If you are looking for a fun place to bring children in Baltimore, check out Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Whether you are looking for science learning activities or simply a fun space for children to play, this place had it all. Located a street away from the Inner Harbor, Port Discovery offers interactive exhibits for children for children of all ages.

5 Tips For Visiting Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Whether the weather outside is too hot or too rainy to be enjoyable, Port Discovery offers indoor activities to help entertain your children all day. To help make the most of your visit, check out these five tips.

1. Give yourself plenty of time.

First, Port Discovery can either be a place you spend a couple hours, or you could spend all day there. If you only spend a few hours there, you can still spend the entire day enjoying the view of the Inner Harbor and visiting the many other attractions. Plan on being downtown for 3+ hours, but give yourself plenty of extra time. 

Outside of Port Discovery, you can find a beautiful fountain perfect for resting after a long day of navigating the city!

Outside of Port Discovery, you can find a beautiful fountain perfect for resting after a long day of navigating the city!

During our visit, we walked around the Inner Harbor from about 12pm to 6pm, and we spent about two hours at Port Discovery. Since the weather was awesome, we wanted to enjoy the sun, but on a rainy day, I would have stayed longer. There are many interesting exhibits there! One of our favorite was the NASA exhibit, where children could use satellite technology (used to measure the height of ice at the poles) to measure their height.

2. Check out Tiny’s Diner.

If your children enjoy playing kitchen, Tiny’s Diner is incredible. My younger daughter is at the ideal age for play food. I loved watching her eyes light up when she went inside this space!

If your children enjoy playing with a toy kitchen, Port Discovery takes making a play meal to the next level!

If your children enjoy playing with a toy kitchen, Port Discovery takes making a play meal to the next level!

In Tiny’s Diner, the space helps children take on the responsibilities of being the chef, waiter, and cashier, while parents can sit in real diner booths and wait for their order. The food is even weighted to feel more like real food. Everything is very high quality and life-like. When you heat food on the stove, red lights show up to imitate a real stove top.

The kitchen area provides an authentic looking diner experience where children can serve their parents a freshly prepared play meal.

Children enjoy having such an important role in the diner, and they appreciate that play time is such an authentic experience.

At Tiny's Diner, children enjoy taking part in a real life restaurant situation.

At Tiny’s Diner, children enjoy taking part in a real life restaurant situation.

This was one of our favorite spaces. Although it was one of the busier areas, it was well worth visiting.

3. Let your children play on the tunnels.

Inside Port Discovery, you can find tunnels that go through all three floors. Some of the tunnels stay on the same level, and some travel from floor to floor. If watching your children disappear into tunnels while you explore a major city makes you nervous, don’t worry. You can easily fit in the tunnels with them.

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My children were very excited to explore the tunnels and walking bridges. I made a couple of areas off-limits so they wouldn’t get lost. I also dressed my daughters in matching outfits so other families would know that we should be together, if one wandered off and needed help finding us. 

The tunnels and climbing areas were one of the most exciting places. If my children were older (around 10), I could have easily let them disappear and climb for hours. Since they were too young to know how to find me if they climbed too far away, we climbed for a short while and continued our exploration of Port Discovery.

4. Bring children of all ages.

Port Discovery is very family friendly. For families with babies, you can find a nursing area and bean bags for little ones who need to rest. This makes it easy to spend all day there.

Next, children of all ages will enjoy the water tables on the third floor. Not only can you sort objects by buoyancy, but you can also use a pulley to make a gigantic bubble surround you.

While older children can enjoy learning about how pulleys work, younger children will have fun playing with bubbles!

While older children can enjoy learning about how pulleys work, younger children will have fun playing with bubbles!

I liked that my younger daughter found neat construction sites where she could build, while her older sister participated in hands-on science activities with the staff. She found plenty to entertain herself with, and she learned a lot!

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From building to sorting shapes, my younger daughter did many hands-on activities that helped her develop spatial reasoning and engineering skills. Check out this video of a fun puzzle race she played against her sister.

Both of my children loved the Egypt exhibit. This area offered hands-on learning experiences about Egyptology that we haven’t seen anywhere else. From rowing across the Nile River in a boat to putting together pieces of broken pottery, this exhibit was interesting for the whole family.

One of the most interesting spaces is the Egypt room! You can go inside a tomb, row a boat across the Nile River, put together broken pottery pieces, and more.

One of the most interesting spaces is the Egypt room! You can go inside a tomb, row a boat across the Nile River, put together broken pottery pieces, and more.

Whether you are traveling with babies or pre-teens, everyone can find something to do at Port Discovery.

5. Visit the daily activities.

Daily, Port Discovery has new activities you can enjoy. You can look forward to some of these fun activities on the Port Discovery schedule of upcoming events.

Saturday, April 15: Thomas and Friends™ Day at Port Discovery!

Take part in STEM in Spring activities featuring everyone’s favorite blue engine! Create abstract train artwork, make train totes, enjoy a train-themed Kindersigner performance, and become a star in our interactive Play within a Play: The Little Engine that Could! (Based on THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD by Watty Piper©™ Penguin Random House LLC. Used with permission.) 

Then stay late for the Hop into Spring Evening Adventure, featuring music, pizza, drinks, a mini egg hunt, face painting, prizes, and hours of family fun! Hop into Spring goes from 6:30 to 9:30 PM and advanced purchase tickets are required!

Sunday, April 16:  Engineer Gumdrop Structures!

Engineer your own structures using gumdrops, learn about different sound techniques at the Percussion Garden, enjoy our signature story time, and take part in many more activities dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math! 

Monday, April 17: Build & Launch a Satellite!

Celebrate the last day of STEM in Spring with Port Discovery’s extended hours, Build and launch your own satellite, get up close with animals and learn about wildlife at the Wildlife Adventures Petting Zoo, enjoy an interactive science show from Eric Energy, and much more on the final day of STEM in Spring.

Long-Term Exhibits

Also, right now, the Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails! exhibit is up until May 19th. You can climb aboard Thomas the train!

Visiting the Thomas & Friends section on the third floor is fun for fans of the show!

Visiting the Thomas & Friends section on the third floor is fun for fans of the show!

 

KLUTZ® Amazingly Immature Exhibit at Port Discovery Children’s Museum

When the Thomas the Train exhibit ends, you can visit the  KLUTZ® Amazingly Immature Exhibit daily from 5/20 through 9/4. Check out the description below from Port Discovery.

Families are encouraged to embrace their inner zany genius while exploring what these behaviors can teach about science, engineering, math, and literacy.  Jump into STEM as you pull a tablecloth out from under a place setting to learn about inertia, build a boomerang as an introduction to aerodynamics, and fold paper rings to explore geometry. 

Amazingly Immature encourages communication and learning through laughter, play, comedy and memories of different generations’ childhood hijinks. Activities include:

o   Tablecloth Trickery: Can you yank a tablecloth without dropping the dishes? Take the challenge!

o   Juggling for the Complete KLUTZ: Learn how to juggle scarves in four easy lessons!

o   Dinner Disrupters: Turn spoons into catapults or make them do somersaults!

o   Quarter Snatching: Can you catch coins off your elbow?

o   Table Top Games: Bring paper football games back to the lunchroom!

o   Fly the Immature Skies: Engineer paper airplanes!

Port Discovery Ticket Giveaway

While Theresa’s Reviews has readers all over the world, in the spirit of encouraging my local readers to head out and see their city this spring break, I’m hosting a giveaway for four tickets to Port Discovery. These tickets will be valid through 12/31/2017. To enter, choose from the entry options in the Rafflecopter widget below.

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Disclosure: I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion.

About The Author

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Theresa has been writing since 2010 in magazines and online. Her lifestyle and parenting expertise has been featured in publications, including ShopSmart and Scholastic. She earned an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt as well as a BA in History from Flagler College, and she is a certified teacher.

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