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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.

Who are your construction and architecture partners?

  • Roto
  • Cambridge Seven Associates /C7
  • Lewis Contractors

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.

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. 

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. 

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 gentry 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 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 gentry 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.

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.

As a current member, 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 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.

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