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Thomas the Tank Engine Rolls into Port Discovery Children’s Museum

My girls and I have visited Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore a few times and always have so much fun! Washington, D.C. really doesn’t have anything like it, so it’s well worth the 45 minute drive just to visit the museum. Port Discovery is located right in the inner harbor so it’s also convenient to check out other places and explore the harbor area while you are there. It makes for a nice little day trip!

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Once we arrived at the museum, my girls had quite a bit of energy to burn after sitting in the car for a while. So they climbed around on the amazing three-story KidWorks treehouse. This is so great for cold or rainy days when kids need to get the sillies out.

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Then we headed up to the third floor to check out the new Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails exhibit. This is a visiting exhibit and will only be at the museum through May 7, 2017 so make sure to get there before it’s gone! Developed by the Minnesota Children’s Museum and based on the popular book and television series, the exhibition is designed to help kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math through play – while interacting with their favorite characters!

When we entered the exhibition space my girls first saw the life size Thomas the Train model and climbed aboard. The cab has levers and other moveable parts the kids can explore while they play conductor. There are even costumes the kids can wear!

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My girls especially loved the role play parts of the exhibit. There is a little ticket window with paper money and tickets to different destinations where we played for a long time.

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Behind the ticket window there are a few train cars the kids can climb into and pretend they are passengers on the train. There is also luggage and other goods they can use to help load and unload the train cars.

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On the opposite side of the exhibit is Thomas’s friend Percy. At this station the kids get to help fix Percy’s wobbly wheels. They can experiment with different size wheels, bolts, and rods to see what works to fix Percy.

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Just on the other side of Percy is a guide to Steamies, where children can learn all about how they work. To get Percy going, the kids can load coal and add water to the boiler.

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The exhibit also includes a large train table modeled after the island of Sodor. This was a very popular spot in the exhibit. The table is plenty big and had lots of trains so many children can play there together.

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The Thomas & Friends exhibit is so well designed with all of its interactive learning adventures. My girls played happily here for about an hour. It is definitely worth the trip if you have little ones who love trains. They will be thrilled with everything there is to do in this exhibit. After playing in the Thomas & Friends exhibit we explored all the other rooms in the museum. There is so much to do at Port Discovery, you can easily spend an entire afternoon here.

Good to Know:

• The exhibit is best for ages 2 to 7.
• Admission to Thomas & Friends is included with general admission tickets to Port Discovery. $14.95 for adults and children 2 and up, and free for Museum members.
• The best place to park is Harbor Park Garage – 55 Market Place. Ask for validation before leaving the museum to get a discounted price.
• Port Discovery is a stroller friendly museum.
• Food and drinks are prohibited in all exhibit areas, but there is a designated eating area available.
• There are also lots of different restaurant options right outside the museum where you can get lunch or dinner.

GIVEAWAY! I am excited to be giving away a family 4-pack of tickets to Port Discovery. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post. I’ll notify a winner on Monday, February 20th. Good luck!



Day Out with Thomas – B&O Railroad Museum

B&O Railroad Museum
901 W Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21223
www.borail.org

This was our first trip to the B&O Railroad Museum and also our first time attending the Day Out with Thomas event so we didn’t know what to expect. It turned out we were pleasantly surprised by the museum and my girls were thoroughly entertained with all the activities offered at the event.

BOsignWe first entered the Roundhouse which is a really striking building with all the American flags hanging above the historic trains.

BOroundhouse1We walked through the interactive train exhibits and then my girls spotted the Thomas themed train tables. There were lots of different train and lego tables set up for the children to enjoy. In this area, there is also a Choo-Choo Blue Train Depot that my girls had fun playing in and dressing up as train conductors.

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It was then time to board the train for our ride behind Thomas the Tank Engine.

BOThomasThis ended up being my girls least favorite part of the event. We waited on the train for about 10-15 minutes while everyone boarded. Then the train went on a very slow and not-so-scenic ride that lasted 25 minutes. It was just a little too long for them. They were anxious to get off the train and check out all the other activities.

BOclaraThe next thing that caught their eye was the carousel and another carnival type ride. It was nice that the lines for the rides were not long at all and did not cost extra.

BOride There were so many other fun things to do here including a train themed playground, crafts and tattoo stations, hay maze, and moon bounce. My girls especially loved the petting zoo that had 18 different types of animals.

The performance by Junk Rock was also a big hit with my girls. They were fascinated with watching them drum and dance and even joined in on the fun!

We spent three hours at the event, so my girls were pretty tired. There are so many fun activities that any younger child is sure to have a great time. My girls aren’t even huge fans of Thomas and loved it. I would definitely recommend this event to parents of toddlers and preschoolers.

On our way out, we stopped in the gift shop that was full of Thomas the Tank Engine merchandise. I let each girl pick out a toy and they were as happy as can be!

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Good to Know:

•Admission $21 per ticket for ages 2 and up.
•A few activities require an additional fee.
•Parking is free and secure.
•Food concessions offered throughout the event.
•Designated stroller parking available. Strollers are not permitted inside the train.
•Bathrooms with changing tables available in the museum.