A Whale Of A Family Adventure at The Australian Museum
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By: Ann-Marie Kutasi, ellaslist
My first school trip to a museum took place several million light years ago. Everything seemed foreign and slightly boring. There were some interesting stuffed birds and antiques, but nothing I can specifically recall now. I suppose spending a day away from school was the highlight at the time but, as I look back now, little did I know just how wonderful a place like that could be. If only the exhibits were a little more kid-friendly then, maybe during that visit I'd have had a better appreciation for all of these amazing things that I missed out on.
A Journey Of Discovery
Now with my own three sweeties (6, 4 and 2 years old) my appetite for knowledge and a sense of adventure was about to begin. I was keen that my children may appreciate a bit of science and history at a young age, but how was I going to keep my tribe interested and restrained from starting a riot? (Remember, I was outnumbered!)
Three Levels Of Fun
The museum is split into three levels, each unique and beautifully presented with the most wonderful cave of wonders and something for everyone. The Ground Level currently holds the latest Australian Museum exhibition, Whales. It’s an interactive exhibition of whale evolution and holds one of the most extensive collections of whale skeletons ever displayed. How many people can say that they were able to stand beneath an 18 metre Sperm Whale skeleton?
Unearthing The Museum's Treasure
As we continue to explore the other sections of the Australian Museum (AM), I was surprised to see just how hands-on each section was. Let’s forget about the amazing exhibits like the 2,500 year old Egyptian Mummy or the extinct Tasmanian Tiger embryo on display, which were pretty amazing, and let’s talk about how each corner, a new discovery awaits begging for a mini ‘Indiana Jones’ to unearth its treasures encouraging mini explorers to touch, learn and discover new and exciting journeys. This made the experience throughout the museum so much more enjoyable because there were so many activities to keep kids occupied and they were learning along the way, which proved this experience to be even more valuable.
We Love Kidspace
I highly recommend that families visit the newly renovated Kidspace on Level 2. This section is perfect for a pit stop. An enclosure just for kids to explore, touch, create and play. At 11am and 2pm daily, there are various activities that the AM staff conduct. It could be storytime, crafting or painting. The setup of the room changes daily and a theme is picked and reflected throughout the room to tie-in with one of the current exhibitions. Some kids might just want to chill-out and read a book, others may play a game and parents might decide to lay back on the comfy bench or take the opportunity and utilise the nappy change area next to the baby enclosure. It’s a large area for children to play and make new friends.
It was after all Benjamin Franklin who said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. How right he was! I discovered my own adventure along with my family at The Australia Museum, where the past and present meet and where life becomes a story.
My Top Tips
- Visit Kidspace early in the morning. Be the first and get your pick of things to do.
- The ‘Search & Discover’ section located on Level 2, is a must for school-aged kids. We loved this section!
- Take a break and walk across the road to Hyde Park for the kids to have a runaround. Don’t worry, re-entry is free on the day. Simply present your AM ticket upon re-entry to the Admissions staff when you return.
- Visit the ‘Kids at the AM’ section on the website for school holiday activities and kid-friendly activities.
Where: 1 William Street, Sydney NSW
Visit: The website for admission prices and ‘what’s on’
When: The Australian Museum is open 9.30am to 5.00pm daily (except Christmas Day).
Cost: Kids under 16 are free. Adults are $15
More Museum Motivation
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