Kid-Friendly Attractions Along Interstate 95 and the N.J. Turnpike

At the Garden State Discovery Museum, the television news studio is sized for kids.
At the Garden State Discovery Museum, the television news studio is sized for kids. (Garden State Discovery Museum)
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By Kathleen Seiler Neary
Special to The Washington Post
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rest stop? There will be no resting involved for my energetic 3-year-old son. My goal is for him to go, go, go before being loaded back into his car seat.

Every holiday season, our travels take us from Washington to my in-laws' home in the New York area. Even at other times of the year, I'm always looking for inexpensive, kid-friendly places as we go over the river and through the woods -- er, over the painfully crowded Delaware Memorial Bridge and through turnpike traffic. As I see it, we're going to have to stop anyway, so we might as well make the most of it. Here are some spots along the way that allow you to say yes a little sooner to "Are we there yet?"

LITERARY LAYOVER

Storyville at Rosedale Library (6105 Kenwood Ave., Baltimore, 410-887-0512, http://www.bcplstoryville.org). About 2.4 miles from Interstate 95, Exit 64A.

Baltimore's Inner Harbor has scores of kid-friendly spots, but with luck, you won't need a stop so close to home. But a bit north of the Inner Harbor, tucked into a branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, is Storyville, a wonderland for kids 5 and younger. (Older kids can play and read in the library's children's section.) Storyville coordinator Michele Presley describes it as "a children's museum within the library." The 2,240-square-foot child-size village opened in February with age-appropriate books and seven learning areas, including mini versions of a two-story home, grocery store and construction site. This is truly best for the toddler set, since preschoolers may be too rambunctious for the setting.

Free; open Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday 1-5 p.m.; closed major holidays.

PLAYGROUND PAUSE

Tydings Park and Promenade (Commerce Street and South Union Avenue, Havre de Grace, Md., http://www.hdgtourism.com/do_parks.html). About four miles from I-95, Exit 89.

A 22-acre waterside park that offers the perfect antidote to a claustrophobia-inducing car, the complex includes a playground with fairly new equipment. The picnic area is a good lookout spot for boats on the mouth of the Susquehanna River. And a waterfront boardwalk stretches from the park to the maritime museum and on to Concord Point Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operated lighthouse in Maryland.

Free; open daily dawn to dusk.


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© 2008 The Washington Post Company


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