Port Discovery (museum)
History and museums
Port Discovery Children's Museum is a non-profit institution located in the historic Fish Market building in Baltimore, Maryland's Inner Harbor. It is 80,000 square feet and offers three floors of exhibits and programs designed to be interactive and hands on, allowing children to learn through play. It receives more than 265,000 visitors annually. The museum’s focus is on children ages birth through 10 and their caregivers.
The museum is served by the Baltimore Metro Subway's Shot Tower/Market Place station.
The original Baltimore Children’s Museum was a Baltimore City agency founded in 1976 and was originally housed in the Cloisters, a historic property located in Baltimore County. The property and structure were donated to the City and the Museum operated out of this location for nearly 20 years.
In 1990, the Baltimore Children’s Museum formed its own 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and merged with the Maryland Children’s Museum. The merged entity’s Board of Directors, along with Baltimore’s Mayor Kurt Schmoke, decided to relocate the museum to downtown Baltimore to reach a broader audience.
A 35-million dollar capital campaign, led by the Board of Directors, resulted in the renovation of Downtown’s historic Fish Market building, which became the new home to Port Discovery Children’s Museum in December 1998.
Port Discovery has served over 2.5 million visitors and ranks among the top Children's Museums in the U.S. by Parents Magazine.(2015) and Forbes (2012).
In 2009, Port Discovery received the MetLife Foundation and Association of Children's Museums Promising Practice Award for their partnership with PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs.
In January 2011, Port Discovery was designated as a “Good to Grow Museum” for promoting healthy living for families. They are one of six children’s museums out of 350 nationally and internationally to receive this designation. This national recognition comes from the Association of Children's Museums.