Traveling with the family? Get outdoors for your museum experience by visiting the USS Constellation docked in Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland. It’s one of four Historic Ships in Baltimore. There’s plenty to see just walking around the beautiful harbor, then you can head to the ship for a trip back in history.
Before you head up the stairs to the ship itself, there’s a small Museum Gallery that includes artifacts and personal effects that belonged to the ship’s crew. There’s also a fabulous miniature that shows the ship in full sail (the masts are cut on the real one). You can also check the Plan of the Day, a list telling what is taking place on board that day, such as the next live firing of the Parrott rifle.
Audio tour wands are complimentary, and as you go to each section of the ship, you can punch a number to hear a narrative portrayal of the ship’s crew, captain, and visitors. Since I enjoy learning about history through stories, this was great for me, and it’s fun for kids to have something to hold onto since there isn’t much they can touch on board.
Uniformed crewmembers are on board to answer questions. There are four decks to explore–with narrow, steep staircases and very low ceilings in some places–so be warned. Each deck has something to explore: sailing operations, the gun deck, Captain’s Cabin and Galley, the berth deck, and the hold.
With the ship docked and holding completely still, it’s hard to get around. It was hard to imagine what it must have been like for the crew members to live on a constantly rocking boat in such tight quarters. Kids ages 6+ can take the Powder Monkey tour and learn about the life of young boys who served on the ship.
If you’re only visiting the USS Constellation, tickets are $11/adult, $5/youth ages 6-14. Kids 5 and under are free. There is a discount if you show military ID.
Keep an eye out on the daily deal sites for discounted tickets. Right now, LivingSocial is offering a discounted ticket to all four History Ships in Baltimore Harbor, through April 30th.
Heading to the Baltimore area? Your family will also love The Walters Art Museum.