by Amy Suski
If you haven't visited Baltimore lately, now is perfect time to take your children to visit Port Discovery. Ranked 4th among the Top 10 Children's Museums by Child Magazine, Port Discovery Children's Museum continues to grow as one of the leading family destinations in the Mid-Atlantic region.
In 2011, Port Discovery's newest permanent exhibit, Tot Trails, opened as an exciting and whimsical soft playspace designed exclusively for infants and toddlers up to 3 years old. While exploring the landscapes of Maryland, babies can wiggle and roll in mirrored "tidal pools" and crawl through the "dune walk." Toddlers can dig for fossils, climb through Mountain Trail and Paw Paw Tunnel. There are also puppets to play with and daily programs led by museum educators such as Mother Goose on the Loose story time and Jingle Jangle Music Time.
Once your little one graduates from Tot Trails, there is plenty more to do. With three floors of activities, busy little ones can shop or sell goods in a food market, gas-up a real VW bug in the Fill'er Up Station, milk a life-like cow, or have a pretend meal in Tiny's Diner. All children seem to love the Wonders of Water room, where they can direct boats through a canal system, play water chimes, build an fountain, and more. (Fortunately, water-resistant smocks are provided!)
For older children (up to age 10), KidWorks, the collosal urban treehouse is a sure fire hit. As soon as we entered the soaring three-story space, my three children flocked to it immediately. Much to the delight of my 9 year old, KidWorks poses extreme climbing challenges with tight spaces, a tube slide, steep rock walls, and rope bridges. Because KidWorks is so challenging, along the way my 7 year old needed some encouragement and my 4 year old definitely needed my help, so my advice is to heed the wisdom of Port Discovery's age recommendations (5 and up) before releasing them into KidWorks alone. (Although tight spaces make it difficult for parents to follow, there are accessible entry/exit/rescue points at each floor level.)
If you can get your kids to leave the treehouse, they will also enjoy kicking around a ball on the mini-soccer field, searching for a pharoah's lost tomb in 1920's Egypt, and winding their way through the wacky Miss Perception's Mystery House. For creative pursuits, visit the rotating exhibits in the R&D DreamLab and the Studio Workshop. Also make sure to check the museum schedule when you arrive for performances, plays, and karaoke in the MPT Studio.
After all the excitement, the The Oasis offers a quiet place to relax and regroup with cozy places to curl up with quiet activities such as books and puzzles. There are vending machines and snack tables available on a first-come first serve basis in the Pier. You can also leave and come back with your ticket if you want to eat at the nearby McDonald's or Subway (on the same block) or at the nearby Inner Harbor. Adults and children wear uniquely coded wristbands to prevent children from leaving without their adult. Children under 2 years old free.
Check the website www.portdiscovery.org for more information and ongoing special events.
Here is a general overview from Port Discovery's official press room:
Port Discovery is home to many exciting and unique exhibits that encourage the development of critical-thinking skills, interpersonal skills, self-esteem building, sensory perception, cultural identification and language development. These exhibits include:
35 Market Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Kid Trips Northern Virginia Edition
Buy New $12.59
About The Blog
Kid Trips' blogs profile fun events and cool family-friendly venues. We focus on regional and national family travel articles.
Blogs Via Email
Links We Love