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Construction of New Exhibits

Construction on New Exhibits Begins Soon!

IMPORTANT:  Construction Underway! Big New Exhibits Coming Spring 2019!

Construction is underway on new exhibits and Museum improvements that will open this spring! PLEASE NOTE:  Although Port Discovery remains open, visitors cannot access the main Museum while construction is underway.

Read below for information on construction plans, ways to play while construction is underway, answers to frequently asked questions, and more!

 

 

Come play & learn while we build!

Please note, although Port Discovery remains open, visitors cannot access the main Museum while construction is underway. Instead, join us to play and learn at the following special pop-up exhibits. Please note: Visitor capacity is limited at both locations. 

Exhibits Open While Port Discovery is Under Construction

The Construction Zone at The Atrium at Port Discovery – Sponsored by M&T Bank - Open Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays

OPEN Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays | Fridays: 1 PM – 4 PM, Saturdays: 10 AM – 5 PM, Sundays: Noon – 5 PM 
(Closed Monday – Thursday)

Admission is free for members. Visitors enter for $5 per person. Free for children under two.

Design and make a mini-robot, build with giant life-sized building blocks, launch rockets towards the moon, create a theatrical play and more in Port Discovery’s newest hands-on experience, The Construction Zone in the Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank

  • Design! Can a robot make real art? Find out when you design and build a mini-robot in the Prototype & Play area. Be an architect as you draft and draw plans for a new playground, building, and more with spirographs and lightboxes. Build and draw at  building and art stations.  
  • Build! It’s a box...it’s a plane...it’s a castle! When you add imagination to giant blocks, there’s no limit to what you can create. As you build, dress up using hats, goggles, puppets, and more – and work together to create a scene straight out of your dreams.  
  • Launch! 3...2...1...Blastoff! Launch a rocket towards a mini-moon and explore how physics helps things fly (and land). Plus, learn about space in a hands-on Sun, Earth, Universe mini-exhibit. 
  • Act! Take 10! Dress up, dance, sing, act – and take center stage in the Black Box Theater! Plus enjoy interactive theater performances including puppets, silly scientists, singers, dancers and other family-friendly performers.   
  • Move! Jump around and play games in our Game Zone. Crawl and toddle around The Oasis. Enjoy drop-in performances and programs that are playful and educational.  

Located in the Atrium at Port Discovery Children’s Museum (directly next door to the Main Museum), The Construction Zone will be open for a limited time and features unique opportunities for little learners ages birth to 10 to explore the art, science, and fun of construction.

The Construction Zone is one of the interactive, educational activities children and families can enjoy while Port Discovery constructs two new immersive exhibits, the Port Exhibit and the SkyClimber, and works on Museum improvements including an efficient new lobbynew nursing area, more family seating areas, a renovated lunchroom, and updated restrooms. The new exhibits and improvements are designed to improve the visitor experience and fuel play and learning for future generations of children.

Presenting sponsor: M&T Bank. Supported in part by W.R. Grace.

M&T Bank

Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth: Open Saturdays & Sundays

Check Tickets and Hours for the most up-to-date operating hours. Days and hours of operation subject to change without advanced notice.
Admission is free for all visitors and Port Discovery members. Located at 800 Kenilworth Drive Towson, MD 21204. Adult/caregiver supervision is required at all times.

 

Spark your child’s imagination as you play and learn together at Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth! Located at The Shops at Kenilworth, the Pop-Up Play Space features fun and educational programs, messy art (think paint!), and fun, hands-on building activities, as well as previews of the exciting new exhibits to come at Port Discovery Children’s Museum.

  • Build:  Get hands-on as you design, build and create!
  • Learn: Take part in educational activities that engage children in playful learning.
  • Create:  Join us in the messy art area (think paint!)

Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space is one of the interactive, educational activities children and families can enjoy while Port Discovery constructs two new immersive exhibits, the Port Exhibit and the SkyClimber, and works on Museum improvements including an efficient new lobbynew nursing area, more family seating areas, a renovated lunchroom, and updated restrooms. The new exhibits and improvements are designed to improve the visitor experience and fuel play and learning for future generations of children.

Construction Updates 

Stay up-to-date on plans for the grand opening of our two new exhibits, The SkyClimber, and The Port exhibit! We’ll be posting updates on this site and also sharing them via email and our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

See Our Progress

Construction Progress Update - March 12, 2019

Big new exhibits mean some big, powerful machines are needed! In our third construction update, you can see that Lewis Contractors has brought in a SPYDERCRANE to help lift the heavy steel needed for the SkyClimber! See photos and read more about what's happening!

Construction Progress Update - February 7, 2019

KidWorks is now officially gone! In this Construction Update, you can see the placement of where the massive SkyClimber's base will attach to Port Discovery's concrete ground floor, plus progress that has been made on the Port Exhibit! See photos and read more about what's happening!

Construction Progress Update - January 25, 2019

Move over KidWorks - the SkyClimber is coming through! The three-story KidWorks climber is almost completely removed, making space for the four-story SkyClimber and the new toddler play area we'll be opening this spring! See photos and read more about what's happening! 

Exhibit Grand Opening Updates

Stay up-to-date on plans for the grand opening of our two new exhibits, The SkyClimber, and The Port exhibit! We’ll be posting updates on this site and also sharing them via email and our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Frequently Asked Questions - Information for Members, Visitors & More!

Aside from construction meaning that a bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun – Port Discovery is on the way, construction also means some temporary changes, including that operations and access to the Museum will be a bit different than normal for a few months starting January 2, 2019. 

FAQS

What will construction of new exhibits and features mean for members?

Construction of new exhibits and features means a bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun – Port Discovery!   Construction will mean some temporary changes to operations and access to the Museum. But you can still come & play! 

We will continue offering unique playful learning opportunities for free with your membership. Come play and enjoy: 

We’re also offering members exclusive, limited time discounts at some nearby (and very popular) family attractions including the National Aquarium, Maryland Zoo, B&O Railroad Museum, and Baltimore Museum of Industry.  Yippee!

Membership Extension  

To ensure you get the value you expect from your membership, we are automatically adding four months to any membership valid in January, February, March, and April of 2019. An example of how this will work: If your membership expires in February 2019, your membership will be automatically extended by four months and will instead expire at the end of June 2019.  

For safety reasons, some operations and access to the Museum will be limited during construction, which means the Port Discovery experience will be a bit different during this time. We appreciate your patience and support as we work to bring you immersive new exhibits and Museum improvements that will transform the Museum – and fuel even more powerful, purposeful play. 

Learn More 

Stay up-to-date with progress on the construction of two immersive, state-of-the-art new exhibits and improved Museum amenities! We’ll be posting updates at www.PortDiscovery.org/Construction and also sharing them via email and our FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts.

How will the Museum continue to serve its members during construction?

Our members will continue to receive the value they expect and deserve as a member of Port Discovery. 

To ensure you get the value you expect from your membership, we are automatically adding four months to any membership valid in January, February, March and April of 2019. An example of how this will work: If your membership expires in February 2019, your membership will be automatically extended by four months and will instead expire at the end of June 2019.  

In addition, members will receive free admission to The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery as part of their membership, and can of course join us at our free Port Discovery Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth while construction is underway. The Construction Zone is sponsored by M&T Bank.

We’re also offering you exclusive, limited time discounts at some nearby (and very popular) family attractions including the National Aquarium, Maryland Zoo, B&O Railroad Museum, and Baltimore Museum of Industry. Yippee!

Will my membership be put on hold or extended during the construction?

While construction is underway, Port Discovery will continue to provide members with a variety of FREE opportunities to play along with limited time discounts at some nearby (and very popular) family attractions!

To ensure you get the value you expect from your membership, we are automatically adding four months to any membership valid in January, February, March and April of 2019. An example of how this will work: If your membership expires in February 2019, your membership will be automatically extended by four months and will instead expire at the end of June 2019.  

We will continue offering unique playful learning opportunities for free with your membership. Come play and enjoy: 

We’re also offering you exclusive, limited time discounts at some nearby (and very popular) family attractions including the National Aquarium, Maryland Zoo, B&O Railroad Museum, and Baltimore Museum of Industry.  Yippee!

 

Are there other nearby family attractions that I can explore using my Port Discovery membership while construction is underway?

Yes. We’re working with a number of nearby family attractions to provide our members with discounted and/or free opportunities to explore their facilities and programs while Port Discovery is under construction.

So far, we’re excited to share that Members will receive limited-time discounts on admission from nearby family attractions like the National Aquarium, Maryland Zoo, B&O Railroad Museum, and Baltimore Museum of Industry while construction is underway.

In addition, Port Discovery members are welcome to explore The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank for free, and can of course join us at our free Port Discovery Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth, while construction is underway.

What will the cost of membership be when Port Discovery fully re-opens?

We anticipate that Membership prices will slightly increase ahead of the grand opening of new exhibits and improved Museum amenities in spring 2019. However, we will continue to ensure membership prices are affordable and provide a great deal to families and caregivers who plan to visit the Museum two or more times per year. We will also continue to keep ticket prices affordable for our guests.

Purchase a membership before prices go up! Check our Membership page for information on membership benefits, packages, and more.

Can I renew my membership or purchase a new membership at a discounted price before Membership prices increase?

Yes. We will offer current members the opportunity to renew their membership or purchase a new membership at a discounted price before we increase our Membership prices this spring. We will share information via email and social channels.

We will continue to sell memberships to Port Discovery while construction is underway, so please encourage those you know to purchase a membership and benefit from all the Museum has to offer!

What benefits should Members expect to enjoy when Port Discovery’s new exhibits open?

We love our members, and appreciate your support and understanding as we work to bring you bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun – exhibits and experiences including  the Port Exhibit, a new signature exhibit exploring all of the parts of a working port, a new four-story SkyClimberimproved Museum amenities, and more! 

Your membership benefits will continue to include what you currently receive as a Port Discovery member, which includes free unlimited admission, express entry, free member-only events and discounts on special programs, sneak peeks at featured exhibits, discounts on birthday parties, reduced prices on merchandise in our gift shop, and other perks.  In addition, we are working to bring you even more exclusive offers and opportunities as part of your membership.

General Construction & Museum Information

FAQS

What exhibits and improvements are coming to Port Discovery Children's Museum?

New exhibits and experiences are coming to Port Discovery soon! Starting on January 2, 2019, we began construction of two immersive, state-of-the-art new exhibits:

These exhibits will totally transform the center of the Museum, creating even more opportunities for Members to enjoy powerful, purposeful play. Wahoo!

We’ve been listening to you and know that in addition to new exhibits, some Museum improvements would be much appreciated. We’re excited to tell you that while construction of new exhibits is underway, we will also:

  • transform our lobby
  • improve Museum restrooms
  • renovate our lunchroom
  • add a nursing area, and
  • add more family seating.

Construction will mean some temporary changes to operations and access to the Museum. But you can still come & play!

We will continue offering unique playful learning opportunities for visitors and members. Come play and enjoy:

  • The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank:  Starting in mid-January 2019, visitors and members will be invited to explore a unique and limited-time experience that explores design, building, engineering, and more through playful learning experiences. The Construction Zone will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Admission will be free for Members and $5 per person for general admission visitors. Children under two will be admitted for free. The Construction Zone is located in the Atrium at Port Discovery Children’s Museum (directly next door to the main Museum).
  • Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth: Starting in late January, visitors will be invited to explore a Pop-Up Play Space featuring educational programs, messy art, and hands-on building activities.  Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth will be open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission will be free for all visitors.
  • Educational Programs at Schools & Other Community Locations Starting in January, Port Discovery will increase the number of hands-on, educational programs delivered in schools, libraries, Judy Centers, Head Starts, and other locations. In addition, the Museum will increase its presence at community events. To request a Port Discovery program at your school, location or event, please contact Barb Henschel,  Community Outreach Specialist, at 410.864.2683 or bhenschel@portdiscovery.org

Hours of operation for The Construction Zone and Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space will be announced monthly. To find out more about all of the ways to play while Port Discovery is under construction, please continue to visit PortDiscovery.org/Construction.

For safety reasons, some operations and access to the Museum will be limited during construction, which means the Port Discovery experience will be a bit different during this time. We appreciate your patience and support as we work to bring you immersive new exhibits and Museum improvements that will transform the Museum – and fuel even more powerful, purposeful play.

Why is Port Discovery constructing new exhibits?

We believe the time is right for Port Discovery to launch the next chapter of our vitally important mission to transform the lives of young children through innovative learning opportunities.

We know that families are always looking for hands-on, interactive and playful learning experiences that provide meaningful opportunities for engagement, education, and memories that last a lifetime. We have proudly offered those opportunities for 20 years – but we know our guests are looking for new ways to play, imagine and explore with their children. The construction of amazing new exhibits to explore, exciting new programs, and amenities will help bring learning to life in new ways for our visitors. 

As a result, we are transforming the center of Port Discovery starting with two new state-of-the-art exhibits that will be the centerpiece of the museum: The new interactive Port Exhibit, featuring a massive multi-level ship and activities that celebrate the Port of Baltimore, and an exciting four-story SkyClimber.

Each exhibit is based on recommendations from our members and visitors, as well as from our advisors in early childhood development, and help us to offer guests play-based learning experiences that can be found nowhere else in Baltimore or this region.

We will also redesign our lobby, creating a better experience for visitors, guests, and groups as they enter the transformed Museum, and will update Museum restrooms, add a nursing stationrenovate our lunch area, and add family seating to improve the guest experience.

When will construction begin?

IMPORTANT:  Construction Underway! Big New Exhibits Coming Spring 2019!

Construction is underway on new exhibits and Museum improvements that will open this spring! PLEASE NOTE:  Although Port Discovery remains open, visitors cannot access the main Museum while construction is underway.

LEARN ABOUT CONSTRUCTION

Play & Learn While We Build! 

As Port Discovery works to bring bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun - exhibits and experiences to visitors, the Museum will continue offering unique, playful learning opportunities for children and caregivers. Please note, although Port Discovery remains open, visitors cannot access the main Museum while construction is underway. Instead, join us to play and learn at special pop-up exhibits. 

SEE WHAT'S OPEN & PLAN YOUR VISIT!

For safety reasons, some operations and access to the Museum will be limited during construction, which means the Port Discovery experience will be a bit different during this time. We appreciate your patience and support as we work to bring you immersive new exhibits and Museum improvements that will transform the Museum – and fuel even more powerful, purposeful play.

To find out more about all of the ways to play while Port Discovery is under construction, and to follow along with our construction progress, please continue to visit PortDiscovery.org/Construction.

When will the project be completed?

Construction on two new immersive exhibits, the Port Exhibit and the SkyClimber, along with work to improve the Museum’s lobby, add a nursing station and family seating, renovate our lunch area, and to update Museum restrooms, is expected to take about four months, with the grand opening celebration for two new exhibits taking place in late spring 2019. 

As with any building project, plans evolve. We will keep visitors updated throughout this project and announce plans for the grand opening of new exhibits as the opening date nears. Updates can be found at PortDiscovery.org/Construction.

What's happening to KidWorks?

The KidWorks exhibit is being removed and a new four-story SkyClimber will be replacing KidWorks. On the new  state-of-the-art SkyClimber, children will soar to new heights as they climb their way up and around from an underwater scene up into the clouds. We bid a fond farewell to KidWorks on January 1, 2019 - check out photos and video from the heartwarming event! 

As we’ve designed the SkyClimber, we’ve kept in mind all that children and adults love about KidWorks. Children will continue to build confidence and problem-solving skills while having fun with new friends.

We’ve also taken into account some of the challenges our visitors encounter with KidWorks. Our new SkyClimber will be accessible from just one entry and exit point (although emergency exists are certainly available), ensuring that caregivers can keep an eye on little ones as they climb to new heights. In addition, the SkyClimber will include a soft play area on the ground level so that toddlers can get in on the action as well. Finally, you’ll be able to navigate the Museum and see all there is to see, do and experience at the Museum a bit more easily.

 

What will construction of new exhibits and features mean for visitors?

Construction of new exhibits and improved Museum amenities means a bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun – Port Discovery! We’ll be upping the fun and learning at the Museum for children, caregivers, families and groups to enjoy.

Construction will mean some temporary changes to operations and access to the Museum. But you can still come & play!

We will continue offering unique playful learning opportunities for visitors and members. Come play and enjoy:

  • The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank:  Starting on January 12, 2019, visitors and members will be invited to explore a unique and limited-time experience that explores design, building, engineering, and more through playful learning experiences. The Construction Zone will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Admission will be free for Members and $5 per person for general admission visitors. Children under two will be admitted for free. The Construction Zone is located in the Atrium at Port Discovery Children’s Museum (directly next door to the main Museum).
  • Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth: Starting in late January, visitors will be invited to explore a Pop-Up Play Space featuring educational programs, messy art, and hands-on building activities.  Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth will be open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission will be free for all visitors.
  • Educational Programs at Schools & Other Community Locations:  Starting in January, Port Discovery will increase the number of hands-on, educational programs delivered in schools, libraries, Judy Centers, Head Starts and other locations. In addition, the Museum will increase its presence at community events. To request a Port Discovery program at your school, location or event, please contact Barb Henschel,  Community Outreach Specialist, at 410.864.2683 or bhenschel@portdiscovery.org

Hours of operation for The Construction Zone and Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space will be announced monthly. To find out more about all of the ways to play while Port Discovery is under construction, please visit PortDiscovery.org/Construction.

For safety reasons, some operations and access to the Museum will be limited during construction, which means the Port Discovery experience will be a bit different during this time. We appreciate your patience and support as we work to bring you immersive new exhibits and Museum improvements that will transform the Museum – and fuel even more powerful, purposeful play.
 

What can I do if I visit Port Discovery during construction?

Play & Learn While We Build! 

As Port Discovery works to bring bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun - exhibits and experiences to visitors, the Museum will continue offering unique, playful learning opportunities for children and caregivers.

lease note, although Port Discovery remains open, visitors cannot access the main Museum while construction is underway. Instead, join us to play and learn at special pop-up exhibits. 

SEE WHAT'S OPEN & PLAN YOUR VISIT!

What exhibits will be off limits while construction on new exhibits and features is underway?

As Port Discovery works to bring bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun - exhibits and experiences to visitors, the Museum will continue offering unique, playful learning opportunities for children and caregivers.

However, for safety reasons, some operations and access to the Museum will be limited during construction, which means the Port Discovery experience will be a bit different during this time. We appreciate your patience and support as we work to bring you immersive new exhibits and Museum improvements that will transform the Museum – and fuel even more powerful, purposeful play.

Areas that will be open during construction include:

  • The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank

    Opening January 12, 2019 Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays | Fridays: 10 AM – 4 PM, Saturdays: 10 AM – 5 PM, Sundays: Noon – 5 PM 
    Special Hours: Open on Monday, January 21 from 10 AM - 5 PM in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    Admission is free for members. Visitors enter for $5 per person. Free for children under two. Updated hours of operation will be announced on a monthly basis

    Design and make a mini-robot, build with giant life-sized building blocks, launch rockets towards the moon, create a theatrical play and more in Port Discovery’s newest hands-on experience, The Construction Zone in the Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank!

  • The OasisThe Construction Zone in the Atrium at Port Discovery will include access to The Oasis, a perfect area for infants, toddlers and their caregivers to read a book together, play a game or solve a puzzle.
  • PD Presents: The Construction Zone in the Atrium at Port Discovery will include occasional access to PD Presents, a theater space that engages children in visual arts and theater through hands-on and interactive plays and performances.

Areas that will be temporarily closed include:

  • Port Discovery’s Lobby (a new entrance will be available during construction)
  • Port Discovery’s Gift Shop
  • KidWorks, the Museum’s three-story climber (A new SkyClimber exhibit is being built to replace this experience)
  • The Royal Farms Fill’er Up Station
  • The BGE Studio Workshop (a mini art-studio will be available while Port Discovery is under construction)
  • Kick It Up! (Several games and activities from Kick It Up! will be available while Port Discovery is under construction).
  • Tot Trails  (The Oasis will remain open while Port Discovery is under construction and will offer activities and areas for infants and toddlers).
  • Adventure Expeditions, the Museum’s Egypt-themed exhibit.
  • Wonders of Water, the Museum’s water play area.
  • Tiny’s Diner, the Museum’s pretend diner.

In addition to being able to explore The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery, visitors and members are also invited to visit Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth and to request educational programs and activities to visit their school, community location, and/or event.

What can visitors and members see and do in The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery?

OPEN Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays | Fridays: 1 PM – 4 PM, Saturdays: 10 AM – 5 PM, Sundays: Noon – 5 PM  (Closed Monday – Thursday).
Hours of operation subject to change - please check our Tickets & Hours page for the most up-to-date days and hours of operation

Admission is free for members. Visitors enter for $5 per person. Free for children under two.

Design and make a mini-robot, build with giant life-sized building blocks, launch rockets towards the moon, create a theatrical play and more in Port Discovery’s newest hands-on experience, The Construction Zone in the Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank

  • Design! Can a robot make real art? Find out when you design and build a mini-robot in the Prototype & Play area. Be an architect as you draft and draw plans for a new playground, building, and more with spirographs and lightboxes. Build and draw at  building and art stations.  
  • Build! It’s a box...it’s a plane...it’s a castle! When you add imagination to giant blocks, there’s no limit to what you can create. As you build, dress up using hats, goggles, puppets, and more – and work together to create a scene straight out of your dreams.  
  • Launch! 3...2...1...Blastoff! Launch a rocket towards a mini-moon and explore how physics helps things fly (and land). Plus, learn about space in a hands-on Sun, Earth, Universe mini-exhibit. 
  • Act! Take 10! Dress up, dance, sing, act – and take center stage in the Black Box Theater! Plus enjoy interactive theater performances including puppets, silly scientists, singers, dancers and other family-friendly performers.   
  • Move! Jump around and play games in our Game Zone. Crawl and toddle around The Oasis. Enjoy drop-in performances and programs that are playful and educational.  

Located in the Atrium at Port Discovery Children’s Museum (directly next door to the Main Museum), The Construction Zone will be open for a limited time and features unique opportunities for little learners ages birth to 10 to explore the art, science, and fun of construction.

The Construction Zone is one of the interactive, educational activities children and families can enjoy while Port Discovery constructs two new immersive exhibits, the Port Exhibit and the SkyClimber, and works on Museum improvements including an efficient new lobbynew nursing area, more family seating areas, a renovated lunchroom, and updated restrooms. The new exhibits and improvements are designed to improve the visitor experience and fuel play and learning for future generations of children.

Presenting sponsor: M&T Bank. Supported in part by W.R. Grace.

M&T Bank

What can visitors and members see/do in the Pop-Up Play Space?

Check Tickets and Hours for the most up-to-date operating hours. Days and hours of operation subject to change without advanced notice.
Admission is free for all visitors and Port Discovery members. Located at 800 Kenilworth Drive Towson, MD 21204. Adult/caregiver supervision is required at all times

Spark your child’s imagination as you play and learn together at Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth! Located at The Shops at Kenilworth, the Pop-Up Play Space features fun and educational programs, messy art (think paint!), and fun, hands-on building activities, as well as previews of the exciting new exhibits to come at Port Discovery Children’s Museum.

  • Build:  Get hands-on as you design, build and create!
  • Learn: Take part in educational activities that engage children in playful learning.
  • Create:  Join us in the messy art area (think paint!)

Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space is one of the interactive, educational activities children and families can enjoy while Port Discovery constructs two new immersive exhibits, the Port Exhibit and the SkyClimber, and works on Museum improvements including an efficient new lobbynew nursing area, more family seating areas, a renovated lunchroom, and updated restrooms. The new exhibits and improvements are designed to improve the visitor experience and fuel play and learning for future generations of children.

What will construction of new exhibits and features mean for groups?

Construction of new exhibits and features means a bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun – Port Discovery that will up the fun and learning for visitors and groups!

Port Discovery will continue offering unique, playful learning opportunities for children and caregivers through The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank and a Port Discovery Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth.

However, our ability to welcome large groups will be limited while construction is underway on two new immersive exhibits, the Port Exhibitand the SkyClimber, and other Museum features including the Museum’s lobby, a nursing station, family seating, and restroom updates, are upgraded.

With that in mind, Port Discovery will not be scheduling field trips or group visits during the months of January, February, March or April 2019.

Your group is encouraged to book a field trip or group visit to the Museum to explore the transformational new exhibits that we’re constructing. Please contact Group Reservations at 410-864-2727 or email groupsales@portdiscovery.org to book ensure your group has the opportunity to explore new exhibits and programs as soon as they open!

In addition, starting in January, Port Discovery will increase the number of hands-on, educational programs delivered in schools, libraries, Judy Centers, Head Starts and other locations. In addition, the Museum will increase its presence at community events. To request a Port Discovery program at your school, location or event, please contact Barb Henschel, Community Outreach Specialist, at 410.864.2683 or bhenschel@portdiscovery.org.

The Construction Zone is sponsored by M&T Bank.

What will Port Discovery’s hours of operation be while the Museum is under construction? What will admission cost?

Port Discovery will offer opportunities to play and learn while construction of new exhibits is underway! Please check our Tickets & Hours page for the most up-to-date hours of operation. 

Please note, although Port Discovery remains open, visitors cannot access the main Museum while construction is underway. Instead, join us to play and learn at special pop-up exhibits. 

SEE WHAT'S OPEN & PLAN YOUR VISIT!

How should visitors and members reserve tickets to Port Discovery while the Museum is under construction?

As Port Discovery works to bring bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun - exhibits and experiences to visitors, the Museum will continue offering unique, playful learning opportunities for children and caregivers.

The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank will be open while construction on two new exhibits and improved Museum amenities is underway. However, this experience will be designed to accommodate a smaller number of guests than the Museum typically can serve.

Members: Upon entry, members will obtain a wristband by providing photo ID to verify membership.

Visitors: Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets at our Box Office. During the month of January 2019, tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis in person at our Box Office.

How should visitors and members enter Port Discovery while the Museum is under construction?

As Port Discovery works to bring bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun - exhibits and experiences to visitors, the Museum’s lobby and other Museum amenities will also be updated to bring you an even better experience.

Therefore, we’re creating a temporary new lobby for visitors and members to use while construction is underway. The new temporary entrance will be through doors that are adjacent to our current main entrance. The entrance will have signs that help guide you, and are even closer to the Harbor Park Parking Garage where many of our guests park when visiting the Museum.

Will birthday parties be offered while Port Discovery is under construction?

We will resume hosting birthday parties at Port Discovery's main location upon the grand opening of the new Port Exhibit and SkyClimber. anticipated to open in late spring 2019. 

As Port Discovery embarks on the construction of two new state-of-the-art exhibits, the Museum is exploring the possibility of adding birthday parties at their offsite Port Discovery Pop-Up Play Space during the months of March and April 2019. Check back in January for more information and details on available packages. We're sorry, but birthday parties are not being offered during the months of January or February 2019. 

For more information on birthday parties at Port Discovery, please contact Ashley Smith, Birthday Coordinator, at 410.864.2657 or birthdays@portdiscovery.org

Can people still book events (e.g. weddings, conferences, etc.) at Port Discovery while construction is underway?

Construction of new exhibits and features means a bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun – Port Discovery will be here to accommodate your wedding, conference, fundraiser, and other events.

Although Port Discovery will continue offering unique, playful learning opportunities for children and caregivers through The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank and Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth, our typical event spaces will be temporarily unavailable while construction of two new immersive exhibits, the Port Exhibit and the SkyClimber,and improvements to the Museum’s lobby, restrooms, and other amenities is underway.

With that in mind, Port Discovery will not be scheduling facility rentals/catered events to take place during the months of January, February, March or April 2019.

The result of our construction will be a transformed Port Discovery, creating an even more unique and improved setting for weddings, conferences, and other business events. Your group is encouraged to book your event for Spring 2019 and after to ensure your event takes place among brand new exhibits and improved Museum amenities. For more information on facility rentals, please contact Kelly Hawkins, Senior Operations Manager, at 410.864.2726 or khawkins@portdiscovery.org.  

The Construction Zone is sponsored by M&T Bank.

How can we stay updated on what’s happening at the Museum while construction is taking place?

Stay up-to-date on the many ways to play and learn – including the mini-exhibits, learning experiences and fun activities available in The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank, and the activities offered at Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth, by continuing to visit www.PortDiscovery.org/Construction, signing up for email alerts, and following Port Discovery on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You’ll also be able to follow along with construction progress and plans for the grand-opening of our new exhibits by visiting www.PortDiscovery.org/Construction, signing up for email updates, and following Port Discovery’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts.

How can we get updates about construction progress and plans for the grand opening of Port Discovery’s new exhibits?

Updates about construction progress and plans for our grand-reopening of the full Museum will be shared on www.PortDiscovery.org/Construction, via email updates, and on Port Discovery’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts.

Port Discovery will also keep local media updated about milestones in construction and plans for the grand opening of new exhibits and improved Museum amenities.

Are any closures planned while construction is underway and/or before the grand-opening of Port Discovery’s new exhibits and other features?

As Port Discovery works to bring bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun - exhibits and experiences to visitors, the Museum will continue offering unique, playful learning opportunities for children and caregivers through The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank and Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth.

For safety reasons, some operations and access to the Museum will be limited during construction, which means the Port Discovery experience will be a bit different during this time. We appreciate your patience and support as we work to bring you immersive new exhibits and Museum improvements that will transform the Museum – and fuel even more powerful, purposeful play. 

While the main Museum area will be mostly off limits during the construction of new exhibits and improved amenities, we plan to offer opportunities for play through The Construction Zone in The Atrium at Port Discovery sponsored by M&T Bank and Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth throughout construction.

However, the Museum will announce days and hours of operation on a monthly basis so that we can best respond to the needs of our visitors and members while also preparing for the opening of new exhibits and amenities. To find out more about all of the ways to play while Port Discovery is under construction, please visit PortDiscovery.org/Construction.

Who is funding the project?

Port Discovery’s Capital Campaign is supported by a broad-base of contributors including the State of Maryland, the City of Baltimore, corporations and professional firms, charitable foundations and generous individual donors.  To date, we have raised $9.7 million toward our $10.5 million goal.

As a result, we are moving forward on construction of two transformative new exhibits, a redesigned lobby, updated Museum restrooms, a nursing station, a renovated lunchroom, and additional family seating, all set to open to the public in the spring of 2019.

Information on New Exhibits & Museum Improvements

FAQS

What new exhibits and features can we expect as part of the bigger, bolder, better Port Discovery? How will the Museum be different?

Port Discovery will be bigger, bolder, better - and even more fun -  when we celebrate the grand opening of two new exhibits and improved Museum amenities. 

The center of Port Discovery will be totally transformed, starting with the experience you have when you walk in our front doors. You’ll enter through an updated lobby, making entering the Museum easier and faster.

Then, you’ll be greeted by a new four-story SkyClimber, where you can soar to new heights as you try to reach the clouds. Under the SkyClimber you’ll find a wonderful new play area for infants and toddlers. Directly behind and through the SkyClimber, you’ll see our massive new signature exhibit, the Port Exhibit, which features a multi-level ship where you can become the captain of an imaginative adventure.

New exhibits and experiences coming to Port Discovery include:

A new signature exhibit: The Port Exhibit  
Become the captain of an imaginative adventure on a massive ship! Role-play as the ship’s captain, sailors, navigators and engineers as you explore the seas, discover how products make their way around the world, and work together to move, stack and explore what’s inside shipping containers. Operate a gantry crane, learn how to navigate a boat, and more! Plus, learn about the Port of Baltimore – and the many jobs and products that make up one of the world’s most active ports!​

A new four-story Skyclimber:
Soar to new heights as you try to reach the clouds! Dare to dream – and test your courage – as you get climb your way up and around a four-story SkyClimber that takes you from underwater” up “into the clouds.” As you climb and reach new heights, you’ll build confidence and problem-solving skills while having fun with new friends. You’ll even trigger sound effects from Mother Nature as you climb high above Port Discovery and reach for the stars. Toddlers can get in on the action, too, with a soft play area on the ground level. The SkyClimber will replace Port Discovery’s current KidWorks exhibit.

How will the new exhibits and amenities improve the experience at Port Discovery?

The new exhibits and amenities being constructed at Port Discovery will bring our guests bigger, bolder, better – and even more fun – exhibits and experiences – and will make navigating the Museum a bit easier, and will up the fun and learning at the Museum.

We’re updating our lobby to ensure that when you visit Port Discovery, you can enter easily and quickly – and have fun along the way. We're also making improvements to restrooms and our lunch area, and adding a nursing station and more family seating. 

Dare to dream – and test your courage – as you get climb your way up and around our new SkyClimber, a four-story experience that takes you from underwater” up “into the clouds.” As you climb and reach new heights, you’ll build confidence and problem-solving skills while having fun with new friends. You’ll even trigger sound effects from Mother Nature as you climb high above Port Discovery and reach for the stars. Toddlers can get in on the action, too, with a soft play area on the ground level. The SkyClimber will replace Port Discovery’s current KidWorks exhibit, and will be accessible from just one entry and exit point (although emergency exists are certainly available), ensuring that caregivers can keep an eye on little ones as they climb to new heights. In addition, you’ll be able to see all there is to see, do and experience at the Museum a bit more easily.

Of course, the new Port Exhibit also offers new and exciting opportunities for learning through play. Role-play as the ship’s captain, sailors, navigators and engineers as you explore the seas, discover how products make their way around the world, and work together to move, stack and explore what’s inside shipping containers. Operate a gantry crane, learn how to navigate a boat, and more! Plus, learn about the Port of Baltimore – and the many jobs and products that make up one of the world’s most active ports!

What new programs can we look forward to once the renovations are complete?

The new Port Exhibit, in addition to being an exciting interactive exhibit, is also an ideal platform for innovative programming. The exhibit pays homage to the Port of Baltimore, and will be the perfect location for brand new programs exploring socio-culture topics, maps and navigation, and what jobs help make the Port work. 

What current exhibits will remain a part of Port Discovery?

So many Port Discovery favorites will remain a part of Port Discovery once construction of new exhibits and improved Museum amenities is complete. Aside from the new SkyClimber and Port Exhibit, you’ll have the opportunity to rediscover visitor favorites that explore arts, culture, STEM, health, early childhood education and more!

  • Adventure Expeditions
  • BGE Studio Workshop
  • Kick It Up!
  • Royal Farms Convenience Store and Fill’er Up Station
  • PD Presents
  • The Oasis
  • Tiny’s Diner
  • Tot Trails
  • Wonders of Water
  • And we will continue to offer our exciting visiting exhibits and exciting and educational programming! 

Some of these favorite exhibits will see improvements and updates while construction is underway. Others may be improved or updated as part of future construction projects at the Museum. 

How did you develop the concepts and designs for new exhibits and programs?

We listened to you! We asked our visitors and members for their input – and listened to feedback we heard via surveys, reviews and more.

In addition, along with our exhibit designers, we considered what experiences are right now the most successful at Port Discovery and which experiences are considered inter-generational “favorites” at Port Discovery, the most highly regarded children’s museums in the field.  

In addition, we solicited feedback from educators, staff, Board, community members, visitors, and external advisors, and mapped them against Port Discovery’s own knowledge of what works every day already. 

From this beginning we developed ten preliminary exhibit concepts, encompassing human creativity, exploration, culture, history, technology, and the natural world from the farthest reaches of space to our own backyard.

Next, we invited community input and evaluation on these ten concepts in the form of focus groups and extensive exhibit concept testing. We learned that our visitors understand and appreciate the value of learning through play and we began to see just how broad and deep the notion of imaginative, purposeful, learner-driven play could become.

We’ve turned what we’ve learned into several new exhibits – two of which are the Port Exhibit and SkyClimber, both set to open in spring 2019 – that incorporate many of the topics and experiences we discussed with visitors, members, early childhood experts, and other advisors. We are working on concepts for additional new exhibits as well, which we hope to share information on very soon.

Who are your construction and architecture partners?

  • Roto
  • Cambridge Seven Associates /C7
  • Lewis Contractors

For More Information

Hours of Operation, Admission & Activities While Construction is Underway

For information about admission, hours of operation, exhibits, activities, and events while Port Discovery is under construction, please contact Port Discovery at 410.727.8120

Media Inquiries

For media inquiries:  Please contact Abbi Ludwig, Director of Marketing, at aludwig@portdiscovery.org or 410.864.2680

Memberships

For information about memberships while Port Discovery is under construction, please contact Port Discovery’s memberships department at 410.864.2665or memberships@portdiscovery.org.

Birthday Parties

For more information on birthday parties at Port Discovery, please contact Ashley Smith, Birthday Coordinator, at 410.864.2657 or birthdays@portdiscovery.org

Educational Programs at Schools & Other Community Locations

To request a Port Discovery program at your school, location or event, please contact Barb Henschel,  Community Outreach Specialist, at 410.864.2683 or bhenschel@portdiscovery.org

School Group Bookings:

Your group is encouraged to book a field trip or group visit to the Museum to explore the transformational new exhibits upon completion. Please contact Group Reservations, at 410.864.2727 or groupsales@portdiscovery.org ​to book ensure your group has the opportunity to explore new exhibits and programs as soon as they open!

Facility Rentals

Facility Rentals: For more information on facility rentals, please contact Kelly Hawkins, Senior Operations Manager, at 410.864.2726 or khawkins@portdiscovery.org.  

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