Visitors are invited to attend the following ranger programs. Programs begin at the Visitor Contact Station, with the exception of the morning and evening flag changes which take place inside the historic Star Fort. Reservations are not needed to attend ranger programs.
The Star Fort is self-guided. Visitors will find timelines, informational films, exhibits, and furnished rooms inside the fort. Admission fees apply to enter the fort.
Please note that the following program schedule will take effect on May 25, 2019.
10:00 am - Morning Flag Change
11:15 am - Flag Talk
12:15 pm - Battle of Baltimore
1:15 pm - Flag Talk
2:15 pm - Ranger's Choice
3:15 pm - Ranger's Choice
5:00 pm - Evening Flag Change
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.
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.
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.
War on the Chesapeake: The Battle of Baltimore was part of the larger campaign in the Chesapeake Bay that raged from February 1813 until February 1815. This interactive program discusses the role of militia, sailors, and citizens in defense of the Chesapeake region, while identifying the importance of the bay as it connects towns, cities - people.
Flag Change Programs occurs twice daily, year round. Weather permitting, help a ranger raise/lower a reproduction of the Star-Spangled Banner flag.
Living History at Fort McHenry
Wednesday through Sunday from June 26 – August 18, 2019
The Fort McHenry Guard is back for the 2019 summer season as the National Park Service offers “hands-on history” through demonstrations and educational activities for visitors of all ages.
11:00 am - 4:00 pm - Stop by the citizens’ tent to discover how Baltimoreans contributed to the city’s defense against the British, and learn more about life on the home front during the War of 1812. Activities include 18th century cooking demonstrations, textile and laundry programs, children’s’ games, and clothing fashions from 1814.
10:45 am and 1:45 pm - Musket or cannon demonstrations and firing. Join us at the Water Battery to learn more about the artillery and firearms that were used to defend Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore. Dressed in uniforms of the soldiers, sailors and civilians who defended Baltimore in 1814, this living history program offers an interactive touchstone to the past, complete with weapons demonstrations and firing.
12:00 pm and 3:00 pm - Fife and drum music demonstrations. Visit the historic Star Fort and hear the thunderous beat of drums and shrill of fifes of Fort McHenry’s fife and drum corps. Musicians will play military camp calls, reveilles, and renditions of songs like ‘Yankee Doodle’ while discussing the important role of the fife and drum corps in everyday garrison life.
Please note that black powder demonstrations can be loud. Visitors are encouraged to bring hearing protection. Some pets may be sensitive to loud noises caused by black powder demonstrations.
Programs are offered on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are not required and will not be accepted. Programs are subject to change due to staff availability and weather conditions. Please check with the front desk upon arrival to confirm activities.