Like clockwork, many of Baltimore's most anticipated free events fall on the same days each month. From family-centric museum programming to neighborhood-wide extravaganzas, here are the dates Baltimoreans need to remember from month to month.
1. "First Fridays" in HampdenEvery first Friday of the month in Hampden, local merchants, restaurants, and art galleries along The Avenue (the neighborhood's main drag also known as 36th Street) and the surrounding arteries stay open late. Many lure shoppers and browsers in with deals, discounts, refreshments, and entertainment. The Hampden Village Merchants Association usually keeps an updated list of all the ongoings. The event usually runs from 5 p.m.-8 p.m., with some individual proprietors kicking things off earlier and others making them last long into the night.
2. Fells Point Art LoopFells Point also has its own celebration on the first Friday of every month, when area galleries stay open late from 5-8 p.m. for the "Fells Point Art Loop." Many of the galleries coordinate openings and receptions to fall on the last Friday of the month just for the event. Some restaurants and bars that feature rotating artwork also participate in the Fells Point Art Loop. For more information on participating galleries, visit Fells Point Main Street.
3. "Final Fridays" in Station North Arts & Entertainment DistrictOn the last Friday of every month, theaters, galleries, venues, bars, and restaurants throughout Station North Arts & Entertainment District hosts "Final Fridays." Musicians, performance artists, and art installations can be found throughout the neighborhood. Each Final Friday usually has a keynote signature event that becomes the hub of activity. Check the Station North website for more details.
4. "Third Thursday at the Lewis" at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum830 E. Pratt St.
On the third thursday of each month, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture keeps extended hours (5-8 p.m.) and hosts special programming. Typically, there is a live band and some sort of special event, such as a film screening and discussions. Admission is also discounted to $5.
5. "Fridays After Five" at the National Aquarium in Baltimore501 E. Pratt St.
On Fridays after 5 p.m. from September through March, the National Aquarium in Baltimore discounts entrance fees to just $12. The popular program allows guests to check out more than 16,000 sea creatures and mammals at a greatly reduced price. Aquarium guests can enter until 8 p.m. and explore until 9:30 p.m., when the aquarium closes for the evening.
6. "Target $2 Family Fun Night" at Port Discovery Children's Museum35 Market Place
Every third Friday of the month, Port Discovery Children's Museum discounts admission to just $2 per person from 4-7 p.m. Tickets must be purchased at the door at the time of the event, and cannot be combined with any other discounts or coupons.
7. "Fridays After Five" at the Maryland Science Center601 Light St.
The Maryland Science Center also has a "Fridays After Five" program, when guests can explore the permanent exhibit halls, planetarium, and even IMAX Theater on Friday evenings beginning at 5 p.m. for just $8. Similar to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the programming takes place from September through March. Please note that the Planetarium presentation is at 5:40 p.m. and the IMAX presentation is held at 7 p.m. During Fridays After Five, the "Kids Room" closes at 6 p.m. No advance tickets are required.
8. "Free Family Sundays" at The Baltimore Museum of Art10 Art Museum Dr.
Every Sunday, The Baltimore Museum of Art hosts family programming starting at 2 p.m. Sometimes there are art projects, such as screen-printing demonstrations or mask-making classes, for the kids, while other times gallery tours organized with families in mind are hosted. It's a great way for families to spend Sunday afternoon without having to spend a cent.
9. "Open Studio Day" at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower21 S. Eutaw St.
Modeled after the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy and the tallest building in Baltimore upon its completion in 1911, the The Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower is a clock tower that has been converted into studio spaces for visual and literary artists. On Open Studio Day, visitors can wander through the studios while enjoying refreshments and light fare. Open Studio Days are organized by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts and usually fall on the first or second Saturday of the month.