Rainy Saturday at the Australian Museum | Sydney Adventures

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:

On the train 

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.

Australian Museum Penguin

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…

Dinosaur Skeletons:

Australian Museum Dinosaur

Be a palaeontologist for five minutes (I’m talking my kids’ attention span – there’s no time limit):

Australian Museum Palaeontologist

Skeleton gallery:

Australian Museum Skeleton Gallery

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.

Australian Museum SkeletonAustralian Museum Skeletons

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.

Rainy Sydney

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.

27 thoughts on “Rainy Saturday at the Australian Museum | Sydney Adventures

  1. I’m looking forward to Missy being old enough to appreciate going to the museum. We took her to Questacon in Canberra when she was 18mo, which she liked a little. When she’s 3ish, we’ll be hitting up every museum in Sydney and the zoo, the aquarium etc. Can’t wait!

  2. We took the kids to the War Memorial when we were in Canberra earlier this year. It’s lovely when they have the hands on sections. Makes it so much more fun.

    • Absolutely! They always manage to find something they haven’t seen before, even if it never changes. Personally, I’ll never tire of the human skeleton riding a horse skeleton. I just can’t look away!

  3. I haven’t been to the museum in Perth for ages, now my son is three and dinosaur obsessed, we will have to check it out. Great reminder!!!!!

    Hello from #teamIBOT

    • Oh yeah, he will love it. At kindy the kids were reading a story about kids going to a museum. We have been to so many, but when the teacher asked them what museum they had been to, of course the reply was “the dinosaur museum!” Nothing beats dinosaurs!

  4. Oh, I know what you mean! Last Saturday was so miserable and wet!
    We love the Australian Museum and the Powerhouse.
    But yes, the train ride in is almost just as fun (if not more so) than the museum visit!

  5. I love the Australian Museum – I haven’t been there for years so I would love to go back there again with the kids. Thanks for the timely reminder!

  6. Oh I love this post! Mostly because the description of your lounge room (complete with empty wine bottle) could be my lounge room on any given day, and I love that I’m not alone in that!

    • Funny, just visited a museum in Malaysia, and the stuffed things were a bit worse for wear… Fur rubbing off in parts, poor little critters. Haha. Yeah, I’m partial to dead, stuffed things too.

  7. mmm that rainy weekend, and those rainy days last week my daughter was with her nan … and I got to pretend I was a teenager again … but it’s back to slavery this week – ‘mum will you get the remote for me’ (aah).

  8. Pingback: The Museum of Sydney with kids | Raising Explorers

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