Activity:It was a rainy day and we needed something to do. "Hey, how about the museum, that's one place we've never been to?" This is Nathan talking and he doesn't usually suggest indoor activities. One of his friends told him about the mummy at the museum. Now, 3 years later, I'm finding out that each of us has different lasting recollections and impressions of the museum.
My husband was haunted by the ghost of the old Carnegie Library Museum, which he said seemed more like a "real" museum. For one thing, the building at Hastings and Main with its spiraling staircase had charisma and charm which the modern, boxy one at Vanier Park lacks. Kelvin's favourite exhibit was called "Through my eyes" Northwest Coast artifacts through the eyes of contemporary First Nations People" (That's quite a mouthful). The kids, however, weren't as impressed, 'who wants to look at a bunch of baskets and masks?" Baskets and masks" whop dee doo" was Nathan's response.
Nathan (who was 7 at the time) was spellbound by the Mummy. It was every bit as neat as he hoped it would be. He also remembered the logging town exhibit in minute detail. Nathan also thought the turn-of-the century house with all its clothing and furniture was cool.
Jen was only four when she went, and couldn't remember anything. I tried to twig her memory by asking her if she also like the First Nations exhibit. "Oh yea, you mean the Indian standing on the CD player. That was pretty cool." She was talking about my favourite exhibit - art made out of recycled and retro items. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what artists created from everyday household items like bottle caps and aluminum cans. Since then I've saved every McDonald's toy my kids ever got, hoping someone will let their imagination go wild one day.
There was also a clothing exhibit which no one could remember anything about. To me the museum was a fun excursion for the afternoon. We had to drag the kids out of the junk art room and stop them from running though the halls of the First Nations exhibit.
The exhibits, to me, were interesting and thought-provoking. I agreed with my husband: the building is sterile. The kids, on the other hand, couldn't have cared less.
Age group:When it comes down to it, you take any aged child to the museum and they'd get something out of it - whether they remember anything is another matter.
Expense rating:$8 for adults, $5.50 for Youth and Seniors, 5 and under free, family rate $18. Entertainment coupons accepted. See the website below for current rates.
:What I like about the Museum is that it has variety. It doesn't get bogged down on any one theme, so everybody can have fun.
:As I mentioned before the Vancouver Museum's ambiance is lacking. The simple architecture doesn't set the mood for what's inside
Details:Located at Vanier Park which is at the foot of Chestnut St. (1100 Chestnut St. to be exact). Free parking. Open daily 10 am to 5 pm July and August. Closed Mondays, September through June. For more information call (604) 736-4431. Vanier Park is also home to the Vancouver Maritime Museum, and the Pacific Space Centre - Vancouver. Website: www.museumofvancouver.ca
Educational highlights:When it comes down to it, I consider anything that inspires my children or me to stop and read or ask questions a learning opportunity. The Vancouver Museum is stuffed full of things that will motivate your children (and you) to learn. You never know, maybe I'll be the one to make a creation out of junk/recycled McDonalds toys.
Fun for the adult?:I enjoyed the Museum and would go back if they had an exhibit that interested me. Whether I'd make a point of taking my out-of-town guests there is another matter.