Herman Melville Family Day celebrates the 192nd birthday of the famed author of “Moby-Dick” at the Museum on Saturday, July 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with a full day of free children’s activities including a whale of a birthday cake.
The annual celebration features special guests, art, music, poetry, and story reading for children 12 years and younger and takes place in the Jacobs Family Gallery, museum plaza, and the Cook Memorial Theater. Regular admission applies to all other museum galleries.
Highlights include music by members of the , art projects to take home, historical characters, fun learning activities, and birthday cake, too.
Special activities are scheduled throughout the day. From 10:00 a.m. to noon, kids can make their own floatable toy model of Cap’n Ahab’s ship, Pequod. Wading pools on the plaza will allow young shipwrights to test their vessel’s seaworthiness before they take them home.
A children’s poetry workshop will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. At 11:30 a.m. whaling wives, Ruth and Abby from the 1840s, will visit with children. At noon, the museum’s youth apprentices will lead a special sperm whale activity. From 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. kids can illustrate their very own version of Moby-Dick and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., be photographed with Moby Dick’s statue.
At 1:00 p.m. members of the New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus will perform toe-tapping tunes from Melville’s day and other fun favorites. At 2:00 p.m. the Chorus will belt out a timber-shivering rendition of “Happy Birthday,” with kids of all ages invited to join in the singing, and enjoy a slice of birthday cake.
Ongoing activities include make-and-take art projects – whale hats, whale tail bookmarks and magnets – and making chalk whale art. Moby-Dick cartoons will be featured in the theater and drawings to win a family membership will be given hourly. The Museum Store will also hold a Whale of a Tent Sale on the plaza.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Herman Melville Family Day is hosted by the museum’s education department in partnership with the Melville Society Cultural Project, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.