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By Paula Gencarelli, CertifiKID Subscriber
Posted Jul 16, 2019
Posted Jul 16, 2019
Located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Port Discovery Children's Museum is ranked among the top five children's museums in the country. The Museum boasts three floors of interactive, educational exhibits and programs geared to children ages birth through 10 that are designed to encourage them to use their imaginations and explore how things work through play.
Port Discovery recently unveiled two new huge exhibits: the SkyClimber, a four-level climbing structure, and The Port, a giant, life-sized cargo ship complete with an engine room, gantry crane and more!
We sent one of our MOM Squad ambassadors and her kids to visit Port Discovery Children's Museum and experience the Museum's new exhibits. She received complimentary admission in exchange for providing an honest review of their experience.
It is very impressive walking into the museum. The focal point is a large ship with a three story climbing structure built around it. Children ages 5+ can climb up the structure and slide down a twisty slide.
This main area also had a large area for toddlers and babies to play in and explore. The 1st floor also featured a soccer field where kids could run and kick blow-up beach ball style soccer balls.
Next to that, there’s an art studio where kids can do screen printing or play with clay. On the opposite side, there is a Royal Farms pretend store where kids can play in a VW, pretend to put in gas, grocery shop, and even pretend to get a Slushee.
We visited the restroom on this level and it was very clean and child friendly. It had a low sink and the toilets flushed by waving your hand over the tank.
On the 2nd floor, there is a neat little section called The Overlook, which is a netted play area with obstacles. There is also a tot trails area for ages 0-3. We didn’t go in because my little one wanted to keep up with her older sisters.
The Oasis is a large quiet area with many books and puzzles, a great spot to bring anyone who needs a break, for a nursing mom, or a sleeping baby.
Adventure Expeditions takes you back into the time of ancient Egypt where you gather clues and learn about the civilization. My daughters had fun pulling themselves across a “river” and writing their names in hieroglyphics. Some parts of this area are a little dark and scary and are recommended for ages 5+, but my 6 and 8-year-old were a little weary at times as well.
The 3rd floor is where my favorite spot, the Wonders of Water exhibit, is located. My daughters had so much fun making a giant bubble around them over and over again! They also have a large water table with various toys and interactive features. There are raincoats available for children to wear, but they were all soaked when we got there. They also have Crocs available to wear. We stayed in our regular clothes and my kids had a blast and got mildly wet. There is a drying station on your way out, which was fun and helpful! The girls liked the warm air blowing on them.
The Diner is also on this level and looks just like a 1950’s diner. It has a very large play kitchen for kids to make play food and a counter and booths for parents to sit in as they wait for their delicious food to be served.
There’s a "Here We Grow" section that focuses on agriculture in Maryland. My daughters enjoyed playing a milk the cow racing game, which really just had them press buttons over and over again but it was a hit! On the 3rd floor you also reach the top of the ship where you can pretend to steer, navigate, load and unload cargo.
Getting There and Getting In
Port Discovery was easy to find using GPS. It is located right next to Power Plant Live in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore.
There is a parking garage on the same block as Port Discovery. They validate parking. However, when we went to leave we ended up paying $15 for parking (not sure what happened with the validation?!).
It was very quick to get in. We arrived right when it opened at noon on a Sunday.
Time Recommended to Enjoy Experience
We spent about 4.5 hours total at Port Discovery and were able to check out everything in about 2 hours. We then went back and explored the areas we liked best for another 2 1/2 hours.
Recommended Age Range
My children are aged 8, 6 and 2. There was something for everyone to enjoy. I would say it’s great for the under 10 crowd.
My 8-year-old enjoyed the large climbing structure, my 6-year-old liked the soccer area, and my 2-year-old enjoyed the water room, especially where she made a bubble around herself.
Tips for Families
If your child wants to climb the structure they will need socks. The Museum has socks to borrow or to buy for $1.
You may bring food inside and eat in the designated area. There isn’t food served on site but you are able to leave the Museum and come back and there are lots of places to eat nearby.
A family visiting Port Discovery can definitely make a day out of it. You could easily visit the nearby National Aquarium or Inner Harbor and extend your fun. You could even go to a Orioles baseball game at nearby Camden Yards.
Would Your Family Visit Again?
We enjoyed it but it’s a far drive from where we live.
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