Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the tranquility and excitement of Howard County, Maryland. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes, Howard County beckons visitors to indulge in unforgettable summer adventures. Embark on a journey of exploration and discovery as you create cherished memories with your family in the heart of Howard County's summer fun.

Outdoor Adventures

Blandair Regional Park 

A state-of-the-art, Play-for-All playground! It offers an "action" area with fitness-focused equipment, climbable animal friends, and an outdoor music space.

Clark's Elioak Farm

A beloved feature of Howard County! It offers the wonders of the Enchanted Forest, the Fairy Forest, Petting Zoo, and Hay Rides.

Merriweather District 

Visit Color Burst Park for kid-friendly events like Books in Bloom, and discover a Splash Pad in the summer. Nearby ice cream shop and many dining options. 

Kids playing at Color Burst Park in Merriweather District

Color Burst Park in the Merriweather District

Roger Carter Community Center Pool 

Pay as you visit, no membership is required. Outdoor splash pad and indoor pool. Offers swim lessons through Howard County Parks and Rec.

Larriland Farm 

Pick strawberries from late May to early June. The apple harvest ends in early November.

Columbia Association's Outdoor Pools

Dive in at these state-of-the-art pools offering beach entries, water slides, hot tubs, heated pools, play structures, and more! 

Troy Park

Regional park with 101 acres. Features several athletic fields, a playground, and trails.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods

Offers kid-friendly outdoor programming throughout the summer

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Summer music series with entertainment for all ages.

Howard County Conservancy

Nature center located on 5 miles of trails with goats, chickens, owls, and turtles.

Howard County Fairgrounds

Events take place at the Fairgrounds every weekend, with livestock showings, arts and crafts fairs, and more, including the Howard County Fair in August.

Terrapin Adventures

Outdoor aerial adventure course with ropes courses, giant swing, and zip lines.

Sharp's at Waterford Farm

530-acre working farm offering activities for children of all ages. No admission fee, no parking, no tickets needed. Dogs are welcome on a leash.

Western Regional Park

Park that features artificial turf, playground, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and pavilions.

Patapsco Valley State Park

Extends along 32 miles of the Patapsco River. Offers hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback, and mountain bike trails, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups in the park’s many popular pavilions.

Lake Kittamaqundi

Walking trail offering outdoor exercise stations. Located along the Columbia Lakefront, where many summer festivals take place, include the Fourth of July Fireworks.

Turf Valley Town Square

Offers an outdoor, family-friendly Summer Concert Series with nearby dining options. 

Centennial Park

Walk along the 2.4-mile paved loop along the lake, or rent a boat at the Adventure Shack to enjoy the view and go fishing in the warmer months.

Columbia Skatepark

Features 15,000 square feet of ramps. Offers camps, and is available for parties.

Rockburn Branch Park

Outdoor facility offering a BMX skills track for biking and much more.

Columbia Association's SportsPark

Bring the family to play a round of mini-golf in this outdoor setting centrally located in Columbia. Also offers batting cages.

Indoor Attractions

Toby's Dinner Theater

Live theater show with an all-you-can-eat buffet and carving station.

The Mall in Columbia 

Escape from the heat into the cool indoors! Enjoy the play area and new experiences, from bowling and laser tag at Main Event to bounce houses at Bouncetastic and creation stations at Playseum.

Historic Savage Mill 

Unique indoor shopping center. It offers live music on the weekends and kid-friendly workshops that include cupcake decorating and candle making. Dogs are welcome on a leash. Next to the 1-mile Savage Trail, which overlooks the mill ruins, and the Historic Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge.

Howard County Libraries

Spend the day indoors at one of the many libraries around the county. Shop at the Farmer's Market at the Miller Branch throughout the summer. Visit the makerspace in the Glenwood Branch where you can find a recording booth and more. Take fun, free classes, or try something new in the DIY Education Center at the Elkridge Branch.

K1 Speed

Get ready to race! This indoor facility offers high-speed go-cart racing exceeding 50 miles per hour.

ClayGround Studio and Gallery

Take classes in pottery, mosaic, and fused glass from the creative hub of historic Ellicott City.

Koreatown Maryland

Go on a kid-friendly culinary road trip for Korean baked goods, bingsu (shaved ice), bubble tea, and more.

Columbia Ice Rink

Open from August to June, this ice skating center has daily public skating sessions and educational programs.

Candlelight Concert Society

Visit one of the performing arts series, or join a children's program.

Maryland Crab and Oyster Trail

Summertime brings the perfect season for enjoying Maryland blue crabs. Share in the tradition with your kids.

Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts

Watch a summer performance, or join one of several summer camps. 

Historic Sites and Museums

Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park

Watch the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company perform in the outdoor summer series.

Bob's BMW Museum

Showcases over 65 vintage and classic BMW Motorcycles with factory original BMWs from as far back as 1925.

African Art Museum of Maryland 

One of only three museums of its kind in the USA. Features African art exhibits and short talks about African artifacts. 

Howard County Historical Society Museum

Free museum in historical Ellicott City sharing the history of Howard County.

Ellicott Mills Children's Museum

Interactive, hands-on education center focusing on the history and culture of those who lived in the 19th-century mill town. Offers themed First Saturday classes. Free admission. Open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Family Fun Centers

Robinson Nature Center

Nature education center located on 18 miles of park land to explore with approximately 1 mile of trails. Offers outdoor summer camps.


An interactive art installation and museum that offers fun workshops and classes in a magical setting.

Monster Mini Golf

Black light mini golf course surrounded by animated monsters with an arcade and laser maze. Learn more in this short video.

Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center 

Features performances and art galleries with a mix of in-person and virtual experiences.

Make It A Kid-Friendly Summer Vacation To Howard County

Before you visit, make sure to confirm details with the organizations. Times and dates are subject to change.

Are you looking for even more kid-friendly activities? Make sure to check out Things To Do

With so many places to visit, you'll want to make it an overnight stay at the Hilton Garden Inn, or one of our many Places to Stay.