Going into my last semester at Hopkins, I’d like to think that I have the whole “dealing with visiting family members” issue down pat.
My mother was in Baltimore for the weekend recently, and I had to take a step back and think about how far I’ve come. Freshman year me would’ve hurriedly planned a trip to D.C. and taken my mom to eat out at PaperMoon.
Subsequently, I would have retreated to the Hut on Sunday night, crying about the amount of work that I’d ignored.
But we’ve come a long way, baby.
If you too are facing an impending visit, here are a few places and activities to keep your family happy without losing your mind.
1. Play to the weather:
Now that Baltimore is starting to thaw out, you can take advantage of all that the great outdoors has to offer.
There are dozens of parks you can take your family to, including Druid Hill nearby. From there you can check out the Rawlings Conservatory, where things are just starting to perk up into spring.
You can also stroll around the hill of Fed Hill and gaze out onto the Harbor, or you can get a little patriotic at Fort McHenry.
I especially like taking a moment to go outside when my folks are in town, because I find it to be a calming experience. Furthermore, walking in general is good because it releases endorphins, which are sometimes needed.
2. Check out Peabody:
Prove to your family that Hopkins students are well-rounded by taking them to see a concert at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
While the hall isn’t a true Hopkins affiliate, you can take the JHMI there, which makes it great if your parents don’t totally get how Uber works.
Watching a two hour long opera is also a really great way to not have to have a conversation about your life and why you don’t have a job or a romantic partner yet.
3. Pick a museum,
If you’re a regular reader of this column, you have probably realized that I am a totally cool and chill person who spends a totally normal amount of time at museums.
But seriously, take your family to a museum. The sentence “this is my favorite museum” is wildly impressive to even the most overbearing of aunties.
On top of that, you can take the opportunity to learn more about the community in which you live, alongside your parents, who are probably also legitimately curious about the place that you moved away from them to be at.
I recommend the American Visionary Art Museum because art is sophisticated and because it has something for the whole family, from an annually changing collection of unique, thought-provoking pieces to a fart machine in the basement.
4. Reconsider your
It’s easy to instinctively ask your family to take you to someplace you could not otherwise afford, but try taking them somewhere more Baltimore instead.
(Because Gertrude’s is not an emblem of the city.)
I suggest Lexington Market, which has a ton of different, local vendors. You also can’t go wrong with Station North Arts Cafe in Mount Vernon, which has local artwork that changes every month.
Eating at smaller restaurants is a good way to show that Baltimore has a cuisine beyond McCormick & Schmick’s and to show that yes, you are indeed eating.
Bonus — get creative:
There are a ton of small art galleries around town. If you’re on the verge of throwing shade at someone, consider throwing pots at Baltimore Clayworks in Mount Washington instead.
And if you think that sentence sounded too much like someone’s mom wrote it, well, that’s my cue to head to the Hut.