Annapolis is the perfect city to explore with children. It’s chock-full of colonial, maritime, naval and African American history, thus making it an incredible educational experience.

An easily walkable city with plenty of parking garages and close proximity to a major airport, Annapolis is extremely accessible regardless of where you’re coming from or how you’re getting here. Plus, the city’s quaint, bayside location makes for a picturesque background, regardless of how you choose to spend your time in Annapolis. Here are some of our favorite things to do with kids in Maryland’s State Capital.  

Hang out at City Dock

Family with dog

Downtown Annapolis meets the Annapolis Harbor at City Dock. At this focal point, people congregate, socialize, and sight see. When the weather’s warm, pick up some ice cream from one of several downtown ice cream shops or a bite to eat from one of several nearby eateries, and find a bench or brick wall at City Dock to enjoy the view. Whether your kids want to feed the ducks, watch boats maneuver their way in and out of “Ego Alley”, or check out the bronze statue of Alex Haley (author or Roots) reading to a group of kids, it’s a scene they won’t soon forget. 

Visit the U.S. Naval Academy

Right around the corner from City Dock, you’ll find an educational and historical institution that is one of Annapolis’ greatest sources of pride and joy. Depending on the age of your children—and their attention span—you can take a guided, in-depth tour of the Academy, glimpsing what life is like as a midshipmen, or wander around campus on your own. Whether or not you take a tour, make the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center your first stop. Here, you can find information about where to go and what to see on campus; sign up for a tour; stop into the gift shop; and marvel at the naval artifacts at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum.

USNA Museum

See Annapolis from a Trolley or Water Taxi

For an up-close look at the back streets, marinas, and various points of interest in downtown Annapolis, hop on a Discover Annapolis trolley tour, which departs and concludes from the Annapolis Visitors Center (26 West Street). The Water Taxi is another fun way to get around between mid-May to Labor Day. Enjoy the convenience of getting from downtown Annapolis to neighboring Eastport without getting in the car—and the view is great. 

Pirates on the ChesapeakeExperience a life-like pirate adventure

If you have a little kid with a big imagination, this one’s for you. From the minute young “pirates” board the majestic ship in the Chesapeake Bay, they are transformed—with costumes, tales of buried treasure, and water canon displays. An enthusiastic, costumed staff keeps the adventure going from the minute the little charges step on the ship to the time they arrive back at “port”. 

Enjoy one of our beautiful, well-equipped parks

Whether you want to take a hike, go swimming, paddle around in a boat, fish off a pier, throw a Frisbee, ride a bike, have a picnic, or even go ice skating (weather and season permitting), you will find a park in Annapolis or Anne Arundel County to accommodate your family’s outdoor desires. Anne Arundel County possesses over 87 miles of trails, and many of them are adjacent or close to the water’s edge.