Indoor Fun: Museums — Maryland

by adminMain | March 18, 2017 6:47 pm

Schools from all over the world travel to this area to see the museums that are located practically in your back yard. Whether centered on art, history, science, or social studies, there is a museum that will appeal to everyone at any age. Engage in hands-on activities, join a guided tour, watch a film, stimulate your curiosity, and learn something new all while spending quality time with the family and having fun!


Virginia[1] | Maryland | Washington, DC[2] | Discount Museum Programs[3]


B&O Railroad Museum[4]
901 West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21223 (Map it[5])
Connect: Online[6] | Facebook[7] | Twitter[8] (410) 752-2490
Admission: Fee-based

See, touch, hear, and explore the oldest and most historic American Railroad collection at the Baltimore campus of the B&O (Baltimore & Ohio) Railroad Museum. Known as the birthplace of the American railroad, the museum features both full-size locomotives and model replicas. Visitors can explore inside locomotives and train cars, view historic railroad artifacts, and even enjoy a 20-minute, round-trip train ride along the first commercial mile of railroad track laid in America! For the younger crowd, there is Choo Choo Blueville, a fictional town personalized by the B&O Railroad Museum’s new mascot Choo Choo Blue. This beautifully-landscaped structure with running water measures 4,700-square feet in diameter, displays 12 miniature buildings, and offers children a soundscaped, three-minute kiddie train.


The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station[9]
2711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City, MD 21043 (Map it[10])
Connect: Online[11] | Facebook[12] | Twitter[13] | (410) 461-1945

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station is the oldest surviving railroad station in America and was the original terminus of the first 13-miles of commercial railroad in the country. The site features the Main Depot building, constructed in 1830-31, the freight house built in 1885, a replica of the first horse-drawn passenger rail car, the Pioneer, and a 1927 “I-5” Caboose. Housed in the freight house is a 40-foot, HO-gauge model train layout showing the original thirteen miles of commercial rail track stretching from Baltimore to Ellicott Mills. The operating layout features an introductory video and light show. Living historians tell the story of the development of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the nation’s first common carrier railroad, and its impact on Ellicott City between 1827 and 1868. Please note that there are no train rides at Ellicott City Station.


Be With Me: The Children’s Playseum[14]
7000 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Connect: Online[15] | Facebook[16] | Twitter[17] | (301) 807-8028
Admission: Fee-based

The Children’s Playseum is a children’s used bookstore that provides a unique learning and creating an experience for children of all ages. Books and activities are categorized into CityShop rooms such as the bakery, the dress-up room, restaurants, grandmas, shopping, farm, pet store, circus, and more. With over 24-theme CityShop’s between the two locations, there is unending fun for one low admission price! The Playseum also offers birthday party packages allowing children to explore the CityShop’s with their friends, read during a themed story time, and have a birthday celebration in the bakery. Visit The Playseum’s website[18] for special hours and membership opportunities.


Brunswick Heritage Museum
40 West Potomac St., Brunswick, MD 21716
Connect: Online[19] | Facebook[20] | (301) 834-7100
Admission: TBA

The Brunswick Heritage Museum can be seen as two museums in one. On one floor, the Museum’s exhibits tell the story of a town built by the B&O railroad at the turn of the 20th century and the people who lived here. Recreations of late Victorian rooms are the centerpiece, complemented by exhibits that recall the lives of the railroaders and their families in the early 1900’s. On another floor, you can see a 1,700-square-foot HO-Scale model railroad which depicts the B&O Metropolitan Subdivision beginning at the west end of Brunswick’s rail yard and running eastward all the way to Union Station in Washington, DC.


Chesapeake Children’s Museum
25 Silopanna Rd., Annapolis, MD 21403
Connect: Online[21] | Facebook[22] | (410) 990-1993
Admission: Fee-based

Helping kids get closer to the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland history, the Chesapeake Children’s Museum is a great stop for fun and learning. Live animals, a docked boat, theatrical costumes, nature trails, and Underground Railroad trails are just some of the activities to keep your child busy while they learn about the local environment. They keep the calendar[23] full with special events and weekly activities such as story time. Admission is $4 for ages 1 and up and hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily (except Wednesday).


Goddard Space Flight Center
8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, MD 20771
Connect: Online[24] | Facebook[25] | Twitter[26] | Instagram[27] | (301) 286-8981
Admission: Free

Activities, exhibits, and events at NASA Goddard Visitor Center provide inspiring and captivating educational experiences for all ages. Learn about climate change and tracking satellites, explore the mysteries of black holes, participate in the monthly rocket launch, and watch children transform into astronauts as they try on a kid-sized space suit. Have you ever watched a show on a 3D sphere with a six-foot diameter? Check out Science on a Sphere, as well as the Goddard Rocket Garden, which features a unique collection of actual space flight hardware and artifacts.


Hagerstown Aviation Museum[28]
14235 Oak Springs Rd., Hagerstown, MD 21742
Connect: Online[29] | Facebook[30] | (301) 733-8717
Admission: Free, however donations accepted

See a 1953 Fairchild C-119, explore a North American AT6G Texan, or walk through a Kreider Reisner KR-31 at the Hagerstown Aviation Museum! This all-volunteer, non-profit corporation offers visitors a glimpse into over 90-years of amazing history! Dedicated to preserving and sharing the aviation history of Hagerstown, MD surrounding areas, this museum has received over 15 aircraft within the past 5-years. The museum is currently only open to the public during museum events so please visit their website[31] for a chance to get up-close to a priceless aircraft.


Kids International Discovery Museum
6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, MD 20817
Connect: Online[32] | Facebook[33] | Twitter[34] | (301) 897-5437
Admission: Fee-based

Kids International Discovery Museum at Davis Library in Bethesda, MD offers fun, interactive programs for elementary- and middle school-aged children. Featuring hands-on experiences that highlight science, technology, culture, engineering, art, and math, the Kids International Discovery Museum is a truly enjoyable educational experience! Drop-in for open-explore sessions such as Interactive Light Painting, Building Outside the Box, and Sonic Electronics, or participate in facilitated workshops to learn new skills.


More Maryland Museums[35] —>

Schools from all over the world travel to this area to see the museums that are located practically in your back yard. Whether centered on art, history, science, or social studies, there is a museum that will appeal to everyone at any age. Engage in hands-on activities, join a guided tour, watch a film, stimulate your curiosity, and learn something new all while spending quality time with the family and having fun!


Virginia[1] | Maryland | Washington, DC[2] | Discount Museum Programs[3]


National Aquarium[36]
501 East Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202
Connect: Online[37] | Facebook[38] | Twitter[39] | Instagram[40] | (410) 576-3800
Admission: Fee-based, however, see below for some free and cheap admissions opportunities.

A visually spectacular museum, the National Aquarium, located in the Inner Harbor of downtown Baltimore, MD, is a must-visit for anyone regionally. Packed with more than 17,000 animals and award-winning exhibits, the Aquarium has a tropical rain forest exhibit, an Australian Outback exhibit (Animal Planet Australia), and most impressively, an Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit featuring hundreds of colorful tropical fish, sharks, eels, and more inhabiting a fabricated reef in a 335,000-gallon, 13-foot-deep, open-air aquarium.

• Now, year-round admission to the National Aquarium is just $12 on Fridays after 5 pm[41]. Last entry time is 8 pm and you can tour the exhibits until 9:30 pm. There are some blackout dates so be sure to check the website before you go.
• Keep your eyes out for the 2015 Dollar Days[42] — a National Aquarium tradition! For two days every December, admission to the Aquarium is just $1!


National Capital Trolley Museum[43]
1313 Bonifant Rd., Colesville, MD 20905
Connect: Online[44] | Facebook[45] | (301) 384-6088

The National Capital Trolley Museum, open since 1969, not only provides a chance to learn about historic streetcars in Washington, DC, but also an opportunity to take a trolley ride in one of eleven original cars! The museum has a wide collection of street cars including originals from Washington, DC, American Streetcars, and International Streetcars. So similar to trains, click here[46] to view some frequently asked questions about streetcars and streetcar service, including questions like What is difference between a streetcar and a trolley?, How is a streetcar different from a city bus?, and Why don’t streetcars have steering wheels


National Cryptologic Museum
Located adjacent to NSA Headquarters, Fort Meade, MD 20755
Connect: Online[47] | Facebook[48] | (301) 688-2145

Do you have a budding code-breaker in your family? Is your family looking for a different view of historical events? Then the NSA’s National Cryptologic Museum is a place you will definitely want to visit! The museum features exhibits that offer a glimpse at individuals who devoted their lives to cryptology and national defense and the techniques they used, as well as a September 11th Memorial and multiple exhibits on the Cold War, computer and machines developed for use in the field, World War I, World War II, and much more. The Museum Library “maintains a collection of unclassified and declassified books and documents relating to every aspect of cryptology.” While there, also visit National Vigilance Park[49], which showcases two reconnaissance aircraft used for secret missions during Vietnam and the Cold War. The Museum is open Monday through Friday and on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. Click here[50] for a map and directions to the museum.


National Museum of Health and Medicine
2500 Linden Ln., Silver Spring, MD 20910
Connect: Online[51] | (301) 319-3300
Admission: Free

What began as the Army Medical Museum during the Civil War is now the center of a very extensive collection of objects (approximately 24,662,515!) that offers visitors a unique perspective on health, medicine, and the effects of disease on the human body. Learn about human anatomy, traumatic brain injury, bio-medical engineering, and pathology, as well as innovations in facial reconstruction, surgical response, and rehabilitation. Information about age-appropriate guided tours available for groups of ten or more can be found here[52].


Maryland Science Center[53]
601 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230
Connect: Online[54] | Facebook[55] | Twitter [56]| Instagram[57] | (410) 685-2370
Admission: Fee-based, however see below for some free and cheap admissions opportunities.

The Maryland Science Center is another must-visit for anyone in our region. This science-inspired museum encourages a lot of touching — perfect for children and families. The 170,000-square-foot space boasts many fun permanent exhibits, like Newton’s Alley (a kinetic, energetic, hands-on exhibit powered by you); Cells: The Universe Inside Us (Zoom into your own body to see the different cells that make up your heart, brain, and bones); Dinosaur Mysteries (Walk under, over, and through a landscape filled with more than 1 dozen life-size dinosaurs, dig pits, a field lab, excavation sites, and other areas of discovery); and much more!

∙ On the first Friday of every month[58] from October through March, admission to the Maryland Science Center is discounted from 5-8 pm. This discounted price covers everything except premium traveling exhibitions.


Port Discovery Children’s Museum
35 Market Pl., Baltimore, MD 21202
Connect: Online[59] | Facebook[60] | Twitter[61] | Instagram[62] | (410) 727-8120
Admission: Fee-based, however see below for some free and cheap admissions opportunities.

Port Discovery Children’s Museum, ranked one of Forbe’s 12 Best Children’s Museums in the US, offers three floors of interactive, educational exhibits and ever-changing programs for children from birth through age 10. Located in downtown Baltimore, MD, Port Discovery offers many permanent and traveling exhibits, many of which are themed around important topics and events. The majority of the Museum’s exhibits and programs are designed for children age 2- through 10-years old. For children under 2, they recommend Tot Trails, their infant/toddler exhibit, and The Oasis. Port Discovery is also a stroller-friendly Museum with designated stroller parking areas throughout.

• Port Discover Children’s Museum is open until 8 pm on Target Family Fun Nights[63], which take place on the 3rd Friday of each month. General admission for all guests age 2-years old and older is $2 per person after 4 pm on these select nights.

Endnotes:
  1. Virginia: http://dullesmoms.com/indoor-fun-museums-virginia/
  2. Washington, DC: http://dullesmoms.com/indoor-fun-museums-washington-dc/
  3. Discount Museum Programs: http://dullesmoms.com/free-discounted-museum-programs/
  4. B&O Railroad Museum: http://www.borail.org/default.aspx
  5. Map it: http://mapq.st/1EjGcwR
  6. Online: http://www.borail.org/default.aspx
  7. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BandORailroadMuseum
  8. Twitter: https://twitter.com/borrm
  9. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum: Ellicott City Station: http://www.borail.org/ECS-Plan-Your-Visit.aspx
  10. Map it: http://mapq.st/1g4Hzq1
  11. Online: http://www.borail.org/ECS-Plan-Your-Visit.aspx
  12. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BandORailroadMuseum
  13. Twitter: https://twitter.com/borrm
  14. Be With Me: The Children’s Playseum: http://playseum.com/
  15. Online: http://playseum.com/
  16. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Playseum
  17. Twitter: https://twitter.com/playseum
  18. website: http://playseum.com/
  19. Online: http://www.brunswickmuseum.org/
  20. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrunswickHeritageMuseum
  21. Online: http://www.theccm.org/
  22. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chesapeake-Childrens-Museum/176969995657411
  23. calendar: http://www.theccm.org/workshops.html
  24. Online: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/home/index.html
  25. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASAGoddardVisitorCenter
  26. Twitter: https://twitter.com/NASAGoddard
  27. Instagram: https://instagram.com/nasagoddard/
  28. Hagerstown Aviation Museum: http://www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org/
  29. Online: http://www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org/
  30. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HagerstownAviationMuseum
  31. website: http://www.hagerstownaviationmuseum.org/eventcalendar.html
  32. Online: http://kid-museum.org/
  33. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KIDMuseum
  34. Twitter: https://twitter.com/kidmuseummd
  35. More Maryland Museums: http://dullesmoms.com/indoor-fun-museums-maryland/2/
  36. National Aquarium: http://www.aqua.org/
  37. Online: http://www.aqua.org/
  38. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalaquarium
  39. Twitter: https://twitter.com/natlaquarium
  40. Instagram: http://instagram.com/nationalaquarium
  41. $12 on Fridays after 5 pm: http://www.aqua.org/visit/baltimore/calendar/fridays-after-five
  42. Dollar Days: http://dullesmoms.com/baltimore-dollar-or-less-days/
  43. National Capital Trolley Museum: http://www.dctrolley.org/index.htm
  44. Online: http://www.dctrolley.org/index.htm
  45. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Capital-Trolley-Museum/183298035045286?sk=timeline
  46. here: http://www.dctrolley.org/faqs.htm
  47. Online: https://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/museum/index.shtml
  48. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NationalCryptologicMuseum
  49. National Vigilance Park: https://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/vigilance_park/index.shtml
  50. here: https://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/museum/map/index.shtml
  51. Online: http://www.medicalmuseum.mil/index.cfm?p=visit.index
  52. here: http://www.medicalmuseum.mil/index.cfm?p=education.tours
  53. Maryland Science Center: http://www.mdsci.org/
  54. Online: http://www.mdsci.org/
  55. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarylandScienceCenter
  56. Twitter : https://twitter.com/MDScienceCenter
  57. Instagram: http://instagram.com/mdsciencecenter
  58. Friday of every month: http://www.mdsci.org/event/first-fridays/2014-10-03/
  59. Online: http://www.portdiscovery.org/
  60. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/portdiscovery
  61. Twitter: https://twitter.com/portdiscovery
  62. Instagram: http://instagram.com/portdiscovery
  63. Target Family Fun Nights: http://www.portdiscovery.org/calendar/events/1480

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