The 4th of July weekend seems like one of the easier 3-day-weekends to fill with fun, cool activities, probably because the 4th itself so easily lends itself to family-friendly events: fireworks, cookouts, parades—who doesn't like that stuff?
This year, the city expanded it's own Independence Day activities—which used to include only an evening concert and fireworks—to an all-day affair geared toward families. It starts at noon Monday at West Shore Park (which featured prominently, incidentally, in a story I wrote for the July issue about family-friendly development downtown). There will be performances by comedian/magician Jason Moffett and our favorite band, Milkshake, along with streaming water at the awesome Walter Sondheim Fountain (pictured here—the city really needs to get some info about it up online. People ask me all the time where/what it is and the best I can do is point them to this cool video from The Sun. It's located next to West Shore Park, which is at the harbor, between the Science Center and the Visitor's Center.)
Among the other weekend attractions is the Pimlico Fair, which includes tons of rides, a petting zoo, magic and music shows, and fireworks and ends this weekend (go to the website for 2-for-1 tickets).
Also, the African-American Festival is Saturday and Sunday, in the parking lots outside M&T Bank Stadium. Besides concerts from big R&B names like Chrisette Michele, Estelle, and Lil' Mo, includes lots of activities for kids, including youth performances, inflatable obstacle courses, arts projects, and a rock-climbing wall.
And of course, there's lots of other great stuff every weekend, including the Walters, which, besides the great, often kid-friendly exhibits, has a fantastic play area on the lower level with lots of dress up stuff, puppets, puzzles, and an art room where there are facilitators to help you and are kids make great projects and bonus: FREE; Also, the Marlyland Science Center ($3 off admission before noon on Saturdays, plus the weekly egg-drop contest), Port Discovery Children's Museum, The Zoo, two Storyville locations (we LOVE Storyville), The American Visionary Art Museum (also with kid-friendly exhibits, and the treehouse/sculpture out back), the various nature centers and conservancies (Oregon Ridge, Irvine, Howard County), and—of course!— the Aquarium.