BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Port Discovery at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is opening its doors earlier once per month to give those with sensory processing challenges a chance to experience its exhibits in a more comfortable environment.

Dozens of visitors stop by the museum every day to check out the sounds and interactive exhibits. Now on the second Sunday of every month, its doors will be opening one hour early, setting up a sensory-friendly environment.

“The lights a little dimmer, some of the sounds are off,” said Shula Cooper, the museum’s associate director of programming. “Just in general, making the environment more accessible for those who may have challenges with sensory processing.”

The new strategy comes with perfect timing as World Autism Month is in April. In 2019, Port Discovery earned a certification through Kulture City, an autism awareness program.

Sensory kits are on deck through every level of the building, including noise-canceling headphones, dark glasses to block off the distracting lights and even tools for anxiety.

“We want to make sure that they can still have the ability to be here every day with minor modifications be able to have fun with the rest of us and to have a special time that’s dedicated just to them,” Cooper said.

Pricing will stay the same, with children ages one or younger admitted for free.

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