Monday 7 May 2012

Family Fun: Museums - Kendal Museum

Here we in week 9 and this week's theme is museums. These are great places for family fun especially on a wet weekend and many of them are free! We are very lucky to have a nice little museum here in Kendal which is within an easy walk/bike ride from our house. If you have a post about museums why not add it to the blog hop:

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On Saturday after doing some chores in town we happened to be passing the museum and the children were more than willing to detour in there for a bit of fun. In the downstairs section of the museum they have different exhibits that run for a fixed period of time. The current one is Rock Solid and is artistic interpretations of why Cumbria is short listed for storing nuclear waste (a highly controversial scheme):


The previous Egyptian exhibition was more interesting for my children so we didn't last too long before they wanted to head back upstairs to the main exhibition room. This takes you through the history of Kendal from the Stone Age to modern day with lot of items on display that have been found in the local area:

kendal museum

As you can see from the above photo my children know their favourite part of the museum and weren't interested in stopping to look as they were wanting to play with the castle in the medieval section:

This gave me plenty of time to browse the displays and read up about the history of Kendal Castle from its heyday under the Parr family to its current ruined state:

Inside of a small section of mocked up castle there are some chances for getting hands on to get in period. My daughter was quite happy to try out the stocks (shame she could still slide her feet out!):

Then she decided it was my turn:

There are also some costumes for the children to try on though my daughter didn't like the itchy wool coat:

One of the newest exhibits is a homage to Alfred Wainwright the famous fell walker and former honorary curator of the museum. It contains his personal items plus some of his maps:

Upstairs is the section on Lake District Natural History. There are plenty of displays showing the animals in their native habitats. There is currently also a display of drawings of the bridges of the Lancaster Canal:

My children were more interested in making a tune on one of the museums two stone musical instruments:

One of the children's favourite part of the museum is the Natural History collection. This is a mini version of the Natural History Museum with lots of animals that were collected in the Victorian era and early 20th century. The most important exhibit is the only one of its kind in the UK as a taxidermist has made a mockup of a dodo:

It is quite hard to explain to children that people once thought the best way to study animals was to shoot them. They always point out to me the bullet hole in the polar bear which shows where he was shot:

The exhibits do explain about conservation and show the children what a diverse world of animals that there is. We just keep going back and seeing more each time!


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