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13 once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can only have in Maryland

Rachel Patella feeds the fish while she swims in the in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The aquarium offers a $195 experience that allows you to scuba dive in the tank with more than 80 species of fish.
Rachel Patella feeds the fish while she swims in the in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The aquarium offers a $195 experience that allows you to scuba dive in the tank with more than 80 species of fish.(Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

View Charm City from the comfort of a helicopter, all while sipping on champagne before dining at one of Baltimore’s top restaurants. Get your face contoured and adorned by a celebrity makeup artist. And even enjoy an opportunity to sit down with baseball royalty.

There’s no need to travel to New York City or Los Angeles. Many of these experiences can be done right here in Maryland — even the chance to have haute couture designed by a “Project Runway” finalist.

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Here are an array of experiences and adventures that are either over-the-top or so unique that they can only be done in Maryland.

Baltimore native Bishme Cromartie during a media preview of Maryland Historical Society's "Spectrum of Fashion" exhibit.
Baltimore native Bishme Cromartie during a media preview of Maryland Historical Society's "Spectrum of Fashion" exhibit.(Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Have someone from TV make your clothes

Bishme Cromartie, bishmecromartie.com

If you were spellbound, like most watchers of “Project Runway,” by Baltimore contestant Bishme Cromartie, now is your chance to capture some of his magic. A custom gown by the “Project Runway” finalist ranges from $1,200 to $7,000, depending on the fabric. That means you can make a unique, fashionable splash for your next red carpet moment. After all, if his garments are good enough to be praised by Christian Siriano and worn by the likes of Andra Day, Eva Marcille, Jill Scott and Dascha Polanco, they are more than appropriate for the most discerning of fashionistas.

Celebrity photographer Roy Cox has worked with the likes of Iyanla Vanzant, Ray Lewis and Yolanda Adams. You can book him for a shoot on location with prices starting at $1,500.
Celebrity photographer Roy Cox has worked with the likes of Iyanla Vanzant, Ray Lewis and Yolanda Adams. You can book him for a shoot on location with prices starting at $1,500.(courtesy of Roy Cox Photography/handout)

Become a piece of art

Roy Cox Photography, 4-optic.com, 410-633-4540

Roy Cox knows how to capture the perfect pic. He has photographed the likes of Iyanla Vanzant, Yolanda Adams, Ray Lewis, Ledisi, Manny Machado, Kevin Plank and more. Now get a chance to get in front of the camera as celebrity shooter Roy Cox takes your portrait. He can even come to you. For a shoot on location, prices start at $1,500 and come with wardrobe options.

Buy your way onto the stage

Stillpointe Theater, stillpointetheatre.com

Channel your inner thespian/exhibitionist when you join Stillpointe Theater’s production of the burlesque musical “Pop: Who Shot Andy Warhol.” For a fee, you’ll be able to have a role in the upcoming production (Jan. 16 to Feb. 1) of this Baltimore premiere musical whodunit. For $150, you’ll be pulled on stage by the character Valerie Solanas, during her midnight number “Big Gun.” The role is not for the shy or faint of heart. Expect to be part of a six-minute burlesque performance.

One of the rooms at the luxurious The Ivy, Baltimore.
One of the rooms at the luxurious The Ivy, Baltimore.

Mark a milestone in style

The Ivy, Baltimore, theivybaltimore.com

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Pop bottles at The Ivy, Baltimore with their champagne experience. Starting at $1,400, spend a night in one of their luxurious suites where a bottle of their house champagne greets you upon arrival. The stay at the Mount Vernon hotel also includes a 60-minute Champagne & Bergamot Bliss Body Spa Treatment for two in the second-floor spa, which is described as “a jewel box of comfort”; in-room bubbles and bath-setup service; made-to-order gourmet breakfast for two, which, of course, includes champagne cocktails.

The Private Kitchen, located in the basement of The Food Market in Hampden, allows you to gather with up to 12 total guests and experience a five-course meal.
The Private Kitchen, located in the basement of The Food Market in Hampden, allows you to gather with up to 12 total guests and experience a five-course meal. (Rachel Lipton/handout)

Indulge your inner foodie

The Private Kitchen, located in the basement of The Food Market, allows you to gather with up to 12 total guests and experience a five-course meal from Chef Chad Gauss. In addition to being away from the hustle and bustle of the popular Hampden restaurant, the room features a 42” flat-screen television.

The “Slay The Menu” allows you to eat up to half of the menu. $300 room fee + $100 per guest (optional draft beer, wine and specialty cocktails for $40 per guest). Once booked, you can choose from various menus to customize your special five-course dinner. The dinner also includes tableside chef and service. Guests must be 18 because of the proximity of cooking equipment and the closeness of the space.

The spa at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore offers a four-hour couples experience starting at $1,800.
The spa at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore offers a four-hour couples experience starting at $1,800.(Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun)

Relax and recharge together

Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, fourseasons.com/baltimore

With picturesque, sweeping views of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the spas at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore are already a visual treat. Now, you can have the space all to yourself. Starting at $1,800, you can rent out the men’s side of the spa for the evening. The experience includes a welcome tea prior to your treatment, two monogrammed bathrobes waiting in your personalized lockers, candle-lit rose petal drawn bath in a private soaking tub, a multi-course meal and an 80-minute couple’s massage. The four-hour experience begins at 9:30 p.m. and can be customized to include your favorite music and scents.

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Rachel Patella feeds the fish while she swims in the in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The aquarium offers a $195 experience that allows you to scuba dive in the tank with more than 80 species of fish.
Rachel Patella feeds the fish while she swims in the in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The aquarium offers a $195 experience that allows you to scuba dive in the tank with more than 80 species of fish.(Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun)

Dive with the fishes

Swim among 80 species of fish in the Atlantic coral reef exhibit at the National Aquarium during this unique experience. There are a couple of conditions for the $195 adventure. First, you have to be older than 18. You also must be PADI Open Water Diver-certified or an equivalent to that. There’s also an hour orientation and prep before the 30-to-45-minute dive. You also must bring your own wetsuit, mask and snorkel, booties and SCUBA fins. After that, you’re all set to swim among sharks, puffer fish and other species typically found in the Atlantic coral reef. Book through the Atlantic Edge Dive Center by phone at 301-519-9283 or online at atlanticedge.com.

Charm City Helicopters offers an anniversary and engagement package for $528 per person, which includes a 30-35-minute flight and a six-course meal afterward at La Cuchara.
Charm City Helicopters offers an anniversary and engagement package for $528 per person, which includes a 30-35-minute flight and a six-course meal afterward at La Cuchara.(Courtesy of Charm City Helicopte / HANDOUT)

See the city from a different perspective

Charm City Helicopters, flycharmcity.com

Experience Charm City and the state’s capital, Annapolis, from the comfort of a helicopter, through Charm City Helicopters. The company’s anniversary and engagement package is $528 per person and includes a six-course meal afterward at La Cuchara, the Basque region restaurant in Clipper Mill. But first, the 30-35-minute flight includes breathtaking views of iconic landmarks such as Fort McHenry, the Bay Bridge and the historic architecture of downtown Annapolis. The flight also includes a bottle of champagne, Charm City Helicopter engraved champagne glasses and a dozen roses. Dinner flights start at 5 p.m. with the last flight leaving at 7 p.m. The entire experience ranges from three to four hours.

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The terrace view of MGM National Harbor. The casino offers a number of luxurious experiences for guests.
The terrace view of MGM National Harbor. The casino offers a number of luxurious experiences for guests.(Baltimore Sun)

Live like a high-roller

Who says that the only thing you can do at a casino is gamble? Certainly not MGM National Harbor, where you can participate in the Live Like a High Roller package, which includes food, entertainment and luxurious living. The experience starts with a stay in the 3,210-square-foot Chairman Suite. (Rates start at $4,500 a night, depending on availability.) A couples retreat in the 27,000-square-foot spa is a cool $770. Bottle service at the property’s Felt Lounge starts at a minimum of $750 and goes as high as $2,000 for “the best seat in the house.” Dinner at the Maryland Fry Bar at Fish by José Andrés is a unique dinner at a five-seat bar where guests sit front-row and watch as chefs prepare everything from wild mushrooms to scallops with truffles and caviar. ($80 per person.)

Demetress Valentine is a celebrity makeup artists and hair stylist who has worked on stars such as Tamia, H.E.R. and Carla Hall. You, too, can work with the Odenton resident.
Demetress Valentine is a celebrity makeup artists and hair stylist who has worked on stars such as Tamia, H.E.R. and Carla Hall. You, too, can work with the Odenton resident.(Roy Cox Photography)

Get your own glam squad

Demetress Valentine, Instagram DVGLAM, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 2B, Crofton

With celebrity clients such as Tamia, Yara Shahidi, H.E.R., Elle Varner, Laurence Fishburne, Carla Hall, and JoJo, Odenton resident and beauty expert Demetress Valentine has built an impressive resume.

And now you can have the same celebrity treatment in the comfort of your own home. A full face of makeup — lashes and all — starts at $150. Hairstyling and makeup packages start at $300. Valentine does everything from blowouts to weave sew-ins. Valentine also works out of D’Signs Unlimited Beauty Studio in Crofton.

Design your own chef's knife at the Tool Library in Station North for $250.
Design your own chef's knife at the Tool Library in Station North for $250.(Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Slice and dice like a chef

The Station North Tool Library, stationnorthtoollibrary.org

For top chefs, having the proper knife is a must. Take that need to the next level when you design and make your own chef’s knife for $250 at The Station North Tool Library.

The custom chef’s knife is made over the course of four three-hour sessions, from design to heat-treating your cut of 1095 steel to choosing and forming your wood handle. Although there are no prerequisites for the class, you must attend all classes. And there are no makeup classes.

Travel the world with the BMA

Art and travel enthusiasts are able to combine both their loves into a trip to the Netherlands where senior curator Andaleeb Banta guides you through the Netherlands from March 6-12, 2020. That means plenty of Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and Mondrian. The six-day trip includes four nights double occupancy at the Pulitzer Hotel and two nights double occupancy at the Kruisheren Maastricht, a visit to the famed European Fine Art Fair and private motor coach transportation. You must be at least a “Contributor Membership” ($165 to $1,499) to participate in the BMA International Travel Program, which starts at $5,981 depending on how many people participate. A $1,000 deposit is required.

As part of the Birdland Rewards, the points system linked to Orioles loyalty purchases, participants can have brunch with Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson.
As part of the Birdland Rewards, the points system linked to Orioles loyalty purchases, participants can have brunch with Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson.(By Julie E. Greene/Herald-Mail/AP)

Tell the O’s how you really feel

Membership has its perks — especially when your current team is experiencing a bit of a slide.

For members of Birdland Rewards, the points system linked to Orioles loyalty purchases, participants can: have brunch with Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson (2,000 points); have an assorted brunch buffet with short question-and-answer session with Hall of Famer Jim Palmer (2,000); meet Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias (2,000) and attend batting practice on-field at Camden Yards and get tips from Hall of Famer Eddie Murray (3,000). Points are earned through a system. For example, every time you spend $50 on a Birdland membership, you receive 50 points.

And while you’ll be able to get up-close and personal with some of your sports idols, no autographs are permitted for most of these experiences.

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