Our family loves trains; my boys are bouncing off the tracks about Thomas coming to town! Did you know that Port Discovery is welcoming a new traveling exhibit this January featuring- Thomas and Friends: Explore the Rails to their museum? I’m thrilled that this exhibit highlights STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills staring everyone favorite #1 engineer.

The world’s favorite blue engine and his engine friends will roll into Port Discovery Children’s Museum this January. Thomas & Friends TM: Explore the Rails, is an interactive exhibit created by Minnesota Children’s Museum and inspired by the popular children’s series Thomas and Friends. Thomas will make his big appearance into Baltimore on January 21, 2017 and stay for a little over three months.

Young conductors can go full steam ahead with the interactive learning adventures in this popular exhibit, as they explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts designed to engage children, ages 2 through 7 years.  “This is an exceptional exhibit. I’m proud that Port Discovery is able to give children in our region access to thoughtfully designed, interactive experiences like the Thomas exhibit. It broadens their exposure to STEM learning and helps them associate subjects like math and science with fun and play, which predisposes them to enjoy these subjects as they grow,” says Port Discovery Children’s Museum President & CEO Bryn Parchman.

With over 1,500 square foot to explore guests young and old will delight as they find themselves surrounded by the Island of Sodor’s iconic locations: Knapford Station, Sodor Steamworks and much more. In the exhibit, children help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, from a simple sorting and shape identification activity to more complex engineering obstacles, such as completing a train track using track pieces with different levels of elevation. As children confront new challenges and test their abilities, the smiling faces of Thomas, Percy, Victor and others are there to offer encouragement and remind children how “Really Useful” we all are.

Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails brings to life kids’ favorite characters and destinations from the Island of Sodor in a fun and educational way,” said Julie Freeland, Senior Director, The Americas, HIT Entertainment.

Admission to Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails is included with each general admission ticket. General admission is $14.95 for adults and children ages 2 and up and free for Museum members. The Thomas & Friends exhibit is locally sponsored by CSX and M&T Bank.

For more information about the exhibit at Port Discovery, please visit  For information about the overall Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails tour, visit:

Inside the Exhibit:

  • Climb into Thomas’ cab and explore the engine’s inner workings. Flip levers and investigate other moveable parts that trigger train noises such as braking, whistles and steam.
  • Fix Percy’s wobbly wheel by removing and replacing parts and experimenting to find a combination of wheels, rods and bolts that work.
  • Explore the favorite Island of Sodor destinations including: Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks and the Sodor Search & Rescue Station on an over-sized Thomas Wooden Railway train table.
  • Work with friends loading luggage, livestock and other freight into the coaches of two train cars.
  • Collaborate with others to get Percy moving by loading coal into his coal box and filling his tank with water from a water tower.
  • Suit up as the conductor to exchange money and sell tickets to visitors taking a ride on the train.
  • Wander through a Thomas & Friends retrospective featuring model engines from the original live action series produced in London, copies of the original drawings and manuscripts from the Rev. W. Awdry, the creator of Thomas & Friends, and a collection of memorabilia documenting the history and evolution of Thomas & Friends through books, television, and toys.


About Port Discovery

As the premier children’s museum in the mid-Atlantic, Port Discovery Children’s Museum educates children and inspires life-long curiosity. Our play-to-learn philosophy opens the door for children to discover and explore the world around them and to lead smarter, healthier, more engaged lives. The Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution, offers 3 floors of educational, interactive exhibits and programs and is ranked among the Top 10 Children’s Museums in the United States by Fodor’s Travel, Forbes and Parents Magazine. Port Discovery has served over 4.8 million visitors to date.



35 Market Place

Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: 410.727.8120