It start with a Living Social deal posted by my friend Cara. Super discounted tickets to the local children’s museum, Port Discovery, in downtown Baltimore or a greatly reduced membership rate. In the back of my mind, I heard Evan last summer ask repeatedly to go to Port Discovery, which we did. A few times.
So when the opportunity arose, especially in my quest to have a more engaging summer with Evan, I jumped at the chance to buy a membership. Not only did the membership support the local institution, but it also gave me the opportunity to head there whenever Evan begged to go.
But the trip didn’t turn out exactly as planned.
We started the day with a lunch date planned with Cara and her daughter, Sophie: meet at the Hard Rock Cafe at Power Plant Live!, an old power plant converted to an entertainment and dining spot. There are about a million parking garages close to the Power Plant and Port Discovery (all within walking distance) and yet, with my Best Parking app, I had to find the very, very cheapest parking.
I turned down Baltimore Street to get to my out-of-the-way parking garage, only later to find out that I was driving down what Cara referred to as “The Block.”
If you look closely, you’ll see Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club. Yeah. My parking garage was on a side street just past that. But at least it gave Evan a chance to see and ask about a place called Club Pussycat. I quickly changed the subject as I focused on parking without hitting a concrete barrier this time.
We finally arrived at the Hard Rock Cafe only 20 minutes late! (As Cara can attest, this is actually good for me!). After a mediocre, overpriced meal, we sat and watched a few videos, schooled the kids on some music, and headed off on our day of adventure.
We all commented at lunch how Evan’s front tooth looked like it was ready for a rapid departure from his mouth.
You wouldn’t know if from this picture but it was hot as Hades that day in the Inner Harbor.
After a short stroll only two blocks or so away, we arrived at… THE FOUNTAIN!
Actually, this was nothing more than a random fountain but you get kids on a hot day and a fountain looks like the best thing since sliced bread. Admittedly, I was ready to jump in that fountain at this point.
But we soldiered on just a few feet more until we hit our destination.
Upon entering the museum, the first thing you’ll notice is… CHAOS!
The kids are immediately drawn to a giant three story play structure, KidWorks, right in the center of the museum. Full of ropes, ladders, slides, and tunnels, it’s an insurance adjuster’s worst nightmare. As for parents, be prepared to lose your kid in there somewhere. Just make sure you make a mental note of what they’re wearing and be prepared to go up and down the stairs several times in hopes of catching a glimpse of them in the middle of this chaos.
If you’re lucky, you’ll hear your child call out to you asking how the heck they get out of this.
But it’s more than just scary active fun. We toured the Adventure Expeditions and got to x-ray a mummy. We even wrote our names in hieroglyphics!
The best I can tell, my name is written roughly: slug, bird, bean, rock, bird. Now you now.
We spent time in the Wonders of Water exhibit where we surprisingly didn’t get wet (but probably wouldn’t have minded if we did).
Evan discovered that he had no interest in making a career out of window washing but found that some of the other kids there were very excited about the prospect.
Hands down, though, our favorite part of the museum (mine too) is the giant bubble maker. You can actually make a bubble around yourself!
In fact, I jumped at the chance to school a lot of the other kids there on exactly how to do it for maximum bubblage.
We headed down and the kids played a quick game of indoor soccer (yes, my kid played soccer) and a make-your-own-ocean craft.
But after a day of lots of kids and lots of NOISE, I informed Cara that I required either a glass of wine or ice cream. So with the kids in tow, we made the more age-appropriate choice and had ice cream cones that melted faster than we could eat them.
It was a full day. It was a fun day. But true to the musuem name, Port Discovery, I made two discoveries that day.
1. At 7 years old, Evan is quickly approaching the age limit for maximum museum fun. Where’d my baby go?
2. As we suspected, Evan’s front tooth was very loose and after a day of activity, it decided to take it’s leave.
How did you make the most of summer with your kids this week?