With a summer like this one, there's going to be a lot of time indoors. Yesterday, my family toured the new exhibit at the Louisville Science Center, The Chronicles of Narnia. Now running through September 18, this exhibit is a nice way to beat the summer heat (or tornadoes) and escape to a phantasmal land filled with talking badgers and centaurs.
Based on the film series inspired by C.S. Lewis' classic tales of adventure, visitors enter the exhibit through the actual wardrobe from Lewis' study that inspired it all. Lined with more fur coats than the set of Dr. Zhivago, my kids, 4 and 7, enjoyed the enchantment of the wardrobe as they were familiar with the films, but a 2 year-old beside us screamed bloody murder and refused to enter through it--testament to the age group this exhibition is geared toward. The young readers around me seemed to get the most out of the both educational and magical display.
Once inside, we witnessed the ocean painting that flooded the room in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, several costumes that the characters wore during the films, an interesting video explanation of how the directors created the realistic talking animals and mythical creatures, the White Witch's Throne where you actually feel a chill when seated, and an arch building architectural model. Topics such as climate change, engineering, archeology, geology, and creative writing were featured throughout. The highlights of the exhibit to my children though were in the second room where visitors can attempt to lift a sword in demonstration of just how heavy they actually were, and of course, the real working catapult that children are assisted in launching by two enthusiastic and informative student volunteers.
Overall, the exhibit was a fun escape from bad weather. Although the exhibit was fairly small--at the end we were left with the thought Is that it?--I found my kids talking about it for the rest of the evening and both said they really enjoyed it. The price for the exhibit is included in the Science Center ticket price ($13 for adults, $11 for children 2-12) and is free for members. The Louisville Science Center is open Monday-Thursday and Sunday 9:30-5:00 and Friday-Saturday until 9:00.