Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Harry Potter Experience

Today is our second full day at Darling Harbour. Geoff when looking up things to do in Sydney came across the Harry Potter Exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum. Generously Geoff’s cousin David and his wife Elizabeth bought the family tickets to see the exhibit whilst we were here as a Christmas gift.
We had tickets for the 10am entry so we were out and about early. The boys were really excited when we got there just waiting at the entrance as they were surrounded by Harry Potter posters and they took a photo of the family with a green screen behind us so they were excited as to what the photo was going to be when we collected it upon departing.
It was all very well done upon entry, we went through to a small area that a few kids were picked out of out group to sit up and wear the ‘sorting hat’, it was interesting that none of children put up their hands when volunteers were asked for.
Then the next room we went into was surrounded by screens and was kind of all different snippets of the movie…that was pretty cool. Then we were ushered through to the exhibit….at first I was very concerned because it seemed extremely crowded and it was hard for the kids to get up to the displays as people weren’t really moving along. My older boys were okay with the waiting but the two youngest got a little bit distressed about being separated from us and not being able to see. Thankfully it was only the first couple of displays and then I think people realized that you could move around easily between the exhibits. I’m always dismayed at how selfish the public can be about where they want to be and what they want to see, particularly adults who make no room for younger children even though they can easily see over the top of their heads. The exhibit was by tickets only and you purchased tickets for a particular entry time so they did limit the number of entries. The entire day was sold out and I’d be interested in how many other days are sold out. I’ve really only watched the first movie in its entirety and we had 2 audio devices that you could enter the numbers in the exhibits and listen to a commentary and explanation as to what everything was. I found that really helpful. Of course the boys knew what everything was anyway. I really enjoyed looking at the costumes and artifacts and was amazed at the detail that has gone into everything. It was very impressive and I’m so glad we went.
I wasn’t sure how the younger kids were going to cope as I really wanted to look around the remainder of the Museum and Joseph particularly was really interested in seeing the space section and the steam section. We had a brief look around at the space and a couple of smaller sections and then found a Café as I thought if the kids were fed they would be a little more co-operative in looking around further. We are trying to stick to a strict budget on this holiday and I’m finding that okay to follow, with the exception of when we are out for lunch. We have been having breakfast and dinner back at our hotel room. I haven’t wanted to buy stuff to make lunches for us to take with us purely because I don’t want the burden of carrying it around. We are taking 2 water bottles with us so that we aren’t purchasing drinks. I also find it frustrating that mostly the options are crap food, anything fried with chips usually. I got confused at the ‘fast food’ type café we ate at today and ordered a wrap because I wanted something a little on the healthier side and only ordered one as I thought Geoff and I could share, and then I was annoyed at having to pay nearly $9 for and then when it came it was tiny. That just ticks me off.
So anyway the kids ate and the little ones settled a little after that so we continued on with the rest of the Museum. I love Museums and anything with a little history. Thankfully Joseph seems to share that interest. Samuel does to a certain extent to in that he is happy to look and read about it all, but Joseph seems quite enthusiastic about learning whatever he can. There was a small section with old articles, like clothing and jewellery. Lots of old carriages, so much to look at.
There was a Wiggles section that Emma and I had a look through and I think she would have enjoyed it more if Thomas had been with us or she had someone to play with in there.
The steam section was just amazing and there was a lot to look at. It made me think of my father who would have absolutely loved it, and sad that he wouldn’t travel to look at things like that. The kids loved it because there was lots of interactive sections that they could push buttons and turn wheels and make it more interesting. There was a really cool one where you had to turn a wheel to make lights go on in this little house and they enjoyed the challenge of who could turn on more lights. Its great for the kids to learn how things were once done and how much easier it is for them in this current day.
It was a nice walk back to our hotel when we had finished. Joseph and Samuel had used some of their money (me adding a little bit to the pot) to buy a wand each, Joseph got the Elderwand and Samuel got Voldemort’s wand. So there has been a bit of chasing and casting spells around the hotel this evening.
Probably the thing that is stressing me out the most is trying to keep them on the quiet side in the hotel. Emma’s squealing is driving me nuts and I’ve tried so many things to get her to stop. There is an indoor pool in the hotel and I took the kids down there late yesterday and they enjoyed it. I didn’t enjoy it so much because there wasn’t really anywhere to sit without getting wet because it’s a narrow room with a narrow pool (kind of like a lap pool). Certainly not somewhere you’d take the kids for a few hours entertainment. That is disappointing because all my kids really need to be happy is a pool to swim in. It’s a little bit too much to expect Emma to be out and about walking for the entire day, so it would be nice to come back around 3ish and relax by a pool. We plan to have some dinner soon and then maybe go out for a little walk around Darling Harbour. I thought the kids might like to see the city at night. They can see some from our hotel room but it will be nice to see it down by the water.
A lovely quote from Joseph when we were leaving the Powerhouse Museum….”I really enjoyed that experience thank you Mum and Dad”….kind of makes the stressful parts worthwhile.
Tomorrow is about visiting Geoff’s relatives, a morning visit with his Aunty Helen who has not been too well having chemotherapy treatment. It will be a short visit with her as we don’t want to overtax her, and then out to Castle Hill to see his Grandmother and Aunt and Uncle. Not sure what the plans are to entertain the kids. Geoff’s Aunt wanted to know if I wanted to go to Castle Towers and have a look around with her, which ordinarly I would love, but as I’ve not got any spending money it seems rather pointless. I’m sure I’ll see loads of bargains that I can’t have.

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