B&O Railroad Museum

The museum is the site where the first railroad stone and the first mile of U.S. commercial railroad were laid.

Dynamometer This exhibit showcases the C&O No. DM1, a dynamometer that was originally built in 1929 to record train and locomotive performance and serve as a place for crew members to live. A video explains how complicated it was to operate the equipment and why it was necessary. Visitors can see where train employees would cook their own meals.

About Time: The Standardization of Time “The railroads were an important influence on the standardization and development of time zones across the nation because precision timekeeping was essential in maintaining the safety of the railways. Learn how Webb C. Ball developed precision timekeeping by exploring the collection of 21 clocks and 12 pocket watches that were used by conductors and engineers on the B&O Railroad lines. The exhibition provides deeper knowledge of the B&O Time Service Department, which handled the repairs and adjustments for the railway clocks, and gives guests a chance to test their knowledge of the U.S. time zones by adjusting manual clocks to match the regional time zones.”

The museum is at 901 W. Pratt St., Baltimore. The phone number is 410-752-2490. The museum has free parking in its front parking lot during its hours, which are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day. Schedule changes will be posted on the museum’s social media or website.

Admission, which can be purchased online or on-site, is $20 for people who are between 13 and 59 years old, $17 for seniors and $12 for children ages 2 to 12. Active duty military, police, firefighters and CSX employees, with ID, and Maryland teachers receive free admission. There is a $3 discount for military veterans, retired police and firefighters. Admission is $10 on the second Wednesday of the month. With EBT or SNAP card, Museums for All participants can pay $3 total for up to four people. Students can pay $30 for year-long membership.

The museum has a 2023-2024 field trip and student group guide here. Scheduled tours can easily be changed from virtual to in-person and vice versa. Groups can choose from nine curated programs that are aligned to specific grade levels or can build their own interdisciplinary field trip by matching activities. To learn more about student group tours or field trips, contact the Education Department at [email protected] or 443-627-2382.

The museum has free sensory kits, and many staff members have sensory awareness training. A sensory-friendly map is here. Sensory Sundays, which are days without music and with low low lighting and quiet areas, are scheduled throughout the year. Pre-registration is recommended but not required. To learn more about these events and access social stories about the museum and the train rides, click here.

Baltimore Museum of Industry

“Step Back in Time to the Early Days of a Port City… From Baltimore’s early days as a trading port and hub of manufacturing to its modern identity as a center for research, retail, technology, and tourism, visitors can discover the businesses and inventions that forged the Industrial Revolution and propelled Maryland into the 21st century.” For example, visitors can see a pharmacy, a machine shop, a cannery and a garment loft. The museum has a virtual walk-through here and a virtual map here.

The museum is at 1415 Key Highway in Baltimore. Parking onsite, which serves 150 vehicles, is free. The phone number is 410-727-4808. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The museum encourages visitors to use masks.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for people who are at least 62 years old; $8 for students and children ages 6 to 17; and free for younger children. There is a $1 discount per ticket for people who buy admission online, here. Admission is free for active duty and retired military personnel, with military ID, as well as Museums for All participants.

Rates for groups, which must have at least 10 people, are available by reservation. Contact [email protected] or 410-727-4808 x117. A field trip reservation request form is online, here. Teachers and staff receive free admission. The parent chaperone entry fee is $10. Students in preschool and kindergarten can do a hands-on activity and check out the garment loft, printing press or grocery store for $5 per student. Program options for kindergarten through second grade include “In the Neighborhood,” which allows students to take on different jobs of the early 20th century. In “Kids’ MotorWorks,” students in second through eighth grades can learn how assembly lines changed the economy as they work together to build paper model cars to take home. The cost for this one is $7 per student.

The museum has free activities, like worksheets and crafts, for preschool through high school students here.

Maryland Science Center

Kids Room Young children can create ramps, train stations and LEGO towers and look at objects through a microscope. Children under 2 years old can crawl around, look at books and play with big, soft blocks in The Room to Grow. There is a learning lab where young children can learn STEM skills through experiments. During the school year, field trips are not allowed into the Kids Room until 10:30 a.m. on weekdays.

Math in Nature “From flocking birds to water ripples, the spots on a giraffe to wind patterns, these natural entities follow rules that can be predicted through math. Discover, explore and recreate the variety of patterns that nature relies on with our Voronoi floor, Boid simulator, Tessellation wall, and more.”

Newton’s Alley Visitors can explore matter, energy, force and motion through racing bubbles, creating a water vortex touching a cloud and more.

On a first-come, first-served basis, visitors can do drop-in STEAM activities at The Shed.

Other exhibits explore the human body, astronomy, the electromagnetic spectrum, electricity, dinosaurs and more.

The center is at 601 Light St. in Baltimore. The phone number is 410-685-2370. The museum, the SciLab and the Shed are open during the fall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Kids Room is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Beginning March 1, the center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, staff said Jan. 22, 2024. Starting July 1, the hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Fall hours resume on Labor Day.

The museum’s information on parking and directions is here. Briefly, the museum advises people to park in garages or surface lots, not on the street, because street parking is limited and fines are relatively high. It will validate parking for visitors who bring their parking ticket for the 414 Light Street garage ($12 for the day), the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Garage ($15 for the day) or the Federal Parking Garage (11 E. Lee St. $12 for the day). Vouchers can be picked up from the security desk. The closest designated metered spaces for vehicles with disability placards are on Key Highway, across from the museum. More information about Baltimore’s Project SPACE parking for people with disability placards is here.

Tickets can be purchased in person, online (as the museum recommended) or over the phone (410-545-5929). Tickets are $26.95 for people ages 13 to 61, $25.95 for adults at least 62 years old, $20.95 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for younger children. These general admission prices include the planetarium. Showtimes are first-come, first-serve. IMAX tickets are $5, after general admission.

Groups of at least 15 people can make reservations by calling 410-545-5929 or emailing this form to [email protected] four weeks in advance. Options are exhibit halls, planetarium and demo stage for $1 off general admission; exhibit halls, planetarium, demo stage and an IMAX film for $4 more per general admission; or $11 per person for an IMAX film.

Maryland schools can explore general exhibits for free. Non-Maryland schools receive a discounted rate. There must be one chaperone per 10 students.

Visitors can borrow wheelchairs, tactile toys, weighted lap covers and noise-reducing ear muffs. Some exhibits offer braille guides and large print scripts. To learn more, contact [email protected], 410-545-5885 or the manager on duty.

The museum does not have food service but the former cafe offers seating for people who bring food and drinks. There are vending machines.

Port Discovery Children’s Museum

The Port Children can take on the roles of a captain, sailor, navigator, engineer, stevedore or merchant on a life-sized ship as they learn how to sort, weigh and transport products and practice collaborating and solving problems.

Adventure Expeditions “As you explore the pharaoh’s lost tomb, you’ll learn about the unique history of the Egyptian civilization while you solve puzzles and decipher hieroglyphics. Pull your way across the water using the wooden raft. Or, see if you can jump from rock to rock without falling in. Don’t miss the secret passageway that leads through a winding walkway and leads to areas where you can use x-ray vision to explore artifacts and more.”

Wonders of Water Children can test what floats, use water to make music, create fountains and more as they grow in creativity, critical thinking and gross motor skills.

The sensory-friendly exhibits are Chessie’s Grotto, BGE Studio Workshop, Tot Trails, The Oasis, The Port and Wonders of Water.

Director of Marketing and Communications Sophie Shippe said Jan. 22, 2024, that the museum will be opening the new exhibits mentioned in a news release in the next five years, on a rolling basis. The Oasis exhibit will close after the museum finishes an exhibit that will replace it, which will likely be no sooner than January 2025.

The museum is at 35 Market Place in Baltimore. The phone number is 410-727-8120.

For the winter, the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Shippe said. It is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. In the summer the museum is open every day. The museum has not yet decided its hours for this spring, summer or fall.

Parking is available at the Harbor Park Garage, 55 Market Place. Typically, the garage offers discounted parking for museum visitors who pre-purchase them, here, or ask for parking validation. The discounted price is $15. More parking information is here. To contact the garage, email them at [email protected] or call 410-234-3631. Bus parking information is at BaltimoreParking.com, VisitBaltimore.org and Lazparking.com.

Museum tickets, which can be purchased here, are $23.95 for anyone who is at least 1 year old. Babies receive free admission. Maryland residents who present EBT/Independence Card or WIC ID can receive $3 per person admission for up to five people. Friday Fun Nights, from 4 to 7 p.m. May through August, are $12 per person. Military personnel and veterans receive free admission with ID. Spouses of those currently deployed also receive free admission. On Community Days, which occur on certain dates in October through May, admission is $10 per person. Group reservations are not permitted on those days, and advanced ticket purchases are recommended.

School field trip programs, which require at least 15 children, include Explor-A-Tours, which are available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and Open Exploration visits, which are designed for groups of 100 to 350 children, are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and certain additional dates. In-person field trips cost $10 per child at a Maryland Title 1 school, $15 per child at a non-Title 1 Maryland school and $18 per child for a non-Maryland school. Reservations must be made at least four weeks in advance. For more information on school group visits, click here.

All children must be accompanied by adults, and adults must be with children.

The museum has Sensory Friendly Mornings, which have limited admission and less sound and lighting, from 9 to 11 a.m. the third Sunday of each month. For 2024, the dates are Feb. 18, March 17, April 21, May 19 and June 23. Pre-registration is required, but no proof of qualification is necessary. Groups and organizations that serve children and families with disabilities can register for Access and Inclusion Afternoons, which are from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday. Contact Vice President of Learning, Visitor Experience and Community Engagement Rachel Demma at 410-864-2651 or [email protected] to learn more. More information about the museum’s accessibility and several scripted stories regarding the museum and its activities are available here.

Shippe said the Tuesday hours for school groups and special needs groups can be flexible if needed.

KID Museum

The museum, which is in Bethesda, is recommended for ages 4 to 14. General admission allows access to a robot tech arena, maker playground, 3D printing fabrication lab, mini maker activity area, woodworking studio, electronics studio, creative textile studio and more.

The museum is at 3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 140. The phone number is 301-941-4905. People should search for Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Ctr., 4805 Edgemoor Ln. Bethesda, MD to find it via GPS.

Parking is available in the Montgomery County garages 47 (7401 Waverly St.) and 49 (4641 Montgomery Ave.), which are free on weekends. More parking information is available on the Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s website, here.

People who need ADA-accessible parking can park in the 3 Bethesda Metro Center Parking Garage below the museum and should contact the front desk about parking validation at the end of their visit.

Bus parking for the metro center allows for two buses at a time. There is a free parking lot for cars at the Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd. The museum notes that bus drivers, who should park on the street after dropping people off at the museum, should not park too close to the corner of Bells Mill and Montauk Avenue, to avoid blocking the stop sign.

It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday for open exploration. It is open Monday through Friday by appointment for after-school visits, field trips and other scheduled visits. General admission is $15 per person for a two-hour visit for anyone who is at least 3 years old. It is best to buy tickets online, here, as tickets are limited for walk-up visitors.

Tickets are free for students who attend Title 1 schools, any student who receives free or reduced-price meals, EBT/SNAP/WIC card recipients, active/retired/reservist military personnel and educators. More information on discounts is here.

Group visits, which may be at the Davis Library or Bethesda Metro Center, are either 90-minute sessions or a series of one to four workshops, each facilitated by maker educators. Explorer visits are $16 per student, for a $400 minimum per field trip. K-12 schools can receive discounts for Explorer visits. Field trip chaperones or teachers receive free admission. Full payment is due one month in advance of the trip. Schools do not receive refunds for individual students who miss attending the trip. Explorer visits include makerspace activities and team challenges. The multi-sessions are two-hour workshops that are designed for kindergarten through second-grade students and third through fifth-grade students. The options are woodshop, textiles and sewing, electronics or coding and robotics. There is also a KID Inventors program, which can involve four field trips to the museum and six in-class lessons at school. More information is here.

The museum also has many free remote education project ideas, here. Children can investigate the challenges their favorite animal faces and design a solution to help protect it, remake an old toy or design a new Olympics event.

The museum does not sell food or beverages.

College Park Aviation Museum

Operations Manager Samantha Ferris said Jan. 16, 2024, that while the museum’s website is being updated, it provides an overview of the aircraft and collections. The museum has a Taylorcraft plane and helicopter children can sit in and an interactive flight school area that is designed for hands-on learning and play.

The museum, which is at 1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive in College Park, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The phone number is 301-864-6029. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for children (ages 2 to 17). With student ID, students’ admission is $2, Education Manager Kim Schwartz said Jan. 17, 2024.

Younger children receive free admission. All children must have adult supervision.

There is a free parking lot right in front of the museum, Ferris said.

Group tours are offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, according to a flier Ferris provided. Tours include interactive time in the flight school area and paper plane launcher instruction. The tour cost is $2 per student. One teacher or chaperone per 10 students receives free admission. Admission is $3 each for any additional chaperones. Outdoor picnic table areas are available upon request.

Tour options are the following:

Storybook, for ages 2 through second grade: “This tour presents students with a story that teaches lessons on following our dreams. Storytime followed by an abbreviated Changes in Transportation tour. Ask for more information on story offerings.”

Changes in Transportation, for second grade and older: “Students explore how aviation technology developed throughout the 20th century, focusing on the Wright Brothers, the inter-war period, and beyond to modern aircraft.”

The following are for third grade and older:

Women in Aviation, “Starting with Katharine Wright in 1903, women have always played an integral role in aviation history. This tour showcases the achievements of several great women and their connection to the College Park Airfield, while discussing the opportunities and challenges for women in aviation careers.”

Black Aviators, “This tour highlights just some of history’s Black aviators, from the legendary Eugene Bullard to local aviator Gus McLeod, and their impacts on aviation. Students also investigate the story of nearby Columbia Air Center, the first Black-owned, licensed airfield in the country.”

Women Airforce Service Pilots “This tour celebrates the WASP program of World War II. Students learn about the history of the program, local WASP Elaine Harmon, and the challenges these women faced during WWII and beyond.”

Airmail “This tour offers a unique perspective on the important figures and flights involved in Postal Service airmail deliveries, which originated at the College Park Airport. Students explore the history of airmail, its impact, and its legacy.”

Full-length tours with interactive time run about 90 minutes, Schwartz said.

The tours are available for groups of at least 10 people. and need to be reserved at least two weeks in advance, according to the website. Groups of more than 100 need to be scheduled over different time slots or days. To schedule a tour, contact the education department at 301-864-6029 or [email protected].

Trips can be modified for a variety of needs families with disabilities may require, according to Ferris. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission can provide, with advanced notice, services like assisted listening devices, large print/Braille and adapted equipment. More information is here.

Ocean City Life-Saving Station Museum

Students can learn about the cultural and natural history of the area and the U.S. Life-Saving Service’s work. A virtual tour is here.

Aquarium Room “Discover the wildlife that inhabits our ocean and coastal bays.” Animals include the horseshoe crab, the American eel and oyster toadfish. Included in paid admission, there is a program at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday from June through August. Visitors can watch staff feed aquarium animals at 10 a.m. Saturdays from July through Aug. 23.

“Students will get the chance to meet and learn about our animals on exhibit such as our seahorses, horseshoe crab, diamondback terrapin, and various native fish. This is an interactive program that includes an opportunity for students to touch some of our program animals. Allow 1-hour minimum for the tour.”

Sands from Around the World Sand samples come from Iceland, Russia, England, Australia and other countries.

The museum is at 813 S. Atlantic Ave. in Ocean City. The phone number is 410-289-4991.

The hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily May through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from November through April. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for people who are 12 to 18 years old or at least 62 years old. There is a $3 military discount. Children under age 12 receive free admission.

In Ocean City, paid parking is in effect from April through October, according to the city’s website, which lists pay rates for those months. In 2023, rates were $3 per hour for the Inlet Parking Lot and $2 per hour for street parking and other municipal lot parking Friday through Sunday from April 1 through May 25 and in October and free Monday through Thursday. From May 26 to Sept. 30, the daily rate was $3.50 per hour every day in the Inlet lot and $3 per hour for street parking and other municipal lot parking. On the Fourth of July, the rate was $5 per hour for the Inlet lot.

Schools and home school group tours are available for first through 12th grades weekdays and by appointment, which should be made at least two weeks in advance. Preschool groups can be accommodated from November through April, by appointment. The cost is $1 per student, per program, and $5 per chaperone.

No spiked high heels are allowed because the floors are delicate.