Ah, rainy weekends in winter. Or, more aptly, (and much, much worse) arrrggghhhhhhh, rainy weekends in winter!
Pre-kids, we loved these days… Books, food, TV marathons, movies, wine. Heaven. Ah, rainy weekends in winter.
Now, arrrggghhhhhhh rainy weekends in winter begin like any other day, but quickly deteriorate as cabin fever sets in mid-morning. I mean, there’s only so many times one can watch Cars. Alright, I lie. Cars can be watched infinitely, as proven by my children, but while I enjoy slobbing around in my PJs as much as the next sloth, slobbing around in your PJs with kids is just not the same. It’s just not real slobbing. They are small and needy people, who require blankets, and toys, and food and drinks, and someone to press “play”, and while they have the slobbing down pat, there’s no time for slobbing for mums and dads; you’re just a waiter… in your pyjamas. And pretty soon the place looks like the set of a Tarantino flick after someone has let loose with an AK47, or whatever, except without the blood. Sometimes there’s tomato sauce, though. And snot. There’s usually snot. And an empty wine bottle from last night.
I mean things are usually messy round here, but rainy days in winter are a really special kind of messy. You know when you watch on the news and there’s a car that’s lost control and crashed into someone’s house, and there’s a bunch of rubble and debris, and the family inside are in their pyjamas showing the reporter how the light fitting is dangling dangerously from the ceiling, and the bookcase is knocked over and there are books and CDs strewn about, and the glassware is smashed all over the floor, and the lounge cushions are ripped open, and there are a couple of kids huddled under their doonas on the other lounge, looking sheepish, and there’s an empty wine bottle on the coffee table, and the bonnet of a car is inside the room? Well, THAT. Except without the car.
Which took us to the Australian Museum a couple of weekends ago, because… CULTURE. When there’s a metaphoric car smashed into your lounge room, culture is what you need.
And you need to get out of your pyjamas to go there. Bonus.
But seriously, I enjoy museums. They’re great places for kids of all ages. And grown-ups. I just love ’em.
We’re spoilt here in Sydney with the choice of museums and galleries. The Powerhouse, the Maritime, and the Australian Museums: love them all, and so do the kids. Trains, boats, and dead stuff are cool. The Art Gallery of NSW (I wrote about it in my post Explorers in the Gallery) is a great (and free) place to take kids. There are tonnes of other smaller spots, like Hyde Park Barracks, on our to-do list, too.
The Australian Museum is currently hosting the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which is another reason to go soon. They also have kids’ activities in the holidays, and pre-schoolers activities outside of the holidays, during the week.
Mmmm, wildlife. And a couple of tigers, too.
Highlights of our day out:
The train ride in to town is always entertaining:
Hands-on stuff from the sea:
Taxidermied seals chasing taxidermied penguins. It’s ok, he doesn’t catch him. We’ve seen Happy Feet. A lot.
In fact, taxidermied EVERYTHING is a highlight.
“Mummy, is that dead?”
“Yes it is. It used to be alive, but it died, and then they stuffed it to preserve it.”
“Daddy, is that dead, too?”
“Yes, everything’s dead.”
A random kid came up to me, pointing to a Sumatran tiger.
“That’s dead,” she said, “and stuffed with cotton wool like my teddy!”
See! Dead stuff is interesting. Live animals at the zoo? Pfffftt. You can see stuff that’s alive anytime! Dead stuff, on the other hand…
Be a palaeontologist for five minutes (I’m talking my kids’ attention span – there’s no time limit):
The human skeleton riding the horse skeleton is a long-term favourite: a humorous blend of the hilarious and the macabre. And the living room setting, with dog, cat, rat and bird is similarly funny, in an unsettling kind of way.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a rainy winter’s day out without a walk through town in the rain, WITHOUT an umbrella. Look, it was a drizzly day, but, as Murphy would have it, every time we take an umbrella, we carry it around all day. Thanks again, Mr Murphy. Very funny.
But we made light of it, in our matching jackets. Twins. Dressed the same. Who am I????
OK, cue the crazy faces!
A top day out was had by all. This is not a sponsored post – I just really love the museum!
Have you visited one lately? What’s your favourite museum or gallery?
This week I’m linking up for the first time with Jess at Essentially Jess for #IBOT – I Blog on Tuesday. Thanks, Jess.
Stay tuned, as Raising Explorers goes INTERNATIONAL – blogging on the road for the next three weeks as we travel Malaysia. Two Kids, Two Backpacks and a Dash of Adventure.