Tell your spawnlings you’re heading to a pirate exhibit at the museum, and even the least academically inclined child will show an interest in coming along.
Tell them it’s a “Horrible Histories” exhibit, and they will probably try to drive your doom-mobile themselves.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Sydney, you can still catch the Horrible Histories Pirate Exhibit at the Maritime Museum (Darling Harbour). It finishes at the end of the April School Holidays – 27 April 2016 to be exact.
And it is worth catching. EG Inc has been twice. We’re going a third time this week, broken wrist and all.
Horrible Histories is pretty popular in itself – there are books; tv series; spin-off books about geography; and museum exhibits like this. The appeal of the brand is, of course, their ability to be absolutely honest about the dark and dirty but in a funny gross way that clearly works for kids.
And juvenile evil genius parents.
There is no singing Pirate King; no Errol Flynn swinging past the sails. There is definitely nothing romantic or cinematic about any of this.
I knew I was in the right place when the entry has an interactive “rat-squashing” game. Using a projector and motion sensor, kids can stomp on the rats scurrying along the floor to the exhibit. It is hilarious fun when you see the blood and guts spread across the floor in a spectacular cartoon fashion. It kept Zaltu (and myself) entertained for at least 15mins.
Inside the exhibit, there are plenty of visual displays, very informative posters, and a range of tactile play areas on show. We each had fun creating our own Wanted Pirate posters along with exploring for hidden treasure on the little beach.
But the winning feature – the one we are really going back for?
The big battle scene in the very middle of the exhibit.
Kids split between the two sections, each with a stack of soft(-ish) balls and an air-powered ‘canon’. Then the battle begins across the sea!! And woe be the parent who strolls across the firing range. Pirate spawnlings have no mercy.
There’s no time to be ‘dilly-dally’ on this one – as mentioned above, the last day is 27 April (two weeks from publishing this article). Details about the exhibit can be found on the website.
No affiliation or sponsorship for the post either. EG Nan and Pop gave us an annual pass for a Solstice present. Brilliant idea two years in a row. Our spawnlings simply had way too much fun learning to keep this quiet.
Apparently Thursday (both weeks) look like possible rain…if you need a suggestion of a day…