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Hot Spots: Museums Have Fun with History, Science

Check out these museums and exhibits this summer.

Do the kids whine when you want to take them to another museum?

Here are some places to take them in Baltimore that might change their tune. All of these museums are located around the Inner Harbor within easy walking distance of parking, transit, food and shopping.

National Pinball Museum: This museum opened earlier this year in the chocolate factory building near Power Plant Live. But as an attraction, it's probably more pinball than museum. The 12,000-square-foot location features more than 100 machines open to play.

Port Discovery: This summer, Port Discovery features a traveling exhibit all about the adventures of Mr. Potato Head. That's something to keep a loose plastic eye on. The museum also features summer science activities and special events, including a visit from Negro League baseball players.

Maryland Science Center: The center is hosting its  It may be bad policy, generally, to let your kids drop melons and milk jugs from your roof. But where you see mischief, the science center sees a physics lesson. Also: make ice cream with liquid nitrogen and check out the science center's toilet paper cannon. The exhibit is free with admission.

American Visionary Art Museum: One glance from outside is all you need to tell that this isn't your average museum. Step inside for vibrant, offbeat works from mostly self-taught artists. The current featured exhibit, "Galaxies, Eyeballs and Karma," includes a sculpture made from 100,000 toothpicks, and the three-dimensional yarn paintings of the Huichol Indians.

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