Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

Visitor Services

Visitor Centers

Fort McHenry

Open
Daily
, 8 A.M.-4:45 P.M.
Summer Hours (June 2 - September 3, 2007): Daily, 8 A.M.-7:45 P.M.

Phone
410/962-4290

Location
Near the park entrance.

Exhibits
Exhibits, model of the Star Fort and a movie theater featuring the film, "The Defense of Fort McHenry."

Available Facilities
The gift shop is owned and operated by the Evelyn Hill Corporation. For gift shop information call (410) 625-2330 or write Evelyn Hill Corporation, Fort McHenry NM&HS, 2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21230-5393. Restrooms, water fountain, light refreshments and a public phone are available.

Things To Know Before You Come

Pets are welcome on the fort grounds, but not in the historic area. This area is defined by the wooden fence which surrounds the fort.

Both the Visitor Center and the fort are accessible to wheelchairs.

Lodging

Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association 
With all there is to do and see in Baltimore, it's just too much fun for just one day. So why not spend a few days with us? Our city, famed for its old-time Southern hospitality, has just the place for you to stay—from swanky to budget, chic to quirky.

Where To Eat

Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association
If Baltimoreans are famous for anything, it's their talent for enjoying life to the fullest. How else can you explain the region's number of fabulous restaurants, with an astonishing array of cuisines from haute to howdy (plus every ethnic menu you can think of!) Topping it all off is our own world-famous Chesapeake Bay cuisine (and it doesn't get any better than that!)

Accessibility

The Visitor Center is accessible to people using wheelchairs and features a closed-captioned orientation film. The fort is mostly accessible. Portable audio devices are available for wayside exhibits to the fort and through the outer battery. The fort interior features repeating messages activated by motion detectors. You may call the park on TTY through Maryland Relay 1-800-735-2258 or (within Maryland 711).

Pets

Pets are allowed outside of the historic zone, an area bounded by a split-rail fence and including and surrounding the historic Star Fort. They must be leashed at all times and owners must pick up after their pets.

Group Arrangements

PLANNING YOUR VISIT:

To make a group arrangement, please call (410) 962-4290, extension 243, Monday afternoon from 12:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M., Wednesday morning from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon, or Friday morning from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. (all times Eastern); or by e-mail: Group Arrangements.

Call no less than three weeks and up to six months in advance to insure openings for your group. Have all of your group's information ready when you call.

FILM ARRANGEMENTS:

A 15-minute introductory film, "The Defense of Fort McHenry," is shown every twenty minutes from 9:00 A.M. through 4:00 P.M. seven days a week in the Visitor Center auditorium. Only 50 people may view the film at each showing. Each film starts promptly at the scheduled times. After checking in at the Visitor Center, please have your group assemble outside the building ten minutes prior to your scheduled movie time. Please remain quiet while viewing the film.

GROUP PROGRAMS:

Daily Flag Change: This is open to all groups. This 15-minute program provides information on the variety of flags used at Fort McHenry and their historic significance. This program is offered daily at 9:30 A.M. and 4:20 P.M., weather permitting.

For Grades K-2: The introductory film is optional. You may schedule the following 30-minute ranger activity at 11:00 A.M. or 2:00 P.M., September through May.

Defenders Room: Students will explore the contents of a soldier's haversack, study replica soldier's uniforms, and learn about the life of the War of 1812 soldier. (Groups of 40 or fewer)

For Grades 3 and above: You may schedule one of the following 30-minute ranger activities that are offered only after viewing the film at 10:40 A.M. or 1:40 P.M., September through May.

The Flag Program: A display of the Star-Spangled Banner replica. (Groups of 100 or fewer)

Artillery Program: A discussion of the procedure for loading and dry firing an 1812 cannon. Students will act as members of the artillery crew. (Groups of 50 or fewer)

For Grades 6 and above; and adult groups: In addition to the other programs, you may schedule one of the following 20 minute interpretive programs that are offered only after viewing the film at 10:40 A.M. or 1:40 P.M., September through May.

The Battle of Baltimore: The attack on Fort McHenry was but one aspect of the Battle of Baltimore. Learn about other phases of the battle and the War of 1812 that Francis Scott Key did not see.

Bastion of Liberty or Symbol of Despotism?: Fort McHenry played a significant role during the Civil War in securing the "loyalty" of Maryland for the Northern cause. Hear why and how the Fort was used by the Union Army in a heavily pro-Southern area.

Fort McHenry Through the Ages: There was a military presence at this site from the American Revolution through World War II. Explore the uses of the Fort throughout its history.

ON THE DAY OF YOUR VISIT:

When your group arrives at Fort McHenry, please make sure your group leader has an accurate confirmation, a list of safety rules for the park, payment (A GROUP ARRIVING WITHOUT AN APPROVED WAIVER OF FEES ON FILE WILL BE CHARGED THE $7.00 PER ADULT ENTRANCE FEE) and at least one adult chaperone for every ten children.

VISITOR CENTER:

When your group arrives at Fort McHenry, please have them remain on the bus or outside the Visitor Center while the group leader checks in. The group leader should have a confirmation and payment to present to the ranger at the Visitor Center desk. Program information will also be provided at this time. The Visitor Center is the park headquarters as well as a museum. Please have the group remain quiet so that others may enjoy their visit.

SELF-GUIDED TOURS:

For those groups unable to schedule a movie or program, the Fort can be toured independently. Teachers or tour leaders will escort the group through the Fort. CHILDREN MUST BE WITH AN ADULT CHAPERONE AT ALL TIMES. Adults will be responsible for the actions of the children in their charge. Before unloading your bus, check in at the Visitor Center. Please observe all safety rules. Fort information should be studied prior to visiting. Allow 30 minutes for your self-guided tour. Throughout the fort and grounds are various wayside exhibits illustrating the history of Fort McHenry.

DEPARTURE:

Prior to leaving Fort McHenry, please have your group meet in a designated place. To avoid having pedestrians cross our busy parking lot, have bus drivers load and unload in front of the Visitor Center.

FACILITIES:

Restrooms, handicapped access ramps, pay phones, and a closed-captioned film are available. Gift Shop, owned and operated by the Evelyn Hill Corporation, is open from 9:00 A.M. to 4:45 P.M. daily. It is located in the Visitor Center.

NOTE: ALL PROGRAMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, STAFF SHORTAGES AND/OR SCHEDULING CONFLICTS. PLEASE INQUIRE AT THE VISITOR CENTER DESK FOR CURRENT INFORMATION.

Contact Public Affairs

All media requests should be directed to the Chief of Interpretation.

Phone: 410-962-4290, extension 224

FAX: 410-962-2500

Contact the Park

Park Address

2400 East Fort Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21230-5393

Phone:

General Calls: (410) 962-4290

Group Arrangements: (410) 962-4290, x243, Monday afternoon from 12:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M., Wednesday morning from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon, or Friday morning from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. (all times Eastern).

Fax:

Park: (410) 962-2500

Administration: (410) 962-2182

Ranger Office: (410) 962-3885