November 13, 2010

Our Voyage on the Titanic

 

DSC_4725Amazing!  That is the one word that best describes our evening last night.  We were invited to attend the Titanic Museum Christmas Wonderland Kickoff in Pigeon Forge, and it was a magical experience.  Our family had not yet been to the Titanic Museum, but I had heard good things about it from a friend.  When I heard that we would tour the museum AND that there would be snow and fireworks, I was thrilled, but our daughter was absolutely ecstatic! 

The museum did not disappoint us.  I wished I had talked to our daughter more about what the Titanic actually was so that she would have had a better idea of what we were seeing.  Even without being able to fully grasp the magnitude of the experience, she enjoyed it and learned a few things.   The parts of the displays that she found most interesting were the beautiful china tea cups (we have tea time at home), the very fancy dress on display, and of course the story of Polar the teddy bear.  Throughout the museum, they have trivia for children, and she would run to them whenever she spotted one.  It was a great way to keep the children interested and learning. 

Guests are encouraged to emerge themselves in the Titanic exhibit.  When you enter, you receive a card with information about one of the passengers.  In one of the last rooms of the museum, you learn the fate of the person whose card you received.  You can dip your hands into water that would be the same temperature as the ocean water in which the survivors waited for rescue.  You hear the tales of the crew men and the collision with the iceberg in first person to make the experience even more real.  You can even play a video game to get a better idea about the underwater exploration of the Titanic site—Hubby really liked this part. 

The staff there were fantastic.  They treated all of us, including our daughter, like we were guests on the Titanic.  Our daughter loved their costumes and that they took the time to show her parts of the exhibit that she might find interesting.  There is even a part of the museum designed especially for children, the Tot-Titanic Play-and-Learn Room, where they can talk to Polar the bear and steer the ship.  Very nice touch!

After we toured the museum, we went outside for the fireworks show and snow, yes, snow!  What a magical end to an amazing night!

Tips for the Titanic:

  • Be prepared for traffic.  We are full swing into the holiday season now, which means heavy shopping and tourist traffic.  Allot extra time for driving to and from the attraction and bring extra activities for children riding with you.
  • Leave your camera in the car.  No cameras are allowed inside the museum, but don’t worry, you can still get some great shots of you and the family outside the museum. 
  • Bring a little souvenir money.  Your kids will want a polar bear after you finish your tour, and what is more, you will too!  Such a sweet story, and I won’t spoil it by telling you more than that. 
  • Read about the voyage before going to the museum.  I was behind a group of people who knew so much history and information about the Titanic.  While I’m a bit of a history buff, I didn’t know nearly as much as they did and was pleased that I could  benefit from their knowledge.  While our daughter attends a preschool, we have homeschool activities at our home as well.  Had I thought of it, we could have checked books out of the library to learn more in advance about the ship and voyage.  Instead we worked with what we had and did a little comparison and contrast of the Titanic to the Mayflower, which we are currently studying at home in honor of Thanksgiving. 
  • You can bring your stroller, and it is wheelchair accessible.  I saw both at the museum.  There was a friend there who brought a large two child stroller and didn’t seem to have any problems with wheeling it through the displays.  The only warning is that your children probably won’t want to stay in it—we found the museum kid-friendly.  If anything, we had some discussions with our daughter about staying with us and not running in front of others to see a display. 
  • Watch for specials on tickets.  You can order at the Titanic Museum website for combo orders and other discounts. 
  • Visit during the holiday season. The Titanic Winter Wonderland event starts today.   It will snow this holiday season in Pigeon Forge and the Titanic Museum Attraction guarantees it. Starting Saturday, November 13, it will snow -- yes, REAL snow -- at the Titanic every Friday.  Don’t forget about the free family event that I told you about here coming up in January.

I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we did!

2 comments:

  1. We were supposed to go too. But my daughter got a fever. I was bummed. I knew quite a few people that went.

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  2. It was so great to see you there! I'm glad you all had as much fun as we did. I have a cute photo of our daughters that I need to send you.

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