Kim Yates's passion for the macabre spawned from a 1973 ride through the Haunted Mansion at Disney World, after which the child collected props and crafted monsters for her parents' front porch. Over the next several decades, Kim channeled her energy into drumming for a Baltimore metal band and building a sprawling Halloween attraction in her front yard and then watching it blossom into a full-scale haunted house in 1994. Despite various relocations, her indoor haunt has been growing ever since.
Featured in the Baltimore Sun, Kim’s Krypt sets Charm City teeth chattering with 25- to 30-minute adventures teeming with unexpected spooks and surprises in a show that adds new scenes annually. A terror-ridden tradition for more than 21 years, the indoor haunt invites brave patrons to test their nerve against killer clowns soliciting screams, zombies seeking fresh flesh, and blood-spattered apparitions recklessly searching for change for a $20 bill. Staffers fortify patrons for their harrowing journey with a range of concession fare as they converse at the covered waiting area after receiving their first shock of the night in the form of free parking. A force of uniformed and plainclothes police officers patrol the building to ensure visitors scare in safety.
Since 1978, Brett Aviation's FAA-certified flight instructors have imparted wisdom to fledgling aviators through programs ranging from discovery flights to full pilot certifications. Their trusty aircraft run skyward laps from its nest at Martin State Airport, allowing students to get a feel for flight controls and build the confidence that comes from hours spent aloft. Planes also take off on sightseeing flights, giving passengers aerial glimpses of such destinations as downtown Baltimore, Annapolis, and Ocean City at 120 miles per hour, just fast enough to outrun the tall ships that frequently drag-race down Chesapeake Bay.
Upper Chesapeake Bay Charters' USCG-licensed captains and career fishermen know the Chesapeake Bay waters like the back of their hands. They use this knowledge to ferry small groups on charters aboard one of the company’s two vessels, helping clients to snag catfish and use trotlines to mine blue crabs. During all trips, the expert fishermen supply equipment, clean catches, and snap pictures of people holding fish while looking quietly triumphant, like a cat who just learned how to flush a toilet.
Additionally, Upper Chesapeake Bay Charters' crew uses their watercraft to embark on sightseeing tours. They point out wildlife as well as Baltimore landmarks such as the USS Constellation.
Since 1844, Maryland Historical Society has kept residents connected to their state's heritage by publishing educational books and a quarterly magazine. These days, its museum brings that archived history to life with more than 350,000 objects, most notably the oldest-known surviving manuscript of Francis Scott Key's "The Star-Spangled Banner," which includes its original, crossed out title, "Get Ready for Baseball, America." Guests can also marvel at artifacts ranging from 900 pieces of furniture made between 1634 and 2000 to more than 2,000 paintings, including seven by Joshua Johnson, America's first professional African American portrait painter. Meanwhile, its Civil War exhibit occupies more than 5,000 square feet with 3-D video presentations. The society also sponsors extensive educational programs that enlighten young students with field trips, plus adult programs that include lectures, concerts, and symposia.
Chesapeake Bay is home to legendary beautiful waters, diverse flora and fauna, and Paddlefest, an annual paddle-sports event organized by the team at Ultimate Watersports. Held on the Gunpowder River, which flows into the bay, the festival shows off the industry's latest toys, allowing attendees to try out brand-new kayaks and paddleboards on the sparkling fresh water. For the rest of the season, Ultimate Watersports brings its know-how to the shores with kayak tours, paddleboard lessons, and sailing trips that have remained a bay fixture for more than 26 years. Waterfront enthusiasts seek out the company's reliably well-maintained and up-to-date watercraft to do everything from gain a windsurfing certification to practice heckling standup paddleboard comics. Additionally, seasonal kids' camps help youngsters to stay active while gaining an appreciation for watersports and the splendor of the outdoors.
Since 1996, the staff at Seadog Cruises has welcomed explorers aboard sophisticated, open-air speedboats for city tours. Over the years, they’ve led more than two million sightseers through Baltimore and Chicago on cruises that elucidate city histories, paying special attention to landmarks such as Baltimore’s Naval Reserve Center and Chicago’s Tribune Tower. Their fleet of sea crafts uses low-sulfur diesel and a four-stroke engines that produce lower emissions than older models, allowing eco-conscious passengers to rest easy and fish to finally open their windows for some fresh water.