I was down in Baltimore last week, before Christmas, to meet up with my in-laws and see the sights around the Inner Harbor. We hit both the famed National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center, both of which were extremely kid friendly, the latter perhaps even to a fault. Kudos, however, to the fantastic hands-on exhibits, the friendly staff willing to explain paleontology or chemistry to a four-year-old, and the cogent presentation we saw on liquid nitrogen--Loretta learned it's really cold. Loretta was already wanting to be a scientist when she grows up (and a ballerina), and these two venues sealed the deal.
We did not get to Geppi's Entertainment Museum, although it's just a few blocks away, and we therefore failed to see the vintage Barbie exhibit being held there. Loretta has a few Barbies and likes them well enough, but I'm slightly wary of encouraging further fanaticism in her. For those who want to walk down memory lane themselves (Barbie is turning fifty in 2009) or whose children would like to observe toys behind glass rather than play with them directly (which I don't mean sarcastically--there is a virtue to observation), then this could be a good reason to visit what is otherwise generally a grown-up's museum. (I see there are half-price Tuesdays and Thursdays, part of my problem being there on a weekend.) For further information, here's an article from the Examiner, another institution whose building I saw right there in the neighborhood.