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 such activities 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 a few small shrubs and trees. Each plant has an animal or insect in its common name, such as dogwood or elephant’s ear.
Home Port is the Museum’s family activity center located in the P.R. Mallory Building. It is intended to primarily serve children ages 8-12 with a variety of crafts and amusements–many of which have been offered before and have been brought back due to popular demand.
Set in a warm and inviting room that harkens back to the Victorian Era, Home Port invites families to come and spend quality time together.
Children can explore their artistic side at the drawing station, configured to look like a lighthouse. Instructions and materials are provided and each child can choose to draw a boat, water, or the sky. There is a puppet playhouse where children may perform their own shows for the audience, a selection of traditional games to play such as board games or Skittles, a craft table that will feature a variety of different projects, and a parlor area for some quiet reading.
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 the reading of a good story as they look over the bow as it appears to sail off into the night.
Please inquire at the gate as to accessibility and hours.
TOY BOAT BUILDING
Closed for the season.
Have your child try their hand at building their very own toy boat souvenir. Starting with a basic wooden hull, the young boat builder can choose from a wide selection of additional parts, flags, and sails. The limitation is only what they can imagine!
This activity is supervised by Museum staff and all materials are provided. There is a small fee.
Closed for the Season
Open seasonally, the Discovery Barn is designed for families and school groups. themed around the schooner L.A. Dunton, it explores the scientific principles behind a ship’s sail power, stability, hull shape, and the simples machines behind running it.
Here, parents and kids can explore the the exhibit Force in Motion at Sea through computer displays and other hands-on activities that provide interactive scientific learning experiences. Children learn about the physics of simple machines in an entertaining and fun manner, using block and tackle to lift themselves up with pulley power; using sails for speed; steering a vessel; keeping stable at sea; loading the fish; understanding pitch, roll. and yaw; and reading the flags. It’s all done in the context of showing how the Dunton sails, moves, floats, and carries out its work at sea.
Climb aboard some small additions to our fleet–a sailing ship, tug boat, and fishing dragger. Don’t worry, none of these boats float in the water. They’re all playscapes, designed just for kids to explore.
The playscape area is surrounded by mulch for safety and is located just across from the Planetarium. Relax on a bench while watching your children play and enjoy lunch at the picnic table.