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Exhibits & Experiences

Experience interactive exhibits meant for children to touch, explore and investigate. 

Port Discovery features three floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits that encourage children to use their imaginations, ask questions, and explore how things work as they learn through play. Children learn to play together, experience real-world exhibits and situations and learn skills that help them in school and life. 

IMPORTANT: Starting on January 2, 2019, Port Discovery will begin construction of two immersive, state-of-the-art new exhibits: a four-story SkyClimber and a massive Port Exhibit featuring all the parts of the working port.  Find information on construction plans, ways to play while construction is underway, answers to frequently asked questions, and more at www.PortDiscovery.org/Construction

Programs and exhibits at Port Discovery are made possible in part by the Citizens of Baltimore County and by the Howard County Arts Council through a grant from Howard County Government.

New Exhibits Planned for Port Discovery

Port Exhibit

Exciting changes are coming to Port Discovery! We’re raising funds to bring our members, visitors and future generations bold new exhibits, improved guest amenities and expanded programs that will continue to inspire children to dream big, imagine and learn through play. New exhibits and improvements planned include:

A new signature exhibit: The Port

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! Planned opening: 2019.

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

SkyClimber

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.​ Planned opening: 2019.

Exhibits Open While Port Discovery is Under Construction

The Construction Zone at The Atrium at Port Discovery – Sponsored by M&T Bank: Opening Mid January 2019

Opening mid-January, 2019 | Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays | Fridays: 10 AM – 4PM, Saturdays: 10 AM – 5 PM, Sundays: Noon – 5 PM 
Admission is free for members. Visitors enter for $5 per person. Free for children under two.

Join Port Discovery for a limited time, one-of-a-kind experience at The Construction Zone in the Atrium at Port Discovery, sponsored by M&T Bank!  

Design and create a mini-robot, use a kid-favorite – giant cardboard boxes – to build a creation straight from your imagination, launch rockets towards the moon, create your own play, and more in The Construction Zone!  

  • 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 boxes, 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.   
  • Be a kid! 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.  

The Construction Zone will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting in mid-January 2019. Members and children under two will enter for free. Admission will be f$5 per person for general admission visitors. The Construction Zone is located in the Atrium at Port Discovery Children’s Museum (directly next door to the main Museum). Hours of operation will be announced on a monthly basis.  

The Construction Zone is sponsored by M&T Bank. 

 

Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth: Opening Late January 2019

Opening Late January 2019 | Wednesdays – Sundays
Wednesdays: 10 AM – 5 PM, Thursdays: 10 AM – 8 PM, Fridays: 10 AM – 8 PM, Saturdays: 10 AM – 5 PM, Sundays: Noon – 5 PM.

Admission is free for all visitors and Port Discovery members.

Spark your child’s imagination as you play and learn together at Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space! Located at The Shops at Kenilworth, the Pop-Up Play Space features fun and educational drop-in programs for infants and toddlers, messy art (think paint!), and fun, hands-on building activities that also preview the exiting new exhibits to come at Port Discovery Children’s Museum.

Port Discovery’s Pop-Up Play Space at The Shops at Kenilworth will be open Wednesdays through Sundays. Hours will be announced monthly. Admission will be free for all visitors. For more information, visit www.PortDiscovery.org

Temporary Exhibits

Previews, Pop-Ups and Prototypes - Now Open

Explore new exhibits slated to open at Port Discovery Children’s Museum in the Museum’s newly opened Previews, Pop-Ups and Prototypes space. Open on weekdays from 2-4PM and all day on weekends, this exhibit features looks at three new permanent exhibits currently in development for the Museum:

-       Port Exhibit: Load containers onto a cargo ship! Find out what can happen when containers fall off a ship in the fun and interactive Ducks Overboard! activity! This fun preview will give you a sneak peek of what it will be like when children can role play as a ship’s captain, sailor, navigator and merchant, explore the seas, and much more!

-       SkyClimber Exhibit:  Load balls into air-filled tubes and see how they – like kids – can go up….and then make their way back down! You’ll also get a chance to come up with imaginative names for our new, interactive and more visitor-friendly climber, which will replace KidWorks.

-       Space Exhibit: See a prototype of a future space-themed exhibit planned for Port Discovery! Draw on a mural-sized landscape, design a satellite, and get excited about what’s to come in future phases of Port Discovery’s Capital Campaign.

The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD® - Now Open!

Have an out-of-this world, silly adventure with The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD® exhibit at Port Discovery September 22, 2018 through January 1, 2019. Crawl through a jungle cave, dig for treasure, go scuba diving, and command a space station as you think about all you can be and do! Explore areas including:

  • WELCOME! – The fun begins with an awe-inspiring collection of MR. POTATO HEAD® parts and accessories as well as an anthology to depict the character’s wild adventures.
  • SPACE S.P.U.D. (Space Potatoes United for Discovery) :  Join Commander MR. POTATO HEAD® aboard the S.P.U.D. space station! Learn about repair and maintenance to the station. Check out the commander’s chair, use the intergalactic translator, explore the galaxy and conduct experiments at the isolation glove box!
  • SPUD QUEST: Go on an archeological dig in search of the statue of King Tato. Solve mazes, decipher “tatoglyphs” and use special maps to explore the treasure chamber.
  • SPUD OVERBOARD: Go on an underwater adventure with ocean explorer Jacques Coustato! Build fanciful reefs, meet a friendly octopus and wise clam, and enjoy simulated snorkeling adventures!
  • SPUD SAFARI:  Enjoy a pretend mudslide, search for mysterious objects inside a cave, and use your senses to identify sounds and creatures.
     

Admission to the exhibit is included with entry to Port Discovery, which is $15.95 per person for individuals two and older. Members and children under two enter for free. For more information, visit www.PortDiscovery.org.

The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD® exhibit was created by the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in collaboration with Hasbro. MR. POTATO HEAD® is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc. and is used with permission. © 2018 Hasbro. All rights reserved. The national exhibit tour is sponsored by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, with additional support provided by Debra Altshul-Stark and Brian Stark, and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Locally sponsored by M&T Bank.

Permanent Exhibits

BGE StudioWorkshop

Everyone is an artist! BGE Studio Workshop is the space to express the artist in you! Programs change three times each year. Recommended for ages 2 and up.

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.

Adventure Expeditions

Travel back to 1920's Egypt for the adventure of a lifetime! Part physical adventure and part mental obstacle course, in this exhibit, you must decipher hieroglyphics and find clues that will lead you to a pharaoh's lost tomb!

Recommended for ages 7 and up. 

Kick It Up! Brought to you by UnitedHealthcare

Get fit and healthy in our soccer and games stadium complete with electronic scoreboard and goals. Designed as an indoor soccer stadium, Kick It Up! is a unique exhibit that offers hands-on programs to get children's arms and legs moving and hearts pumping. 

When children are not engaging in a friendly game of soccer, the field transforms into an interactive, ExerKid games arena where they can surf, snowboard, and skate through challenging courses on balance boards, ride bikes, compete in an "i-Dance off", and play challenging games against the electronic T-Wall.

Healthy messaging through visually compelling electronic signage in the exhibit provides helpful tips and facts on health and nutrition during play.

For a complete schedule of activities happening in Kick It Up!, check our daily Cool Things to Do upon Museum arrival. 

KidWorks

Climb, crawl, jump, and slide through our three-story urban treehouse, KidWorks. Dare to cross a narrow rope bridge and who knows what you’ll find on the other side! 
Please note: For your safety and comfort, KidWorks is a Sneaker Zone. Children and adults who plan to play and climb KidWorks must wear sneakers.​ Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Royal Farms Convenience Store and Fill'er Up Station

Learn how to make healthy choices in a convenient world in this mini interactive convenience store! Pretend you are the customer or employee and stock and scan various foods. Check the items in your cart against the food pyramid to see how many healthy food items you selected. Be sure to fill the Royal Farms VW Beetle with gas and check its tire pressure before you leave!

The Royal Farms Convenience Store and Fill'er Up Station is generously sponsored by Royal Farms. 

The Oasis

Take a break in The Oasis, a quiet room where families can lounge on pillows and read a book together, play a game or solve a puzzle.


During the week, join us for Circle Times at 11:30 am, with singing and storytelling for our youngest visitors. Visiting on a weekend? Check the "Cool Things To Do" list posted inside the Museum on the day of your visit for special Circle Time events.

The activities in this exhibit are appropriate for children six-years-old or younger. ALL guests are welcome but we ask adults supervise older children as they share this area with our younger guests.

Get Fresh! Be Healthy Corner 
Located within The Oasis, The Get Fresh! Be Healthy Corner is an interactive exhibit that promotes healthy eating and highlights locations where fresh fruits and vegetables can be purchased throughout Baltimore City. 

Get Fresh! Be Healthy Corner is generously sponsored by: Kaiser Permanente

Tiny's Diner

In this realistic 50's style diner, kids can "cook" and serve food to their parents while using their math skills to ring up orders at the cash register. Recommended for ages 2 and up.

Special thanks to the IKEA Baltimore store for its generous support of Tiny's Diner. 

Tot Trails

In Tot Trails, children are encouraged to explore and learn about their world while parents can learn about their children through interaction and observation! While exploring some very unique landmarks and landscapes of Maryland, children and their caregivers engage in hands-on exploration in a space that sparks imagination and inspires curiosity. Children and parent can enjoy programs featuring reading and singing that also help children develop language and literacy skills. Infants can develop their gross motor skills and balance coordination as theycrawl, roll, and wiggle through cushioned, mirrored "tidal pools" and "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.

Tot Trails is generously sponsored by M&T Bank. The Tot Trails Book Nook is generously sponsored by Maryland 529.

 

Wonders of Water

Make a splash in this new wet and wonderful area of Port Discovery! WOW!, helps children understand human interactions with water in fun, exciting and interactive ways. Featuring: Earth Today (a real-time atmospheric display created by Animated Earth LLC featuring global data from NASA, NOAA and USGS), Water Chimes, Build a Fountain, Plumbers Park, Stream Table, Bubble Hoop and more!


Note: You will get wet in WOW!, but it's OK, there are slickers and crocs for everyone. You may want to bring a change of dry clothes.

*WOW will be closed all day on Tuesdays starting on May 29, 2018 for the duration of the summer so that it can be cleaned.*

 

Port Discovery Exhibits in Your Community (also available for rent)

Nano

Nano is an engaging and interactive mini-exhibition about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology for family audiences. Explore hands-on activities to discover the importance of things too small for the eye to see in nanoscale science.  

  • Build a Carbon Nanotube
  • Play “I Spy ” to discover nano in familiar places
  • Compare the relative effects of static electricity and gravity
  • and more! 
     

Developed by the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Nos. ESI-0532536 and 09040143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions
or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Here We Grow!

Here We Grow!, Port Discovery’s own agricultural exhibit, introduces children and families to the processes, products, and people who work on farms. Here We Grow! explores farming through themes of science and technology, history, local ecology, global economics, and art. Interactive exhibit components will immerse children and students into the world of farming!

Support for Here We Grow travel has been provided in part by Maryland Soybean Board, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, Allied Milk Producers, and Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc. The Here We Grow! exhibit was developed by Port Discovery with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under grant award number MA-10-13-0567-13, the Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, the Wright Family Foundation, the Maryland Soybean Board, the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, and other generous agricultural partners. The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Port Discovery offers interactive activities and hands-on exhibits to inspire imagination and learning!

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