Things are a little smaller at Glen Burnie Bowling Center, though the facility itself encompasses 30 lanes and a full-service snack bar, named GB Ducks Cafe. The petite objects in question are the pins and balls themselves. Glen Burnie celebrates the tradition of duckpin bowling, which incorporates lighter pins and smaller, easy-to-throw balls that almost never hatch into dragons. The objects collide during league games and open play. The smaller equipment also accommodates kids, and young bowlers can start playing in leagues as early as four years old. The coaches and instructors who oversee these programs hold certifications from the National Duckpin Youth Association.
Towering above the already-imposing 14-screen multiplex of Hoyts West Nursery Cinemas is a luminescent globe encircled by a giant strip of film. It’s a sign of the theater’s mission to create an all-encompassing movie experience. Stadium seating inside every theater gives even the littlest family members undisturbed views of new releases, and digital sound systems broadcast musical numbers, high-tech explosions, and intercom requests to share your Skittles in crystal clarity. At the snack bar, traditional concessions are supplemented by made-to-order Uno pizzas.
It's not enough for the inflatable jungle gyms at Marley Bounce Party to cushion kids' bouncing feet; they also have to tickle their imaginations. In one circular bounce house, cushy palm trees and dinosaurs whisk kiddos to the prehistoric tropics. Four turrets surround a castle-style house, where tykes can careen down one of two slides while pretending to flee from a Medieval dragon or a somewhat more intelligent Enlightenment-era dragon. In addition to its plush playgrounds, Marley Bounce Party offers two party rooms that can host up to 25 kids and their parents, as well as a baby-changing station and cold drinks and juices available for purchase.
The Baltimore Museum of Industry is fittingly located in the last standing cannery in the Inner Harbor, featuring a recently-upgraded exhibit dedicated to the building's original purpose—the old-school process of packaging oysters, fruits, and fish. The permanent, in-house collection Decker Gallery showcases neon signs, the first gas street lamp ever, and a three-eighths scale model of the MiniMariner rescue plane. Exhibits at the museum are similarly luminous: The amazingly recreated scenes from Baltimore's industrial past include a linotype setup in the print shop and working sewing-machine stations in the garment loft.
The American Visionary Art Museum devotes its space to original work by self-taught artists who honed their craft—often unintentionally—while operating on the outskirts of the formal art world. As temporary exhibitions explore a particular artist or theme in depth, the permanent collection displays thousands of powerful and often whimsical items, such as Wayne Kusy’s Lusitania, a detailed toothpick replica of the doomed vessel, or the haunting Applewood Figure, an emaciated sculpture said to wince whenever someone eats a piece of fruit. The museum spreads its arresting pieces throughout three historical buildings, including the expansive main building, which boasts a reflective mirrored-mosaic exterior and neighbors the Tall Sculpture Barn, an ex-whiskey warehouse fully equipped with 45-foot ceilings for large-scale projects. A wildflower garden—complete with meditation chapel—and a sculpture plaza featuring a 55-foot whirligig beckon visitors to the museum's outdoor space, where envious clouds shape themselves into crude versions of Pietà. Completing any trip, the museum's Sideshow gift shop stuffs shopping bags with an ever-rotating collection of eclectic artwork, jewelry, toys, and more.