Family-Friendly Fun in Chesapeake Country

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

Cambridge, MD – When Maryland moved the start of the school year in 2017 after Labor Day, it created more time for families to explore the heart of Chesapeake Country. To help parents and caretakers make the “lazy, hazy days of summer” extra special, the Dorchester County Tourism Office developed a Family Fun web page highlighting dozens of free and low cost family-friendly destinations and August events.

“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. Outdoor enthusiasts can paddle or pedal at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, ride horses at Windy Way Farms or play paintball at Breckenridge Adventures.

This year, the S.S. John W. Brown travels to Cambridge for free tours aboard the World War II Liberty Ship Aug. 5-12. 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, jewelry making classes at Cottage Studio and free movies at Cambridge Premier Cinemas. Also returning this year is a Sunflower Maze at Emily’s Produce August 3-17.

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 family fun destinations and itineraries in Dorchester County, visit our Family Fun page!

  1.   Follow the footsteps of history at the Harriet Tubman State Park Visitor Center  and the Harriet Tubman Byway
  2.    Soar with eagles, egrets and herons at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
  3.    Strike out on your own at Choptank Bowling Center
  4.    Travel by paddle or 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.    Pick and eat berries at Emily’s Produce
  8.    Call in the Ghost Busters on a Chesapeake Ghost Walk
  9.    Find your park at Sailwinds, Great Marsh or Long Wharf
  10.    Cast a line at Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park
  11.    Scream for ice cream at Katie Mae’s, DQ or Icello’s Shaved Ice
  12.    Sail an authentic Chesapeake Bay workboat aboard the Skipjack Nathan Cruise
  13.    Paint the town red at Breckenridge Adventures paint ball
  14.    Cut loose at Cambridge’s cool new Cabin Fever Play Centre
  15.    Be dazzled and be jeweled with Cottage Studio Jewelry Making
  16.    Ride ‘em cowboy at Windy Way Horses
  17.    Be dazed & aMAZED by Emily’s Produce Sunflower Maze Days (Aug 3-17)
  18.    Climb aboard the Liberty Ship SS John Brown at Sailwinds Park (Aug 5-12)
  19.    “Batten” down for a free showing of the LEGO Batman movie at Cambridge Premier Cinemas (Aug 6 & 7)
  20.    See billions of babies … oysters that is! at Horn Point Lab tours (Aug 7, 14, 21, 28)
  21.    Channel your creative self at the Dorchester Center for the Arts Summer Kids Camp
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