Baltimore … It really is the Charm City!

Name: Diane Carney

Parent of: Lauren Carney -- JHU Class of 2011

Hometown: Westmont, NJ


Hello!  My name is Diane and my daughter Lauren is a Freshman at Johns Hopkins University double-majoring in English & Writing Seminars.  You can check out  her blog by clicking here.

I have to be honest … when my husband and I left our daughter at Hopkins, it was THE hardest thing we ever had to do.  My husband is working on a blog dealing with that, so I thought it might be nice to talk about visiting your child at Hopkins … and how Family Weekend is a great time to experience not only Hopkins, but the city of Baltimore.  Not only is this a great way to see Hopkins up close and through your child’s eyes, but it gives you an opportunity to explore new restaurants, neighborhoods, museums, and a city that is now a pretty big part of your child’s life.

Family Weekend offers a “Parents College” on Friday with classes taught by JHU faculty and also classroom observation for parents.  Both of these seemed very interesting, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get there early enough to take part in these … maybe next year!  We arrived right after the last spot was filled for the Duck Tours of Baltimore, and this was a major disappointment … again, another reason to get there earlier next year!  That night we decided to venture into Hampden for a relaxing dinner at Cafe Hon. This is highly recommended and you absolutely have to indulge in a piece of their pie!Innerharbor

They say Baltimore is the “Charm City” and one trip to the Inner Harbor is all it takes to believe it!  Early Saturday morning we went down to the Inner Harbor and had an early lunch. Since the Inner Harbor is a quick trip away from Hopkins, we were able to be back in time to watch part of the football game between JHU and Franklin & Marshall.  JHU lost but it was still a good game!  (I’m looking forward to seeing a lacrosse game in the Spring!)

We quickly headed over to Shriver Hall to see the a capella, choral and dance concert. You have to make it a point to get to this show … these students are so talented and they really put on quite a show.  When we visited the school in April of 2007, one of the a capella groups, Octopodes, performed “How To Save A Life” by The Fray.  It was amazing! This song will always be connected to Hopkins for us because of that. (Check out the video below … this wasn’t the performance we saw, but it will give you an idea of how great they sound.)


Saturday night we ventured into Fells Point (again, an easy and short ride) for dinner at Bertha’s.  This is definitely worth the trip for mussels.  You will probably see a few cars sporting the bumper sticker “Eat Bertha’s Mussels” since they don’t let you leave without a bumper sticker.  A few doors down from Bertha’s was a great little shop that served gelato and this was the perfect dessert.Evergreen_house_2

Homewood_house_museumAnd while you are visiting the campus, you have to check out the Homewood House Museum right on JHU’s campus.  There is also the Evergreen Museum and Library just a short ride on North Charles Street.  The Baltimore Museum of Art is an easy walk from campus and you can access this through the Sculpture Garden.


It was difficult to decide what to do since there was so much to see and do, both on campus and off.  We decided to mix Parent Weekend happenings with things that we wanted to do outside of the campus.

For a parent, visiting your child at Hopkins can actually feel like a “mini vacation”.  There is so much to see and do in Baltimore.  Each time we come down, we try to experience something new we haven’t done before.

An absolute must when you visit the Inner Harbor is a ride on the water taxi.  This is a great way to reach the different neighborhoods and spend some time exploring them on foot.  This is also a nice way to relax and catch up on what’s been happening in your child’s life.  What surprised me was the ease with driving down to the Inner Harbor, Fell’s Point and the other neighborhoods from JHU.  It’s a quick and very easy trip to make.  Little Italy is next on our list of neighborhoods to explore, and I can’t wait!

Here is a link for the Family Weekend schedule of 2007 to give you an idea of what to expect and also a link to the parents website.  This is a great time to get to know Baltimore, the city that will be a part of your child’s life for the next four years.  I hope you mark your calendar for the 2008 weekend!  It’s a great time to start exploring this Charm City!

  • By JHU_Lauren, February 16, 2008 @ 12:48 AM

    LOL, that picture of me in the sculpture garden gets me every time.
    I loved your blog!! :) And I loved having you down here for Parents Weekend just as much as you loved coming — it really is exciting to be able to show off your new home city to your parents! Can’t wait to explore Little Italy next.

  • By Daniel Creasy, February 17, 2008 @ 10:43 AM

    Great entry, thanks Diane. I always enjoy Parent’s Weekend too, because I get to meet so many amazing people. Unfortunately, I am often on the road recruiting during that time.
    Also, that picture of Lauren as a bunny as great!

  • By Michelle Brown, February 23, 2008 @ 10:40 AM

    That picture in the sculpture garden is SO ADORABLE! Love it.

  • By Jackie, March 4, 2008 @ 3:16 PM

    I also love that picture! Oh and if you are going to explore Little Italy you will have a great time. My family eats there at least once, each time they visit.

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