There are many fabulous kid-friendly museums to visit in Baltimore, however, two aren’t your typical museums. Sports Legends and Geppi’s Entertainment Museum offer a wide assortment of activities to please everyone in your family, from small children to grandparents. Put both of these on your list of “must-do’s” for a family vacation this summer.
Sports Legends at Camden Yards
301 W. Camden Street 410-727-1539
The Sports Legends Museum is an amazing tribute to Baltimore and Maryland Sports. Located in historic Camden Station, adjacent to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, this fabulous museum is for all ages. Opened in 2005, it includes more than 22,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and memorabilia. The Babe Ruth Museum operates the Sports Legends at Camden Yards and the original Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum, located a few miles away. USA Today calls the Sports Legends Museum, “One of Six New Museums You Must See.”
Step back in time and see for yourself Colts memorabilia including a Johnny Unitas exhibit, complete with his shoes, uniform and family pictures. View pictures of Johnny growing up and all the memorabilia from the "good old" days of the Colts. Re-live the Colts Championship games and see an overview of the Baltimore Colts Marching Band, still active to this day. The exhibit even takes visitors through the dreadful day when the Colts were packed up and moved out of Baltimore, secretly, in the middle of the night.
Orioles exhibits include uniforms, a Hall of Fame area, Memorial Stadium mementos and a Cal Ripken Jr. Gallery. See the bat Cal used to win a home-run derby, the 2131 banner from his record breaking game and many other items highlighting the playing history of Ripken. The original Norman Rockwell painting of Brooks Robinson signing an autograph for a child, said to be Rockwell’s last painting, is even on display.
A Babe Ruth Exhibit includes his original contract, a bat that he once used and film footage of Babe’s famous home run that he supposedly "called before he hit it!" The exhibit on The Negro League Teams is appropriately entitled “A Baseball Legacy.” Learn about Minor League Baseball in Maryland, Maryland’s stadiums and the history of Lacrosse and the Preakness in Maryland. The museum also has exhibits on the B&O terminal, where the museum is housed. Board a 19th century replica model railcar and experience what the trip may have been like so many years ago.
The Kids Discovery Room allows youngsters to try on actual team uniforms. My son loved the broadcasting area, where you can record a play by play of football, basketball or baseball on a microphone and then play it back.
The latest addition is Baltimore Ravens memorabilia. See the Ravens Super Bowl Lombardi Trophy, the AFC Hunt Trophy and assorted jerseys, game balls, collector’s items and the Super Bowl XXXV ring.
Sports Legends at Camden Yards is open Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. October through March and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April- September, except on game days when the museum stay open until 7 p.m. Admission is 8.00 for adults; $6.00 for seniors; and $4.00 for children ages 5 to 12. Combo Ticket for Both Sports Legends and the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum: Adults: $12.00, Seniors: $8.00, and Children (ages 3-12): $5.00.
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum
301 W. Camden Street 410-625-7060
Located above the Sports Legends at Camden Yards on two floors, is the 17,000 square foot Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, a nostalgic look at pop culture. Steve Geppi, president and CEO of Diamond Comic Distributors, created this museum of pop culture memorabilia that will have you re-living your childhood. Collectible toys, comics, posters, figurines, dolls and so much more will have you saying, "I had that!” and "Remember that?“ The Ronald McDonald doll, the cereal box collectible toys and the many television show character figures all brought back wonderful memories. Toys from "Welcome Back, Kotter," "Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Partridge Family" TV shows all made me smile.
Animation cels, movie posters, oil paintings, comic books and rare toys are all arranged in sequence from rare 18th century marbles to Star Wars figures. The museum spans 230 years of American life with several changing exhibits so there is always something new to see. My children loved the life-size Batman, which makes a wonderful photo opportunity. The exhibits are arranged in periods, displaying the most popular items from that era in an interesting, informative way.
A special exhibit, "The Force is With Us: 30 Years of Star Wars," runs June 9-Sept. 8, 2009 and will include three decades of Star Wars memorabilia.
Geppi has amassed an enormous private collection and seeing it all in one museum is astonishing. As the saying goes, “Thanks for the memories.”
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through September and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. October-March. Admission is $10 adults, $9 seniors, $7 students and free for children 3 and under.
Photo credits: SLACY/Maroon PR