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Cleopatra: The Exhibition: A Perfect Day of Art and Science
Too much beachin’ and not enough teachin’ this summer? Fix that with a trip to the California Science Center, host of the only west coast appearance of the beautifully staged Cleopatra: The Exhibition. The show features 190+ artifacts rescued from the bottom of the sea where Cleopatra’s kingdom once stood in Alexandria.
Colossal statues down to tiny coins and intricate jewelry are bathed in lighting to make it seem as if you’re underwater where they were found. Videos throughout the exhibit show the artifacts before you being discovered and brought up from the sea floor. Hands on areas between the ancient pieces allow kids to experience how hard it is to find these pieces in the sand, as well as how they got covered up in the first place. While there is a free audio tour available, it’s a bit wordy for younger kids who might just enjoy the beauty and exoticness of the objects. It’s a pretty quick exhibit to get through thoroughly, under an hour, with timed ticketing managing crowds. A fun hands on area at the end allows kids to experiment with friction in pulling faux blocks of stone like those comprising the pyramids. A dedicated gift shop for the exhibit isn’t particularly child-friendly, but there are better selections for the younger set of budding Egyptologists downstairs in the main store.
Pairing the exhibit with the accompanying IMAX film, “Mysteries of Egypt” beforehand makes for a more rounded experience. The film is on the shorter side as well and the magic of IMAX gives kids and parents amazing views of the Nile and pyramids, as well as the history of Howard Carter’s discovery of King Tut and the ensuing (or not) curse. Snacks can be bought at the theater for during the film and there are numerous lunch spots available at the California Science Center and surrounding areas.
Tickets for the Cleopatra exhibit and film can be bought together at a discount or separately. You’ll have plenty of time to see both and explore the museum or surrounding Exposition Park the rest of the day.
Contributed by Susanna Morgan, who while utterly professional on MomAngeles, uses Not June as her forum to “let the pearls come off.”