Earlier this week I was lucky enough to go to the opening of The Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition here in Melbourne. I took with me The Green Eyed Girl and one of her friends. Not your average midweek outing.
There is a small part of me that wants to believe in magic. When the kids were younger it could still be found watching on from the sidelines as they anticipated Santa, wrote letters to fairies and searched through dark windows for signs of Easter Bunny.
It could also be found in books. The suspension of disbelief as words turn to characters, adventures come to life and fantastical worlds unfold. My first encounter with the land of Narnia was as a six year old, having my teacher read from The Magician’s Nephew each day. It was the start of a long yearning to be part of that world. I spent many hours searching wardrobes, on the off chance one would happen to be the doorway to that land. Though I am not sure shutter-doored built-ins in a 1970s brick veneer suburban home really were all that magical. Not from wont of trying.
Imagine then, a typical working week. Imagine sitting in traffic going at a snails pace. A journey doubling in the expected length of time and a clock ticking away from fashionably late to down right rude even contemplating showing up at all late. Picture two excited eleven year old friends, sensing the rising tension from the driver, sitting quietly in the back seat as Melbourne traffic inched forward. A hasty car park, a hurried walking pace and a will that the doors were still open to what we hoped was The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition.
Something happened when we entered the pavilion. There is, it seems, a little bit of magic left after all. The friends pushed through two large wooden doors and found themselves in a wardrobe. In the wardrobe, complete with fur coats. In front of them, a lamppost, surrounded by snow. This is when the excitement really started, for the girls and for me. Instead of seeing the exhibition through my eyes, I saw it through those of two eleven year olds. Costumes from the movies, props, interactive touch screen maps. A chance to lift swords and attempts to lift armour. The right amount of fact and fantasy mixing to create a real sense of magic. My only concern was convincing the girls to leave.
The exhibition is open daily from now until February. Take your children along, and watch for glimpses of magic as you view it through their eyes.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition
Showing from 21 November 2012 to February 2013
Pavilion Waterfront, Docklands Ave, Docklands
Weekends: 10am –Last Entry 7pm Close 8:30pm
Admission: Family $59.90 (4 Ttx) Adult $19.90 Child (3-10 yrs) $14.90
2 years and under free – Groups 10 or more-buy 8 and get 2 free
Disclaimer: I received a family pass to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition.