Family fun

Explore your nautical interests by playing a 19th-century game, designing and building your own toy boat, or visiting Treworgy Planetarium to follow the stars. Visit the Funk Children’s Museum, Home Port activity center, Discovery Barn, and the Ships Playscapes for daily family fun.


The Susan Stucke Funk Children’s Museum provides a hands-on environment for children and their parents. Here, young visitors through age 7 can engage in activities such as swabbing the deck, moving cargo, cooking in the galley, dressing in sailors’ garb, and trying out sailors’ bunks. There is a toy and game area as well as a free story time throughout the year.

A colorful children’s zoo garden is located outside the building, planted with annuals, perennials, and small shrubs and trees. Each plant has an animal or insect in its common name, such as dogwood or elephant’s ear.


Open weekends only.

Open seasonally, the Discovery Barn is designed for families and school groups. Themed around the schooner L. A. Dunton, scientific principles behind a ship’s sail power, stability, hull shape, and simple machines that run the vessel are explored.

Here, parents and children can explore the exhibit Force in Motion at Sea through computer displays and other hands-on activities that provide interactive scientific learning experiences. Children learn the physics of simple machines in an entertaining and fun manner. Using block and tackle they lift themselves up with pulley power. They explore using sails for speed; steering a vessel; keeping the vessel stable at sea; loading fish; understanding the motions of pitch, roll, and yaw; and reading the flags—all done in the context of how the Dunton sails, moves, floats, and carries out its work at sea. 


Home Port is the Museum’s family activity center located in the P. R. Mallory Building. It is primarily intended to serve children ages 8-12 with a variety of crafts and amusements.

Set in a warm and inviting room that harkens back to the Victorian Era, Home Port invites families to spend quality time together while children explore their artistic side at the drawing station, configured to look like a lighthouse, perform their own shows in the puppet playhouse, play a selection of traditional games such as board games or Skittles, make a craft, or read quietly in the parlor.

A highlight of the room is a story nook shaped like the prow of a boat. Benches on either side provide seats for children to enjoy a good story while peering over the bow as the boat appears to sail off into the night.


The Ships Playscape gives children a chance to climb aboard the small additions to our fleet—a sailing ship, tug boat, and fishing dragger—designed just for kids to explore. Located across from the Treworgy Planetarium, the playscape is surrounded by mulch for safety. A picnic table is available for lunches, and restrooms, a water fountain, and a water bottle refill station are also on the perimeter of the area. A great spot to take a break or for children to burn off some energy while parents and caregivers relax on the surrounding benches!


Open weekends only.

Visit the Toy Boat Workshop where children may build their very own toy boat souvenir. Starting with a basic wooden hull, young boat builders choose from a wide selection of additional parts, flags, and sails. Builders are limited only by their imagination!

This activity is supervised by Museum staff and all materials are provided. There is a small fee. 


Participate in the daily 30-minute shows at the Treworgy Planetarium, each one a live program delivered by a dynamic member of the Planetarium staff. You will be immersed in the night sky, and the constellations will guide you on an unforgettable journey through the galaxy to discover how voyagers were able to navigate without tools or technology. By using clues from the natural world, and by memorizing the ways in which stars traverse the sky, seafarers could cross vast expanses of ocean. Come see the sun, moon, planets, and stars like you’ve never seen them before!

There is small fee for each show.