I’ve visited Cylburn Arboretum and Mansion a few times now. It’s a very short drive from Baltimore, Maryland’s Inner Harbor, and it’s close enough that you’ll have time for a quick stop the next time you’re at the Harbor. I love taking photos of the gardens when the flowers are in bloom. As many times as I’ve visited, I’ve never seen the inside of Cylburn Mansion. They’ve either been closed or there was a wedding taking place at the property at the time. You’ll frequently see photographers with clients on the grounds as well. When I saw their Holiday Open House event scheduled, I knew we’d have to take a trip down so we could finally see the mansion’s interior.
I was surprised to see fun games set up in the grounds surrounding the mansion when we pulled up, and it was all free! There was a movie screen set up playing Elf, a s’mores station, and ax-throwing, among other things. Yes, ax-throwing. I don’t know how it’s relevant, but I’m glad it was there. My husband absolutely shocked me when he stepped up to see how he’d do. With one ax in each hand, he threw them and they both hit the target. “That was lucky!”, I said. Even the man running the station was surprised. He said, “That was good but can you hit the target with two in one hand”? My husband hit the target with both once again (side note: if anyone knows if he secretly works for the CIA or Mafia, please let me know).
Then I noticed a horse-drawn carriage and wondered what the cost of a ride was. It was taking people to and from Cylburn Mansion and we found out the ride was free, too. My kids and I got to ride in a horse-drawn carriage for the first time, which was a great memory to make even though the ride wasn’t very long.
Once we got to the Mansion, I took the obligatory photos of the exterior and my family before going inside. The first floor was the only one open to tours, and it wasn’t as big as it looked from the outside, but I’m incredibly curious when it comes to old buildings and I’m happy I finally saw the interior. It’s surprisingly dark and not what I expected, but I can certainly appreciate historic homes and how much work went into every detail, even if they aren’t all done to my taste. I do have to say the one thing I was disappointed in was that so much of the wood trim was painted brown. Not stained, but painted. Aside from that, there was one room I absolutely loved, and it seemed out of place compared to the other rooms because of the bright white fireplace. The furniture inside was minimal but there were Christmas trees set up in three rooms. The gorgeous wood floors in each room had different patterns, including the entry hall floor. The chandeliers were what I’d refer to as interesting, and have a Gothic vibe.
Locals should plan a trip to Cylburn Arboretum and Mansion no matter what time of year it is. There is always something to discover on the grounds as things change with the seasons. If you’re looking for things to do in Baltimore, Cylburn Mansion is just a hop away from the Inner Harbor.
To learn more about Cylburn Arboretum and Mansion and to plan your trip, please visit: cylburn.org