Surrounded by more than 1,200 acres of protected land, Irvine Nature Center grants kids and parents access to 116 acres of open wetlands, forest, and meadows, affording families the opportunity to explore multiple ecosystems all in one afternoon. Dedicated to protecting nature and fostering respect of the outdoors, the center educates families with everything from field trips into the woods to hands-on lessons on specialized topics, from "Good Bugs for the Garden" to "Nature's Sweets: Maple Syrup & Honey." An indoor gallery sweeps adventurers through a collection of exhibits highlighting Maryland's local biomes, guiding visitors through an interactive box-turtle habitat and a darkened room echoing with the sounds of nocturnal animals such as owls and infomercial hosts.
Charm City Kids Club envelops kids in worlds of imagination and education where they can play and party in a tiny, tot-size town replete with a theater, restaurant, market, and firehouse. Classes, held Tuesday–Saturday, include classes such as art, yoga, and drama as well as music and pre-preschool prep sessions to stimulate rapidly expanding brains. The facility also hosts camps, giving kids the chance to doll-up as princesses or get crafty with art supplies. Providing children with a space to develop social, motor, and thinking skills is the staff’s main focus, but they also organize social groups for moms and moms-to-be to get together.
WTMD constructs a sounding board for local artists and blasts the airwaves with a variety of engaging playlists. These public broadcasters secure annual funding for programming and events though private contributions and memberships. Annual members are secured with a complimentary new-music CD sampler, and can bask in the knowledge of continued community events, such as First Thursdays Concerts in the Park. These free music fests bathe historic West Mt. Vernon Park in the sights and sounds of homegrown musical maestros and sentient powdered wigs. In addition to live events, listeners can tune in to weekly programming mainstays such as Baltimore Unsigned, which exposes listeners to the quadrophonic delights of local talent. The boogie-inducing grooves of Dirty Soul Party incite hips to uncontrolled swivel fits, and Reggae Rhythms jams out island tunes for music-loving archipelagos. Memberships activated by June 27 will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a Cannondale Hooligan 3 Urban Solution bicycle, courtesy of Light Street Cycles, or a year's supply of coffee from Zeke's.
Since 1986, Believe In Tomorrow has supplied overnight lodgings for more than 560,000 families during a child's medical crisis. The organization’s respite-housing program sends families to a beach or mountainside location for a three-day weekend stay at one of five Maryland facilities. These calming retreats offer a vacation-like experience for families who might not otherwise be able to afford a getaway due to overwhelming medical expenses. During their stays, families can re-create the atmosphere of normal family life while taking a break from the stress of hospital visits and medical emergencies.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 5 or 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
The Global Pathways Project is a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization that aims to educate Americans about the benefits of an adventure overseas. Swap stories with other worldly residents, host an Epcot Center buffet in your mouth, or dance away your workweek worries. Complimentary parking is available to guests in the Landmark Parking lot adjacent to the museum, on Thames Street.