Fall Activites in Baltimore (On the Cheap)

Fall in Baltimore is here! Summer has officially bid its farewell for the year. Around the Baltimore
area, Fall has wowed us with the events and festivities and outdoor activities it has to offer.
Below are several Baltimore-based events that will guarantee a good time for all ages!

  1.  Fells Point Fun Festival: Oct 3-5. Free Admission.
    Live music, local artistry and many vendors come to Fells Point to celebrate Fall. Four stages with live entertainment and there is even a Kid’s Zone. All events are centered around Thames Street. Fellspointfest.com
  2. Pigtown Festival. Oct. 11. Free Admission.
    Local Bands. Yummy Food. RACING PIGS. This year will even have aerial acts, strolling entertainment and even carnival games for the little ones.
    Pigtownmainstreet.org
  3. Baltimore Running Festival: Oct. 16-18. Price varies based on registration.
    Calling all runners and spectators of all ages and ability levels. This event is for you. Distances range from the full marathon for all the brave souls out there and also a kids fun run! If running isn’t your cup of tea, find a spot along the route and cheer on friends and neighbors! The marathon starts at 8 a.m. on Oct. 18. Thebaltimoremarathon.com
  4. Harbor Harvest Children’s Festival. Oct. 19. Free/ Inexpensive activities.
    The whole family will enjoy pumpkin patches, a petting zoo, hay maze, more live music and delicious treats. Join us for our 7 th annual festival in the city. Waterfrontpartnership.org
  5. ZooBOOOO at the Maryland Zoo. Oct. 24-26. General Zoo Admission.
    Kids are guaranteed a good scream at this Halloween celebration. Costumes are not required but encouraged for the daily contests. Trick-r-Treating.Crafts. Carnival Games. Food. Watch magic tricks or sing and dance along with many musical performers. Marylandzoo.org
  6. Great Halloween Lantern Parade and Festival. Oct. 25. Most activities free.
    Creative Alliance has once again wowed us with their annual event that showcases over 1000 colorful lanterns made by the neighbors and friends of East Baltimore. Festivities start at 3:30 at Patterson Park. Food trucks, lantern workshops, hayrides, crafts, vendors, live bands, and a costume contest for kid’s will all be present. But at 7 is when the real treat begins. Floats, stilt walkers, dancers, and neighbors walk the parade into the Annex Park on Eastern Avenue. Creativealliance.org
  7. Festival of Trees. Nov. 28-30. $13 for adults. $7 for kids/seniors.
    Kennedy Krieger’s annual fundraiser is the perfect place to get that holiday spirit brewing. Support a great organization as you walk around a “fairyland forest,” gingerbread towns and toy train gardens. festivaloftrees.kennedykrieger.org

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” –Chad Sugg

Spring into Baltimore!

The long awaited winter has come to an end and Baltimore is gleaming in all its
beauty. This spring, make sure you take part in all that Charm City (and the
surrounding area) has to offer. Below you will find several outdoor, kid-friendly
events that are bound to entertain the entire family.

April 26 & 27: Charm City Bluegrass Festival

Charm City Bluegrass Festival, winner of the 2016 International Bluegrass
Music Association (IBMA) Momentum Award for Event of the Year and 2018
Best Festival by Baltimore Magazine, invites music lovers and foodies to
gather in Druid Hill Park on Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 for the
seventh annual celebration of bluegrass, folk and Americana with three
stages, 20 bands and two days of family-friendly festivities including local
food, a limited release beer from Union Brewery, artists, a kids activity area
featuring animals from Irvine Nature Center, spontaneous jam sessions and
more.

General Admission varies but kids under 10 are FREE! Parking is free with
cost of admission.

April 27-30: Day with Thomas the Train at B&O Railroad Museum

Day Out With Thomas is a fun-filled event that provides children of all ages
the opportunity to climb aboard and take a ride with Thomas as well as
participate in Thomas & Friends™ themed activities. The tour, now in its 24th
year, will make 37 stops across the U.S. and Canada, and is expected to
welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019. For two back-to-back
weekends at the B&O Railroad Museum little engineers and their families are
invited to take a 25-minute train ride with their favorite engine, Thomas the
Tank Engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a
day of Thomas & Friends fun with crafts, photo ops, and more.
Tickets are $22-$26 for ages 2 & up. Parking is free and available on site.

April 27: Dia Del Nino/ Kid’s Day

Back for its ninth year on Pagoda Hill (Patterson Park), Día del Niño is a free
day of fun celebrating our community youth! Get excited for the many
activities, including piñatas, Folkloric dance performances, face painting,
sports and games, paper rockets, arts and crafts, giveaways, nature activities
and much more. Most activities are geared towards children 2 – 12 years old.
Bringing over 2,000 people to the park, all activities, performances, and food
are free and nothing is bought or sold during the event so that families can
enjoy all it has to offer without having to think about price! Rain date: April
28th.

May 8: Bug’s Life Playgroup

We’re going BUGGY! Join (cool) progeny for a Cool Tot Time that’s all about
bugs at Brown Memorial Preschool. Dress to be outside as we search for
bugs, enjoy a story, make a bug craft, and have a snack. Tot times are
designed for children ages 1-5 and their caregiver. Babies under 12 months
of age are free!

May 11: Annual African American Book Fair

Enjoy a fun-filled day focused on kids’ literature about African Americans and
people of other ethnicities. Enjoy author readings, illustration workshops,
live performances, and art activities. Purchase hard-to-find titles in Book
Village. 7th year. Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland

May 19: Baltimore Birth Festival

Join vendors, care providers, local businesses, birth workers, and more for a
day of family fun and information on pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting
supports available in the Baltimore area. The event includes face painting,
food trucks, Kona Ice, a kid-friendly DJ, and over $4,000 in giveaways. Event
is held at Patterson Park and is free for the community.

**These are only a few of the many events held this spring in the Baltimore area. For
more events, visit www.baltimoreschild.com.**

A Memorable (and cheap) Baltimore Winter

Winter days are frigid and short but children still seem to find the energy to
bounce off the wall. They don’t quite understand the beauty of a slow and relaxing
morning with a good book and big cup of coffee! Dreamy, right?
Ever wondered how to make the most of those blustery, winter months without
feeling those claustrophobic blues? This winter, let Baltimore (and the surrounding
area) surprise you with events and places to explore!

The Miracle of 34 th Street
If you don’t already know about Baltimore’s best kept Christmas secret, then
it truly is a best kept secret. Peruse the quirky neighborhood of Hampden while
sipping some of the Charmery’s hot cocoa. A crowd pleaser, for sure. Pop into Trovh
for some local gift ideas. Make your way to 34 th Street as the Christmas block truly
does shine for miles. The lights are on from November 29-January 1. It is free to the
public and makes for a great photo op.

Highlandtown’s Train Garden
Take a trip to Baltimore’s very own little neighborhood of Highlandtown this
holiday season. An impressive toy train set geared to awe any child. You will be
surprised at the attention to detail and Baltimore charm this little train garden
holds. The train runs from November 24- January 1 and is located at #41 Engine
House on Conkling Ave. Wrap up your event with dinner at the century-old Italian
kitchen and market, Di Pasquales. You will not be disappointed.
This is a free event but does accept and appreciate donations.

Holiday Festival of Trains
Got a train lover on your hands? Here’s another event promising to please.
While not in Baltimore city, this event claims to be the largest train display in the
area. Held in Ellicott City’s B&O Railroad museum, this set up includes a multilevel
Lego layout with interactive elements. This toy train is in operation November 28-
January 25 and costs $6-8 for admission.

12 Days of Science
The Maryland Science Center has incorporated activities this winter that go
far beyond checking the weather. Solstice-themed planetarium show, toy-making
workshops, “Christmas Bulb Drop Challenge” are bound to please all ages. Drop in
December 20-31 to have some interactive hands-on learning experiences. All extra,
holiday themed exhibits are free with paid admission.

It’s a Waterfront Life
This December, visit Baltimore’s very own Inner Harbor for an array of
festivities. Ice-skating (open until January 21), Christmas Village and photos with
Santa (both open until December 24) make every child excited for the upcoming holiday. Pop into Barnes and Noble for some hot chocolate and a cozy spot to read
and warm your toes. Events range in cost.

Baltimore Museum of Art
Free of charge and open all year round, this museum is an attraction worth
exploring. Browse colorful art and roam through rooms of talent. The sculpture
garden outside is interesting as well. Children will love to visualize, detect, and
discover through an artist’s eyes. Also, every Sunday from 2-5, the BMA hosts a craft
making event for children that is FREE. All materials provided. A family event that
guarantees to encourage a creative mind.

Natural Pain Relief Options For Birth

Maybe you are looking to have a natural birth experience? Or perhaps, you plan on getting that epidural as soon as you get to the hospital! No matter what your ideal birth looks like, the majority of women will benefit from some great natural pain relief options and techniques to help them get through contractions!

Labor is so aptly named, as it is the purposeful hard work you do, on the final journey to meet your baby! During labor your body goes through incredible physical, emotional, and hormonal changes. This transformation of birth is often accompanied by a substantial degree of discomfort. Of course laboring women want to mitigate pain, but short of using pharmacological interventions, how do you really reduce pain in labor and birth? You support your body’s own natural pain relieving abilities! Here is the key to natural pain relief: During birth you want to reduce cortisol levels, the hormone produced in response to stress, and catecholamines, the ‘fight or flight’ hormones, produced in response of fear. And you want to increase oxytocin and beta-endorphin levels, to help facilitate labor, provide a sense of euphoria, and alleviate pain. The following seven natural pain relief options for birth help your body balance specific hormones, to ease labor discomforts.

Education
Educating yourself about pregnancy, labor, and birth will help build your knowledge, prepare you emotionally and mentally, and give you the necessary tools and techniques to navigate the modern birth landscape. Education serves as an important natural pain relief tool, because you are replacing fear of the unknown with information and excitement about your birth. When you know what to expect from the birth process, it becomes much easier to cope with the pain of labor. You can educate yourself by taking a comprehensive childbirth course, read birth stories, and find informational and supportive books about the birth process. Knowing what to expect will build your confidence and prove to be a powerful pain relief tool!

Relaxation
There are several facets to relaxation that you should consider. You want to create a relaxing birth environment and learn to relax, both physically and emotionally. Employing this trifecta will serve as exceptional natural pain relief during labor. First, you want to create a relaxing birth environment. Curating a serene atmosphere with dim lighting, candles, aromatherapy, and calming music can get the oxytocin flowing, and ease tension to help you enjoy labor.

It is also important to relax both physically and emotionally. A recent study suggests engaging in relaxation exercises, through a mindfulness-based practice during pregnancy, can help reduce anxiety and facilitate an easier and more satisfying birth experience. Mindfulness is simply a state of awareness, that arises from paying attention to the present moment. This mindfulness app, specifically created for pregnancy, birth, and parenthood, is a fantastic training tool to help you engage in relaxation wherever you are. There are also several simple, but effective exercises that will teach you how to relax your muscles during times of tension and stress. To benefit most from these physical and emotional relaxation exercises, set aside time once or twice per day during your pregnancy. Relaxation training can truly help you have an amazing birth experience.

Movement
Your baby must navigate down and out through your pelvis during labor and birth. Movement is key in facilitating this, and serves as an important pain relief strategy for you. Getting into a more upright position, or even just changing positions regularly can really help you manage even the most intense contractions. Movement can speed up a slow labor, help a posterior baby turn into a more optimal (and less painful!) position, and help you get a little more comfortable. Consider taking a walk, spending time on a birth ball, or use the support of your partner’s body to sway through contractions. Finding rhythm and ritual through movement is a fantastic pain coping mechanism.

Water
Hydrotherapy is a scientifically proven natural, stress reducing and pain relief technique. Laboring in a warm bath can provide an incredible level of pain reduction. Taking a hot shower can be exceptionally relaxing, while helping you get upright, which helps baby move down and through your pelvis.

Acupressure
Acupressure is based on principles from Traditional Chinese Medicine, an ancient and holistically focused wellness practice. Utilizing and applying direct pressure to specific points on the body during labor, may provide you with phenomenal pain relief. Acupressure is a wonderfully convenient and cost-effective pain relief tool. You can take advantage of the benefits almost anywhere, and without any special equipment. When direct and appropriate pressure is applied to this area of the back and on the feet, relief from uncomfortable back labor may be alleviated, almost effortlessly.

Massage
The demonstrated pain relief benefits of massage during labor are extensive. There are both physical and emotional advantages to massage therapy during labor and birth. It can relax tense muscles, easing the pain of contractions, shorten labor, facilitate rest, ease anxiety, and promote a sense of serenity. Your partner or birth support person can help you access the amazing pain relief options of massage by following these techniques.

Emotional Support
Having a supportive birth team is one of the most effective natural pain relief tools available! It is crucial to find a provider you trust, who encourages your birth philosophy, educate your birth partner, and hire a birth doula! A doula is a trained maternal support practitioner who provides emotional, physical, and educational assistance to a laboring mother and her birth partner. Evidence overwhelmingly supports having a doula as a powerful natural pain relief option. With dedicated labor support, women are more likely to have a satisfying and positive birth experience and require less medical pain management. Doulas can provide comfort with numerous pain-relief techniques that help reduce anxiety and fear, support physical and emotional relaxation, promote an uncomplicated physiological birth, and facilitate a positive birth environment.

Birth can be a joyous occasion for the the entire family. With the right preparation, support, and natural pain relief options, you can absolutely have the best (and possibly pain-free) birth experience. If you would like more natural pain relief tips, tools, and techniques, enroll in our Natural Pain Relief Strategies For Labor Workshop. This incredible class helps couples gain an amazing sense of self-reliance, so they can cope with labor beautifully.

The Nurturing Root loves to support and educate families in Baltimore. We offer an exceptional array of Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth courses and holistic newborn care classes, in-home placenta encapsulation, and family-centered postpartum doula and infant care support. We are honored to serve your family. Please contact us for more information, today!

Why Not Home?

Why Not Home? Trailer from Jessicca Moore on Vimeo.

We are so thrilled to be bringing the eye opening documentary, Why Not Home to Baltimore this fall.  Join us at The Womb Room on November 3 at 7pm for the Baltimore screening.

Why Not Home examines childbirth in The United States and takes a deep look into birth outcomes at home and in the hospital.  It addresses the complex issues surrounding maternal health care and the cultural assumptions surrounding birth, especially at home.  This film's compelling story is told from the point of view of obstetricians, nurses, and other clinicians who ultimately chose to welcome their babies at home.

Admission: $10/person

why not home baltimore

Number of Tickets

Your receipt is your ticket.

Summer Bucket List Ideas in Baltimore

Baltimore is such a wonderful, family friendly city. We've compiled the ultimate list of our favorite summer bucket list ideas in Baltimore for family fun.  Whether you want to take a hike or explore a museum on a rainy day, we have something for everyone.  After exploring some of these spots, you'll see they call it Charm City for a reason!

Peach and Berry Picking

strawberry picking in baltimore

Weber's Peachberry Farm

Hybridoma Organic Berry Farm


Weekend Farmers Markets

Summer Buket List Guide to Baltimore

Baltimore Farmers' Market & Bazaar

Waverly Farmers' Market

Fells Point Farmers' Market


Planes & Trains
plane observation in baltimore

Thomas Dixon Aircraft Observation Park

B&O Train Museum

Baltimore Streetcar Museum


For the Nature Lovers

double rock park baltimore

Cylburn Arboretum

Ladew Topiary Gardens

Irvine Nature Center

Marshy Point

Double Rock Park

Cascade Falls

Oregon Ridge Nature Center


Farms

Gunpowder Bison Farm

Chapel Hill

Clark's Eliok

Kinder Farm Park

Gunpowder Bison Farm


Zoos & Aquarium
Maryland Zoo

Plumpton Park Zoo

Maryland Zoo

National Aquarium


Artsy Smartsy

american visionary arts museum baltimore

American Visionary Arts Museum

Holt Center for the Arts

Art with Ms. Barbara

Baltimore Clayworks

Walter's Art Museum


Science
maryland science center

NASA Goddard Flight Center

Maryland Science Center


Splash Pads
splash pad in baltimore

The Rotunda

Walter Sondheim Fountain, Inner Harbor


Eats

Paper Moon Diner

The Charmery

R. House


Fitness & Fun
parkour baltimore
Urban Evolution, Parkour camps and classes

Movement Lab, aerial classes

 


Other Family Fun

urban pirate baltimore

Urban Pirate

Monster Mimi Golf

The Best Free Holiday Events in Baltimore

The Holiday Season is arguably the most hectic time of year. There are just too many obligatory work, school, and family gatherings to attend.  While planning parties, making gifts, and baking goodies can be festive, it is also exhausting. In order to maintain that high holiday spirit, it is helpful to connect with family and friends in a meaningful way throughout the season. Intentionally gathering together, in engaging activities, is a wonderful way to stay present and celebrate. Here are five, totally free and exceptionally merry, events happening in Baltimore this December. Take some time to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with those you hold dear!

Christmas Village in Baltimore

November 24 - December 24, 2016 @ 11am-7pm

West Shore Park, Inner Harbor

Explore a traditional German-style Christmas village with an appearance by the luminous Christkindl. She is the ‘færie gift-giving girl’ equivalent of our modern Santa. Peruse the market stalls for some holiday treats, including: gingerbread, waffles, mulled wine, and chocolates. There is also an array of handmade ornaments, gifts, and traditional crafts for purchase.

Fell’s Point Main Street Olde Tyme Christmas

Saturday, December 3, 2016 @ 9am - 8pm

Events centered near Broadway and Thames Streets

Enjoy an entire day of family fun at Olde Tyme Christmas Festival. Watch for St. Nick as he arrives by tugboat. Then enjoy breakfast with him at Barocina and Points South Latin Kitchen.  There will be a beverage garden and an eggnog contest.  At 5pm the tree-lighting ceremony will be held, followed by a lighted boat parade.

43rd Annual Mayor’s Christmas Parade

Sunday, December 4, 2016 Beginning @ 1pm

Commences at Poly/Western High School complex; ending at Chestnut Avenue @ 37th Street.

The Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade is a 2.5 mile celebration route in the Medfield and Hampden neighborhoods. This quintessentially Baltimore event features several marching bands, dance squads, Christmas floats, Santa himself, and even a steam calliope! After the parade is over, stop by The Womb Room, and celebrate their grand opening. The Womb Room is a gathering space for expectant parents and families, hosting a variety of childbirth education, yoga, and wellness classes and workshops.

Holidays At Hampton

Saturday, December 10, 2016 @ 10am-8pm and Sunday, December 11, 2016 10am-4pm

Hampton National Historic Site, 535 Hampton Lane, Towson

Take a Yuletide tour of this 18th-Century Georgian estate, farmhouse and servants’ quarters.  Experience the various Christmas traditions of Hampton, including: a candlelight open house,  African-American storytelling, period arts and crafts, and a live harpist performance.

Winter Solstice Ritual

December 21, 2016 @ 7pm-8pm

First Unitarian Church of Baltimore

Gather friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate this earth-honoring tradition!  The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore is a radically inclusive community, welcoming all to participate in the winter ritual of light. Give thanks while enjoying songs, poetry and seasonal blessings. There will be a festive reception to follow.

Holiday blessings to your family from The Nurturing Root!

Top 10 Baltimore Date Ideas For Pregnant Couples

Pregnancy is a transformative experience for parents-to-be. You may be wondering what life will be like with a new baby or how your relationship may change. Adding a child undoubtedly augments all aspects of life. Pregnancy serves as a really great exercise in being present. While you're waiting for baby, enjoy some together time and connect. Here are ten Baltimore date ideas, that honor the now!

  1. Spa Day Enjoy a couples massage. Mom can benefit from a restorative prenatal massage, while Dad enjoys relaxing bodywork. Try Jessie Bernstein at Satori Wellness Center in Towson, The Loft (formerly Missy Kibelbek) in Hampden, or The Healing Path, which has locations in Mt. Vernon, Fell’s Point, and Baltimore County.
  2. Linger at dinner  Sitting together, uninterrupted, for a meal is a rarity for many new parents.  While you are still growing baby, enjoy dinners outside the home. My top picks are Petit Louis with two locations; Roland Park and Columbia and The Wine Market in Locust Point.
  3. Fake a Vacation Staying at a local hotel for an evening or two is the more accessible little sister to a ‘babymoon’. Kimpton Hotel Monaco, near the Inner Harbor, has great boutique hotel amenities. It is in proximity to many downtown Baltimore sites and attractions.
  4. Take a Long Stroll Taking a walk, especially in late pregnancy, can ease discomforts and even facilitate labor. For a picturesque water view, visit Fort McHenry.  If you prefer the canopy of trees, head to Lake Roland.
  5. Brunch Never overrated; brunch is perfect for special occasions. Wit and Wisdom delivers a fantastic Sunday brunch, located at the Four Seasons Hotel in Harbor East.
  6. IKEA A trip to IKEA is a right of passage for parents-to-be. Take a quick trip to White Marsh, or try the Prince George’s County store for the best selection of minimalist nursery staples.
  7. Practice Yoga The Birth Well at Baltimore Yoga Village offers two enriching options: prenatal yoga classes and a yoga for birth workshop. Both programs will help you connect and feel empowered during pregnancy and birth. Baltimore Yoga Village has studios in Hampden and Mt. Washington.
  8. Visit a Museum There are several great museums in Baltimore. Visit Federal Hill and stop by The American Visionary Art Museum.  AVAM hosts an eclectic array of works by self-taught artists. The Baltimore Museum of Art, in Charles Village, houses the renowned Cone Collection and has an exceptionally well-edited contemporary collection.
  9. Watch a Movie Both the Charles and Senator Theatres are landmark locations in Baltimore, where you can view a variety of mainstream and independent films.
  10. Picnic Relax and have a romantic afternoon picnic. Cylburn Arboretum offers respite from city life with its charming gardens. Patterson Park features a vast open lawn earning its nickname, the ‘best backyard in Baltimore’.

If you are looking for resources or recommendations during pregnancy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

ICPA Freedom for Family Wellness Summit

Maryland Birth Boot Camp instructors Carmen Calvo and Anna Jozefczyk with board member Kristen Hosaka, DC.

This past weekend I had the honor of being asked to represent Birth Boot Camp at the ICPA Freedom for Family Wellness Summit in Reston, VA.  Birth Boot Camp supports and promotes chiropractic in pregnancy and postpartum and addresses its use throughout the curriculum. We were excited to be able to spread the word about our childbirth education series to chiropractors throughout the country.

www.facebook.com/thenurturingroot

www.facebook.com/thenurturingroot

 

The summit had many world renowned and well respected speakers, including some of my favorites, Ina May Gaskin, CPM, Jennifer Margulis, PhD, and Kelly Brogan, MD. I was really excited to represent Birth Boot Camp and was proud to help promote our curriculum, but I was also REALLY hoping to be able to meet Ina May and Jennifer Margulis at the conference.

I met so many amazing practitioners at the summit. I networked with moms, doulas, childbirth educators, physical therapists, and chiropractors, and feel really good about how well our childbirth education program was received. Of course I know that Birth Boot Camp is extremely thorough, modern, and comprehensive, but it was awesome to hear that other professionals agree!
The highlight of the weekend? Luckily for me, I spotted Ina May, and was able to introduce myself and get a picture. She was gracious and humble, just as I imagined. Birth Boot Camp board member, Kristen Hosaka, DC met Jennifer Margulis!If you aren’t familiar with Birth Boot Camp and are looking for an amazing childbirth education class in Maryland, visit my website for more info and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Maryland childbirth educator, Carmen Calvo and Ina May Gaskin, CPM

Maryland childbirth educator, Carmen Calvo and Ina May Gaskin, CPM

Birth Boot Camp board member, Kristen Hosaka, DC and Jennifer Margulis, PhD.

Birth Boot Camp board member, Kristen Hosaka, DC and Jennifer Margulis, PhD.