ellaslist Has Some School Holiday Fun At The Maritime Museum

By: Ron Fleischer, ellaslist explorer

When Sydney puts on a sparkling autumn day, there's nothing better than to get out on the harbour. Since we don't have a destroyer or submarine of our own, we headed to the National Maritime Museum to check out theirs. 

All Aboard

The Maritime Museum have a range of school holiday activities available, but our kids- Ethan (9), Laya (6) and little cousin Callum (2)- were most enthusiastic to explore the vessels first up. We spent a while checking out the displays (who knew they got ice-cream on board!?!) and then boarded the HMAS Vampire. This destroyer was active during the Cold War and it was amazing to see the big guns up close. The kids were wrapped to climb and explore the big ship and were happy to wander around and climb to see what was around the next bend. 

Next, we headed over to the submarine, which was a tight squeeze for the adults, but fine for the kids! The volunteers on board explained various aspects of the submarine to the kids, including the torpedo, engines and periscopes. We climbed all the way through to see the bunks, kitchen, and toilets and got a glimpse of what life at sea would be like. 

All Hands On Deck

The "Kids on Deck" room was our next stop, and the activities there were perfect for young children.  It had a Roman theme to tie in with the Pompeii exhibition, and the staff there were enthusiastic and able to engage the kids with some creative activities. The lego table and archaeological dig were popular with the boys, whilst Laya spent plenty of time making clay amulets and a sparkle rainbow Roman fairy wand... possible not entirely historically accurate but fun none the less! The dress up and puppets were popular too and it was hard to get the kids out of there!

To The Mess Hall

By then, it was time for lunch so we headed next door to Yots cafe. Lunches set us back about $10 each for the kids- mini burgers and chips and the kids box (vegemite sandwich, juice box, fruit, and chocolate coin) and there were plenty of good options for the adults which were around $20 each. It was getting pretty busy so the kids popped back to play whilst we waited for the food. 

Explosive Science

The "Empires and Eruptions" Science show was next on our list. This was a 30-minute Roman-themed show, explaining catapults, aqueducts and Roman buildings. The hosts kept the show moving along, and there was audience participation which kept kids engaged. Mt Vesuvius didn't quite erupt that impressively, however, the kids had a great time.

The 3D cinema was the last activity we wanted to do, so we headed into the theatre and got our 3D glasses. There were two short films- A Day in Pompeii and Great White Sharks- which everyone enjoyed watching. 

Almost 5 hours had flown by, and even though there was so much more to see, we had to call it a day. For this reason, I wonder whether a family annual pass ($130) is better value than the one-off Family Big Ticket ($79). 

ellaslist's Top Tips

HOT TIP #1: Although there are public transport options, hard to beat $15 parking next door. Just make sure you get your ticket validated at the Museum

HOT TIP #2: Minimum height of 90cm applies to the vessel boarding, so pack your platform shoes for your little kids!

DON'T MISS: Exploring the submarine was everyone's favourite

CHECK OUT: The website to see what's on these school holidays

SHORT ON TIME (OR CASH): Some exhibits are free and "Kids on Deck" is under $10 per child... but doesn't include the vessel visits.