25 Silopanno Rd
Annapolis, MD 21403
25 Silopanna Rd
Annapolis, MD 21403
|Sunday - Tuesday, Thursday - Saturday||10 AM - 4 PM|
Wednesdays are reserved for groups of 10 or more. Groups may also make reservations at other times.
Ages 1 and up: $4
The mission of Chesapeake Children's Museum is to create an environment of discovery about oneself, the peoples, the technologies, and the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay area for all our children and for the children in us all.
A Grassroots Beginning:
The first meeting was June 28, 1992. Debbie Wood placed an announcement in Chesapeake Family Magazine (then Chesapeake Children) and The Capital newspaper to invite those interested to discuss the possibility of creating a hands-on museum for children in the Annapolis area. There were at least twenty phone call responses. Over the next two years the group met monthly, planning and facilitating hands-on activities for children and families at their own and other groups’ community events. The first was a Back to School Fair, co-sponsored by the Broadneck Jaycees and the Arundel-Bowie Association for the Education of Young Children and held at Anne Arundel Community College. The theme was tied to a 500th historical anniversary – “Where in the World is Christopher Columbus?” Over the next two years there were about 20 more community events including the Quiet Waters Park Earth Day Celebration, the Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival, and the Maryland Seafood Festival, through which the group spread the message about starting a museum, brought on more volunteers and developed hands-on activities.
The WYRE Building:
The recently vacated WYRE building - owned by the City of Annapolis - was suggested as a refuge. The Youth Services Bureau had just moved out to newly refurbished digs at the Stanton Center. The 50-year old building, surrounded by 5 1/4 acres of city-owned parkland at the head of Spa Creek, was certainly usable for the museum's purposes. With the encouragement of the mayor and support from some City Council members, a lease arrangement was pursued. An inspection by the city's Permits office revealed numerous code deficiencies (including the need for a sprinkler system). These needs had to be corrected before the museum could open, so a long-term lease became an obvious requirement to attract the investment of funds and manpower to fix up the place as a lasting home for the museum. In June 2001, a long term lease was approved. Building improvements and maintenance are the responsibility of CCM in lieu of rent. The lease is up for renewal every 5 years. After 8 months of renovations, our doors opened to the public in November 2002.
The Present and Beyond:
Thanks to a Maryland state bond bill, CCM is planning an expansion to add more group activity space on the lower level. A nature observation deck – with a habitat for an injured owl – is being planned for the back of the building. Matching funds and manpower are needed to move this along.
CCM is approved for Community Investment Tax Credits – through December 2012. For a donation of $500 or more – including materials for the renovations – an individual or business can claim 50% back on any income tax due to Maryland – that’s IN ADDITION to the regular deductions on state or IRS taxes for a charitable contribution.
Exhibit spaces within the museum:
- Bay Window Live animals are the highlight of this exhibit. Aquatic and land-living creatures represent regional wildlife, providing firsthand observations of their habits and habitats.
- Watermen Visitors climb aboard a ten-foot boat and dock to act out their own watermen scenes. Props (life jackets, nets, plush crabs and fish) add to the realism of the exhibit.
- Hard Hats This exhibit demonstrates concepts in construction and transportation. Toddlers adore the wooden train table, just at their height. Preschoolers make buildings and towns with the block sets, often with help from their grown ups.
- Body Works A seven-foot replica of the human body, Stuffee, has an open chest providing access to his internal organs. A real dental chair lets children take on the role of dentist or hygienist as they practice on their patients
- Express Yourself This is a "help yourself" visual art workspace. Visitors can avail themselves of creative materials to make original works of art. Materials stress recycling, with wallpaper sample books, egg cartons, cardboard tubes, and cast-offs from local businesses.
- Center Stage Theatrical costumes and seating for an admiring audience bring out the star quality is us all. Impromptu musical and dramatic productions occur on an ongoing basis.
- Around the World Visitors can visit a home in Colombia. Shop in the market place. Bring rainforest puppets to life. Say hello our red-tailed boa constrictors.
- Everything Under the Sun NASA helped to design a "catch all" exhibit for learning about the earth and our nearest star. Graphics inform visitors about sun safety, the food chain, solar activity and ancient calendars.
•Outdoor Classroom Graceful dogwoods and redbuds surround an amphitheater of toad stools and a slate labyrinth.
• Garden Spaces Tending the gardens is an ongoing process, sometimes part of a program or group visit. Each April the park is refreshed by GreenScape – a City-sponsored effort to refresh public green spaces.
•Nature Trail The short trail traverses woodlands and wetlands at the head of Spa Creek. Pick up a free brochure describing the Native American uses of plants to be found here, courtesy of Junior Girl Scout troop 1716 from Ellicott City, Maryland.
•Underground Railroad Trail Numbered posts lead the way through 12 stops that teach us how runaway slaves depended on nature on their quest for freedom. The posts and corresponding trail guide were created as a Girl Scout Gold Award by Elizabeth Gilliland of Arnold, Maryland.
CCM Workshops To Go
Instead of arranging a field trip, you can have the museum come to you! Call or email to inquire about workshops for your class, youth group, birthday party or community event. Telephone: 410-990-1993 or email: email@example.com
As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to pursue many different areas of interest and help CCM in many ways. Children are welcome to come with you as you volunteer for the museum.
Special Event Rental
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