"Deep inside the Maryland Science Center, past 'Our Place in Space' and 'Your Body: The Inside Story' lies the hidden treasure of the wet lab. Enthusiastic staff and volunteers help fit kids with goggles and lab coats before the experiments begin. Huddled, excited children and adults isolate DNA, identify unknown powders, and test what it takes to kill bacteria. It's science and learning and family all rolled into one." 601 Light St. | 410-685-5225 | mdsci.org
Marc Steiner, WEAA radio host
"Leakin Park is the largest deciduous forest in urban America. That's what they say. And I spent 25 years walking, running and biking through that park before they made it pretty for civilization. I liked it better that way. And it was a very safe place. All you found was dead bodies, but they didn't kill them there. I found a body there, or my dog did. And it was before cell phones and I had to knock on somebody's door and say, 'Call the police.'"
Ambassador Dining Room
Donna Hamilton, anchorwoman at WBAL, Channel 11
"One thing that always puts me in a good mood is strolling through the doors of the Ambassador Restaurant in Canterbury. Doesn't matter what kind of day I've had, the scents of coriander and cumin, the trickling fountain that beckons out beyond the patio, and the gentle sitar music playing in the background are enough to transport me far, far away. I sit down, order a big Taj beer and my usual, Bhindi Pyaaz, dry-cooked okra with onions and spices. An amazing dish in an amazing setting, in winter with the fireplaces blazing, or in summer with the patio doors open. Sigh." 3811 Canterbury Road | 410-366-1484 | ambassadordining.com
Kings Point Bowling Alley
Lisa Gladden, state senator and public defender
"I love Baltimore because I can talk about my bowling average and people won't laugh at me. I haven't bowled in three or four years because I've been so darn busy, but I have a solid 170, 180 average. I threw out the first ball for some bowling fundraiser, and the first two balls went into the gutter. That was because I was using a house ball and house shoes. But the third ball was a strike. Because I'm a bowler, and proud of it." 4111 Deer Park Road, Randallstown | 410-521-5300 | amf.com/kingspointlanes
Cardamom ice cream at the Helmand
Ralph Moore, director of the community center at St. Frances Academy
"It's got all kinds of particles inside that are fun to eat. It's a textured ice cream. I enjoy textures in food. I'm the kind of person who crushes up potato chips and pretzels and puts them on top of ice cream. Some people think that's weird, but I'm enjoying myself. I have a friend who eats bacon sandwiches with honey-dipped doughnuts. There's no accounting for taste." 806 N. Charles St. | 410-752-0311 | helmand.com
The Caesar salad at Peter's Inn
Patrick Sutton, interior designer
"One of my favorite treats is the garlic bread and Caesar salad at Peter's Inn. While we love all the food on the menu, it's fair to say this is what we get the most excited about. We know enough to head over either early or late, as getting a seat is next to impossible during regular dinner hours, but we like to sit at the bar.
The thick, plate-sized slice of bread comes out topped in a sizzling green concoction that tastes of garlic, blue cheese, herbs and olive oil and is perfect with the crisp chopped romaine salad accompaniment. OK, now I'm hungry." 504 S. Ann St. | 410-675-7313 | petersinn.com
Pick-up soccer games in Patterson Park
Bryan Burkert, owner of Sound Garden
"Every night there's like four or five soccer games, all pickup. You just show up with your cleats and play. I played in college, and I don't think I'm good anymore, but I used to be good. It's fun because there's always a game, and you can jump in. People drop down bags for goal markers. If there gets to be too many people, another game will start. It's all age groups. The level of play varies, but there are always games. It's a little intimidating if you've never been there before, but you can stop in and start playing."
The Waverly Farmers Market
Gary Vikan, director of the Walters Art Museum
"Especially in the spring, there's the odd chance that someone at the market will have 'fresh' garlic. And by that I mean those scallion-like things, though with a rose hue, that usually are let to grow into big heads of garlic. But they are a form of that magical aromatic plant unto themselves. A handful minced, cooked until brown in that great olive oil that the Greek guy sells, with fresh parsley and parmesan grated over fresh pasta. Add a glass of rosé. To die for." 400 E. 32nd St. | 410-889-6388
Druid Hill Park
Bob Hieronimus, muralist, author, radio host