Friday, June 14, 2024

Retreat 2024: To Do & To See & To Eat...In Baltimore

There is so much fun to be had (and even more to eat) in Baltimore. Whether you are a history, science, or literature buff, Baltimore has something for you. 

Click here to access an interactive version of the map below. 

To Do

Playground - Adventure & Nature Play Playground. Just 8 minutes South of the hotel, this playground boasts some cool equipment, shapes, and more. Don't forget your snacks and sunscreen.

There are plenty of things to do in this wonderful city. Nearby I spy a children's museum, science museum, and aquarium all in walking distance. I personally am very excited about Camden Yards and the Edgar Alan Poe House and Museum. The museum dedicated to the author of the Raven and Annabel Lee, is a bit off the beaten path. In addition in Richmond, VA, there is the Poe Museum if you want to go a bit further to get your macabre fix. 

For history buffs, there is the Star-Spangled Banner Flag house. Fort McHenry looks like a great place to explore if you like the outdoors, too. 

If you are more of an artsy person, there are two art museums that offer free admission in Baltimore, Walters Art Museum and Baltimore Museum of Art. While you are in the area, check out the first monument built to honor our first President, George Washington. 

Finally, just because this looks really cool, too, Baltimore is home to the B & O Railroad Museum

This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There is so much to see and do in Baltimore and I look forward to explore it with you all. 

To Eat

This list was verified and amplified by our local cuisine expert, Erin Richmond. Do mind her asterisks flagging family favorites, and notes highlighted in italics. This list focuses on the local delicacy, crab cakes, though we are sure other items on the menus at these establishments are just as delectable. 

Peter's Poor House - 111 Mercer Street

  • 3 minute drive

  • 6 minute walk

Phillips Seafood - 601 E Pratt Street (*do not recommend/crabcakes not traditional - small/lots of filler) 

  • 2 minute drive

  • 10 minute walk 

*Rusty Scupper - 402 Key Highway 

  • 3 minute drive 

  • 13 minute walk

Watershed - 1065 S Charles Street

  • 4 minute drive

  • 13 minute walk

Nick's Fish House - 2600 Insulator Drive

  • 6 minute drive

  • 43 minute walk

Captain James Seafood - 2127 Boston Street

  • 8 minute drive

  • 39 minute walk

*G&M Restaurant - 804 N Hammonds Ferry Road

  • 11 minute drive

*Jimmy's Famous Seafood 

  • 12 minute drive 

  • Local favorite, great atmosphere, big supporter of Orioles/Ravens

*Kocos’s Pub - 4301 Harford Road

  • 16 minute drive 

  • Local favorite, great atmosphere, Doesn't take reservations/large parties difficult to seat at dinner time  

*Costas Inn - 4100 North Point Blvd

  • 16 minute drive 

*By the Docks - 3321 Eastern Blvd

  • 22 minute drive 

*Pappas Restaurant - 6814 Ritchie Highway (other locations in Cockeysville and Parkville that are about 20-25 minute drive)

  • 16 minute drive

*personal/family favorites

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Teen and Young Adult Social *This Friday MAY 17th* at 8PM ET/7PM CT/5PM PT


Join us for another Teen and Young adult Online social. We will play some games, gab, and connect. 

Zoom Link


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Retreat 2024: Getting Around Baltimore


We are less than two months from the 2024 Annual Family Retreat and Educational Symposium weekend. The most important thing when in a new city is transportation, or finding ways to get around. In a future blog post, I will cover attractions and eateries. I'm excited to explore this historic city that seemingly loves history, open ocean, baseball, and a something a little spooky - the Poe Museum. 

Editor's Note: Please talk to hotel staff, concierge, or local retreat attendees to make sure your chosen mode of transportation is the safest choice for where you are headed. At night be sure to buddy up with one or more people before you go galavanting into the night. 

Maryland MTA - Public Transit

Public Transit runs from the train station and the local airports. Maryland MTA has a variety of public transportation options from buses, trains, to water taxi. I love that the website has a trip planner option because I like to just cut to the chase and put in my point a and point b, then go. There are also route maps, and so much more. Please also make use of Google maps on your phone to help build your trips from airport to hotel, or hotel to local attraction. Download the CharmPass App on your phone before you get moving. 

Charm City Circulator

Everyone knows how much I love free, but you know what I love even more: alliteration. At your service is the Charm City Circulator which runs during the day for free all across town. On the Circulator's website, you can learn how far this free ride will take you, and back, of course. Easily track the wearabouts of the next bus to pull up on the website. 

Harbor Connector

Since we are conveniently located in the Baltimore's Inner Harbor, the Harbor Connector (also free, just with less alliteration), seems like a scenic way to get where you are going.  Ahoy, maties, the Harbor Connecter runs from 6AM - 8PM, but may stop service due to inclement weather. Go to the website to learn more and sign up for alerts. 

Rideshare and Taxis

Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are also great alternatives to the low-cost and free options outlined above. I love a Lyft! 

Pedestrians Unite!

Within walking distance, you can visit the Science Center, Aquarium, and Federal Hill Park. Camden Yards is just shy of a half mile away. The area appears to be teeming with culture and fun things to do. Hopefully you will find some fun on foot. Please do set out on foot with friends. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Inappropriate SNL 'Anomalous Man' Debuts Before Face Equality Week May 13 - 19


The fight for representation continues in writer's rooms around the world. May 4th's Saturday Night Live aired a sketch called Anomalous Man, featuring a Elephant man-like fellow falling in love with a beautiful woman. Anomalous man is found out as the player he is when his phone(s) "dings" during this period piece that reveals him texting with other women. Phone addiction and modern (ahem) dating culture would be better served without the need to exploit persons with facial differences. His appearance did not need to be a device for the skit to be a successful one. It was quite unnecessary. Our Executive Director, Erica Klauber, shares more on our feelings about this SNL sketch in this video

Writers should be able to get their jokes and overall point across without poking fun at a person's physical attributes. Thankfully, CCA Kids joins the Face Equality International's (FEI) efforts to raise awareness about these issues of representation on screen, stage, and more each year during Face Equality Week, May 13 - 19, 2024. "Face Equality International is an alliance of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), charities and support groups which are working at national, regional or international levels to promote the campaign for ‘face equality.'" During the 2024 face equality week, FEI will share with the world that every face is equal because we are all masterpieces. The theme, "my face is a masterpiece" will utilize art as a tool for social good. If our bodies and faces are works of art, then the hope is that our collective humanity is reflected in the entertainment we consume at home and in theaters around the world. 

Please take a look at this year's theme on the FEI website, and follow their social media pages. Take a look at the other nonprofits and non-government organizations that will come together to bring their take on the theme to life via social media campaigns. 

Link to full video response:

Monday, March 4, 2024

Teen & Young Adult Online Social, Friday, March 22nd

 CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE ZOOM On Friday, March 22nd 

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6-7PM MT