Who Says Museums and Families Don’t Mix?

April 4th, 2010   •   2 comments   

Yesterday, my family and I decided to check out the Circle Line Open House at NHB Museums after hearing about it from my colleagues. Held in anticipation of the opening of the highly publicised Circle Line on 17 April, the Line includes the Bras Basah MRT Station which is smack in the middle of the National Museum of Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum!

Despite the dreary rain and drizzle that morning, the crowds still thronged the museums. I saw queues in front of the National Museum, and many families popping into the Singapore Art Museum with kids totting their Circle Line balloons. As I’ve been to both museums recently, we decided to make a bee-line for the Peranakan Museum and the Singapore Philatelic Museum.
Circle Line Open House
It was great to see a constant flow of human traffic at the Peranakan Museum, many of whom are families.

Circle Line Open House
Our first stop was the Straits Family Sunday at the Ixora Room of the museum.

Circle Line Open House
These valiant volunteers were on hand to help families with their art materials.

Circle Line Open House
These kids were having much fun doodling, colouring and pasting.

Circle Line Open House
Those who preferred to read could lounge on these comfy cushions.

Circle Line Open House
Our next stops were the galleries themselves. Ethan went for the stamping activity as usual. We also checked out the excellent Ramayana Revisited exhibition (unfortunately its photos were too dark to showcase here).

Circle Line Open House
He also took some time to listen to the interactive stations explaining age-old Peranakan rituals like “An Chng” whereby a young boy was assigned to roll over the nuptial bed in the hope of the wedded couple bringing forth a son. Not exactly the most politically correct of practices, but traditions were different then I suppose.

Circle Line Open House
Our next stop was the Singapore Philatelic Museum or SPM.

Circle Line Open House
There were lots of people thronging its cosy little galleries, with children of all ages having fun (as you can see).

Circle Line Open House
Of course, there were lots of real kids there too. Here are some of them colouring while seated comfortably on the floor.

Circle Line Open House
Ethan tried his hand at this station, which showed how the different speeds of snail mail transportation.

Circle Line Open House
I took the chance to peak at the Philippines exhibition, which showcased the cultures and practices of the over 88 million Filipinos on its 7,107 islands.

Circle Line Open House
The beautifully decorated Edo dolls also attracted visitors. I overheard some visitors saying that the hair on these dolls were purported to keep growing even when cut. Anybody can verify that spooky fact?

Circle Line Open House
This brightly coloured room was full of kids having fun stenciling on different patterns.

Circle Line Open House
Naturally, Ethan had to get into the act.

Circle Line Open House
Finally, we checked out the bazaar (better known as Pasar Malam to us locals) at the alleyway of SPM.

Now who says that museums are boring and sterile places unfit for families? 🙂

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2 comments

  1. posted on Apr 05, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    It was a brilliant idea to leverage on the Circle Line open house to encourage more people (many of thme who may be first time visitors) to find out more about the museums and what the museums have to offer. Credit goes to the people at NHB!

  2. posted on Apr 06, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    I think museums are amongst the top on my list of places for family hangouts! With all that history and the arts, there is always bound to be something new that people of all ages would learn or at least find interesting. Plus, there are all these children-specific activities! Back at my old workplace, every time there’s free admission to the museums (on public holidays or IMD), I would mass-mail my colleagues, particularly those with kids to ask them to check it out. Those who actually go would always come back and tell me what a good time they had!

    My favorite museums by far are the National Museum and the Asian Civilisations Museum. Just the architecture alone makes the former a work of art! The museum that I find myself making repeat visits to is the Singapore Philatelic Museum because I’m a fan of stamps and they always have those fun themed exhibitions.

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