Skip to main content Buy Tickets

$10.5 Million Capital Campaign Launched for Port Discovery Children's Museum

Port Discovery Children’s Museum Launches $10.5 Million Capital Campaign to Bring Transformational New Exhibits to Children of Baltimore and Maryland

On Thursday, May 10th, Port Discovery Children’s Museum unveiled Playing Today, Leading Tomorrow, a $10.5 Million Capital Campaign to bring transformational new exhibits, expanded programming and Museum updates to the children and families of Baltimore and Maryland.

The Playing Today, Leading Tomorrow Capital Campaign, co-chaired by Doug Becker, Founder and Chairman, Laureate Education, and John Shmerler, CEO & President, Radcliffe Jewelers, will bring to the Museum new state-of-the-art exhibits based on the latest in educational research. The new exhibits will become the dynamic new centerpiece of Port Discovery, bringing the children and families of Baltimore and beyond exciting new opportunities for play-based learning that will fuel imaginations for generations to come.

  • A new Port Exhibit, featuring an interactive ship where children can role-play as the ship’s captain, engineer, sailors and navigators, explore the seas, discover how products come here from around the world, and learn math, science, social and problem solving skills.
  • A new SkyClimber Exhibit (to replace the current KidWorks exhibit) that will encourage children to get active, use problem-solving skills and take risks in a safe environment.

The SkyClimber and Port Exhibit are anticipated to open at Port Discovery in 2019.

Additional new exhibits and amenities will be introduced to Port Discovery over the next several years enabling the Museum to continue offering the most unique, innovative informal learning experiences for children from birth to ten years of age. Future exhibits and improvements include:

  • New Space, Art and Nature Exhibits (planned for construction beginning in 2020).
  • A State-of-the-Art Lobby
  • Upgraded Bathrooms
  • New Family Seating Areas
  • New Nursing Areas

The Capital Campaign launch comes as the Museum kicks off celebrations honoring their 20th year of providing powerful, purposeful play to the children and families of Maryland, and is the first wave of fundraising for upgrades at the Museum’s Inner Harbor location. 

“Since opening in December 1998, Port Discovery has helped spark the imaginations of each child that has walked through our doors,” said Bryn Parchman, President & CEO of Port Discovery Children’s Museum. “We know that the children who are playing today are the very adults who will lead and shape our future. We’re incredibly proud of the impact we’ve had – and we know that what we do early with our children really matters.  Our mission of educating children continues to grow and to do that, we’re bringing new, innovative exhibits, programs and improvements to the Port Discovery experience that will incorporate fresh, fun, learning opportunities,” continued Parchman. 

Visitors can get a preview of exhibit concepts in Port Discovery’s newly launched Pop-Ups, Previews & Prototypes space, which includes previews of the SkyClimber and Port Exhibit as well as the future Space exhibit. Visitors will be encouraged to provide feedback about the exhibits and will have an opportunity to help the Museum name the new exhibits as well. 

Of the $10.5 million campaign funds needed to complete the first wave of the project, $7.5 Million has been raised to date, including support from the State of Maryland. The museum is now turning to the community for help making this vision come to life. 
Community members can find more information about planned exhibits, stay up-to-date on construction schedules, and contribute towards improvements at Port Discovery by visiting 

Currently celebrating its 20th year of providing meaningful and purposeful play opportunities to children and families, the Museum has served more than five million people since opening in downtown Baltimore in December 1998. 

About Port Discovery Children’s Museum

As the premier children’s museum in the mid-Atlantic, Port Discovery Children’s Museum has served more than five million children and families since opening in 1998 and is ranked among the Top 10 Children’s Museums in the United States by Fodor’s Travel, Forbes and Parents Magazine. Port Discovery Children’s Museum educates children and inspires life-long curiosity. Our play-to-learn philosophy opens the door for children to discover and explore the world around them and to lead smarter, healthier, more engaged lives. The Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, offers three floors of educational, interactive exhibits and programs. To learn more, visit


Media Contact:
Abbi Ludwig | 410.864.2680 (O) 302.682.5772 (C) | 


This project has been financed (in part) with Federal funds from the National Maritime Heritage program, administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior.

This program received Federal financial assistance for preservation of historic maritime resources and for increasing public awareness and appreciation for the maritime heritage of the United States. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated again in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity National Park Service 1849 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20240

Back to top