Temporary Closure Due to Coronavirus Crisis
Port Discovery remains temporarily closed to the public as a precaution against COVID-19
Based on the recommendation of the Maryland Department of Public Health responding to the COVID-19 situation, effective Saturday, March 14, 2020, Port Discovery Children’s Museum and The Port Discovery Pop Up at Kenilworth temporarily closed to the public. Because this situation is rapidly evolving, we are not currently announcing a re-opening date. We will continue to reassess and update you on plans as updates are available.
While Port Discovery must remain closed longer than anticipated in order to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, our team has been working hard to provide families with resources for playing and learning at home, including arts & STEM-based activities, sensory play activities, building challenges, and more! We encourage you to sign up for our emails, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and visit our At-Home Play Tips webpage for the most up-to-date information. You can also check our recorded phone line at 410.727.8120.
We've always known that play is powerful and essential, but at this time it's especially true. Activities like free play are tremendously effective in helping children manage stress and deal with anxiety— and that seems like a good recommendation for adults as well during these uncertain times.
Being closed at this time of year hits us particularly hard. This is normally the start of a very busy season at the Children’s Museum. We are a non-profit organization that relies on income from admissions, memberships, fields trips and events at the Museum to support our staff and our mission. Our earned revenue provides free and low-cost museum access to vulnerable families and allows our community outreach staff to take our powerful play-to-learn programs directly to children who cannot get to us.
We have had to make some difficult financial decisions in order to be in a good position to re-open when it is safe to do so—decisions which impact the livelihoods of many gifted performers, artists and educators who use their talents to make learning fun and exciting. But even temporary furloughs and across-the-board salary reductions may not be enough.
Together, we can provide magical learning experiences for children and families for years to come.
Thank you and stay healthy!
Information for Members, Ticket Purchases and Group Visits
What will happen to my membership during the closure?
Port Discovery Children’s Museum intends to extend memberships once the Museum re-opens. When we have more insight into our timeline for re-opening, we will communicate with you about measures we will take to ensure you are able to enjoy the full value of your annual membership. Feel free to contact email@example.com if you have questions about your membership.
Online Ticket Purchases
Port Discovery will automatically extend the redemption date to December 30, 2020 for any unused tickets purchased between February 12, 2020 through March 13, 2020. For questions regarding your purchase, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For any groups booked during the museum’s closure, please email email@example.com to assist you with rescheduling. We are still booking for summer visits and next school year, so click here to complete our group inquiry form or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a group visit.
Health & Safety Steps at Port Discovery
At Port Discovery, the well-being of our guests is always our first priority. We take great care to ensure the cleanliness of our space and train our staff on the practices and procedures that help keep Port Discovery a safe, clean, healthy and fun space for all. When open to the public, Port Discovery takes the following steps to protect the health of our guests.
- Cleaning: Your safety is always our top priority, and our day-to-day cleaning procedures are extensive. Our staff engage in extensive, museum-wide safety and cleaning practices including washing, sanitizing and disinfecting before we open, during the day, and after we close to the public. This is our practice every day at Port Discovery, not just during flu season or when illnesses affect our community. In light of the Coronavirus, we will be increasing the cleaning and disinfecting that happens throughout the day at the Museum and will continue to review our procedures and adjust as appropriate.
- Sick Policy: Port Discovery Children’s Museum works to provide a safe and healthy environment for all guests. As part of our effort to create this environment, we ask staff and guests to avoid visiting the Museum when sick or showing signs of illness. A general rule to follow is that if you or your child have a fever or are too sick to go to work or school, then you should not visit the Museum.
- Steps to Reduce the Spread of Germs: Washing your hands regularly and properly is one of the number one ways you can prevent the spread of germs. We are taking steps to remind all guests and staff of proper hand-washing procedures, and we will continue to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout the Museum. We also recommend reviewing tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on preventative actions to help prevent the spread of illnesses.
- Well Loved Areas & Items: If an area or object needs attention, we always encourage our guests to notify our staff right away. If you notice a toy or object that’s been dirtied and/or in someone’s mouth, please put it in the special baskets throughout the Museum so that we can disinfect, clean and dry them before they are used again.
- Tips from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Visit the CDC’s website for more information.
Information including symptoms, prevention & treatment, and FAQs about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Information from the Maryland Department of Health: https://phpa.health.maryland.gov/Pages/Novel-coronavirus.aspx
Information from the Baltimore City Health Department: https://health.baltimorecity.gov/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
Information about cleaning practices at Port Discovery Children's Museum: https://www.portdiscovery.org/Cleaning