Herman Melville Family Day will feature many free activities for children 12 years and younger on the plaza and in selected galleries from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to celebrate Herman Melville’s 191st birthday. The event features music performed by members of the New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus, art projects, historical characters, story readings, fun learning activities, kids art show, and a birthday cake, too.
Ongoing activities include making whale hats, whale tail bookmarks and whale magnets. A new 15-minute film, Around the World!, will play throughout the day in the Cook Memorial Theater and the museum’s new iPod tours will also make their public debut. Story reading in the whale galleries will include a pop-up children’s version of Moby-Dick, and The Whale and the Snail. A children’s art show in the Jacobs Family Gallery will include art awards in several categories. Hourly drawings to win a family membership to the Whaling Museum will also be given.
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, the Pequod. Wading pools on the plaza will allow even the youngest shipwrights to test their vessel’s seaworthiness before they take them home. At 11:00 a.m., a kids’ poetry workshop will be offered. 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 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., kids can paint a large whale statue to look like Moby Dick.
At 1:30 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. 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.