Local Museums Near Baltimore and Annapolis Offer Family Fun

We are fortunate to be home to some of the most wondrous and fascinating museums in the country.

portdiscovery

Museums are the perfect spot to make a play date, experience new things of interest to your child, and have a great family adventure.


Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore, ranked among the top five children’s museums in the United States, is opening the new Tot Trails. “This exhibit will help young learners celebrate the heritage and natural wonders of Maryland,” said Andria Washington, promotions specialist. Playing alongside your child is beneficial. “You can gain new insights into your infant or toddler’s learning, interests and capabilities at various stages of development while engaging him in open-ended discovery play that encourages curiosity and allows him to express himself through movement, imaginative play and language,” said Washington.  

Port Discovery Children’s Museum
35 Market Place
Baltimore, MD
410-727-8120
portdiscovery.org

The Baltimore Museum of Industry has great hands-on activities for toddlers called the wee workers program where they can paint and create little crafts.  “Kids love the printing gallery, canning gallery and machine shop,” said Jessica Williams, marketing director.  The deli is also popular.  “It deals with some of the first foods in Maryland such as McCormick’s spices, cookies and Domino sugar,” said Williams.  On the second Sunday of each month, kids can participate in an activity related to the arts, science and technology that is associated with the history of Maryland.  “They learn about inventions that started here like the bottle cap, Noxema skin care products, the first tennis racket and the umbrella,” said Williams.

Baltimore Museum of Industry
1415 Key Highway
Baltimore, MD
410-727-4808
thebmi.org

The Calvert County Historical Society in Prince Frederick lets children get to know their historic home.  “It offers a glimpse into living during the late 1800s and early 1900s and answers questions like why there are so many fireplaces and where people hung their clothes,” said Christine Stellon-Garner, executive director.  You can discover the answer to other pressing mysteries as well.

Calvert County Historical Society
70 Church St.
Prince Frederick, MD
410-535-2452
calverthistory.org


Prince George’s Historical Society in Greenbelt is another fascinating place to explore especially during black history month.  On Friday, February 18 from 11am-9pm, black hospitals in metropolitan areas and abroad will be highlighted that had a significant impact on the lives of African Americans.

Prince George’s Historical Society
Greenbelt, MD
301-220-0330
pghistory.org

Queen Anne’s County Historical Society in Centreville offers two insightful museum houses for kids that do not have indoor plumbing, electricity or kitchens.  “Kitchens were usually in a separate building away from the house,” said Rebecca Marquardt, president.  Kids want to know about Robert Wright, the twelfth governor of Maryland.  Girls are interested in baby dolls, china tea sets and spinning wheels.

Queen Anne’s Historical Society
124 S. Commerce St.
Centreville, MD
410-758-3010


The Belair Stable Museum in Bowie is recognizing black history month.  “We will have exhibits on making tobacco which is a contribution of enslaved African Americans to the plantation economy here at Belair and other Chesapeake plantations,” said Pam Williams, director.  Down the street at the Belair Stable, there will be an exhibit about America’s first unsung sports heroes, the African American jockeys.

The Belair Stable Museum
2835 Belair Dr.
Bowie, MD 20715
301-809-3089

The Chesapeake Children’s Museum in Annapolis is featuring several special events that will teach your child about our lands, holidays and cultural celebrations. Families are getting pumped for Saturday, February 5 from 2-4pm which is World Wetlands Day.  “We will talk about the ecology of the creek, how it fits into the larger bay, what role wetlands play in our environment and how what we do affects wetlands,” said Thomas Higdon, manager. Kids will also have a chance to meet creatures that call the wetlands home such as turtles, snakes and fish. Sunday, February 6 from 4- 6pm is a Chinese New Year celebration where you can honor the year of the rabbit.  “Join a dragon parade, make a Chinese yo-yo, play Chinese jump rope, try your hand at picking up ‘long life’ noodles with chopsticks and find your fortune in a cookie,” said Debbie Wood, executive director.  Trains, cars and building blocks often catch children’s attention.  The costume area is also popular and a great way to develop imagination.  

The Chesapeake Children’s Museum
25 Silopanna Rd.
Annapolis, MD 21403
410-990-1993
theccm.org


The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum features hands-on activities so kids can learn what it feels like to be an engineer driving a train. “Children feel like the large engines are the size of dinosaurs compared to them,” said Dana Kim, marketing director. The new museum mascot is Choo Choo Blue, an animated steam engine.  February kicks off the day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. There will be storytelling, moon bounces, balloon makers and imagination stations where kids can play with wooden train sets. “Kids do not want to leave,” said Kim.


Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum  
901 W. Pratt St.
Baltimore, MD
410-752-2490
borail.org

The W. Henry Duvall Tool Museum in Upper Marlboro offers a series of museums within walking distance of each other. “One of our recent acquisitions is the Sears house which was one of the first ones before they had bathrooms in the house,” said Pam Smart, administrative aide. You can find a tobacco farming museum, log cabin and get introduced to the wetlands. “Kids will be able to describe a wetland and identify plants and animals that live there,” said Smart. There will also be a marsh market. “Kids choose something from a bag which is an animal or plant and have to figure out how they all connect to a food web so the kids are literally all connected up,” said Smart.    

The W. Henry Duvall Tool Museum
16000 Croom Airport Rd.
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
301-627-6074    

The National Electronics Museum in Linthicum just opened a fundamentals gallery which talks about the history of electricity and magnetism. “On Saturday, February 19, we are doing a robotics swap where people will be buying, selling and trading pieces to build robots,” said Mike Simons, director. Kids are given a chance to play with magnets and electricity in a safe way.

The National Electronic Museum
1745 W. Nursery Rd.
Linthicum Heights, MD
410-765-0230
nationalelectronicsmuseum.org  

With so many fun and educational opportunities at the museums this month, there is no reason to stay home!

By Jamie Lober

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