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The Port (Discovery) is OPEN! After a large construction project, the new Sky Climber in the middle of the museum is open. This new exhibit, along with The Port, replaces the old KidWorks climbing structure. Two climbing tunnels lead 4 stories up to the clouds for a thunder storm that can only be escaped by sliding down the super twirly (& fast!) 4 story slide. This exhibit is recommended for kids ages 5 and up, but there is Chessie’s Grotto below for the younger ones to explore under the water soft play area with Chessie the Chesapeake Bay Sea Monster. Perfectly in between the Sky Climber and Chessie’s Grotto is the S.S. Friend Ship at The Port. The Port is an interactive ship experience that allows kids to become the captain, sailors, navigators, engineers, stevedores and merchants. There is also The Overlook on the second floor which is great for kids who aren’t going on the Sky Climber.
While the kids always loved the KidWorks area, we found it difficult to keep track of kids with all the exits on different levels so we were not overly sad to see it go. The new Sky Climber still has exits on other levels, but most kids will climb up and slide down. Because it is up and then down there is less opportunity for the free playing that the KidWorks allowed. The slide is FAST and it loops around a few times so we like the 5+ age recommendation for most kids. There is more open floor space which we haven’t decided if we like or not. Did they leave room for more to come? Chessie’s Grotto is great because it is close enough to the Sky Climber that you can watch kids in both areas. The Port allows kids to work as Stevedores sending blocks up to be stacked before the horn sounds and the blocks fall every 15 minutes. This was a very popular area with our group.
In addition to the new exhibits the lobby and Box Office area, lunchroom, and Museum bathrooms were all updated. There is also a new nursing area and additional family seating throughout.
With all the new additions to the museum it could be easy to over look the exhibits that haven’t changed, but you shouldn’t! The Workshop, PD Presents, Fill’er Up Station, Kick it Up, Adventure Expeditions, The Oasis, Tot Trails, Wonder Widgets, Tiny’s Diner, Wonders of Water and Here We Grow are worth the price of admission. As always don’t forget to check out the Port Discovery Calendar for fun events.