Can you enjoy a visit to a museum without actually entering it? Most of the time the answer is: Yes! It happened to us today at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. We had to go into town to get something for our camper at one of our favorite stores, Camping World. Since we were in town, we thought we would throw a little Unschooling into the mix and visit a museum.
The first thing we saw as we entered the parking lot of the National Museum of the Great Lakes was a huge ship. The next thing we noticed was the beautiful garden and all the historical markers. As we headed to the museum, we read some of the historical markers, took pictures, and talked about all the neat boat parts. Since we had our dog Jack with us, I went in and checked out the price, and we all decided that it was priced way too high.
So can you learn anything walking around the gardens reading historical signs? Yes, you can. We learned about the huge propellers and how each ship has its own unique emblem and boat colors to represent a shipping line. We learned about the dual steering wheel and discussed how Grandpa’s boat was different from the huge ships and why, how the Great Lakes moved commerce, people, and food, and how trade and communities are affected by the Great Lakes. We saw how the Great Lakes are laid out, how the storms and weather damaged ships, and about the huge anchors that were used on the huge ships, including how these anchors were lowered and raised and how that process has changed over time.
We decided not to actually go into the ship and museum because the price was just too high for the experience that we enjoyed for free. We give the museum only one popcorn out of a possible five because of the price and dogs were not allowed in the museum (which I wasn’t surprised about) but were allowed in the gardens. The price for the museum: $8 adults, $7 for child/senior. If you want visit the ship and museum, the price is $12 adults and $11 children/senior. Parking was free and the historical marker and garden tour was free, so we gave that four popcorns out of a possible five.