We had to cut our weekend visit to my sister’s house short when she and her children came down with a nasty stomach virus on Saturday night. I did not want my kids to get sick, so we practically fled the premises as soon as we could on Sunday morning. The only problem was that we had a 4 hour drive ahead of us, and I hadn’t planned on this trip with the kids wide awake. I much prefer to drive home when they are asleep. I had to act quickly, so we took an impromptu trip to Baltimore to break up the drive.
We have already visited the amazing aquarium in Baltimore, but we had never checked out the Port Discovery Children’s Museum. I am so glad we gave it a try. It was a fabulous way to spend a morning. My children were immediately impressed as soon as we walked into the building. There is a three-story climbing structure made of ropes, nets, and tunnels. They ran to it excitedly. Being a hands-on mom who also enjoys climbing, I followed the kids right in. The only problem was that I was lugging my purse and three jackets as I climbed through tunnels that were meant for children. Mental note: next time inquire about lockers!
After about 20 minutes of climbing, I was able to convince the kids to look into the Wonders of Water exhibit. Leah appreciated the fact that rain coats were available as we walked in the door. She doesn’t like to get her clothes wet, and she likes any opportunity to try on new clothes. She enjoyed playing with the boats and the plumbing pipes, but her favorite part was the Bubble Hoop. She stood on a platform and pulled on a rope connected to a huge hoop. When the hoop was raised, it formed a big bubble around her. She was amazed! Luke spent most of his time in the exhibit washing the windows. There were spray bottles and squeegees in front of a large observation window. Luke took this job so seriously. This was well worth the price of admission. Luke perfected the art of using the squeegee so that there were no streaks on the glass. I plan to put this new knowledge to use this week on our sliding glass doors!
We visited a little exhibit about nanoscale science, which was definitely the most academic exhibit we saw. I found it fascinating, but my kids were so excited about using the microscopes, magnifying glasses, and other hands-on instruments that they didn’t really hear my wonderfully detailed explanations of exactly what they were looking at. They simply enjoyed the exploration of new materials.
Next, we found a room decorated like an old diner where the kids pretended to cook and serve meals. They were so cute acting like little waiters and waitresses. We found another spot where there was an old car and a gas pump. Leah really enjoyed filling the car with gas. Since we live in New Jersey where it is against the law to pump your own gas, Leah has long said she wants to be a “gas girl” when she grows up. She was in heaven using the little pump and pushing the buttons.
On the way out, Luke played soccer on a mini field while Leah tossed a ball back and forth to a baby. They had a wonderful time, and I wanted to tire them out a bit more before we got back in the car. My plan of breaking the trip into two smaller parts worked wonderfully. We had a lot to talk about on the way home, and Leah even took a nap!
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