Tips for Visiting Port Discovery with Infants & Toddlers

Toddler looking at and touching lighted bubble tubes inside of a sensory-friendly toddler play area

Looking for a fun, interactive play, chances to socialize, and opportunities to enjoy new experiences with your infant or toddler? Consider a visit to Port Discovery Children’s Museum, where every exhibit and experience is designed with children and families in mind!

Here are some of the exhibits and experiences that we highly recommend for our littlest learners, plus some tips and ideas for getting the most out of a visit to the Museum with your little one!

Tips for Visiting with Infants
Tips for Visiting Port Discovery with Infants & Toddlers Port Discovery Children's Museum
  • Remember that babies are soaking in the experiences they have in very big ways – and a visit to Port Discovery provides them with lots of new experiences and interactions that they can learn from.
  • Watch as your little one watches and mimics other children, explore touch and sound, and let little ones explore sitting, crawling, and walking in exhibits designed with infants in mind!
  • Also, remember that children under the age of one visit Port Discovery free of charge!
Tips for Visiting with Toddlers
Tips for Visiting Port Discovery with Infants & Toddlers Port Discovery Children's Museum
  • When exploring the exhibits at Port Discovery, let your little one lead the way. As kids play, they figure out how things work – and you g to see their curiosity and imaginations at work!
  • Another idea: Start playing alongside your little one, and then let them take over, showing you how they think things work and giving you “jobs” to do.
  • Encourage your toddler to play and interact with other children visiting the space. Through play, kids learn how to communicate and work together, and they benefit from watching and mimicking and playing with other children, too!
  • Come up with little games or challenges to try. For instance, in Tiny’s Diner, challenge your little one to a cook-off or to cook up their own breakfast meal. Or, play the “I Spy” game – identifying different colors, different sounds, different shapes, and more!
Tips for Parents and Caregivers:
  • Remember that play isn’t just good for kids – it’s good for adults, too! Be a kid at heart when you’re visiting Port Discovery. Get in on the fun, play alongside your little one, and enjoy bonding and making memories together.
  • You can meet lots of other parents and caregivers at Port Discovery, too! The Museum is a great place to meet other caregivers, share stories and advice, and enjoy adult interaction. It’s also a great place for your children to meet other children and adults from all over the Baltimore and Maryland area – and way beyond, too!
Exhibits Just For Infants & Toddlers
  • Chessie’s Grotto – Located at the base of The SkyClimber, Chessie’s Grotto gives little learners a chance to explore a soft play area featuring numerous activities. Enjoy sensory play as your little one explores textures and tactile experiences along Chessie’s tail, a quick story time underneath the jellyfish, and even a mini-slide down Chessie’s tail! Little learners will enhance sensory development along with fine motor and early literacy skills throughout this new exhibit. Ages 3 and under.
  • Tot TrailsTot Trails is an exhibit designed for Port Discovery’s youngest learners. 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. Ages 5 and under.
  • The OasisEnjoy puzzles, ever-changing books, interactive toys, and educational games inside The Oasis! This exhibit is a great space to try out new activities and games while learning something new. Enjoy the drop-in program Circle Time inside The Oasis and explore your imagination through song and story. Little learners will enhance several developmental skills inside The Oasis, like critical thinking, creativity, literacy, and fine motor skills.
Other Exhibits They’ll Also Enjoy
  • Tiny’s DinerPretend 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 to 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.
  • Wonders of WaterMake 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!
  • Convenience Store & Fill’er Up StationStop 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! Little learners will enhance collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and more inside this life-like exhibit!
  • 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!