PLANNING YOUR VISIT
We offer a variety of ranger programs every season
and you are welcome to attend any of our programs when they are offered.
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.
School and tour groups may, but need not, notify us about their planned visit to the park. If you wish to note your visit, contact us by email and provide the following:· Organization Name: If you are from an educational institution you may wish to apply for an academic fee waiver. Please submit your fee waiver request no less than two weeks in advance
· Date and time of arrival
· Size of the group: Number of adults (age 16 years and up), children, and buses
o Note: The Visitor Center exhibit area can comfortably and safely accommodate no more than 75 visitors.
· Point of contact information: name, e-mail address, and phone number
No confirmation from the park is necessary to visit
the site. Once we receive your email, we will note your group on our schedule.
If you request an academic fee waiver you will receive a notification of approval or will be queried for supporting
documentation if anything else is required.
FORMAL RANGER PROGRAMS 2016 - 2017
All programs are given on a first-come-first-served basis according to
the scheduled times listed below. No reservations are accepted for programs.
Flag Change: Help a ranger raise or lower the flag. This program
provides information on the variety of flags used at Fort McHenry and their
historic significance. This program is offered daily, weather permitting.
(10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.)
Learn about how soldiers trained to load and fire a cannon or musket during the
War of 1812.
Defending "the Old Fort":
Community, Commemoration, and The National Park Service at Fort McHenry
(Centennial Ranger Walk): Take a guided walk throughout the park and fort
to learn how Fort McHenry became a national monument and how generations have
protected the site and commemorated its history.
War of 1812 Fife &Drum
Program: Hear the sounds of the War of 1812 and learn about the role of
field music in garrison life.
Flag Talk: Help unroll a full-sized replica of the Star-Spangled
Banner and learn about the history of both the flag and the song it inspired. This
talk is intended for groups no larger than 100. (11:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
daily, weather permitting)
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. This program discusses the battle
of North Point, the bombardment of Fort McHenry and places them in the context
of the broader Chesapeake campaign. (2:15 p.m. daily, weather
The Key Story: Francis Scott Key drew the words of our National
Anthem from his personal experiences on Chesapeake Bay in the months leading up
to the Battle of Baltimore in September, 1814. In this program visitors will
learn the stories of the role of militia, free African-Americans and citizens
in the defense of the Chesapeake Bay from the British.Find out how about the series of events that
placed the author of our National Anthem at the "key" place to see the
Children's Programming: Children can pretend to serve as soldiers
during the War of 1812 by learning authentic drill commands with wooden
muskets, or participate in common active games of the early 19th century
Battle of Baltimore
ON THE DAY OF YOUR VISIT
When your group arrives at Fort McHenry, please make
sure your group leader has an accurate count of the adults in your group and
has reviewed the safety rules of the site. (A GROUP ARRIVING WITHOUT AN APPROVED WAIVER OF FEES WILL
BE CHARGED THE $10.00 PER ADULT ENTRANCE FEE)At least one adult chaperone for every ten children is recommended.
For additional information on park laws and policies, please review the Superintendent's Compendium
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 the fee waiver and/or 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
LARGER GROUPS: Please note that we can comfortably accommodate no more than 75 visitors in the
exhibit area. It may be helpful to divide your group into smaller groups to visit the exhibit area.
In addition to attending a formal ranger program,
Fort McHenry 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 McHenry 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.
To help you plan your group's visit, additional educational materials are available at: https://www.nps.gov/fomc/learn/education/index.htm
Prior to leaving Fort McHenry, please have your group meet in a designated place. Please use sidewalks and crosswalks to load and unload passengers in designated areas.
Restrooms and handicapped access ramps are available. A gift shop, owned and operated by the Evelyn Hill Corporation, is open daily. It is located in the Visitor Center.
There are no dining facilities on site however picnic tables are available on the west side of the park for groups who wish to bring their own meals. Picnicking is not permitted inside the Star Fort or Visitor Center.
Bags should not be left unattended in any part of the park.
Limited free parking is available. Buses may use
only one of the designated bus parking spaces. If these spaces are all occupied
the buses must park outside of Fort McHenry.
School and tour groups may, but need not, notify us about their
planned visit to the park.
If you wish to note your visit, contact Group Arrangements by email and provide the information requested above.