Free and Cheap Things to Do in Maryland

From museums to parks to salsa classes, here's a list of plenty of fun things you can do in Maryland for free or on the cheap.

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National Harbor/Historic Ships in Baltimore/Marketa Eberyt
There are many free and cheap things to enjoy in Maryland.
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National Cryptologic Museum
The National Cryptologic Museum in Annapolis details the extensive role of cryptology throughout American history. The museum holds a collection of artifacts machines and devices from the National Security Agency. Admission is free.
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Brian Belanger
The National Capital Radio and Television Museum in Bowie holds a wide collection of vintage radio receivers. Visitors can learn about the history of radio and television from its early days to the present with free admission. The museum is open on weekends only.
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Bring your friends and family to Summer Fridays at National Harbor every Friday at 4 p.m. and play games including giant Jenga, Connect Four and cornhole. Check out performances at Bobby McKey's, a dueling piano bar, or check out the dance floor with the DJ spinning summer jams.
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It was the victory at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore that inspired the lyrics for the Star-Spangled Banner. You can get an immersive Civil War-Era experience will self-guided tours around the fort and planned events throughout the year. There is a $15 entrance fee for adults which gives you access for 7 days.
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Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
Maryland has many scenic trails to bike and walk through, including the Billy Goat Trail, which stretches along the Potomac River and is divided into three sections. You can choose from a challenging rock scramble or a more even path, or try all three. Check out trail hours and safety warnings before going. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has an interactive map so you can find a trail near you.
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The visitor center offers a glimpse into NASA’s innovative work in Earth science, astrophysics, planetary science, engineering and all the other work they do. Visits are free of charge and available all week except Monday’s. The visitor’s center is located in Greenbelt, Maryland and accessible by metro.
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Scott Frances
Visit the contemporary art and outdoor sculptures in the Glenstone Museum in Potomac. The former foxhunting-turned-art-deco estate is a great experience for any art connoisseur. Admission is free.
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Visit the historical Georgian mansion in Annapolis owned by William Paca, the third governor of Maryland which features two acres of geometrically designed gardens. Admission is $5-$10.
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Hike, jog or picnic at Great Falls and look at the waterfalls rushing downstream. Vehicle permits are $10; individual passes are $5.
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Maryland Historical Trust
At the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum in Baltimore, learn about the African-American abolitionist and scientist in the late 18th century. Check out the 142 acres of exhibitions, trails and cabins dedicated to the scientific legacy of Benjamin Banneker.
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There are several different byways to travel along throughout Maryland and D.C. You can retrace the escape route of John Wilkes Booth as he fled D.C., or walk along the route where several battles of the War of 1812 took place. There are tons of historic and scenic options to choose from.
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The museum has more than 7,000 works, including paintings and sculptures. It is located in Hagerstown’s historic City Park. The museum’s collections span centuries and continents featuring modern works from America and European old master paintings.
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Learn about the state capitol building where George Washington ratified the Treaty of Paris through a guided tour or a self-guided tour of the Maryland State House in Annapolis. Now the building serves the Maryland General Assembly for three months each year.
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