Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Bishop Museum

A few weeks ago, it rained and rained and rained. Fortunately, we'd been saving a visit to the Bishop Museum for just this kind of weather. It also helped that we chose one of their frequent 'free admission for military and locals' days. This is a great museum, but they charge for it - $18 for adults and $15 for children.
We thought we'd stay dry, but it turns out that the different types of exhibits are in different buildings around the property. Here is the planetarium viewed through the rain:
The Bishop Museum has something for everyone. The main hall has some natural history animal exhibits. The coolest thing we saw was this life size whale (sorry - I played with my camera settings the whole time, and still the pictures are very dark. Someday, I will take a class!):
The coolest thing about this whale was the fact that one side was open to show the skeleton of the whale. It was great to be able to show Crumpet how similar our skeleton is to a whale's despite the very different lives we live. Their flippers are built just like hands!
Crumpet loves rays so he enjoyed studying this one.
The main hall also houses several floors of exhibits about Hawaiian history, as well as information about other Pacific islands. This is a model of an ancient religious site (heiau) in Hawaii. We saw the ruins of one recently, and it was good to see what it would have looked like in use.
Grass house:
This is a quilt of the Hawaiian flag. When the island was taken over, the people were not allowed to fly their flag, so they created many of these quilts to demonstrate their love of their land and culture.
This is a rotten picture of dancing costumes from another Pacific island.
After we were finished in the main hall, we walked over to the science hall. This was definitely our favorite area. Here is the crazy tunnel into the volcano area:
They have a giant "working" volcano. You can walk inside and learn about volcanos (if you could sit still that long - someone in our group couldn't!):

Or you can walk up to the overlook and push buttons to make the lava at the top bubble. Crumpet loved this.
There was another volcano exhibit where you could compete with other people to create enough pressure in your section of the volcano to make it erupt first:
There was an area to dress up as forest creatures:
Crumpet is a serious snuggler, and he loved this mouse costume:
We learned about the animals that are native to Hawaii, and about problems related to bringing in foreign species. This giant snail eats the smaller snails and causes big problems. We know this because our garden is overrun with snails...
A third building houses the museum's traveling exhibits. Right now, the exhibit is about Creatures of the Deep Sea.
Above, you can see Crumpet with a giant squid. Below is a large wall mural showing depths at which various creatures live:
The museum also has a planetarium. We attended a show where we were taught to navigate by the stars. The Hawaiians used to travel around the Pacific in canoes, using nothing but the stars to guide them. It was very interesting. But our favorite thing in the planetarium was this giant sphere in the entrance. You could change the pictures that were projected on to it, and guess which was Crumpet's favorite? You could make it look like the Death Star from Star Wars... Eventually we had to drag him out so other people could use the machine!
This thing was beautiful, and Crumpet's dad is still scheming about how to get one for our living room... I'm not sure how I feel about that!

The Bishop Museum was a great place to spend an afternoon. We all loved it, and we are looking forward to going back in March, when the traveling exhibit will be about dinosaurs. However, I have to say that I am really looking forward to a day, sometime in the distant future, when I can stop and read the information about the exhibits. Right now, I am dragged from one area to the next and I feel like I miss a lot and don't actually learn much. Still, it is lovely to see the excitement in Crumpet, and so this is fun too!
For more field trip posts, visit Live the Adventure!


  1. That museum seems like it covers every topic. I wasn't sure what "Bishop" Museum was referring to. My 10 year old obsessed with natural disasters would freak over that volcano.

  2. What a great field trip! I have to admit that now that I have time to read the exhibits, I often don't take the time. Why? Because MY attention span is not what it used to be! LOL The exhibit has to be extremely interesting or I really could care less. Isn't that terrible? Ha!

    Thanks for linking up to Field Trip Friday! Can't wait to see what you do next month!