Visiting Mystic Seaport
Last weekend we visited Mystic Seaport with my in-laws. The weather was great and we had a good time, especially since it was free to get in! They were hosting an educator’s weekend where teachers could have a complementary visit to the museum with their families. In exchange, I took some information about having field trips there. I thought that was fair! I would love to take my students there, but there are not any curriculum connections with my seventh grade class. It would work for both sixth and eighth grade in my school, so if I’m there next year, I’ll keep it in mind.
When I was in ninth grade, I completed in National History Day. The theme that year was Geography in History, and I did a very thorough research project on the area of Mystic Seaport. (For those interested, my partner and I placed third at the local level and did not place at the state level… a long story that I blame on my boy-crazed partner at the time.) Anyway…I was pleasently surprised that as much as I remembered of the museum, I still fully enjoyed the trip and found new things that interested me.
While at Mystic Seaport, we explored almost every single cranny of the place. I was disappointed to see the Charles W. Morgan out of the water, but it looked so much bigger out of the river! It really helped put into perspective the enormous amount of space that was needed to process the whales as well as house the crew. I was sad that there were no masts, but I assume they are being replaced as well as the majority of the wood on the bottom of the ship.
There were several other ships at the museum, including the Amistad. Though there were tourists aboard, when we made our way down to it, there was a guy trying to get everyone off because the boat wasn’t an attraction of the museum. Near this ship was a pile of huge anchors that became a childrens’ jungle gym. I finally got a shot of them in between of tired parents letting their little ones get some ants out of their pants.
After exploring the ships and few of the buildings, we got hungry and had lunch in the pub side of Seamen’s Inne Restaurant. Not bad… and don’t be surprised when I tell you I was the only one at the table not to order seafood.
Back in the Seaport, we visited the exhibit galleries, which included one called Frozen In. It was about a Connecticut whaling captain and the Hudson Bay Inuit. The model, exhibits, and children’s area were very well done. After the temporary exhibits, we explored the 19th century village that includes the specialty trade shops and two period houses. These are usually staffed by museum workers, and some get more into the part than others. However, it was all very interesting to see. The best part of the day had to be when we were in the drug store and Larry said that he saw something in the display case that is currently at his mom’s house!
Update: A few of Dan’s photos: