20 Best Things to Do in Hanover, MD

Hanover, MD
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Hanover, located south of Baltimore, is an unincorporated community within eastern Howard County and northwestern Anne Arundel County in the Annapolis/Baltimore region of Maryland state.

Its borders are Severn on the south, Linthicum on the east, and Elkridge on the north and west.

Hanover is situated near the Patapsco River, where Native American tribes are said to have inhabited the area.

In 1929, archeological digs were done along the historic Disney farm, where axes, spears, and arrowheads were found.

Today, commercial buildings occupy the area, and Hanover has grown explosively with commercial buildings and businesses that keep the community going and entertained.

If you’re curious to know more, here are the best things you can do in Hanover, Maryland:

Shop at Arundel Mills

Name sign and entrance of Arundel Mills
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At the heart of Hanover is Arundel Mills, a famous shopping, gaming, and entertainment center.

Located at the intersection of Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Maryland Route 100, Arundel Mills is the largest retail shopping outlet in Maryland, with an area spanning 1,930,820 square feet.

Tommy hilfiger store in Arundel Mills
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It was opened in November 2010 and has more than 200 stores, including Books-A-Million, Coach Factory Store, Forever 21, H&M, Lego Store, Michael Kors, Under Armour, and more.

In between shopping, grab food at the food court or any of their quality restaurants such as Dave & Buster’s, Yard House, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

With its wide selection of stores and dining, Arundel Mills provides anything you’re looking for.

Victoria's Secret store in Arundel Mills
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Discover High-Quality Olive Oil at Maggio Olive Oil Co.

Maggio Olive Oil Co. is a family business owned by Italian immigrants from Italy.

Maria Maggio left Sicily and migrated to the United States in 1901 when she realized the lack of extra virgin olive oil in the area.

She started importing EVOO from Sicily and sold them around the neighborhood and District of Columbia.

In 1904, Maggio Olive Oil Co. was established.

More than a hundred years later, the business is run by Maria’s grandchildren, carrying the tradition of bringing only the highest quality extra virgin olive oil to the market.

They offer good quality balsamic vinegars and other specialty products too.

They allow customers to taste test the oils and vinegars, making sure they get the best according to their own preferences.

Take a Stroll at Jessup Dorsey Park

A community park located at Race Road, Jessup Dorsey Park is a nice place to take a casual stroll, run, and do other extracurricular activities with family or friends.

The park has tons of amenities, including a baseball field, two basketball courts, two tennis courts, picnic areas, a playground, and a pavilion which requires reservation from the Anne Arundel County Parks Department.

It is a peaceful park with well-kept grass, wide-open space, and plenty of parking.

If you’re looking for a nice spot to hang out during the weekend, Jessup Dorsey is a great place to consider.

Try Your Luck at Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland

Exterior of Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland
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Test your luck and enjoy the thrill at Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland, located a short distance away from Arundel Mills.

Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland opened its first phase in 2012 after slot machine gambling was approved by Maryland voters in 2008, and a proposal for slots at Arundel Mills passed in 2010.

Features of the casino and hotel include 4,000 slot machines and a 5,000 parking space structure in a 380,000 square feet floor space.

Slot machines in Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland
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Blazing lights and sounds hype up the atmosphere, with wide-screen TVs scattered through the casino to keep guests entertained.

Play the classics such as Blazing 7s, Double Diamond, and Wheel of Fortune, favorites such as Mystical Unicorn, China Shores, and Stinkin’ Rich, or you can try the latest 3D games such as Sphinx and Game of Thrones.

Guests can stay at the hotel’s 52 suites and 310 rooms, offering a sleek and chic modern design.

Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland also offers dining options and a concert venue for special events.

Aerial view of Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland
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Watch a Battle at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Brace yourself for a unique experience that is hard to miss when visiting Hanover.

At Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, witness the kingdom’s top knights in battle as only one victor emerges to protect the throne.

The castle’s majestic gates located between entrance one and five of Arundel Mills is not hard to notice and opens 60 minutes before the show, giving ample time for guests to snap photos and explore.

Enter the castle Hall of Arms and let your eyes wander through huge candelabras hanging from the ceilings and suits of armors lining up the hall.

Find your seat at the Grand Ceremonial Arena as the Call to Table is announced by the Master of Ceremonies, and satisfy your taste buds as a four-course feast is about to be served once you’re settled.

Sit back, join the cheer, and experience full-blown suspense of swords clashing, lance shattering, and action-packed combat in this two-hour, once-in-a-lifetime show you’ll never forget.

Plan Your Escape at Mission Escape Rooms

Mission Escape Rooms is a fun, interactive activity that will test your skills, wits, and teamwork.

Located in Arundel Mills, Mission Escape Rooms offers five challenging rooms in different difficulty levels, including Dinosaur Island, Last Showing, The Curse of the Winter Witch, Medieval Crimes, and Cabin Fever.

These rooms go with a theme or a story along with the mystery; however, themes may change over time.

Work as a team as you go through locked doors within 50 minutes by solving puzzles, finding clues, and developing strategies.

The rooms can accommodate groups of 1-10 people, perfect for friends and family members who seek a unique and fun way to hang out together.

Work Out at Powerhouse Gym

Powerhouse Gym is one of the leading fitness facilities in the United States, with over 300 fitness centers in 39 states.

Founded by the Dabish brothers in 1975, William and Norman built a gym in Michigan where it became a workout place for professional athletes, which gave their small business a huge boost.

The brothers created a franchise in 1984, and it has grown into multiple locations, including Boston and Florida.

The Hanover branch, located at New Ridge Road, offers state-of-the-art facilities, a wide range of strength and cardio equipment, and personal trainers to help you out with your fitness needs.

It has an old-school, warehouse vibe yet offers a positive and fun atmosphere, making it a popular gym for fitness buffs in the area.

Watch a Movie at the Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD

Exterior of Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD
Maryland Pride, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another attraction located at Arundel Mills is the Egyptian-inspired theater, Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD.

It was opened in 2000 by Muvico Theaters, a Florida-based company, but was taken over by Cinemark Theaters later in 2009.

This beautiful cinema will make guests feel like they are transported to Egypt with its huge columns in and out the theater, sphinx statues, and wall carvings.

All the auditoriums include comfortable recliners in stadium seating and digital surround sound, and four of its auditoriums have 500 seats, each with a 60-foot wall-to-wall-screen.

Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD is the largest cinema theater in Maryland.

Play Arcade at Dave and Buster’s

Dave and Buster’s is a popular restaurant and arcade chain that started out in 1982 founded by (you guessed it right) Dave and Buster.

Its history goes a little way back to the late 1970s when Dave Corriveau and Buster Corley owned two separate stores, a game parlor, and a restaurant respectively, right next to each other.

The two entrepreneurs decided to combine both businesses together, and the rest is history, with more than 140 locations in the United States and two in Canada to date.

Each store features a mouth-watering American menu with innovative food and drinks, brand new games at the arcade, virtual reality, even billiards, and bowling!

Watch your game on one of their massive high-definition TVs with stadium sounds to give the complete sports bar experience.

Dave and Buster’s in Hanover is in a prime location at Arundel Mills, a popular hangout for friends and family in and around the area.

Shoot Arrows at Dodgebow Baltimore

Bring your family, friends, or colleagues to Dodgebow Baltimore for a fun game of dodgebow, a cross between paintball and dodgeball.

Located at New Ridge Road, Dodgebow Baltimore provides a twist to the regular game of archery, using bows and foam-tipped arrows to shoot opponents.

Players are equipped with paintball masks and armguards, with Inflatable obstacles set up and properly distanced where they can hide behind.

Dodgebow is a thrilling team sport that will keep your heart pounding as you strive to shoot and not get shot, but will also give you and your group good laughs.

Dodgebow Baltimore caters to bachelor parties and private group bookings, perfect for team buildings with your colleagues at work.

Bring with you active clothing and shoes and the desire to win and have fun!

Dance at the Original Cancun Cantina

A place where you can eat, listen to live music, and dance!

The Original Cancun Cantina is a huge dance club located at Old Telegraph Road, where you can learn salsa and swing dance lessons for free.

It’s also a pub offering good food and drinks with live rock and country music.

This awesome pub is a fantastic place to socialize with tourists and locals alike.

Grab a cocktail or two, meet new people, listen to good music, and dance the night away at the Original Cancun Cantina.

Let Your Child Play at Matthewstown Harmans Park

Bring the fun outdoors with a drive along Matthewstown Harmans Park.

Open from sunset to sunrise, this park has a wide range of amenities for the whole family.

Its 1,700-foot paved trail is ideal for hiking and strolling.

If you like to play sports in your leisure time, you would like the park's basketball court and tennis courts.

And after a whole afternoon of running around and playing games, sit down by the picnic areas for a snack break.

The playground can also be a safe space for your little ones who are energetic and inquisitive.

Head over to Ridge Chapel Road to reach Matthewstown Harmans Park.

Black Lotus Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery is not your usual tattoo parlor.

Alongside its usual tattoo services, it's also the first studio in Maryland that offers Tatt2Away.

This kind of service is one that's usually seen within medispas and other health clinics.

So, if you're planning to get a tattoo or piercing, don't look elsewhere!

If these are not your cup of tea, you'll be happy to find that this studio is worth visiting if only for its art gallery.

Set within a modernistic setting, glass displays of piercings stand alongside framed tattoo designs.

You'll never see art the same way at Black Lotus Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery on New Ridge Road.

Go on a Unique Gaming Experience at VR Nite

Take your gaming to the next level with VR Nite's help.

This futuristic virtual reality gaming center in Arundel Mills Mall gets you immersed in a world of monsters, aliens, and dinosaurs without ever leaving Hanover!

What's more, you can play with up to four friends and loved ones who love the VR experience as you do.

Some of the horror and thriller games are also kid-friendly, so you can take your little ones with you!

You can find VR Nite on Arundel Mills Circle.

Watch Fish Feeding Sessions at Bass Pro Shops

Exterior of Bass Pro Shops
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Whether you're a beginner or an expert at fishing, Bass Pro Shops should be on your list of shops to visit.

This site is complete with fishing gear and hunting equipment for your next big adventure in the wild.

But what makes this shop a cut above the rest is its quirky amenities.

This sports goods store has a rock climbing wall and an archery lane you can use while on your visit.

Bass Pro Shops also offers fish feeding sessions on the weekend.

So, bring your kids over to Arundel Mills Circle and help them learn more about the native Hanover water habitat and fish species.

Spend a Day Out in Downtown Hanover

Arguably, the best way to know about a city or community is by exploring its downtown district.

And this is also true with Downtown Hanover.

This section of Hanover shines with historical appeal and modern recreational opportunities.

From fine dining restaurants and speakeasies to micro-breweries, it only brings the best of the best of Hanover cuisine culture.

You'll find there's a variety of things you can do while in Downtown Hanover, too!

Game shops and community events are also a staple within this district.

To make your exploration much more advanced, ride a bike.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Rockburn Branch Park

A trail lined with trees at Rockburn Branch Park
Scott218, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Rockburn Branch Park is a 415-acre park in Elkridge, about an 8-10 minute drive away from Hanover.

It was established in 1975 by Howard County and expanded in 1979 when they bought the land beside the original one, bridging a connection to the Patapsco Valley State Park.

It features 9 miles of trail that winds through woodlands, marshes, and streams, six ball fields for a play of baseball, one volleyball court, four tennis courts, two basketball courts, two turf fields, and an 18-hole disc golf course, multipurpose halls, and more.

Because of its connection to the Patapsco Valley State Park, you will explore wildlife as you walk through the trails, such as crayfish, water sliders, dragonflies, white-tailed deers, chipmunks, squirrels, and bats.

Another park feature to look forward to is the 1883 Pfeiffer's Corner Schoolhouse, which was relocated to the park and is used for historical purposes and town hall meetings.

Trail at Patapsco Valley State Park

Gorgeous waterfall at Patapsco Valley State Park
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Patapsco Valley State Park encompasses 16,043 acres and eight established recreational areas along 32 miles of the Patapsco River.

The park areas include Avalon/Glen Artney/Orange Grove, Daniels, Hilton, Hollofield, McKeldin, and Pickall area, with Avalon being the closest to Hanover, located only 5 minutes away at Halethorpe.

A trail at Patapsco Valley State Park
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Features of the park are hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback riding, and mountain biking routes, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups in the park's many popular pavilions.

The park has over 200 miles of trails, with 70 miles recognized as maintained trails.

Patapsco Valley State Park was celebrated as the first state park in Maryland and is known in the country for its beautiful scenery and trail opportunities.

Old brick tunnel at Patapsco Valley State Park
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Snap a Photo of the Thomas Viaduct

Road under the Thomas Viaduct
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A historical site located in Patapsco Valley State Park - Avalon Area is the Thomas Viaduct, the oldest multiple-arched stone railroad bridge in the world.

The bridge was built between 1833 and 1835, named after Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s first president, Philip Thomas.

During its completion, the Thomas Viaduct was known as the largest railroad bridge in the country, spanning the Patapsco Valley and Patapsco River.

Closer details of the Thomas Viaduct
Jim Kuhn, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It was selected as a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 2010.

CSX Transportation now owns and operates the viaduct, making it one of the oldest railroad bridges still in operation.

The Thomas Viaduct is a picturesque bridge, so make sure to snap photos from underneath it.

Extra treat if you see a train pass by!

A train on Thomas Viaduct
takomabibelot, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tour the Benson Hammond House

The Benson-Hammond House is a historical house located in Linthicum Heights,  Anne Arundel County, about a 10-15 minute drive from Hanover.

Thomas Benson bought land in 1809 and built a two-story brick house in the late 1820s, where he lived with his wife and children.

The house and property were passed on to one of his sons, Joseph, and in 1840, an additional third ½ story was built on the original house, and an extension of rooms on the house’s north side to accommodate the growing family.

The “Cedar Farm,” as the property was called, was sold to Rezin Howard Hammond in 1887, where his family continued to live until 1947.

The farm was purchased for the construction of Friendship International Airport (now Baltimore/Washington International Airport) but was spared from demolition as the house stands on the edge of the airport property.

The Anne Arundel County Historical Society met an agreement with the Maryland Aviation Administration to restore and preserve the house into its 1880 appearance.

In 1990, the Benson-Hammond House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, it stands as a museum with Victorian-era textiles and furniture, elements of farm life in the late 19th century, and a collection of clothing, quilts, cooking utensils, antique dolls, books, and other artifacts.

Final Thoughts

Over the years, commercial businesses and real estate developments have sprung up in Hanover.

Locals and visitors alike can appreciate its urban presence in the city's center, Arundel Mills, which is home to a plethora of modern activities.

If you travel a bit further, you'll come across historical sites and nature preserves.

Whatever your interests are, Hanover will entice you with surprises that will keep you wanting more.

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