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!
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!
We typically start our day at Newton’s Alley, and at the end of the day, my daughter wants to play some more!
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.
Younger kids will totally dig (pun intended) putting on the goggles and carefully digging for dinosaur bones!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
Kids will totally love striking a pose to burn their shadow onto the wall!
Space Link and Life Beyond Earth
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.
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.
And the tornado from the former terralink area is in Spacelink!
You- The Inside Story
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
There are tons of soft building blocks and building challenge posters. Kids will also love figuring out how to engineer a ball rolling funnel.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
Throughout the day in various areas of the museum there are pop up science encounters you won’t want to miss!
These are typically pretty simple experiments that are guided by the docents, and pretty interesting.
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
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.
FAQ/Know Before You Go:
Address: 601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230. Google Map Directions here!
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.
Admission Costs (as of 2023): $26.95 adults, $20.95 kids, $25.95 seniors. Add IMAX for an extra $5.
Hours: Check here for the most updated schedule. However, when the museum is open, the hours are typically 10am-4 or 5pm.
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.
There are plenty of exhibits that would engage toddlers and preschoolers, school-aged kids, tweens and teens, and adults!
Yes! The Maryland Science Center offers free admission for all credentialed Maryland teachers, when not visiting with a school group throughout the year.
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!
This new play area is literally right next to the Maryland Science Center. It’s a great play area and right on the water!
A very short walk down the Inner Harbor Promenade and you can walk onboard a historic Civil-War era ship, 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!
More Ideas for Fun Things to Do In Maryland With Kids!
- Ultimate Guide to Port Discovery Children’s Museum
- Best Maryland State Parks
- 50 Perfect Maryland Day Trips
- Indoor Playspaces in Maryland
- Best Playgrounds in Maryland!
- Easy Maryland Hikes for Families
- Ultimate Guide to The National Aquarium in Baltimore