Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Daily Vacationer Jr: Port Discovery Children's Museum

One of our favorite things to do as Daily Vacationer Jr is visit children's museum.  Not only is it a lot of fun for the little vacationers that tag along, but we usually find ourselves having a great time among the interactive play spaces and exhibits.  So when we spent a little time down in Baltimore recently, we jumped at the chance to explore Port Discovery.  And we were not disappointed!  Set up in a uniquely leveled building with incredibly immersive themed exhibits, this children's museum was different than any other we've checked out before.

There's no way to miss "Kidworks"  - the three story urban treehouse smack dab in the center of the building and rising up to the very top of the museum. We admit, this was our most favorite thing in Port Discovery.  We could have had a blast on this just by ourselves, so it was fortunate that the little ones with us also wanted to climb and explore the whole thing over and over again. The ultimate in physical play meeting imagination, "Kidworks" can become anything you want it to. From a pirate ship to a space station, there was no lack of ideas at what it was being used for.  A maze of climbing walls and ropes, bridges, and platforms, one could spend all day in it and barely go the same way twice.  (A quick note for those with a fear of heights: If you make it to the top, the only way down is out across one of the bridges. We ventured out on the rather precarious hanging tunnel bridge ourselves, but there were a few more less intense options as well).

Another Port Discovery permanent exhibit that we loved was "Adventure Expeditions".  Visitor brave quick sand, tomb mazes, and ancient puzzles to explore 1920's Egypt (think a kid friendly Indiana Jones adventure).  The attention to detail in this exhibit is really what made it a favorite.  We found ourselves immediately reminded of a past visit to The Mummy Ride at Universal Studios.  While there was no roller coaster at the end, the painted walls, atmospheric voices and noises, and added environmental elements were impressive.  Little ones will enjoy the physical aspects of making it across the pull bridge and wandering the maze, while the older kids will love deciphering hieroglyphics to discover the tomb of the pharaoh.

For the much younger crowd, "Tot Trails" is the place to be.  With a calming nature theme, this exhibit is perfect for babies and toddlers just learning to explore the world around them.  Fake sand dunes provide a safe place for early walkers to test out their skills on inclines.  While the soft boats in the pond area are a relaxing spot for pre-mobile children to hangout. The climbers will love exploring the short steps and ramps in the forest and tunnel parts of the room.  There was even mess-free sand to play with.  Bring the little ones out various days during the week for special programs and storytimes in this exciting for small kids and relaxing for caretakers exhibit.

Each exhibit is has its own unique hands on learning and play experience whether you're pumping gas and grabbing a snack at "Royal Farms", cooking up a meal in "Tiny's Diner", or solving a crazy puzzle in "Miss Perception's Mystery House". Let the kids run free on the soccer field in "Kick It Up" or take a quiet break among the books and pillow in "The Oasis".  We personally loved the "Studio Workshop" with its grown up art studio feel.  "Wonders of Water" scored big points with our group (especially the big dryers for when they were done).

Port Discovery also has a schedule chocked full of fun from weekly programs to special events. Save on admission between 1-4:30pm on Thrifty Tuesdays and Thursday ($8 admission!) and stop in on Wonderful Wednesdays and Fantastic Fridays for Circle Time, Jingle Jangle Music Time, and more! The museum also hosts exciting traveling exhibits throughout the year along with weekend events. And be on the lookout for their Target $2 Family Fun Nights  Port Discovery also makes a great place for parties, overnighters, and group trips. The museum offers a few different membership levels, and this is place where purchasing a membership will definitely pay off!

One added note: We were big fans of the extra safety Port Discovery has in place for the visiting children.  Everyone gets a wristband on the way in, and in order to leave the building with any child, their number must match yours.  Fantastic idea!





  1. Adventures Expedition!
    Cheryl G.

  2. The water play area would be a big hit for our family -- though I think the Egypt section sounds completely fantastic, personally!
    Hilary H.