Wisdom begins with wonder.
– Socrates, Greek Philosopher
Historic Annapolis offers many engaging and inspiring programs for kids to not only learn about the history of Annapolis and the search for freedom but also how we have shaped the natural world. All children’s programs are hands-on, allowing children to explore and investigate ways in which life during the 18th century was different and also similar to their present day lives.
Mr. Paca’s Backyard Preschool Program
Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday, September – December, March – June
Using famous children’s stories, the youngsters explore the 18th century garden of William Paca during the winter, spring and summer. Have you ever planted a rainbow? Had tea with a spider? Sat down by the fish-shaped pond with a famous painter? These fun activities are just a few examples from the 1.25 hours program.
Each program includes exploration in the garden, story time, and art project, movement activity (dance, games, etc) and of course snack time!
The cost is $7 per child, $5 for HA Members and Volunteers.
To register, please visit, our Calendar of Events.
For school related visits, please visit our K-12 programs page.
Junior Docent Program
Want to come learn more about our tours and help to lead tours? Are you interested in dressing up in 18th-century style clothes? Do you want to learn more about how people lived?
If so, please contact Janet Hall, Volunteer Coordinator, 410.990.4514 to learn more about this opportunity.
Follow the Fleet
“Follow the Fleet” is a new website developed by Historic Annapolis to tell the story of war and peace in the Chesapeake Bay region from April 1814 to April 1815. It gives special attention to Maryland, its capital city, and a few people, both famous and ordinary, whose lives were changed by the events of that year. One of the individuals highlighted in “Follow the Fleet” is William ‘Rolla’ Ross, a 14-year-old fugitive slave whose exciting story is also featured in the Historic Annapolis exhibit Freedom Bound: Runaways of the Chesapeake. Just as Annapolitans anxiously followed the movements of the British fleet as its ships prowled the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers 200 years ago, visitors to “Follow the Fleet” can track the dramatic military action that occurred all around the region during the final months of the War of 1812.
To visit the website, please visit www.followthefleet.org
Fun Facts: Did You Know…?
- Annapolis has the largest concentration of 18th-century architecture in the United States—including five of America’s finest Georgian mansions—all in a small urban area.
- Four signers of the Declaration of Independence resided in Annapolis. Three—William Paca, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll—lived here in 1776; the fourth, Thomas Stone, moved here in the 1780s. To remember their names try this: Paca Chased Carroll with a Stone.
- In 1771 William Paca was the 16th member elected to Annapolis’s exclusive Homony Club—which admitted only married men or bachelors who were over 40.
- Annapolitans became connected with the larger world in a major way when the first passenger train departed the city on Christmas Day 1840. By 1911, passengers could choose among 16 daily trains or use half-hourly “Short line” service to Baltimore.
- Annapolis’s present City Dock/ Ego Alley cove has shrunk to a fraction of its former size-due to natural deposits of silt and debris as well as deliberate filling-in.
- Annapolis’s St. John’s College is thought to be the first in Maryland to be racially integrated in modern times (with the admission of Martin Dryer in 1948). Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” was a much earlier student.
- Construction began on the Maryland State House in 1772. Today it is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use. It is topped by the largest free-standing wooden dome in America.
- The entire block where the Historic Annapolis Museum Building (99 Main Street) stands was burned to the ground in 1790. Learn More.
- John Paul Jones really is buried in the Naval Academy Chapel. His 21-ton sarcophagus lies in a crypt beneath the sanctuary, which is open to visitors. Learn More.
- Annapolis’s first city hall was located at 211 Main Street, a building that still stands. It also housed the city’s fire engine.
- The first street signs in Annapolis, erected in 1826, were painted boards attached to houses at the corners of intersections.
- Maryland Avenue (formerly North East Street) was the first street in Annapolis to be paved—in 1867.
- Ships from England brought the best breeding and horse racing stock right into the Annapolis harbor during the 18th century.
- George Washington first visited Annapolis in 1751, at the age of 19. Twenty years later, his journal records several visits—in which he enjoyed horse races, balls, fine dining, and other social engagements. His last visit appears to be in 1791, when he was president.