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Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center

bladensburg visitor center

Bladensburg Waterfront Park
4601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, MD 20710
Open daily: 10 am-4 pm
301-927-8819; TTY 301-699-2544 
FREE admission

Hours of Operation

 Mon./Tues./Wed.  CLOSED (only open for scheduled programs) 
 Thurs./Fri.  10 am-2 pm 
 Saturday   10 am-4 pm  
 Sunday   12 noon-4 pm  

The Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center is located along the Anacostia River near the site of The Battle of Bladensburg, which occurred on August 24,1814. This devastating American loss allowed the British to proceed into Washington, D.C. where many government buildings were burned including the U.S. Capitol and The White House.

The Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center and the Waterfront Park are part of The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. The visitor center uses photos, artifacts and other media to tell the fascinating story of the people, places and events of the War in Prince George’s County.

Historical and archaeological artifacts from the British troop encampments in Nottingham are displayed, along with narrative historical accounts, and a movie depicting the famous namesake battle of this visitor center. Stop by and experience the dramatic events and stories for yourself!


Wednesday, June 11, 1 pm

A Sailor's Life 
Explore the world of ships, sailors, pirates, rope making and more. Learn about the various ships, tasks of the captain, work of the ship mates, tools of a sailor and more.
Free; All ages; Reservations required; Space is limited.

Saturday, June 14, 1 pm

Ships Ahoy! Pirates of the Chesapeake
Families are welcome to this fun and educational day at the park. Explore the world of ships, sailors and pirates. Make a treasure craft and enjoy pirate treats. Look out for pirates while going down river on an exciting pontoon boat ride. 
Free; All ages; Reservations required; Space is limited.

Wednesday, June 25, 1 pm

Star Spangled Banner Program & Boat Tour
Enjoy a short program on the history of the Star Spangled Banner. Take an interpretive pontoon boat tour down the Anacostia River. 
Free; All ages; Reservations required; Space is limited.


Wednesday, July 9, 1 pm

19th Century Prince George's County
Named after Prince George of Denmark, Prince George's County in the 1800 was full of events that changed the nation. Engage and Enjoy this captivating presentation. Free; Ages 8 & up; Reservations required; Space is limited

Saturday, July 19, 1 - 3 pm

The Great Xtreme Teen Debate;  Resolve: The War of 1812 was justified and it made a difference in the United States."
Get your team together to participate in this Great Debate about the War of 1812. Was President Madison Justified? Are you in opposition (con) to the resolution or are you in support (pro) of the resolution? Teams of 2-4 people will be assigned a side to debate. Great Prizes for the winning teams. Earn service learning hours. RSVP your team by June 1st 2014. Call for more information. Advance Reservation required for audience seating.  
Free; Ages 13 & up

Wednesday, July 23, 1 pm

The British on The Chesapeake
Hear all about the British and their journey as they travel up the Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812.  The Chesapeake Bay became a target of the British military strategy. From the impressment, to the blockades, to the raids and Baltimore's "legalized pirates", this presentation will surely captivate you.
Free; Ages 8 & up; Reservations required; Space is limited


Saturday, August 9, 1 pm

History Alive: Show & Tea with Dolley Madison

Enjoy this live history show focusing on Dolley Madison and the War of 1812. Mary-Ann Jung, an award-winning actress and Smithsonian Scholar, has a dynamic style like no other, that will captivate you completely. Also, celebrate the birthday of the First Lady of the War of 1812 with tea and refreshments.  
Free; All ages; Reservations required. Space is limited. 

Wednesday, August 13, 1 pm

The Battle of Bladensburg Pontoon Boat Tour
Take a pontoon boat tour and hear all about the War of 1812 & The Battle of Bladensburg. Free; All ages; Reservations Required; Space is limited.


Saturday, August 23

Battle of Bladensburg Commemoration

Join forces with those commemorating the War of 1812 in Prince George’s County.  Start with a dedication of the new monument at 11 am followed by a Grand Procession into Bladensburg Waterfront Park; With historic trade demonstrations, cannon firings, boat rides, children’s games, music, dancing, delicious food, exhibitors & vendors, – and a thrilling battle re-enactment – the day will be full of exciting explorations! 

 In the evening, the program turns to a variety of music and dance acts, and will end with fireworks over the Anacostia River! Go to for detailed information. Shuttle buses available all day from designated parking lots and other event sites around the area (parking and additional event details coming soon). Parking not available at Bladensburg Waterfront Park.    

 Free Admission. All Are Welcome

  • 11 am Monument Dedication & Grand Procession
  • 1-3 pm Festival
  • 3 pm  Re-enactment
  • 5-9 pm Demonstrations, Village, Music, Family Activities & Fireworks over the anacostia River


Wednesday, September 17, 1 pm

The History of The Port O' Bladensburg
Forty Six years after Prince George's County was established, citizens established the Port O' Bladensburg. The town was bustling and then it all changed. Why?  Free; Ages 8 & up; Reservations required; Space is limited


Friday, October 10, 6:30 pm

The Ghost of Dueling Creek Campfire & Night Hike
Hot cocoa, a warm campfire, and tales of The Ghost of Dueling Grounds awaits you. Bundle up and take a Night Walk on the Anacostia River Trail.   
Free; Advanced Reservations Required. Space is Limited. Ages 7 & up.  

Friday, October 24, 6:30 pm

Pirates of the Chesapeake: Campfire & Boat Tour
Hot cocoa, a warm campfire, and scary tales of Ghost & Pirates awaits you. Bundle up and take an exciting evening boat tour down the Anacostia river. Beware of the ghostly pirates on the river and shore waiting to come aboard!   
Free; Advanced Reservations Required. Space is Limited. Ages 7 & up.


Wednesday, November 12, 1 pm

A Soldiers Life 
Explore the everyday life of a soldier in the War of 1812. Learn about a soldier's equipment, military discipline, 18th century combat and more. Free; All ages; Reservations required; Space is limited.

bladensburg waterfront park brochure
2014 Bladensburg Waterfront Park Calendar of Events
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War of 1812
Passport to the War of 1812
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