The Ultimate Guide to the Maryland Science Center

maryland science center

The Maryland Science Center is a super fun attraction that anchors Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Check out this ultimate guide to find out why!

One of the anchors of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is the Maryland Science Center. This is a world class Science museum that literally everyone in your family will love. We typically spend almost the entire day here with our daughter and have enjoyed the museum since she was 2 (she over 10 now). The museum really does evolve and grow with your kids!

Check out this ultimate guide to the Maryland Science Center for an overview of everything they have to offer, plus tips on how to make a great day trip out of your experience!

Newton’s Alley

This is one of the most fun areas of the Science Center with activities that appeal to kids and adults of all ages. You can try to lift yourself up while seated, play a harp with no strings, make a cloud, and a dozen more physics related experiments. One of our favorite activities here is the Rube Goldberg contraption!

maryland science center

We typically start our day at Newton’s Alley, and at the end of the day, my daughter wants to play some more!

maryland science center

Dinosaur Mysteries

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? This larger than life exhibit hall definitely has the ‘wow!’ factor. Not only can you see how large dinosaurs were, there are loads of hands on exhibits to appeal to a range of ages. 

For kids who are a little older, there are loads of dinosaur facts, prehistoric science, and real life dinosaur fossils.

maryland science center

Younger kids will totally dig (pun intended) putting on the goggles and carefully digging for dinosaur bones!

maryland science center

Kid’s Room

Kids under 7 years old have their own super fun kids room! A few years ago the water area went through a massive renovation and– even though it was great before, it’s even better now! I can’t tell you how many times my daughter has played in this area for up to an hour.. completely immersed in water play.

The rest of the Kid’s Room is super fun too. I mean, the entire room is one giant hands on play space!

maryland science center

There is a boat replica with a submarine play space under it. There are LEGO activities, magnet building, other engineering and building activities, dress up, and more!

maryland science center

The area is closed off from the rest of the science center so younger kids can’t wander off without you having to worry about them.

maryland science center

Power Up and Math in Nature

Tons of hands on activities to teach you how electricity works and how mathematical nature actually is!

This is an evolving exhibit area and every time we visit there are new ways to learn. Some of the exhibits from the former terra link (earth science area) are currently in this space (as of spring 2022), and the views of the Inner Harbor are fabulous!

maryland science center

Science Aglow

Science Aglow is one of the newer areas of the Science Center. The entire exhibit is about how light works. Practice shadow puppets and gaze into an infinity mirror.

maryland science center

Kids will totally love striking a pose to burn their shadow onto the wall!

Anyone who is a budding astronaut or who is just fascinated with space will love this outer space area of the science center. There are space and astronaut-themed toys and activities, as well as some interactive games about the planets and their moons. 

maryland science center

Pre-COVID there were astronaut clothing items to try on. I am not sure if they will return, but there are still some hands on activities here.

maryland science center

And the tornado from the former terralink area is in Spacelink!

maryland science center

You- The Inside Story

maryland science center

This is an older exhibit that recently got a HUGE upgrade. We all played here about as long as Newton’s Alley. There are so many contests and activities. Try to balance on a balance board, test your strength by hanging from a bar, and more!

maryland science center

And don’t forget the Science Center favorite bed of nails! They added more fantastic exhibit activities like a giant Operation game, optical illusions, and experiments that test your smell and taste.

maryland science center

There is an optical illusions room your kids will have a blast running around in. And there are super interactive exhibits like this massive Operation-like game/activity.

maryland science center

And this area is a great example of an exhibit space where both younger and older kids would have fun and be engaged. Check out these activities. There are tons of activities like this where you have to figure out a puzzle or solve a problem.

maryland science center

Science and Main

Science and Main is a fun area that explores where science and engineering meet every day life. Kids can make paper airplanes and then try them out!

maryland science center

There are tons of soft building blocks and building challenge posters. Kids will also love figuring out how to engineer a ball rolling funnel.

The Shed

One of the great activities for kids age 8 and up is The Shed. This space on the 3rd floor is all about hands on engineering challenges.

maryland science center

The activities rotate and we have built cardboard houses, cars that drive slowly, mirrored art projects, and more. Some of the projects are fairly simple, but others are actually pretty involved. Parents will love to build along with the kids!

maryland science center


The other main area for older kids (grade 3 and up) is SciLab. Typically there are 5 relatively simple experiments that walk visitors through projects exploring polymers, cells, chemistry basics, and more!

maryland science center

None of the experiments are difficult or messy. But kids will really dig seeing how different chemical interact. Plus, they are encouraged to use scientific method to observe, make a hypotheses, and test it!

maryland science center

Planetarium and IMAX

Planetarium shows are included in the admission cost and the Science Center typically offers a few different shows, appealing to younger kids, as well as older kids and adults. 

maryland science center

The Maryland Science Center is also home to an IMAX theater. Typically there are 2-3 different IMAX movies showing every day the museum is open. The cost is only $5/ticket so this upgrade won’t break the bank.

Science Encounters

Throughout the day in various areas of the museum there are pop up science encounters you won’t want to miss!

maryland science center

These are typically pretty simple experiments that are guided by the docents, and pretty interesting.

maryland science center

Of course, the Maryland Science Center is not afraid of going big either! Check the calendar for special events and demonstrations. We have seen watermelons explode, a cannon that shoots ping ping balls, and more!

Clark Telescope and Observatory

maryland science center

Definitely check the schedule and plan a visit for when the Clark Telescope and Observatory are open. This is a really unique experience on the roof of the science center! Specific activities rotate but generally you will get a chance to see the sun, stars, and other planets. 

maryland science center

FAQ/Know Before You Go:

What is the address of the Maryland Science Center?

Address: 601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230. Google Map Directions here!

Where do you park for the Maryland Science Center?

You can find street parking near Federal Hill. But if you don’t want to drive around looking for a spot, there are numerous parking garages in the vicinity. Charles Light Parking Garage and Harbor Court Garage both offer parking validation for Science Center guests. 

How much does it cost to visit the Maryland Science Center?

Admission Costs (as of 2023): $26.95 adults, $20.95 kids, $25.95 seniors. Add IMAX for an extra $5.

When is the Maryland Science Center open?

Hours: Check here for the most updated schedule. However, when the museum is open, the hours are typically 10am-4 or 5pm.

What are the food options at the Maryland Science Center?

The Elements Cafe is open for you to bring your own food. However, the Maryland Science Center has discontinued food service as of 2023. The nearest restaurants are the Rusty Scupper or walking down the Inner Harbor promenade to Harbor Place. There are also some great options in the Federal Hill area.

What ages is the Maryland Science Center for?

There are plenty of exhibits that would engage toddlers and preschoolers, school-aged kids, tweens and teens, and adults!

Do teachers get into the Maryland Science Center for free?

Yes! The Maryland Science Center offers free admission for all credentialed Maryland teachers, when not visiting with a school group throughout the year.

maryland science center

Make a Day of It!

Here are some attractions that are very close to the Maryland Science Center and would make an excellent day trip!

Rash Field

This new play area is literally right next to the Maryland Science Center. It’s a great play area and right on the water!

rash field

USS Constellation

A very short walk down the Inner Harbor Promenade and you can walk onboard a historic Civil-War era ship, the USS Constellation. 

guide to the uss constellation


A quirky but super fun for kids art museum that is less than 5 minutes from the Science Center. Don’t forget to find the flatulence post. Your kids will love it!

american visionary art museum

More Ideas for Fun Things to Do In Maryland With Kids!

Pin for Later!

maryland science center

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