3 things to do with the kids in Harford County this summer

For Harford Magazine

Finding new summer activities for the family can be a challenge, especially ones that everyone would enjoy. Harford County has plenty of options for all ages.

1. Golfing with dinosaurs

Despite being the only black-light golf course in Harford County and having a 5,000-square-foot air-conditioned location, Jurassic Golf and Arcade still manages to have a prehistoric feel.

The Bel Air center features an 18-hole dinosaur-themed miniature golf course and arcade with more than two dozen games and a redemption counter with prizes for kids and adults alike.

“We just love seeing kids smile,” said owner John Cain. “That’s really the main reason why I opened this type of business.”

The location also offers two 400-square-foot rooms that can be rented for birthday parties, meetings and other events.

Among the decorations is a 12-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex with a mouth that opens and closes for effect as well as dinosaur-themed murals on the walls.

John and his wife, Stefanie Cain, opened the business in September in the hopes of creating a different activity for families to enjoy together.

“While the kids are playing, we have our associates playing games with them and handing out tickets for prizes,” John said. “We try to make the experience a lot of fun for everyone and truly make it a center for family fun.”

Jurassic Golf & Arcade is at 331 Baltimore Pike, Suite 8, in Bel Air. A round of golf costs $9.50 for adults, $8 for children up to 12 years old, $8.50 for seniors ages 65 and up, and $8 for first responders. 410-836-8635 or playjurassicgolf.com.

2. Fishing festival fun

Harford County hopes to “reel in” some fun this summer by hosting a major national fishing tournament for the first time.

The 2018 Huk Bassmaster Elite professional fishing tournament on the upper Chesapeake Bay takes place July 26-29.

The county won the bid to host the Mossy Oak-sponsored tournament this year with the top bass anglers in the world. The competitors will leave from Flying Point Park in Edgewood every morning and come back to the park in the late afternoon for the first two days to do a weigh-in of the fish.

On July 28 and 29, the competitors will take their boats and their catches to Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, where there will be a free family fun festival with activity tents and music in the parking lot.

“It’s going to be a really fun and exciting event,” said Greg Pizzuto, executive director of Visit Harford. “It’s going to be thrilling to see the anglers go up on stage and have their bag of fish weighed for the day.”

Pizzuto emphasized that the anglers, who are all vying for the $100,000 grand prize, do not kill their fish. The fish that are caught during the tournament are later released into the Chesapeake Bay.

In addition to the tournament, local baseball is going to turn “fishy.” The Aberdeen Ironbirds will play as the “Harford County Anglers of Aberdeen” July 27 and 28. The baseball players will wear pinstripe uniforms with numbers inlaid with “fish scales.” The uniforms will go up for auction on the IronBirds website after the July 28 game.

“My hope in this event is that we showcase Harford County and all that we have to offer for tourism and show off what a great place it is to live and play,” Pizzuto said.

The tournament takes place July 26-29. The festival is free, but tickets must be purchased for the baseball games. 410-838-7777, visitharford.com or the “Destination Harford App.”

3. Explore card collecting

Bringing card collecting to the next generation is the name of the game for a card shop that recently opened in Harford County.

Mel Lundgren, a lifetime card collector, opened Bel Air Sports Cards in August of last year with a focus on making card games a family affair.

“It’s so exciting when I get a family with three generations or more come in together to find cards and get involved in the card-collection community together,” Lundgren said.

His shop takes a unique angle on the traditional card shop, featuring a special 16-foot “card bar” with two flat-screen televisions and a selection of non-alcoholic drinks.

The business aims to be a place to come watch a sports game and socialize with those interested in learning about, trading and buying all kinds of cards including Pokémon, “Frozen” movie-themed cards and sports trading cards.

“The support has been really great,” Lundgren said. “It’s fun to see people come in and relive their childhood by collecting cards now with their own children.”

Bel Air Sports Cards is at 130 N. Bond St. in Bel Air. 443-567-5318 or Bel Air Sports Cards on Facebook.

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