Howard County Times
Howard Magazine

Guide to Howard County 2022: 50 places to take the kids

Naomi Stadler, 11, of Baltimore, picks Autumn Gold apples at Larriland Farm in Woodbine with her family.

It’s time to get out of the house and explore Howard County safely with the kids. There are dozens of places to visit — indoors and out — for fun, exercise and, yes, even learning experiences. Here are 50 venues to check out in 2022.

Indoor adventure and play

Autobahn Indoor Speedway


Enjoy indoor electric go-karting in Jessup.

8251 Preston Court, Jessup. 410-880-0010.


Breakout Columbia

The “escape room” craze hits Howard County. Test your mettle in live-action entertainment.

8661 Robert Fulton Drive, Columbia. 443-832-6980.


Columbia bowling center holds parties for children ages 4-12.

7100 Carved Stone, Columbia. 410-381-7750.

Code Ninjas

Children ages 7-14 learn to code, also known as computer programming, while building games during weekday sessions and day camps.


5725 Richards Valley Road, Suite A3, Ellicott City. 410-680-2633.

Dancel Y in Ellicott City

Yoga, zumba and cardio classes for kids, plus swimming, soccer, lacrosse and rock wall climbing.

4331 Montgomery Road, Ellicott City. 410-465-4334.

Drama Learning Center

The center provides theater classes and camps for children of all ages at its Columbia headquarters, as well as at local schools.


9130 Red Branch Road, Suite I, Columbia. 410-849-6335.

Movement Columbia

Formerly Earth Treks, this Columbia climbing center offers open-climb sessions with a range of rock walls, as well as climbing lessons for children ages 6 and up.

7125 Columbia Gateway Drive, #110, Columbia. 410-872-0060.

Everkids Playhouse

This indoor playground keeps preschoolers busy while parents relax with coffee in massage chairs.


5405 Twin Knolls Road, #3, Columbia. 443-542-9655.

Goldfish Swim School

With its 90-degree pool, Goldfish provides year-round swim instruction for children 4 months to 12 years old, as well as family swim times.

9315 Snowden River Pkwy, Columbia. 410-421-7185.

Howard Astronomical League Observatory

Open for special star-viewing events, the observatory sits in Alpha Ridge Park and includes a 15-foot dome with a 12-inch telescope.


11685 Old Frederick Road, Marriottsville.

Howard County Table Tennis Center

The center offers open play and private and group table tennis lessons, as well as summer camps. By appointment only.

8221 Preston Court, Jessup. 443-583-4520.

Hyper Kidz!

Indoor play center for infants to 13-year-olds in Columbia.


9309 Snowden River Pkwy, Columbia. 410-844-6841.

Idea Lab Kids

An innovative, interactive learning center with classes, workshops and camps in everything from drone engineering to 3D printing and movie production.

8980 Route 108, Suites E and F, Columbia. 443-542-2242.

Life Time Columbia

Facility offers play areas for toddlers and kids including swimming, martial arts, dance, fitness, yoga and gymnastics.


7220 Lee Deforest Drive, Columbia. 410-953-0022.

The Venetian Carousel runs at the Mall in Columbia.

The Mall in Columbia carousel

Keep the kids entertained during a shopping trip.

10300 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia. 410-730-3300.

My Gym Columbia

Zumba, Ninja training and art explorers classes are among the offerings for children to age 7.


6905-C Oakland Mills Road, Columbia. 410-290-7008.

Monster Mini Golf

Jessup site offers mini golf, an arcade and virtual reality attraction.

7351 Assateague Drive, Suite 380, Jessup. 410-579-4653.

Play N’ Learn

Indoor playground store offers “open play” for kids and features trampolines, swing sets, air hockey tables and more, for a fee.


9033 Red Branch Road, Columbia. 410-992-0992.

Roger Carter Community Center

The Ellicott City center includes a swimming pool, splash pad, basketball and volleyball courts and a rock-climbing wall, and it hosts family-friendly special events throughout the year.

3000 Milltowne Drive, Ellicott City. 410-313-2764.

ShadowLand Laser Adventures

Play laser tag, glow golf or enjoy the 3,000-square-foot arcade at this Columbia venue.


9179 Red Branch Road, Columbia. 410-740-9100.

Skyzone Trampoline Park

This indoor park in Columbia includes wall-to-wall trampolines for freestyle jumping, a trampoline dodge ball court and a “foam zone” where kids can jump off tramps and land in pools of foam squares.

7175 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia. 4109-834-5717.

Soccer Dome

Soccer Dome in Jessup offers soccer skills lessons to children ages 3 to 11, as well as summer camps.


7330 Montevideo Road, Jessup. 443-755-0014.


Open every weekend through May, this newly renovated Columbia Association facility is home to waterslides (riders must be at least 4 feet tall) and a rope swing. Within the same facility, recreational swimming is also available.

10400 Cross Fox Lane, Columbia. 410-730-7000.

Sixth graders (left to right) Khalil, Malloy, 11, Dllas Lane, 11, and Gianna Bagley, 11, participate in an experiment at the "Tree Canopy" station that illustrates the effects tree canopies have on the environment and rain water. Students from Murray Hill Middle School are participating in the climate change curriculum field trip at The Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock.

Outdoor adventure and play

Columbia Skate Park

Open year-round, the Columbia Association skate park is home to 15,000 square feet of ramps, including a 20-foot straight rail, an 8-foot quarter pipe and a 10-foot vert wall.


5453 Harpers Farm Road, Columbia. 410-715-3054.

Friendship Hot Air Balloon

Book a one-hour family flight aboard Dream Star, a rainbow-colored balloon, for a bird’s-eye view of Howard County.

12465 Barnard Way, West Friendship. 410-442-5566.

Howard County Conservancy

With two county locations (Woodstock and Elkridge), the conservancy offers a range of outdoor education programs and events for children of all ages.


10520 Old Frederick Road, Woodstock. 410-465-8877.

Robinson Nature Center

The nature center is home to a range of educational programs, a planetarium, an interactive nature discovery room and exhibits highlighting the Chesapeake Bay watershed and local forest animals, as well as several outdoor walking trails.

6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia. 410-313-0400.

Rocky Gorge 4 Seasons Golf Fairway

This Laurel golf complex, which includes an outdoor driving range, a 19-hole mini-golf course and a batting range, is open year-round.


8445 Old Columbia Road, Laurel. 301-725-0888.

Sensory-Friendly Play Experience playground

The playground located at Centennial Park North was designed with PlayCore’s principles of fairness, inclusion, independence, comfort and safety. Inclusive amenities include a lower overhead ladder, two expression swings, a Zero-G swing chair, a Merry-Go-All, a nonverbal communication board and musical instruments.

10000 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City. 410-313-7256.

Terrapin Adventures

From zip line rides and rock climbing to a multilevel ropes course, Terrapin Adventures in Savage provides aerial outdoor adventures for ages 5 and up.


8600 Foundry St., #50, Savage. 301-725-1313.

VJ Ilannone of Dayton assembles a fused glass pendant, at the remodeled ClayGround just off Main Street.

Arts and crafts

Burning Down the House

In addition to offering paint-your-own-pottery, this do-it-yourself fired arts studio in Fulton offers special events like canvas painting and movie nights with movie-themed pottery.

11821 Scaggsville Road, Fulton. 301-317-9936.

Leona’s Sewing Studio

Learn to sew with Leona. Catering to all ages (9-99 years) and all levels. In person and virtual learning sessions offered.


8600 Foundry St., Carding Bldg. #214, Savage. 443-504-2678.

The ClayGround

Look for one of the Kids Create classes where children can have fun and make pottery pieces on the pottery wheel.

3715 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City. 443-812-1158.

The Pottery Stop

The paint-your-own pottery shop offers walk-in painting, special classes and camps for children, and a snack and coffee bar.


9050 Baltimore National Pike, #109, Ellicott City. 410-480-0111.

The Baltimore and Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum which was built in 1831, on Maryland Avenue and Main Street.

Museums and history

African Art Museum of Maryland

African jewelry, sculptures, paintings and pottery are on display in this cultural museum in the Long Reach community of Columbia.

8775 Cloudleap Court, Suite 112, Columbia. 410-740-7411.

Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum

The museum, billed as the oldest surviving railroad station in America, includes a replica of the first horse-drawn passenger rail car, a 1927 caboose, model railroads and displays highlighting small-town railroad life.


3711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City. 410-313-1945.

Ellicott City Colored School, Restored

The school, which opened in 1880 to provide an educational space for Black children, is now a genealogical resource center and museum highlighting the history of African Americans in Howard County.

8683 Frederick Road, Ellicott City. 410-313-0420.

Ellicott City Firehouse Museum

Originally built to house hand-drawn fire equipment, the museum explores the challenges of fighting fires in late 19th century and early 20th century Ellicott City.


3829 Church Road, Ellicott City. 443-240-2060.

Ellicott City History Tours

Take a trek down haunted Main Street with storytellers armed with chilling tales and dressed in period attire. Recommended for children 12 and up.


Howard County Center of African American Culture

Here is an archival display of keepsakes representing the lifestyles of Blacks in 19th-century Howard County, from family bibles to butter churns.


5434 Vantage Point Road, Columbia. 410-715-1921.

Howard County Living Farm Heritage Museum

Dedicated to preserving Howard County’s agricultural history, the museum in West Friendship includes farm sheds, historic farm equipment, a blacksmith shop and six miles of nature trails.

12985 MD-144, West Friendship. 410-489-2345.

Howard County Police Museum

Honoring the men and women of the Howard County Police Department, the museum in Ellicott City includes exhibits on vintage police uniforms, antique weapons and fallen heroes.


8267 Frederick Road, Ellicott City. 410-313-1447.

Museum of Howard County History

The museum tells the story of Howard County’s history through collections and exhibits highlighting everything from the Ellicott family and the Patapsco Female Institute to Native American tools and the Enchanted Forest.

8328 Court Ave., Ellicott City. 410-480-3250.

The Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City.

Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park

Tours of this 19th-century site, known for its Greek-revival architecture, reveal its multiple uses since opening in 1837: a women’s school, a hotel, a summer theater and even a nursing home.


3655 Church Road, Ellicott City. 410-313-0424.

Vintage BMW Motorcycle Museum

The Jessup museum showcases more than 65 vintage and classic BMW motorcycles and sidecars, as well as motorcycle memorabilia and art.

10630 Riggs Hill Road, Suite Y, Jessup. 301-497-8949.

Miasarah Tilahun, 4, of Beltsville proudly shows off her pick of pumpkin from the patch at Clark's Elioak Farm on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.


Breezy Hill Alpaca Farm

Call to schedule a one-hour interactive visit with the Woodbine farm’s alpacas, goats, sheep, rabbits and chickens, and learn how the farm processes wool.


2820 Woodbine Road, Woodbine. 410-489-5802.

Clark’s Elioak Farm

In addition to housing the former Enchanted Forest attractions, the farm has a “petting farm,” with pigs, emus, donkeys and goats, play areas and special events for children.

10500 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City. 410-730-4049.

Larriland Farm

The Woodbine farm is home to a variety of pick-your-own fruit, vegetable and flower fields, as well as fall activities like hay rides and straw mazes.

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2415 Woodbine Road, Woodbine. 410-442-2605.

Yohana G., 5, and her sister Askale G., 9, from Montgomery County, pet and brush a pony in the Animal Encounters exhibit.

Mary’s Land Farm

The eco-friendly 160-acre farm offers hands-on tours, summer camps, field trips, sunset walks, a fun park and a farm store, plus every critter that Old MacDonald ever had.

4979 Sheppard Lane, Ellicott City. 410-849-4314.

Sharp’s at Waterford Farm

Along with special seasonal events and open houses, the farm hosts educational farm tours covering everything from worms and birds to farm life and gardening.


4003 Jennings Chapel Road, Brookeville. 410-489-2572.