Dorchester County invites families to discover dozens of kid-friendly activities this summer on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Updated August 2, 2022

Explore the Heart of Chesapeake Country this summer of 2022 and make the “lazy, hazy days of summer” extra special for the family! World Atlas just named Cambridge – Dorchester County’s largest town – one of “11 Best Small Towns in America for a Family Vacation!

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

Outdoor enthusiasts can birdwatch, bike, hike, or kayak at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge; ride horses at Windy Way Farms or learn to stand-up paddleboard. Budding scientists can tour the Horn Point Lab each Tuesday and learn how oysters and aquatic grasses are restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

History detectives can follow the footsteps of an American hero along the road trip known as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. The “Take My Hand” mural outside of Downtown Cambridge’s Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center is sure to inspire freedom fighters of all ages to learn more about the life of American heroine Harriet Tubman, who was born here in Dorchester County 200 years ago. Go back in time at Handsell House and its Native American longhouse – open for tours on summer Saturdays from 11am to 3pm. Or explore the grounds at Spocott Windmill & Village, which features a windmill, one-room schoolhouse, 1800s-era cottage, and more.

Weather too rainy or hot for outside fun? Let the kids burn off steam at Cabin Fever Play Centre, watch free movies at Cambridge Premier Cinemas, or create great crafts at Phippin’s Crafting Corner, all in Cambridge.

“Grab your sunscreen and bug spray, pack a bag and a picnic, or cap off your day at one of our local restaurants to celebrate summer with crabs, pizza or ice cream,” Gilpin said.

Here are 25 top family activities in the Heart of Chesapeake Country.

  1.    See where eagles soar at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
  2.    Strike out on your own at Choptank Bowling Center
  3.    Explore by paddle or pedal with Blackwater Adventures
  4.    Travel back in time to Handsell where Chicone Indians, English colonists and enslaved and free African-Americans once lived and worked. Summer Saturdays mean house tours and often, special events through Labor Day
  5.    Climb the spiral steps and enjoy the view at the Choptank River Lighthouse
  6.    Earn a Junior Ranger badge at Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park & Visitor Center
  7.    Stand up and be counted with SUP rentals and lessons at Over Board Paddle & Fitness
  8.    Learn to cast a line at the free Kids’ Fishing Derby (Aug. 6).
  9.    Pick your own berries or flowers at Emily’s Produce
  10.    Call in the Ghost Busters on a Chesapeake Ghost Walk
  11.    Find your waterfront park at Sailwinds, Great Marsh, or Long Wharf
  12.    Go on a treasure hunt with the Dorchester County Passport Tour; pick up what you need at the Dorchester Visitor Center
  13.    Scream for ice cream at Harriet’s Homemade Ice CreamMaiden Maryland Sweets & Treats, Dairy Queen, or Emily’s Produce. (July 17 is National Ice Cream Day!)
  14.    Grab the helm on an authentic Chesapeake Bay oyster dredging vessel during a Skipjack Nathan of Dorchester Cruise
  15.    Get your hands dirty with craft projects at Phippin’s Crafting Corner, from sensory bottles to floofs
  16.    Cut loose at Cabin Fever Play Centre, with inside play or arcade time
  17.    Ride ‘em cowboy at Windy Way Horses
  18.    Go big with the Chesapeake Mural Trail
  19.    Dive into dive-in movies, indoor/outdoor pool, Camp Hyatt, and game room at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort
  20.    Take on the challenge of axe-throwing at DoCo Axe Co. (must be at least 16 years old)
  21.    Join a walking tour (or walking/boating tour) with the Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center
  22.    Enjoy free movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am with Camp Flagship at Cambridge Premier Cinemas
  23.    Get a behind-the-scenes look during a farm tour of Pop’s Old Place on the first Sunday of the month or join Farm Along with Emily, when kids will learn about farming while having fun at Emily’s Produce (Aug. 5, 12, 19, 26).
  24.    See billions of babies … oysters that is! at Horn Point Lab tours (Tuesdays at 10am)
  25.    Channel your creative self at the Summer Arts for Kids with the Dorchester Center for the Arts
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