You and tot don't have to venture into the city to find something fun to do -- the Baltimore suburb of Glen Burnie, Maryland, is packed with activities that will have your little one grinning from ear to ear. Best of all, the diverse lineup of exploits lets you and tot enjoy quality time together on your schedule. Whether you work during the week or work around late-morning nap times, you'll easily fill your calendar.
Go for a Swim
Among Glen Burnie's main attractions is the North Arundel Aquatic Center (no website; 7888 Crain Highway, Glen Burnie; 410-222-0090). For year-round swimming complete with a kiddie waterslide, stop by the indoor facility Tuesdays through Thursdays any time between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. And break out your swimsuit, too -- a trip to the pool means you'll be enjoying the water, right along with your future Olympian. Your tot must be 100-percent potty trained because swimming diapers are not allowed. The aquatic center also offers toddler swim classes during the mornings and early evenings throughout the week and on Saturday mornings.
Settle into a Story
The Glen Burnie branch of the Anne Arundel County Library (aacpl.net) is great for stimulating young minds. If your little Einstein is on the younger side, check out the Babies in Bloom program for smarties up to 2 years old. The half-hour 10 a.m. session takes place on Mondays and showcases what the little ones love: rhymes, songs and finger plays. You and your older tike (age 2 and up) can sit in on the library's regular story time on Wednesdays or Thursdays at 10 a.m. During holidays, the library rolls out seasonal crafts and activities during the week and even on some Saturdays. The big event is the costume parade around the library, usually scheduled the week before Halloween at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Move the Booty
It doesn't get much cuter than a 2-year-old in a tutu. Cultivate your little dancer by enrolling her in an Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks (aacounty.org/RecParks) ballet class open to 2-to-5-year-olds. Glen Burnie toddler dance classes are held at the North Arundel Aquatic Center on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. For more moving and shaking, head over to the Marley Station Mall (no website; 7900 Ritchie Hwy., Glen Burnie; 410-766-2033) for a visit to Marley Bounce Party (marleybounceparty.com). With its toddler-sized inflatable bouncers and special play area for tikes, this place is a little one's Technicolor fantasy come-true! Your little gymnast can bounce Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Embrace the Community
The Glen Burnie Improvement Council (gbia.org) offers an excellent lineup of parent-approved, toddler-friendly events. An area favorite, the eight-night Carnival begins on the last Friday in July in downtown Glen Burnie. Families enjoy games, food and kiddie and adult rides. The free five-week Summer Concert Series at Corcoran Pavilion (no website; 103 Crain Hwy. N., Glen Burnie; 410-766-6760), which happens on Friday evenings in June and July, provides live entertainment for parents and a fun atmosphere for tots. The outdoor venue means you can groove while distancing yourself from the speakers so that the music doesn't get too loud for little ears. Other events include a Tie-Dye Ice Cream Social, the Family Fall Festival and the Memorial Day Parade.
Play in the Park
If you're feeling a little cooped up, take in some sun and fresh air at one of Glen Burnie's parks. Sawmill Creek Park on Dorsey Road has a paved one-mile trail that is stroller friendly and the perfect way to squeeze in some exercise for mommy. Cedar-Morris Hill Park on Arundel Corporation Road and Pleasantville Park on Cedar Branch Drive both have playground equipment, and Glen Burrie Park at the end of Elizabeth Road is a quiet, shady park perfect for toddler explorations. Give the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks a call at 410-222-7317 for questions about Glen Burnie parks.
- Anne Arundel County, MD: North Arundel Aquatic Center
- Anne Arundel County Public Library: North County Area Branch
- Anne Arundel Recreation and Parks: Activities for All Ages, Fall & Winter 2012-2013 Guide
- Marley Bounce Party: About Us
- Simon Malls: Marley Station® Home
- Glen Burnie Improvement Association
- Anne Arundel County, MD: Department of Recreation and Parks
- Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images