Visiting Annapolis with a Toddler

A few weeks ago, B, FW and I took our third vacation as a family of three. (The first was a weekend in Columbus when FW was 2 months old, the second was a trip to Atlanta/Cincy/Asheville when FW was 8 months old) After our time in New York seeing my family and friends, we hit the road for another car trip – this time, to Annapolis.

I had never been to the city before, and in our few days there, I really liked it. I would definitely visit again and recommend it if you are traveling with a baby/toddler. (Side note: Is FW really a toddler? It’s hard for me to believe, but at 14 months, he sure is close to being one if he isn’t already.)

Here are some ways to pass the time if you go:

Walk down Main Street and check out the water. View the boats, get a bite to eat, and take photos of the water. We did this each day we were there. With FW we watched the ducks in the water, “woofed” at the many dogs that were walking by, pointed at the many boats and read the historical markers along the way.

Tour the Naval Academy. Most of this tour was pretty toddler friendly – it was a lot of outdoors, walking (or strolling) around, and FW was able to walk or sit and be somewhat loud (he’s at the age where he likes babbling AND shrieking) while we got the scoop. The only parts that were difficult? The chapel and John Paul Jones tomb – both were not places that were built for running/shrieking babies. 

A highlight of the tour? The noon formation. All of the students (or midshipmen as they are called) line up and do roll call at noon before lunch and the band plays some music as well. FW and I enjoyed this part very much!

Take a walking tour. While this tour was a great way to get an understanding of the history of the area, it wasn’t FW’s favorite. In full disclosure, I wouldn’t necessarily call this a toddler-friendly activity, especially if you have a toddler who likes to walk, talk, run and touch every single thing. The constraints of the walking tour (walking when the guide was walking, not touching the historical exhibits, etc.) were a little too much for FW. The tour was also 2+ hours, something that most toddlers may have a hard time following.

Going out to eat. And by out I mean OUTSIDE. We lucked out with the weather while we were in town and got to enjoy a few meals outdoors. I find patios much more FW-friendly (we can get up, walk, be loud, etc.) and Annapolis had quite a few of those. My favorite restaurant while we were there was The Iron Rooster- we actually ended up going there twice – once for brunch and once for lunch – and they even had a kids menu and crayons for FW to color with.

Get ice cream. I made it a goal to get ice cream nightly, and FW enjoyed sharing cones and cups with us. He enjoyed my peanut butter ice cream and B’s chocolate.

Find a playground. Let’s face it – most of the activities we did weren’t made for FW. They were baby-friendly activities, but they weren’t necessarily things he would enjoy doing. So, we made sure that we did find some ways for him to have fun and one of the things we did was find a playground. The playground at the Annapolis Elementary School was perfect! It had kiddie swings, little slides and plenty of area for him to play and run around. We went there before dinner one night and he got so tired out he slept for the first part of our meal, which as any parent knows, is great!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you been on a vacation with a toddler recently? What activities do you recommend?
  • Have you been to Annapolis?
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