The Maryland Zoo is a great way to spend a day if you're in the Baltimore area. My kids love this place, and it always feels clean and well run. I have been to a lot of zoos, and it is still one of my favorites. We go so often that we’ve actually gotten a membership. The zoo is not overwhelmingly large, but it has a great selection of animals nonetheless. Everything from giraffes and elephants to lions and rhinoceroses can be found throughout the various exhibits.
There are also some great interactive activities for kids. There is a creature encounter area with rotating animal ambassadors, a giraffe feeding station,* a penguin encounter,* goat grooming, and even a family scavenger hunt. The last time we were there, they also had face painting.* Every visit seems to have a new surprise in store, and playing with the goats and feeding the giraffes are always highlights! The zoo also has a carousel*–with zoo animals rather than horses, of course–and a little train* that rides around some of the zoo exhibits while providing some educational commentary. They also a plethora of kids-driven special events–craft activities,* story times,* a music festival,* breakfast with the animals,* and family sleepover events* (consult their schedule of events here). And if that’s not enough, the penguin feeding is always entertaining to watch and the chimpanzees love making faces at all of their guests!
That’s not to say the zoo isn’t for adults, too. If the variety of exhibits aren’t enough to draw your attention–or the giraffe feeding which I love even more than my kids do–the zoo also has a ton of adult-geared events and activities. There are several hands-on optional behind the scenes tours* to choose from. There is an annual Brew at the Zoo* (typically around Memorial Day weekend) and Octobear Fest (at the end of October) event that draw huge crowds, and they have regularly rotating events like Yoga at the Zoo* and Paint and Sip Nights* (consult their schedule of event here).
*Disclaimer: Additional feels may apply.