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Activities by Age

A day well spent for the whole family!

Exhibits, activities and events at Port Discovery are designed with little learners, their families and teachers in mind. Here, you'll find experiences that are geared especially for children age birth through 10 and their parents, caregivers and teachers. As your children explore the Museum and play together, make believe, create connections, and play, parents and caregivers are encouraged to get in on the fun - and to watch, learn and be proud of what their children accomplish along the way!

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Exhibits & Experiences for Infants

Exhibits to Explore

Chessie's Grotto 

Chessie's Grotto - Toddler Play Area

 

 

Chessie's Grotto

Enjoy a toddler-sized adventure in this Under the Chesapeake Bay themed soft play area featuring none other then Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay Sea Monster!

Explore textures and tactile experiences along the length of Chessie’s tale.  Read books about the ocean and sea creatures.  Enjoy a whimsical, sensory-filled underwater experience created by bubble tubes and a kelp forest.

Plus, slide down Chessie’s tail – and build confidence for the adventures ahead! 

Learn more!

 

The Oasis

Read, play puzzles, explore games and play together in The Oasis!

You’ll find ever-changing books, interactive toys, and educational games in this exhibit designed especially for early learners.

This is a great space to try out new activities and materials and to learn something new!

Learn more!

 

Tot Trails

Infants and toddlers can sit, crawl, walk and explore in Tot Trails, an exhibit especially designed for our youngest learners. Infants can develop their gross motor skills and balance coordination as they crawl, roll, and wiggle through cushioned, mirrored "tidal pools" and the "dune walk."

Young toddlers test their problem-solving skills as they maneuver their way through the Mountain Trail and Paw Paw Tunnel, while exercising their imaginations by digging for fossils and playing with puppets!

Visit after visit, caregivers are encouraged to play, interact, and observe their child as they discover new ways to connect learning and play.

Learn more!

Exhibits & Experiences for Toddlers & Pre-K

Exhibits to Explore

 

BGE Studio Workshop

Enter the BGE Studio Workshop this summer and create your very own screenprinted flag to decorate - or bring a plain t-shirt with you, and print onto your t-shirt!

Choose from several festive and nautical designs available to print, decorate and take home! Little learners will enjoy this hands-on artistic process that combines creativity and critical thinking. 

That's not all!

Interested in drawing and coloring? Clay play? Painting? The Studio Workshop is the place to go!

In addition to screenprinting, additional artistic activities for all ages will be available for little learners and their families to enjoy all summer long, just ask the Port Discovery Staff Member inside the Studio Workshop for more information!

Learn more!

Art programs in Studio Workshop are made possible by the Citizens of Baltimore County and by the Howard County Arts Council through a grant from Howard County Government.

 

PD Presents

Engage children in visual arts and theater in the PD Presents theater!

Educators and performers from the Museum and community introduce children to the performing arts through interactive plays, theater workshops, musical performances, dance and more in this kid-sized theater.

You’ll see imaginations come to life – and creativity blossom – in this exciting space!

Learn more!

 

Kick it Up!

Hop, jump, skip and play in our unique, indoor stadium designed for multiple games and sports!

Visit Kick It Up! and take part in a variety of activities from drop-in soccer to backyard games that encourage you to get active, practice taking turns and teamwork, and learn about one another!

Learn more!

     

    Tangram Wall

    Colorful shapes build a colorful – and community-made – puzzle!

    Work together to build one specific shape or imaginative creature using the colorful pieces on this fun magnetic wall!

    The Tangram Wall is located on the First Floor across from the Guest Services Station.

    Learn more!

     

    The Port

    Here’s something you can’t miss: A GIANT ship in the Museum! Whoa! 

    Become the captain of an imaginative adventure on a life-sized cargo ship in The Port!

    Sail, navigate and be a ship engineer as you explore the seas and discover how products make their way around the world. Work together to move, stack and explore what’s inside of shipping containers.

    Try your hand at operating a gantry crane, explore an engine room and try your hand at navigating a ship, plus learn about the Port of Baltimore – and the many jobs and products that make up one of the world’s most active ports!

    Learn more!

     

    The Oasis

    Read, play puzzles, explore games and play together in The Oasis!

    You’ll find ever-changing books, interactive toys, and educational games in this exhibit designed especially for early learners.

    This is a great space to try out new activities and materials and to learn something new!

    Learn more!


    Previews, Pop-Ups & Prototypes

    Sometimes the simplest toys are the best toys! That’s what we think about catapults.

    Experience the thrill of physics in action as you catapult pom poms across a room. Enjoy the fun, challenge, and science of catapulting as you launch and fill the room with balls of color!

    Learn more!

     

    Tot Trails

    Infants and toddlers can sit, crawl, walk and explore in Tot Trails, an exhibit especially designed for our youngest learners. Infants can develop their gross motor skills and balance coordination as they crawl, roll, and wiggle through cushioned, mirrored "tidal pools" and the "dune walk."

    Young toddlers test their problem-solving skills as they maneuver their way through the Mountain Trail and Paw Paw Tunnel, while exercising their imaginations by digging for fossils and playing with puppets!

    Visit after visit, caregivers are encouraged to play, interact, and observe their child as they discover new ways to connect learning and play.

    Learn more!

     

    Chessie's Grotto

    Enjoy a toddler-sized adventure in this Under the Chesapeake Bay themed soft play area featuring none other then Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay Sea Monster!

    Explore textures and tactile experiences along the length of Chessie’s tale.  Read books about the ocean and sea creatures.  Enjoy a whimsical, sensory-filled underwater experience created by bubble tubes and a kelp forest.

    Plus, slide down Chessie’s tail – and build confidence for the adventures ahead! 

    Learn more!

    Sensory Wall

    Engage all of your senses as you explore a variety of colors, shapes, and textures!

    Located on the Third Floor next to Tiny's Diner, this touchy-feely wall will delight children visually while encouraging them to experience the world of contrast.

    Watch as they explore rough and smooth, soft and hard, angular and curved, fine and coarse, and much more!

    Learn more!

     

    Royal Farms Convenience Store and Fill’er Up Station

    Stop into the Royal Farms Convenience Store & Fill’er Up Station where little ones can pretend to grocery shop!

    As children play, they’ll take turns as the customer, cashier, stocker and more.

    They’ll also explore and learn about food groups plus take turns filling up the VW Beetle with gas and air!

    Learn more!

     

    Tiny's Diner

    Pretend play rules supreme in Tiny’s Diner, a 50’s-style diner that’s filled with imaginative fun.

    Watch as little learners play together and prepare pretend meals, take turns operating the cash register, serve up food and drinks, and clean up!

    While you wait for your very creative meals (and bills), you’ll see children’s brains at work as they figure out how to play and work together. 

    Learn more!

     

    Wonders of Water

    Make a splash while learning all about water in Wonders of Water!

    Featuring a Stream Table, Bubble Hoop, Water Chimes, and a Plumbers Park area where you can build your own fountain, this exhibit encourages children to get their hands wet as they learn about cause and effect – and the many wonderful things that water can do!

    *Children will get wet in this exhibit. We provide rain coats and crocs - but recommend bringing an extra change of clothes just in case.

    Learn more!

    Exhibits & Experiences for Ages 5 - 10

    Exhibits to Explore

     

    Art Showcase

    Enjoy rotating art throughout the year in our Art Showcase! Beginning in June 2019, enjoy artwork from the Celebrating Through Art: The First Lady’s Mental Health Awareness Youth Art Display.

    Created by children from all over Maryland, each piece expresses something that makes the young creator feel joyful, healthy or optimistic.

    The artwork was originally curated and displayed at the Lowe House Building in Annapolis in recognition of Mental Health Awareness month, and resulted from a partnership between the First Lady of Maryland, the Maryland Department of Disabilities, and the Maryland State Department of Education.

    Learn more!

     

    SkyClimber

    Encourage your children to build confidence, learn problem solving skills, build motor skills, and have fun as they try their hand at climbing the SkyClimber(And get in on the fun as you climb along with them!)

    Children (and kids at heart) will be inspired to dream and to test their courage as they climb their way up and around the four-story SkyClimber up into the clouds. Then either slide down an ultra-fun (and ultra-swirly!) four-story slide, or climb down towards the ground.

    This new, impressive climber is designed to build confidence – and while we anticipate lots of visitors will make it to the tippy-top, it’s perfectly okay if you make it part of the way up!

    We encourage adults to climb along with their children – and to encourage them to go up – or down. If needed, Port Discovery staff will assist climbers via staff-only entrance points. We recommend the exhibit for ages 5+, but you are the best judge of your children’s interest and ability.

    Toddlers can enjoy a smaller adventure in an underwater-themed soft play area under the SkyClimber.

    Please NoteSocks (but not shoes!) are required to climb. We'll provide them to borrow or to buy, and you're more than welcome to use your own.

    Learn more!

    The Port

    Here’s something you can’t miss: A GIANT ship in the Museum! Whoa! 

    Become the captain of an imaginative adventure on a life-sized cargo ship in The Port!

    Sail, navigate and be a ship engineer as you explore the seas and discover how products make their way around the world. Work together to move, stack and explore what’s inside of shipping containers.

    Try your hand at operating a gantry crane, explore an engine room and try your hand at navigating a ship, plus learn about the Port of Baltimore – and the many jobs and products that make up one of the world’s most active ports!

    LEARN MORE!

     

    Adventure Expeditions

    Travel back in time to 1920’s ancient Egypt in Adventure Expeditions! 

    How will you cross the river? Problem solve and create new ways to explore anciet Egypt through this interactive exhibit! Which way is the pharoah? You'll have to find your way through the mysterious doors and hallways in order to find him! 

    As you explore the pharaoh’s lost tomb, you’ll learn about the unique history of the Egypt civilization while you solve puzzles and decipher hieroglyphics.

     

    Over/Under Weaving Wall

    Make your mark on this interactive – and ever-changing – piece of art! Weave ribbons, fabric, feathers and more into your own unique pattern on a large piece of net left behind from our beloved KidWorks exhibit.

    This fun activity promotes hand-eye coordination, pattern recognition, and color composition…and encourages you to work with new friends while you create!

    Learn more!

     

    Wonder Widgets

    Wonder and widgets collide in this fun (and challenging) activity!

    Assemble widgets by feeding the conveyer belt with the shapes it demands…and challenge a friend to see who can go the fastest!

    Learn more!

     

    The Overlook

    Located just high enough to give you the sense of climbing, the Overlook gives visitors the chance to experience the thrill of climbing and heights outside of the SkyClimber.

    The Overlook features two entrances, one which is fully ADA and Wheelchair accessible and one that allows children to climb through and upon netting that will give them access to communicate with other children on the SkyClimber.

    Learn more!

     

    BGE Studio Workshop

    Enter the BGE Studio Workshop this summer and create your very own screenprinted flag to decorate - or bring a plain t-shirt with you, and print onto your t-shirt!

    Choose from several festive and nautical designs available to print, decorate and take home! Little learners will enjoy this hands-on artistic process that combines creativity and critical thinking. 

    That's not all!

    Interested in drawing and coloring? Clay play? Painting? The Studio Workshop is the place to go!

    In addition to screenprinting, additional artistic activities for all ages will be available for little learners and their families to enjoy all summer long, just ask the Port Discovery Staff Member inside the Studio Workshop for more information!

    LEARN MORE!
    Art programs in Studio Workshop are made possible by the Citizens of Baltimore County and by the Howard County Arts Council through a grant from Howard County Government.

     

    PD Presents

    Engage children in visual arts and theater in the PD Presents theater!

    Educators and performers from the Museum and community introduce children to the performing arts through interactive plays, theater workshops, musical performances, dance and more in this kid-sized theater.

    You’ll see imaginations come to life – and creativity blossom – in this exciting space!

    LEARN MORE!

     

    Kick it Up!

    Hop, jump, skip and play in our unique, indoor stadium designed for multiple games and sports!

    Visit Kick It Up! and take part in a variety of activities from drop-in soccer to backyard games that encourage you to get active, practice taking turns and teamwork, and learn about one another!

    LEARN MORE!

     

    Tangram Wall

    Colorful shapes build a colorful – and community-made – puzzle!

    Work together to build one specific shape or imaginative creature using the colorful pieces on this fun magnetic wall!

    The Tangram Wall is located on the First Floor across from the Guest Services Station.

    LEARN MORE!

     

    Previews, Pop-Ups & Prototypes

    Sometimes the simplest toys are the best toys! That’s what we think about catapults.

    Experience the thrill of physics in action as you catapult pom poms across a room. Enjoy the fun, challenge, and science of catapulting as you launch and fill the room with balls of color!

    LEARN MORE!

     

    Sensory Wall

    Engage all of your senses as you explore a variety of colors, shapes, and textures!

    Located on the Third Floor next to Tiny's Diner, this touchy-feely wall will delight children visually while encouraging them to experience the world of contrast.

    Watch as they explore rough and smooth, soft and hard, angular and curved, fine and coarse, and much more!

    LEARN MORE!

     

    Tiny's Diner

    Pretend play rules supreme in Tiny’s Diner, a 50’s-style diner that’s filled with imaginative fun.

    Watch as little learners play together and prepare pretend meals, take turns operating the cash register, serve up food and drinks, and clean up!

    While you wait for your very creative meals (and bills), you’ll see children’s brains at work as they figure out how to play and work together. 

    LEARN MORE!

     

    Wonders of Water

    Make a splash while learning all about water in Wonders of Water!

    Featuring a Stream Table, Bubble Hoop, Water Chimes, and a Plumbers Park area where you can build your own fountain, this exhibit encourages children to get their hands wet as they learn about cause and effect – and the many wonderful things that water can do!

    *Children will get wet in this exhibit. We provide rain coats and crocs - but recommend bringing an extra change of clothes just in case.

    LEARN MORE!

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