Event: Deep Oceans Exhibition
Where: Australian Museum
Cost: $17 per adult, $9 per child (5 to 15). Family passes and discounts for AM members available.
This morning I bravely set off with my the two princesses to experience the much hyped Deep Oceans exhibition at the Australian Museum. Approximately 20 minutes after we had arrived, I realised that there’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity and I’d just crossed it. Mumrades I implore you – DO NOT attempt this activity alone with pre-schoolers. Call in re-inforcements, especially if you are interested in actually seeing the exhibition yourself.
The morning got off to an unauspicious start with both girls deciding that they must dress in theme like mermaids. A ferocious battle over our only mermaid dress ensued. I put my foot down declaring that if they refused to wear normal clothes we weren’t going. This triggered a screaming fit but eventually P1 agreed to dress in “underwater colours”. It sounds like a good solution but its so easy when your wardrobe is 99.9% pink.
When we entered the museum we were greeted in the atrium by a life sized inflatable whale hanging from the soaring ceiling. Impressive as it was, I should have viewed it as a bad omen – my own personal “fail whale”. A white inflatable tunnel lead us to throuh to the deep sea abyss. The girls shrieked with joy and used the springy tunnel walls as an inverted jumping castle. Almost every other child in attendence that day, (and there were hundreds) had the same idea. It became treacherous when some hefty primary school boys got in on the act.
The exhibition space was dimly lit in blue and green hues, mimicking the bottom of the ocean. As I very soon discovered, the bottom of the ocean is a great place to lose children. With two and a half year old P2 darting everywhere I lost sight of her at least a dozen times. An Octonauts themed play area, featuring a climb on model of the Gup D, soft sea creatures and a dress up box full of amazing giant squid hats was set up in one corner. Episodes of the popular kids show were screened accross the entirity of one wall. My almost 5 year old, P1 took up residence there and refused to move. Meanwhile P2 was running laps of the place and climbing on exhibits despite clear instructions not to. The final straw came when she charged out the door and refused to go back in. We had lasted about half an hour. Frazzled and beaten I retreated to the sanctuary of Kidspace where they could not escape.
After lunching at the Museum’s cafe with a hundred of our closest friends, P1 wanted to return to the under water world. We had more success the second time around. P1 once again established herself in the Octonauts section whilst P2 hooked up with another toddler for a game of chasing. I even got to glance at some of the displays.
Mumabulous’ Verdict – 7/10
I am fascinated by the almost alien life in the deep oceans and was very much looking forward to this event. In between chasing kids, I glimpsed some interesting stuff. The giant anglerfish model was scarily impressive, as was the replica of the bathysphere – the first submersible to descend beyond light. The model of the distingrating whale carcass and explanation of how it supports bottom dwelling life for decades was eye-opening.
Overall I was slightly underwhelmed. Despite the intriquing subject matter the exhibits seemed small and lacked that “wow” factor. Perhaps I would have felt differently if I had the chance to interact with the displays. Meanwhile the kids had a wonderful day and didn’t want to leave. In Mumabulous terms that’s a success.
It was really good. We saw amazing stuff. I cant wait to tell my friends about the Octonauts.