Updated December 5th 2016
Updated November 9th 2016
Back in April this year, the Melbourne Museum announced the closure of the Children's Gallery to make way for a brand new gallery funded by the Gandel Philanthropy and the Victorian Government.
Fast forward seven months and the new Pauline Gandel Children's Gallery is set to open to the public on Sunday December 4th at 12:30pm!!!
The new gallery is set to change the way museum visitors and their children learn, play and grow together with over 2000m2 of inside and outside play spaces.
Designed for very young children aged from babies to five years old, the Children’s Gallery will set a new standard both in early childhood learning and in design for contemporary gallery spaces. It will be a cutting edge fusion of design and education that walks hand in hand with one of Australia’s most beloved cultural organisations – Museum Victoria. Children will be able to play, run, roam, learn, and when that all gets a bit much, to have some quiet time too!
Children and families can ‘meet at the train’ - an iconic one-third life size model of the Victorian Railway’s first C-class, ‘Consolidation’ steam locomotive built in 1917. The train will have a special child size tunnel entrance, a giant railway clock and a soundscape and lighting effects.
Children will be able to follow a set of dinosaur footprints from the gallery entrance to a sandpit outside – our Dinosaur Dig, where a fully cast Mamenchisaurus skeleton can be excavated by avid little paleontologists – from head to tail.
Indigenous storytelling will also be a key feature of the new gallery. In particular, children will experience the Creation story of Tiddalik, the frog who drank all the water until he is made to laugh, spilling the water across the land. Four stunning frog sculptures cast in bronze by artist Martin Moore will be displayed around the space and will show Tiddalik getting bigger as he drinks up all the water, culminating in a beautiful outside water feature.
The Gallery not only explores ancient stories of Australia, but brings contemporary Melbourne inside the gallery walls. There will be murals in the space by street artist David Booth (aka Ghostpatrol), famous for his stunning works around laneways and buildings in Australia and around the world. These murals will include an interactive shapes wall that features simple shapes, interactive projections, and showcases with collection objects, helping children to learn. There will also be a Camouflage Disco where kids can party like they’re under five! The Disco will feature a mirror wall, projections, and unique site specific soundscapes created by three contemporary sound artists.
The iconic ‘Big Box’ at Melbourne Museum will feature an appropriately ‘Big’ installation, with a new net climbing structure installed that will let children clamber their way up to three metres in height. The climbing structure has been created with separate spaces for children of all levels and abilities, ensuring that children of all abilities can participate and play.
The Big Box and other spaces will also feature special time out areas such as a ‘nothing nook’ where children who need some extra space and quiet can go while still feeling connected to their friends and family.
This major gallery redevelopment includes the above and SO MUCH MORE!
For more ideas on what to do with the kids this summer - head to our blog.