For my son Alex, I have two big challenges for his birthday. The first challenge is that since his birthday is in the middle of the summer, most of his friends are away, so its hard to have a birthday party with no guests. This challenge was exacerbated by the fact that we moved from Massachusetts to Maryland less than 3 weeks before his birthday.
The second and more recent challenge is little Dude’s age. Now that he is 12, he is not enticed by a visit to the petting zoo or Chuck E Cheese (I am grateful about the lack of interest in CEC-really I am). But I still want to do something special for him on his special day.
This leads me to the Urban Pirates. Urban Pirates is a pirate themed boat experience that goes around the Inner Harbor in down town Baltimore. For the very, very reasonable price of $20 per person, you get a pirate sash, temporary tattoos, face painting and a 45 minute pirate adventure cruise.
The staff is wonderful, leading the kids through a lesson in pirate vocabulary, dancing, pass the shrunken head, and a chance to defeat the scurvy MadDog Pirate and rescue the treasure.
If you go, the boat is not usually very full. Our trip had less than 20 people, but the max is 40. The music can be a little loud, especially if you are sitting near the front of the boat, but its not too bad. They also do a Bring Your Own Grog boat ride for the adults.
The boat has bathrooms but no food or drink. Food is not important, but in this heat you will want to have some water. Don’t be me. Bring the water from home or hit a CVS on the way. Don’t buy it at the bakery down the street from where you dock and pay $2.00 per bottle.
My children are ages 6 and 12 and they both LOVED the trip. They are begging to go again. And since it was so reasonable, (its cheaper than a movie) we will probably go again. The only other thing to keep in mind is that they sell very attractive bandanas, swords and guns right where you get on the boat. They are not bad, $3 for a bandana and $5 for the water pistol, but the baubles are highly visible and the staff does mention hitting the gift shop as you are prepping to get off the boat.
But I am an easy mark, and it was his birthday, so I got them each a trinket.