A Football Fanatic’s Weekend Itinerary in BaltimoreBy Julekha Dash
The excitement is palpable on Sundays during football season in Baltimore, a town where fans like to say they bleed the team colors of purple and black. Take the opportunity to enjoy Charm City’s restaurants, entertainment and attractions while in town for the football frenzy.
Planning to go to a Baltimore Ravens game? Try making a long weekend out of it and enjoying these activities that are practically tailor-made for the Ravens Flock.
As always, check for travel guidelines and closures before planning your trip.
The Friday Before Game Day
Before stepping into Baltimore Ravens territory, you can pick out your jerseys, sweatshirts, hats and other clothing blazoned with the name of your favorite player at the official online Ravens store.
If you’re up for shopping IRL, sports enthusiasts looking to stock up on fleece jackets, sneakers and equipment in Baltimore should head to the many shops in the city’s Harbor East neighborhood.
If a day of shopping doesn’t leave you tuckered out, Friday night in Baltimore is a great time to see a show. Take in national musical acts, ice-skating performances and other events at the newly renovated CFG Bank Arena.
For a bit of music or comedy, check out the national and regional acts headlining at the Lyric, Rams Head Live and Baltimore Soundstage. Broadway enthusiasts should head to the Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center for a show.
The Saturday Before Game Day
Many of Baltimore’s attractions and green spaces can be explored easily by foot. Climbing 100 steps to reach the summit of Federal Hill Park offers a vigorous workout, but it’s well worth it for the spectacular view of the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center and other Inner Harbor attractions. History buffs will enjoy the reenactments, exhibits and star-shaped defense stronghold at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. A mile-long paved path along the waterfront peninsula makes it a great spot for a breezy run or walk.
Take a swing at a hole-in-one at Topgolf — the covered hitting bays make it a welcome spot on a rainy day. Located two blocks from the football stadium, the entertainment venue’s TVs let you keep score of other sports games, while the restaurant’s brisket sliders, tacos and nearly three dozen beers will help you refuel.
All seafood-eating visitors to Baltimore need to enjoy some Maryland blue crabs, the city’s most prized culinary treasure. Order seasoned steamed blue crabs, crabcakes, oysters and a bevy of other seafood at L.P. Steamers in Locust Point. Or try a unique spin on crustaceans with crabcake egg rolls at the Black-owned Papi Cuisine in Federal Hill.
Game Day Sunday
Baltimore’s Downtown and Federal Hill neighborhoods offer the highest concentration of sports bars where you can celebrate the Ravens before a game. (Federal Hill is extra convenient — just a five-minute walk east of the stadium.)
On game days, a sea of purple-clad football fans descends on Mother’s Federal Hill Grille’s parking lot, aka the “purple patio,” which features two bars and a football field painted on the ground. Guests also come for the restaurant’s hearty brunch, burgers and 20 draft beers.
Other prime game-day spots include Cross Street Market, a renovated food hall with big-screen TVs that serves everything from tacos to pizza, and downtown’s Pickles Pub, one of the city’s premier sports bars with fantastic beer-battered pickle fries.
Walk the RavensWalk, six blocks between the baseball and football stadiums lined with food trucks and local vendors, which opens three hours before the game starts. Baltimore’s Marching Ravens perform outside the stadium 90 minutes prior to kickoff before making their way down the RavensWalk. Inside the stadium itself, you’ll find plenty of food and drink options (including a beer garden) to keep the party going.
Families should stop at the Maryland Zoo booth where they can snap a selfie with an actual raven — the team’s mascot inspired by hometown literary hero Edgar Allan Poe. Get your face covered in purple and black at the face painting tent before you enter the stadium and cheer on the team to victory.
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