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.
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
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
Featuring an interactive three-story ship where children can role-play as the ship’s captain, sailors, navigators and engineers, this playful exhibit will encourage children to explore the seas, discovery how products get here from around the world, and learn math, science, social and problem solving skills!
This exhibit pays tribute to the industry that has anchored our city’s economy for 300 years, and will be dominated by a massive ship’s prowl that will form a terrific, unforgettable play structure! Planned opening: 2019.
A new four-story Skyclimber:
Get active, use problem-solving skills and take risks in a safe environment on our new SkyClimber! Children will ascend from “underwater” up “into the clouds” on a series of platforms inside seamless netting that arcs around the Port. 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.
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
The maze will be open through July 15, 2018, with the following hours: Monday throudh Saturday 10 AM - 1 PM & Sunday 12 PM - 5 PM. Please look for this exhibit to re-open next month!
Put on your thinking caps as you explore giant indoor mazes inside Port Discovery Children’s Museum! A·MAZE·D will challenge kids and adults alike with mazes by Dave Phillips. This puzzling exhibit gets you moving as you weave, turn and use logic, math and problem-solving skills to become a maze master! Jump from dot to dot in Hop Dots, confound yourself as you walk the puzzle mazes, and get lost in a giant walk-through cardboard box maze. Learn about the history of mazes and labyrinths, see original maze art, and much more.
Produced by Port Discovery Children’s Museum and Dave Phillips. All maze designs are copyright by Dave Phillips. Please note: exhibit may be closed on select dates to accommodate private rentals.
Opening at Port Discovery on Saturday, May 26, 2018! Travel back in time to when dinosaurs last roamed the land at Port Discovery Children’s Museum! In this fascinating exhibit, you’ll encounter unfamiliar landscapes and touchable dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes including a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops. Plus, build science skills as you investigate clues about what the dinosaurs left behind!
Activities & exhibit areas include:
- Explore the Field Research Station, where children can pretend to be a paleontologist by uncovering fossils with brushes and by creating drawings using fossil rubbings and tracings.
- Adventure through the Land of Fire, where you’ll explore the prehistoric home of the Triceratops and T-Rex. Circle the land in insect costumes, explore a volcano with oozing lava, and make your way through a swampy bog while identifying animals and plants!
- Take a trip across the Land of Ice (no coats needed!), where visitors meet two dinosaurs, a Troodon and Edmontosaurus, who made their homes in the cold climate of Alaska. Plus, explore rocky steps and icy slides from the cold climate of Alaska!
Explore Dinosaurs: Land of Fire & Ice™ at Port Discovery Children’s Museum beginning May 26 through September 9, 2018.
Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice was created by Minnesota Children's Museum and is sponsored nationally by The David B. Jones Foundation and sponsored locally by M&T Bank.
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.
More information coming soon!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Infants and toddlers have a great new place to learn through play in a whimsical exhibit that celebrates Maryland's heritage!
Tot Trails was created as a learning environment where young children can explore and learn about their world, parents can learn about their children through interaction and observation, and the community can learn how innovative play educates our youngest learners.
Tot Trails is generously sponsored by M&T Bank.
The Tot Trails Book Nook is generously sponsored by Maryland 529.
While exploring some very unique landmarks and landscapes of Maryland, children and their caregivers will engage in hands-on exploration in a space that sparks imagination and inspires curiosity. Children will delight in the joy of reading and singing, while building language skills as they engage in our Mother Goose on the Loose story times and Jingle Jangle Music Timewith our Museum educators. Infants will develop their gross motor skills and balance coordination as they can crawl, roll, and wiggle through cushioned, mirrored "tidal pools" and "dune walk." Young toddlers will 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 will be encouraged to play, interact, and observe their child as they discover new ways to connect learning and play.
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 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!
Nano is produced by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Network) with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Here We Grow! introduceas children and their caregivers to farm processes, products and people through the themes of science and technology, history, local ecology, global economics and art. Using words, ideas, sounds and interactive elements, visitors will learn about the importance of agriculture in their everyday lives as well as concepts of agricultural conservation and sustainability.
Concepts and themed-areas include:
- History: Learn how agriculture has progressed through the years and how farmers make a living from the land. Meet real Maryland farmers including Dwight Baugher from Baugher’s Orchard; Bobby Prigel from Prigel Family Creamery; and Hans Schmidt from Schmidt Family Farms.
- Local Ecology: Learn how plants grow, how seasons influence commercial growth in the greenhouse and how the seasons influence environmental conservation practices.
- Science and Technology: Diagnose a horse using high tech tools such as x-rays and endoscopy. Use the old fashioned hand milking technique to race the milking machine to see which way is quicker. Sort eggs using various tests including sounds, sight and color. Build tools and learn about the importance of tool development in farming.
- Global Economy: Follow the flow of commodities through a map, and learn that crops produced in Maryland are traded and transported all over the world. Also learn about different culture’s harvest traditions and festivals.
This exhibit has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and a group of invested community partners who share Port Discovery’s enthusiasm for educating children about agriculture, including Wright Family Foundation, Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation, Inc., Maryland Soybean Board, Maryland Egg Council, and the Maryland Dairy Industry Association.
Port Discovery offers interactive activities and hands-on exhibits to inspire imagination and learning!