A Family Outing: Port Discovery Children’s Museum

A few Saturdays ago, we visited the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore for the first time. It’s not the cheapest place to visit. Besides the entrance fee, you have to pay for parking.

Ticket prices vary. As of September 2016, general admission costs $14.95 for ages 2 and up, but they have specials. For example, military personnel receive $2 off general admission for themselves and up to 4 guests. Also, if you have an IKEA Family Card, you can get 50% off one general admission ticket.

If you park in the Harbor Park Garage, which is next to the museum, ask the staff in the museum to give you a discount card to reduce your parking price to $15. I did check on Parking Panda the day before, and I found cheaper garages, but they were a further walk to the museum. Drivers in Baltimore (actually, pretty much anywhere in Maryland) do not stop for pedestrians, even when they’re in crosswalks and even though it’s the law, so I did not want to walk any further with Little J than I had to!

We started on the top floor of the museum and worked our way down. The Wonders of Water play area (closed Tuesdays for maintenance) and Tiny’s Diner were probably Little J’s favorite places to play.

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Little J and Big J building a plumbing system at the Wonders of Water play area. The museum has Crocs (cleaned daily) for people to borrow for this exhibit if they want. They had rain jackets for the kids too.
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Tiny’s Diner has play food, pots, pans, and trays for kids to play with.

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The play food looks realistic!

I felt like the museum did a good job of catering to kids of almost all ages, from crawling infants to upper elementary ages. There were some areas that may appeal to middle school students (like the indoor soccer “stadium”), but I think they’d be a bit old for most of the exhibits.

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In the Adventure Expeditions, you can wander around in 1920’s Egypt, decipher hieroglyphics and more.

The museum also has a quiet room called The Oasis. I think this is a great place for kids who are overwhelmed by all of the busyness in the museum. There’s even a nursing room inside of The Oasis!

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The Oasis has quiet toys, lots of books and places to sit and relax.
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There’s a Nursing Station in The Oasis too! You have to duck down a little to get into it. There are windows between the room and the rest of The Oasis, so moms can nurse their little ones and still keep an eye on older kids.

The pictures in this post were on my iPhone, but once I eventually get picture off my Nikon, I’ll put up another post with more photos. That post will include photos of Tot Trails, which is the more infant-friendly area, and BGE Studio Workshop, the craft area.

Something I really liked about the museum, they don’t let adults in unless the adult is accompanying a child. Also, the adults will have the same wristband code as the child or children. Before you can walk out of the facility with a child, security will match the child’s wrist band with yours.

We spent a few hours there, and Little J still wasn’t able to do everything, so I think it’s feasible to spend an entire day. They don’t sell food there, but they do have a sitting area where you can eat food you brought with you. You can also leave the museum to eat at one of the numerous restaurants within walking distance, and you’ll be allowed back into the museum with your wrist band.

Bottom line- our whole family had fun, and we’d do it again!

What fun places did you visit this summer?

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Review: My Hikes (solution to those too-long baby/toddler pants!)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

As a cloth diapering family, there are certain challenges we face, notably the “cloth diaper booty.” Maybe there’s another popular term for this errr problem, but cloth diaper booty is what I call it, anyway! Baby J is quite skinny, but because of his stuffed cloth diapers, his bum always needs to be in a larger size of pants than he would normally wear. But if the pants fit in the bum, they’re usually too long. I usually roll the pants legs up, but they’re forever coming back down. Toddlers play hard, you know?

I was given the opportunity to receive a complimentary set of My Hikes. As colorful pant cuff fasteners, My Hikes allow you to easily transition your child to the next size of pants, even if they’re still too long. These simple accessories allow children to get more wear out of their clothes or wear brands that are typically a little long. Stepping on the heels of their pants will cause your kids’ clothes to wear out sooner, and cuffing them…well, do their cuffs stay up? Baby J’s don’t, and neither do mine (yes, adults can wear My Hikes too).

My Hikes pants cuffs fasteners. Find out more on My Life: A Work in Progress

Don’t forget to take your My Hikes off before putting clothes in the wash! I forgot. You’re supposed to clean them by hand, but Baby J’s My Hikes did survive a cycle through the wash on cold and permanent press. They didn’t go through the dryer though. Since then I’ve remembered to take them off.

Over time, the My Hikes do start to slip off my son’s pants. Update: He had My Hikes on his sweatpants all afternoon, and they stayed completely put. I’m not sure why they slide a little bit sometimes and other times they don’t. They’ve never come all the way off, but they’ll come about half way off (they still work at this point), then I refasten them. I attribute this to both the material in his pants and how hard he plays (rolling around, crawling, climbing, etc.).

My Hikes pants cuffs fasteners. Find out more on My Life: A Work in Progress
I chose the “Dump Truck” design because at that time, Baby J was really into trucks. I like the design; it’s cute and three dimensional. I have to put his My Hikes towards the back of his pants and put them on when he’s not paying attention. If he sees them, he tries to pull them off!

In the photo below, Baby J is actually wearing a disposable diaper. We were out of town for Thanksgiving, and although sometimes we do cloth diaper on trips, I was trying to take as little luggage as possible. Well, with a now-flat bum, all of his pants were suddenly sagging and too long, even if they fit before! We used his My Hikes for most of the trip.

My Hikes pants cuffs fasteners. Find out more on My Life: A Work in Progress
Baby J wearing My Hikes with Grandma at Mall of America

The princess design is sold out, but My Hikes still sells the train, dump truck, butterfly, flower, soccer, and baseball.

Overall I’m pleased with how well they work, and will probably be buying the train set of My Hikes. I was forever rolling up Baby J’s pant cuffs, and these aren’t nearly as much work!

To see My Hikes in action, watch this video:

You can purchase My Hikes on (affiliate link>) Amazon for $11.99 a set (free shipping). Do a quick search to see more options. Or purchase My Hikes from their website. Use coupon code MyHikes40off  to get 40% off (bringing the website price down to $11.99 as well).

My Hikes pants cuffs fasteners. Find out more on My Life: A Work in Progress

 

Visit My Hikes at the links below: 

My Hikes online | My Hikes on Facebook

Which is your favorite My Hikes style?

 

Note: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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Giveaway: Naturalmat and Tortle (ARV $420)

This blog was not compensated for this post.

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This is Sponsored by Naturalmat USA and Tortle – Hosted by: It’s Peachy Keen

“I have a great pair of products for one lucky winner out there. Both are wonderful and really great for our kids. Having a baby, whether it’s your first or 6th, we still all want the best for them. Here are a few to take a look at and get to know a little better.” -Peachy Keen

The Naturalmat Mattress Collection:

* Spring Mat-Dual Support mattress, ideal from newborn to older babies ($499)-NEW!

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Twin Latex Mat ($849)

Top Mat: Organic overlay turns a regular crib into an organic one! ($135)

Organic Fitted Sheets: Soft and breathable pure organic cotton crib sheets. Available in crisp cotton percale ($45) and soft flannelette ($46)

Organic Mattress Protectors: Breathable waterproof organic crib mattress protector designed to provide the best level of comfort for baby and the best protection for a Naturalmat mattress. ($70)

The Naturalmat Collection is available at www.naturalmatusa.com. Visit the website for a full list of Naturalmat retailers.

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Company Information:

* Co-founded in 2000 by Mark Tremlett and Peter Tindall

* Founded with the aim of helping babies and children sleep safely and comfortably in the best, most natural environment possible.

* European Headquarters: London, England; U.S. offices in Newark, New Jersey

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About Tortle

What is a Tortle?

A cost-effective, stylish and comfy beanie for baby specifically designed to help prevent positional plagiocephaly and torticollis, or flat head syndrome. Tortle encourages a healthy range of head motion while keeping baby’s head from flattening. Tortle can be worn whenever the infant is supervised and resting in a crib, car seat, bouncer, swing or stroller. Available in Classic White, Sweet Pink Flowers and Whimsical Blue Elephants, solid Pink and Blue and now in stripes Always more designs being added so be sure to check them out!

* Machine washable, lightweight knit beanie (95% cotton/5% spandex)

* Three sizes to fit infants up to 20 pounds

o S 0-2 months / 5-10 lbs

o M 2-4 months / 10-15 lbs

o L 4-6 months / 15-20 lbs

Most helpful when used from birth until the infant is sitting up and no longer sleeping most hours of the day or night. FDA-cleared patented Class 1 medical device that easily travels with baby. Recommended retail price of $19.99. Available at buybuy BABY stores, www.buybuybaby.com, www.tortle.com and at specialty juvenile product stores nationwide

Why is Tortle Important?

Every infant is at risk of developing Flathead Syndrome-prevention is key. If parents do not actively reposition the infant’s head from side to side, positional plagiocephaly and/or torticollis progress rapidly – many infants already have a significant problem by 2 months of age. Incidence of plagiocephaly is increasing and now affects nearly 48% or 1 out of 2 babies by the age of 5 months. Premature infants with prolonged hospital stays, and multiples (twins or triplets) are at particular risk unless nursing staff address the problem. Medical treatments to correct the condition include physical therapy and custom helmets and may exceed $5,000 in cost.

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Company Information

*Founded in 2012 by Dr. Jane Scott, board certified pediatrician and neonatologist.

* Headquarters in Denver, Colo.

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