Greektown's National Hellenic Museum is on a mission to connect
generations through Greek history, culture and art. Its world
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: A Look Inside the Lightning
Thief, brings alive for young fans the movie and book series by
integrating movie props, posters and trivia with the history and
long-lived impact of Greek mythology.
Having never visited the museum, we weren't sure what to expect
from a fourth floor office space above Greek Islands restaurant.
(The museum is currently building a larger space scheduled to open
in October 2011.)
Rounding the corner to the museum space, we were met by a
floor-to-ceiling mural depicting the timeline of Greek
civilization. My sons spotted names and images they recognized and
were astonished to see the dates go back so many thousands of
years. While reading the Percy Jackson book series, my 9-year-old
has become familiar with many Greek myths and characters, so he was
excited to get to the main attraction.
In the exhibit rooms, we took an up-close look at props from the
Fox 2000 film and read about how plot points are connected to
ancient myth. My older sons tested their god and goddess knowledge
at the "Lotus Casino," while I read a children's version of The
Odyssey to my 5-year-old. We also used a magnet board to spell out
our names using the Greek alphabet.
Since the exhibit doesn't take that long to explore, try
visiting on one of the days the museum offers interactive
experiences for kids. Through the end of August, Fridays from 10-11
a.m. are Mythical Mornings for age 3-7. Museum staff introduce
legends and gods of Mount Olympus and discuss a different Greek
myth each week.
On Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m., children ages 6 to 13 can participate
in mosaic making. Children complete their choice of design using
plastic and ceramic stones they can take home. The exhibit is
scheduled to close Sept. 4, so get there while you can.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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