In Willy Wonka’s Chocolate World, kids enter a world of pure imagination. At The Baltimore Museum of Industry? A world of pure imagineering.

Enter the museum and be taken back in time to the early days of a Port City. Suit up to shuck oysters, try coding and develop your own video game, or watch a blacksmith forge iron. Learn how garments were made in the Garment Loft. Visit the print shop and make a bookmark.

The museum prides itself on being a connector — helping you understand your connection to Baltimore’s story and how Baltimore’s story shapes your life. It’s a pretty profound message for kids.

Each Saturday, the museum offers a weekend workers workshop. What is weekend workers? A hands-on experience for kids (or kids at heart!) that helps them understand how things work. They might make stained glass, draw like a ship builder, or even…

build roller coasters!

Yes, roller coasters. This is a fun, easy activity to do at home, too. All you need are a few household materials, tape, and marbles.

Build a Marble Roller Coaster


A variety of marbles in different sizes
Large Blocks
Coffee Cans or Similar Items
Masking Tape
Foam Pipe Insulation 


Cut the foam pipe insulation in half. (Older kids can handle this themselves; adults can do this step for younger kids). Bend the tubing to create loops and use the blocks/cans to help create hills. Use tape to secure. Use an open coffee can at the end of the coaster to ‘catch’ the marble.

Build Roller Coasters with the Baltimore Museum of Industry - (cool) progeny

Start the marble at the beginning of your coaster. Does it make it through? What worked and what didn’t work? Would a larger marble work? How about a smaller one Adjust your coaster and try again. 

Build Roller Coasters with the Baltimore Museum of Industry - (cool) progeny

Have fun!

Summer Passport Program

Do you have a Summer Adventure Passport? Take your passport to the museum to get a buy-one-get-one-free admission (through Labor Day!). Or join us for our Roller Coaster Making Pop-Up Play Date at the museum on August 8th!


Editor’s Note: Photos by Wendy Hickok, Wendy Hickok Photography