Maryland is home to a plethora of children’s museums. No matter if your kids are interested in bugs, firetrucks or art, there is a museum for them. Next time you are in the Old Line State, plan a visit to a few of the fun and educational children’s museums. Last Minute TravelingMom, Jenn Greene often finds herself looking for something to do on a Saturday with the kids and these museums are always a hit.
It is important to teach children the value in visiting museums at a young age. While you probably aren’t going to take them to the Museum of Modern Art, they can experience culture and learning in a space meant for them. My daughters have been going to museums since they could walk. They have always loved to learn new things and play. No matter how many visits we have made to these five museums, we learn something new each time. Now that the girls are older we may not visit these as often, but they will always remain a favorite.
Top Five Children’s Museums in Maryland
1. Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Located in the heart of Baltimore this museum is easy to access from Central Maryland and Washington DC. The main attraction here is the three-story urban treehouse, KidWorks. For the kids under five, Tot Trails encourages running and crawling, as well as digging for fossils.
Kids can play in a diner, gas station and convenience store all equipped with kids size props. This museum is three floors of pint sized fun for a full day of exploration. If you are with a child that is overwhelmed by the museum you can retreat to The Oasis and enjoy a quiet space to read or play a game. No matter the child you will find something fun to explore at Port Discovery.
Admission is $14.95 for ages 2 and up.
The museum is also home to visiting exhibits, currently you can find Thomas the Tank Engine at home here. Climb into Thomas’ cab and explore the engine’s inner workings. Flip levers and investigate other movable parts. Work with others to get Percy moving by loading coal and filling his tank with water.
Traveling Mom Tip: Walt Disney World Imagineers have designed many of the permanent exhibits. They are certainly a step above the rest.
2. College Park Aviation Museum
Prince George’s County, just outside of Washington DC, is home to this aviation lovers museum. Touch, explore, and sit in the cockpit of the Imagination Plane. Visit the hands-on room to learn about flight and to dress like a pilot. Fly away in a simulator, or play on pedal planes. Preschoolers will enjoy a flight-inspired story in the Peter Pan Club, and Afternoon Aviators (kids ages five and up) will learn how to build paper airplanes and play airplane bingo.
Traveling Mom Tip: 45 minute guided tours are offered and can be booked up to 2 weeks prior to visit. The low cost of $4 for adults and $2 for children will help to teach your kids how tours work at a museum and prepare them for future museum visits.
3. Maryland Science Center
This fully immersive museum is located in the heart of Baltimore in the Inner Harbor, and a perfect addition to your visit. You will find three floors of demonstrations designed to exercise imaginations and challenge the minds. You can see exciting combustible reactions and optical illusions, or learn about lasers — just to name a few highlights. Hands-on exhibits include a voyage through the human body and learning how microbes work.
Kids up to 8 years old can enjoy the Kids Room, where they can send boats down the river in water play, operate the fish cam in the submarine, dress-up like a turtle, and send messages through a pneumatic tube on the ceiling. The space is dedicated to learning through play, and always a hit with kids 5 and under.
Traveling Mom Tip: The science center is very crowded on weekends. Try to plan a weekday visit so you can experience all of the exhibits.
4. Calvert Marine Museum
If you are looking for a great family day trip in the Washington D.C. Metro Area, then the Calvert Marine Museum is the place for you. Located in Solomons, Maryland, at the mouth of the Patuxent River, the museum offers fun, hands-on experiences in a beautiful setting. We pack a lunch and enjoy a day on the Chesapeake Bay enjoying historic Solomons. The otter feeding is a favorite activity of my little ones. With an aquarium, open tanks, fossil exploration, lighthouse tours and boats, you are sure to have a fun day.
5. Fire Museum of Maryland
Do you have a little fireman in your family? The Fire Museum of Maryland is the third largest fire museum in the world. Offering 40 antique engines, a reconstructed firehouse, and the Great Baltimore Fire and other fire history exhibits, you can fully immerse yourself. The children’s Discovery Room provides an opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat of a 1938 fire engine as well as put on turnout gear!
Educational programs at the museum are dedicated to teaching fire fighting history and fire safety. There is an all new fire alarm exhibit, and kids can actually set off an alarm (hey, it’s better than in a hotel) and learn how that works. My husband is a retired firefighter and my daughter loves going to this museum to learn what Daddy did at work. The museum is open on Saturday from 10-4 p.m.
No matter what your children love to learn about there is a museum for them in Maryland.