10 Tips for Visiting Port Discovery Children’s Museum

Sign that reads Sky Climber, The Sky's the Limit! in front of colorful, interactive play areas including a giant ship and multi-story slide

Planning a visit to Port Discovery?! Wahoooo! We can’t wait to see you for a day filled with play, learning, adventure, and magical memories that will last a lifetime.

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your visit – and get the most fun out of your day at Port Discovery!

  • Buy Tickets Online Ahead for Your Visit:  Make sure you can join us on the day and time that work best for you and your family by purchasing your tickets online and in advance! Online tickets also help speed up your entry into the Museum so that you can get in to play, have fun and make memories even faster. Wahoo!  Please keep in mind that online tickets are required for all visitors and members at this time. On-site ticket availability is extremely limited and not guaranteed.
  • Check the Calendar: Want to know if there are any special programs, events, or performances happening on the day of your visit? Be sure to check our Event Calendar to see what we have planned for the day of your visit, so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
  • Pack Supplies:  Extra supplies are almost always a good thing…and we have free lockers (first come, first served) for you to store them in! Here are a few of the supplies we suggest you bring with you:
    • Socks (required if you plan to use the SkyClimber).
    • Extra clothes (they’ll come in handy for little ones after visiting the Wonders of Water exhibit, where they will likely get wet).
    • Water shoes (also for use in the Wonders of Water exhibit).
    • Drinks and snacks (which you can enjoy in the Pier).
  • Want to check out the SkyClimber? Awesome-sauce! A few things to be sure to know before you go, though: To climb up or down the SkyClimber, you must be 3 years old. To use the very fun, very fast Storm Slide, you must be 5 years old. You also must have socks (no shoes) on when using the SkyClimber. Have a child that’s less than 3 years of age? They can check out Chessies Grotto (near the SkyClimber) and many other exhibits throughout the Museum!
  • Have a Game Plan (or don’t!). Visiting and letting kids lead the way and explore is a great way to experience Port Discovery, but we know you and your family might also want to have a game plan in mind of what you’d like to check out while your here. Here are a few resources that could help:
    • The Port Discovery Map: This handy map shows you the layout of the Museum, and can be easily screenshot/saved to your phone.
    • The Port Discovery Virtual Tour:  This cool tour allows you to walk through the entire museum from the comfort of your home. You can see what’s available on every floor, see each of the exhibit areas up close, and get a sense of where things like restrooms are.
    • Exhibits & Experiences Webpages: Get a look at each of the exhibits – by floor – available at Port Discovery, and what you can do, see and learn in each area.
    • Activities by Age:  Wondering what areas will be best to explore for different ages? See the exhibits and activities we recommend for babies and infants, toddlers and Pre-K, and children ages 5-10.
  • Plan for Parking: There’s a parking lot located directly next door to Port Discovery, and it’s very easy to get to! The Harbor Park Garage is located at 55 Market Place and is just steps away from the Museum. With Port Discovery’s validation (available most – but not all days the Museum is open), you can also access discounted parking (typically $15/day). Learn more on our Parking & Location page.
  • Sensory Friendly Resources: Port Discovery is committed to welcoming all guests to experience our Museum, interactive exhibits, and learning through play. The Museum is a certified Sensory Inclusive facility, registered with KultureCity. Please be aware that temperature, lighting and noise levels fluctuate throughout the Museum. Some spaces are quieter than others, and some can be overly stimulating. We provide resources like Sensory Bags, Weighted Lap Pads, and signage to indicate areas where Headphones are recommended to help all visitors enjoy the Museum!
  • Remember that Strollers are Allowed: Port Discovery is a stroller-friendly Museum. You are welcome to use your stroller throughout your visit (though you will need to park it outside of the Tot Trails and Wonders of Water exhibits), or you can leave your stroller in our self-serve Stroller Parking area.
  • Food & Restaurants:  Port Discovery does not have an onsite restaurant or cafeteria (though we do have a small eating area called The Pier where you can enjoy snacks and beverages that you bring with you), but we are located close to lots and lots of great restaurants that you’re sure to enjoy. Check out some of the nearby restaurants you can enjoy – from Phillips Seafood and Hard Rock Café to Chick-Fil-A, IHOP, Miss Shirleys and more…there’s tons to pick from!
  • Enjoy the Inner Harbor and Other Family Friendly Attractions Nearby: Port Discovery is located within close walking distance to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and to other wonderful attractions like The National Aquarium, The Maryland Science Center, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, Urban Pirates, the USS Constellation Museum, and more! Be sure to spend some time enjoying the beautiful scenery and fun family experiences that are nearly right outside our door.

Remember that Port Discovery is a Family Destination – and a Non-Profit!
Play is good for everyone, including kids and kids at heart! At Port Discovery, we design our exhibits and experiences to encourage kids and the adults in their lives to interact, play together, bond, and make memories together. While you’re here, let loose a bit and have some fun while you enjoy seeing your little ones light up with fun and wonder. Also, remember that your visit is making play and learning possible for children and families, both inside the Museum and in the community. Your support of Port Discovery through admission tickets, memberships, and donations means that we can continue offering memorable experiences in the Museum and bring play and learning to children, families, and communities all over the State of Maryland.