Last week I went cross eyed googling school holiday activities in Sydney that didn’t cost the world.
And there it was.
“Elementary,” you might say.
The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes is currently showing at the Powerhouse Museum, and this ticked so many boxes for me.
Firstly, I love the Powerhouse. Though it’s a bit of a hike from Central Station with little legs, it’s easy to locate and keeps my little wreckers amused. It also has a fabulous cafe area with a very cool playground. Hence, given my son is now seeking a career as a spy, the world of this iconic detective just had to be seen.
This exhibition is on until October 8, and there really is something for the whole family. An adult ticket is $27, kids (4-15) are $16, or a family of 4 is $65. This ticket also allows same day general entry to the Powerhouse Museum.
So here’s what to expect…
I am a proud geek, so I was thrilled to see some of the original manuscripts by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a great summary of his origins and how Sherlock came to be. But the main game is the interactive mystery. There is no real explanation as to how it unfolds (it’s a mystery, right?!) though there are people available to help if required. You are given a book and directions to the the first hall. We got to do secret paper rubbings and collect stamps; a big hit for my budding sleuth.
Then the real mystery continues as you enter…DA da DAAA… the crime scene. The attention to detail here is incredible. I could almost hear the clatter of hooves from the coaches in Ye’ Olde London and the air of mystery really was tangible as we all tried to take everything in. I had to read each station for the little man (which thankfully gave me a chance to ‘spy’ on what other people were doing; clearly I am not quite detective material) and we muddled our way through. But the interactive stations kept us on task and it was easy to back track and double check various statements. We definitely needed a little bit of help through here. Do keep in mind that you are investigating a potential murder and there is discussions about bullets and bodies and blood spray; possibly too much for a little one. My little fellow is only 5, and there was quite a lot that was well over his head. I felt it would be excellent for late Primary to early Secondary School kids. Nonetheless, I simply redirected his attention and we were off to investigate another tangent of the mystery.
Finally, our verdict was nigh and we were required to punch in what we believed happened…..and (drum roll please….) we weren’t even remotely close. It seems my detective skills are best used in discovering which child hit the other one first, who didn’t flush the toilet, and even who nicked the last Tim Tam.
A kindly attendant encouraged us to head along to the Hall of Mysteries, a display downstairs that was included in the general admission. Spy boy is still talking tonight about the concept of a mirror image and these little stations were good fun…but I still don’t know where Sherlock Holmes is!! Totally loved the little dress up photo booth at the end and we had some cute keepsake pics of our day together emailed straight through.
And so this Watson is fairly puffed out and my little detective is no doubt already dreaming of all the incredible clues he will discover with his new magnifying glass. If you’re keen to check this out, jump on the Powerhouse Museum web site.
Over and out from this trusty sidekick.
500 Harris St,
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
- Our entry into the Museum was gifted in order to provide this review, but as usual, all opinions are my own.