Dorchester invites families to discover dozens of kid-friendly activities before school starts

Cambridge, MD – Explore the heart of Chesapeake Country this August and make the “lazy, hazy days of summer” extra special! Our Family Fun web page highlights dozens of free and low cost family-friendly destinations and events to enjoy before school starts.

“If you love the outdoors, history or adventure, Dorchester is a great place to be anytime of year, but especially in the summer,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, tourism director. “From waterfront playgrounds and paddling to birding, biking or boating, we’re ready to welcome your family to our farms and shores.”

History detectives can follow the footsteps of an American hero at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center and Byway. The recently completed “Take My Hand” mural outside of Downtown Cambridge’s Harriet Tubman Museum and Education Center is sure to inspire freedom fighters of all ages to learn more about the life of American heroine Harriet Tubman. Outdoor enthusiasts can birdwatch, bike or hike at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, ride horses at Windy Way Farms or play paintball at Breckenridge Adventures.

And budding scientists can tour the Horn Point Lab and learn how oysters and aquatic grasses are restoring the Chesapeake Bay. New activities this August include the Cabin Fever Play Centre,  and free movies at Cambridge Premier Cinemas. And this year, Dorchester’s ‘oldest’ destination – Handsell House – is open for guided tours on Saturdays from 11 to 3.

Fenstermaker – a mother of three young children who organizes many group outings – encourages families to plan a day of adventure, discovery and fun in Chesapeake Country before school starts.

“Grab your sunscreen, pack a bag and a picnic, or cap off your day at one of our local restaurants to celebrate back-to-school with crabs, pizza or shaved ice,” Fenstermaker said.

Here are 21 top family activities in the Heart of Chesapeake Country. For more information on kid-friendly destinations and itineraries in Dorchester County, visit our Family Fun page!

  1.    Earn a Junior Ranger badge at Harriet Tubman State Park Visitor Center
  2.    See where eagles soar at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
  3.    Strike out on your own at Choptank Bowling Center
  4.    Ride Cambridge by bike and scooter or travel by paddle and pedal at Blackwater Adventures
  5.    Navigate the Chesapeake at the Choptank River Lighthouse
  6.    Stand up and be counted with SUP rentals and lessons at Over Board Paddle & Fitness
  7.    Learn to cast a line at the free Kids’ Fishing Derby (Aug. 3).
  8.    Pick and eat berries at Emily’s Produce
  9.    Call in the Ghost Busters on a Chesapeake Ghost Walk
  10.    Find your park at Sailwinds, Great Marsh or Long Wharf
  11.    Cast a line at Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park
  12.    Scream for ice cream at Katie Mae’s, Dairy Queen, Maiden Maryland Sweets & Treats, Emily’s Produce, Lil Bitta Bull BBQ, Icello’s Shaved Ice or Cabin Fever.
  13.    Sail an authentic Chesapeake Bay workboat aboard the Skipjack Nathan Cruise
  14.    Paint the town red at Breckenridge Adventures paint ball
  15.    Cut loose or sign up for a camp at the Cabin Fever Play Centre
  16.    Ride ‘em cowboy at Windy Way Horses
  17.    Climb aboard the historic Edna Lockwood bugeye in Cambridge (Aug 2-4)
  18.    Enjoy free movies with Kids Encore Cinema at Cambridge Premier Cinemas (Aug 5-7)
  19.    See billions of babies … oysters that is! at Horn Point Lab tours (Aug 6, 13, 20, 27)
  20.    Channel your creative self at the Dorchester Center for the Arts Summer Kids Camp
  21.    Travel back in time to Handsell where Chicone Indians, English colonists and enslaved Africans once lived and worked. House tours every Saturday in August, 11-3.
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