Rich in history and culture, the city of Baltimore in Maryland is perhaps best known for its role as one of America’s most important seaports. Today its Inner harbour continues to serve as a bustling gateway for the arrival of goods from overseas, but it is the city’s cultural landscape that has expanded far beyond its comparatively humble origins.
There are a huge amount of things to see and do in Baltimore, many of which lend themselves to the nocturnal hours of the day. Whether it’s catching a cabaret show, sampling cocktails, or embarking on a city tour after dusk, there’s something here to satisfy every taste and budget. Below you’ll find 12 of the best night-time activities to enjoy here.
Swing those hips at Mobtown Ballroom
Located in the Baltimore neighbourhood curiously known as “Pigtown” in the south of the city, Mobtown Ballroom is housed within a re-purposed 1870s church and plays host to regular dance nights lasting late into the evening. People of all dancing abilities are welcome, from amateurs to budding Fred and Gingers, and no partner is required either. The venue recently acquired a full liquor license, which is good news for those who require a little loosing up before hitting the dance floor.
LOCATION 861 Washington Boulevard
Dine on the water during a Baltimore dinner cruise
Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a constant hum of activity, with the waters being traversed by a steady stream of tourist cruise boats. One of the best evening tours is the Spirit of Baltimore Dinner Cruise, which can be booked at Viator.com. The tour takes guests past famous city attractions including the Maryland Science Center, Pride Mast Memorial and the Francis Scott Key Bridge while they tuck into a gourmet all-you-can-eat buffet dinner, set against an illuminated skyline. There’s also live entertainment including a DJ and cabaret dancing, plus a drinks bar. The tour is 3 hours long.
Get big belly laughs at the Charm City Comedy Project
For the past five years comedy lovers have been flocking to Zissimos Bar in the vibrant Baltimore neighbourhood of Hampden to watch gifted mirth-masters showcase their talents. A regular team of seven house improv and sketch troupes perform here, including comedians from Baltimore and far beyond, with a strong focus on creating a warm, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere where visitors can laugh ’till their heart’s content. The venue also hosts a hugely popular yearly comedy festival, usually held in May.
LOCATION Zissimos Bar, 1023 West 36th Street
Visit a Baltimore brewery
Located within the Union Collective business complex of their own creation, UNION Craft Brewing is Baltimore’s premier beer maker. Brewers of the local favourite Duckpin Pale Ale, this 7-year-old brewing company has built its reputation on quality, consistent beers and fostering community. With a large, spacious, and lively tap room offering 18 drafts, a hand pumped beer engine for their cask ales, and a cellar reserve list, Union has become one of the most popular destinations in the city for beer lovers. With frequent special events, from concerts to a Pinewood Derby and one-off beer releases there’s always something to discover at UCB.
LOCATION 1700 West 41st Street
Catch a magic show at Illusions Magic Bar & Lounge
For a unique night out, this bar and lounge just south of the Inner Harbor is hard to beat. Set inside an atmospheric 1920s Art Deco building, the venue stages regular weekend magic and illusion shows performed by resident comedy magician Spencer Horsman in front of packed audiences. A vast drinks menu featuring wines, beers, spirits and cocktails, all poured from behind a stylish dark-wood bar area, keeps patrons well-oiled as they sit back and enjoy the spectacle.
LOCATION 1025 South Charles Street
Bring your own grog on an Urban Pirates night-time cruise
There are few more unique activities to enjoy in Baltimore than this swashbuckling adventure aboard a reconstructed Pirate Ship. Urban Pirates host daily family adventure cruises sailing out of Fells Point and into and around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and as night falls the ship opens up for an adults-only odyssey where passengers are invited to unleash their inner pirate while guzzling down as much grog as they can muster. No drinks are served on-board but guests can bring their own adult beverages in glass, plastic or cans. Tours begin at 5.30pm, 7pm, 8.30pm and 10pm and each cruise lasts a total of 90 minutes.
Join the foodie revolution at Vegan SoulFest
The rise of veganism has gone into overdrive in recent years and shows no sign of abating. As it’s grown in popularity as a dietary and lifestyle choice, a number of vegan festivals have popped up around the world. Vegan Soulfest is Baltimore’s contribution to this growing trend, featuring a huge range of vendors serving up delicious vegan food and produce, and running into the evening. There are also guest speakers discussing different aspects of veganism, cooking demos, live music and more. The festival is entirely outdoors and admission is free.
Take to the sky on a Charm City helicopter tour
If you like the idea of seeing Baltimore from a bird’s eye view, then how about doing so in unique style with Baltimore’s only city-based Helicopter Tour Company? Charm City Helicopters host a range of thrilling all-year-round Helicopter Tours that transport guests into the skies from a waterfront heliport for the ultimate sky view of the city. You can also combine helicopter tours with activities on the ground or water, including leisurely boat rides and completely all-inclusive dinners in local restaurants packages. Night tours run up to 7pm in the Winter and 8pm in the Summer.
Join a brewery-hopping tour with City Brew Tours
City Brew Tours offers deluxe, all-inclusive brewery tours across Baltimore, Maryland. Their guides deliver the ultimate craft beer experience by combining beer and award-winning guided tours. Over four brewery stops, guests can taste 15+ local beers paired with a gourmet meal. City Brew Tours guests gain VIP access to the beers and brewing processes of Guinness, Waverly Brewing Co., Oliver Brewing Co., and many more. Safe and sober transportation completes this unforgettable journey into one of the best beer cities in America.
Get those legs working on a Charm City Pedal Mill
A speciality pedal-powered bike that can accommodate up to 15 people awaits those who wish to explore Baltimore’s best watering holes in unique fashion. But be warned, Charm City Pedal Mill isn’t for shirkers, as you’ll need to put some serious leg work into keeping your transport moving along the city’s streets. There’ll be a designated driver who will ensure you don’t veer off the beaten track, and what better reward for your efforts than top class amber nectar at each stop off? Pumping music will be played throughout the journey to keep those motivation levels up.
See the original Washington Monument by night
It may not be as famous as its eponymous counterpart in Washington DC, but the original Washington Monument dedicated to America’s first president actually resides in Baltimore. The structure is an imposing feature on the Baltimore landscape and is particularly striking to see after dark, when it’s illuminated by the surrounding city lights. The monument has 227 marble steps leading to superb views of the city. It’s open for visits on Wednesday evenings when events are held in the surrounding square.
Sample craft cocktails at Bookmakers Cocktail Club
Baltimore certainly isn’t short on nightlife options and among them are some excellent cocktail bars. One of the most popular is Bookmakers, a chic and buzzy bar and supper club in the city’s Federal Hill neighbourhood. Retro styling lend the venue plenty of character, while a sophisticated crowd ensure a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. But let’s cut to the chase – the real hit here is the drinks menu, featuring an impressive choice of craft cocktails. A word also for the talented resident chefs, responsible for a stream of beautifully present dishes emerging from the kitchen.
LOCATION 31 East Cross Street