Voted No. 4 in the Top 10 Birthday Chains for Kid Birthday Parties in 2010 by Parents magazine, Pump It Up pulses with inflatable play sets and actually encourages kids to bounce off the walls. Within the indoor playground, a stalwart staff oversees the neighborhood of bounce houses and air-filled playthings, such as a classic bounce castle and slick inflatable slide that cushions children's heartfelt reenactments of Cool Runnings. Throughout the week, families can pop in for open play, or tote along their own mini entourage for birthday-party packages complete with private rooms and complimentary invites. Parties come as straightforward packages or as themed events that place the birthday child in structured story adventures where they take on the role of a mighty and clever superhero or pirate captain that drank too much salt water.
For 350 years, the Middleton family has proudly worked the 280 acres of Cedar Hill Farm. Their fields used to be only sewn with tobacco and corn, but now, the Middletons have carved out space for their annual fall festivities. In their 6-acre corn field, they've devised a maze where guests can test their navigation skills through towering stalks of corn. They've also summoned the Great Pumpkin to endow them with a pumpkin patch filled with jack-o-lantern-ready gourds, accessible via a rumbling 30-minute hayride. Nearby, farm animals await to meet families, so kids can finally learn about country life from someone other than an imaginary scarecrow friend.
At Chesapeake Beach Water Park, guests swiftly wind down eight curling waterslides, skimming through fast-paced twists and gravity-defying turns before shooting out into the pool's calm, cerulean waters. A league of EMT-trained, certified lifeguards watch over the waters, ensuring visitors stay safe as they romp through the beach-like lagoon and the kids' activity pool. Glistening streams flow over picturesque rock faces, splashing onto guests as they float lazily beneath on complimentary rented tubes or pet sea monsters brought from home.
Those who've tired themselves out with daylong Marco Polo matches can sunbathe on lounge chairs on the expansive decks, or walk to the Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa to rejuvenate. Further connecting with the community, the park supports local organizations such as Relay for Life, the Red Cross blood drive, and Great Dane Rescue.
Since first opening their grounds in 1980, Adkins Arboretum?s 400-acre garden and preserve have sheltered plants native to the mid-Atlantic coastal plain. More than 600 species of them, in fact, encompassing everything from water hemlocks and flowering dogwoods to skunk cabbages. These trees, shrubs, and grasses?not to mention picturesque streams and meadows?line five miles of paths, along which visitors can walk, bike, or even ski. If five miles sounds daunting to youngsters, they can instead explore Paw Paw Playground, an assemblage of wigwams, balance beams, and other toys crafted from natural materials by a local Eagle Scout. Besides its extensive gardens, Adkins Arboretum also plays host to numerous year-round programs, including lectures, art exhibitions, and two plant sales each year.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the stories of the Chesapeake Bay and the people who have shaped their lives around it. With 18 waterfront acres in the historic town of St. Michaels, the Museum offers exhibits, boat rides, festivals and more.