.

Tilghman Island Seafood Festival
Summer in Maryland means sun, fun and seafood. Join the Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Department, as its annual seafood festival serves up everything from steamed crabs, shrimp and clams to summer barbecue favorites. The event also features kids’ activities, live music, nautical artisans, craft vendors and an indoor flea market. There is also the much-beloved crab race. July 20 at the Tilghman Island Volunteer Fire Department and adjacent Kronsburg Park. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free.

Battle of the Beltways
This is where we begrudgingly admit that there is actually another baseball team in the vicinity. Here in B’more, of course, there is only one team for us, and it’s the Birds we back. The Orioles will welcome the Washington Nationals to Charm City for a little beltway rivalry and hopefully a couple of black-and-orange victories on July 16-17. The Orioles then travel to D.C. Aug 27-28 for another go-around. Stay local or head to our nation’s capital for what has become a summer tradition. Either way, you know who to cheer for. $15-plus.

It’s time again for America’s largest free art festival. Throughout this three-day weekend, more than 350,000 attendees flock to the city to see, hear and experience art from more than 150 artists, fashion designers and crafts people. Be ready to walk, to buy some awesome art and to experience one of the best art festivals around. Events center around the Mount Royal and Station North neighborhoods, and if you’ve never been, there are plenty of kid-centered activities. Pack sunscreen and expect tight parking. July 19-21. Free. 

Maryland State Fair

At this point in the summer, school is approaching fast. But it’s never too late to soak up the final days of summer. To close out the sunny season, the Maryland State Fair hosts a two-week extravaganza of horse shows, exhibits, carnival rides and  4-H competitions. Special events planned for this fun-filled entertaining summer finale will be announced all throughout the summer, so fair fans should keep an eye on the event website. Aug. 22-Sept. 2 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. Tickets start at $10; concerts and other events typically cost $35.

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