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The Original Playhouse Museum

The Original Playhouse Museum
4 West Main Street
New Market, MD 21774

The Original Playhouse is a children’s museum that encourages children to use their imaginations and learn through play. It is designed primarily for children ages 3-10 and offers an opportunity for cognitive and social growth. It is located in a charming 2-story house in the quaint downtown area of New Market, MD. It’s about a 40 minute drive north of Washington, DC but we discovered it is well worth the trip!

The museum has six different rooms, each with a different theme to promote various areas of learning. Here is what you need to know about each room:

Wonders of Water

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This is the first area that my girls were immediately drawn to once we arrived at the playhouse. They loved the large water table where they could experiment with various water toys. There are mini nets and fishing poles and an assortment of toys to use with discovering what floats and what sinks.

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Also, located in this room is a fun bubble station where the child can create a giant bubble surrounding their whole body. This was a big hit with Clara!

Engineerium Room

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This room is full of hands on equipment and toys designed to encourage the children to build, experiment, and solve problems. There are tools, legos, marble ramps, blocks, and magnetic toys all to help children discover how things work. My girls spent a lot of time building their own little city with wooden blocks.

Art Room

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Children can use their creativity and make their own masterpiece in the art studio. It is stocked with all kinds of art supplies including feathers, beads, tissue paper, googly eyes, markers, paint, and lots more. Each child receives tokens that are used to “pay” for their crafting materials and supplies. If your kids need a little guidance on where to start, there are ideas of projects to make hanging on the wall. Or they are free to come up with their own design. My girls loved making their craft and were excited to have something to take home with them.

Reader’s Theater

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The Reader’s Theater is a fun room where children can act out stories that are provided to them or make up their own. There is a wall full of costume and accessory options for both boys and girls – from princesses, to clowns, to superheroes. And lots of different props are available to help the children tell their story. In the corner of the room is a small stage where the children can perform. Clara and Mae are in the midst of the dress-up and imaginative play stage so we spent a lot of time in this room trying on costumes and acting out various characters.

Nature Nook

This room is filled with animal-centered activities. There are lots of stuffed animals and a veterinarian station where children can role play. In one corner of the room is a pet hamster that the kids enjoy observing.

Village Market and Home

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Children are transported to a foreign land in the Village Market and Home. The exhibits change regularly and are designed to teach children about different areas of our world. My girls loved shopping at the market and taking the food back to the village home next door to cook and eat.

Backyard Garden

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The last area to explore is the backyard garden. Children will enjoy the castle where they can continue their imaginary play. There is also a small bridge they can walk over and stop to look for the Koi fish in the pond below. There are a few other fun things to do in the backyard area: go down the slide next to the bridge, play in the sand box, explore the fairy garden, and try walking across the tight rope.

Good to Know:

• Admission: Adult $5, Toddlers 18 months – 2 years $5, Children ages 3 and up $10
• Hours: Sunday 11am-5pm, Closed Monday, Tuesday-Friday 8:30am – 4:00pm* (Wednesdays they close at 3:30), Saturday Open Only for Birthday Parties
• There is limited street parking in front of the museum. Additional parking is located behind the playhouse in the neighboring restaurant’s (Vintage) lot.
• It is a shoes-off playhouse, so bring your socks.
• Food and drinks are not allowed in the building.
• The playhouse strongly encourages a maximum ratio of 3 children per 1 adult.
• There is no reentry once you exit the playhouse, so save the backyard garden play area for last.

November 2015 – Monthly Roundup


Well, November went by in a flash. I really can’t believe I’m already recapping another month! I didn’t have much planned for November because I thought we would slow down a bit before all the holiday activities and events. But we ended up going on a bunch of spontaneous outdoor outings to make the most of the warm fall days.

Here is a recap of where our adventures took us this month. The Wizard of Oz playground at Watkins Regional Park was definitely a highlight for my girls. There is so much to do there it is worth the drive. We also went to a new (to us) children’s museum – The Original Playhouse Museum, which is the cutest place for children to use their imaginations. I’m sure we will visit again this winter when it’s too cold to play outside. We also went to one of my favorite holiday exhibits at the end of the month – Seasons Greetings at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Places we visited:

United States Botanic Gardenblog post from last year here
Ticonderoga Farms
Lake Frankblog post here
The Original Playhouse Museum
Bowl America Gaithersburg
Croydon Creek Nature Center
Locust Grove Nature Center
Tysons Corner Ice Rinkblog post here
Rockin’ Jump Gaithersburg
Brookside Gardens
Mobu Kids blog post here

Events we attended:

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party at Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and Acadamy
Hansel and Gretel at Encore Stage & Studioblog post here
“Meet the Animals” at Brookside Nature Center

Classes and camps we attended:

My Gym Potomac
FS Soccer
USTA Tennis – Pauline Betz Addie Tennis Center

Parks we played at:

Watkins Regional Park – A must-see Wizard of Oz themed playground
Rockville Civic Center Park
Hadley’s Playground – Potomac, MD #41 in a list of the top 50 playgrounds in the US
Cabin John Park – Bethesda, MD
Avenel Park – Potomac, MD

I hope you found some good ideas for your family in this month’s list. So much to look forward to this month. I’ve posted a lot of holiday events and activities on the calendar.   Happy December!

Also, I use instagram as my everyday blog and share a lot of photos from our adventures in my gallery. I’d love to have you follow along!

Instagram: capitol.momma

And I share more information and photos from our field trips and outings on facebook.