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Monday, October 29, 2012

Titanic Museum - Branson Missouri

This year marks 100 years since the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic.  In April 1914 the White Star Line offered passengers a chance to travel in luxury aboard the largest, unsinkable ship in the world.  Deemed as the safest way to travel, Titanic was host to some of the richest people of the time.  Also on board were hundreds of poor immigrants anxious to start a new life in America.   When in the dark night of April 14, 1914 Titanic strikes an iceberg, the unthinkable happens...  The safest ship, the unsinkable Titanic begins her slow decent to the bottom of the freezing ocean.  A tragic tale familiar to everyone...

We were so interested in learning about the Titanic and I was completely thrilled when we were given the opportunity to learn first hand about the Titanic at the Titanic Museum in Branson, MO.  Before we went we had a great time reading about the ship, its crew, passengers, and artifacts so we would be prepared for our visit.  I'm excited to share our voyage with you!

Before you go:
Get to know the Titanic...especially if you have smaller children who may lose interest in a big museum.  I'd highly recommend the book Inside the Titanic by Brewster and Marschall.  It had enormous cut-away pictures of the Titanic!  Very cool!


We also enjoyed an interactive book called Explore Titanic by Chrisp.   This book includes an amazing CD that lets you take a virtual tour of the ship via computer!



To get a feel for the story of Titanic in a kid-friendly way we read the Magic Treehouse Tonight on the Titanic and its accompanying Fact Tracker Guide as well as a great book called Titanic Lost & Found by Kohler that shares information about the sunken ships discovery and recovery. 

We also took advantage of the TONS of information Titanic Museum offers on their website for educators!  Check out all the goodies - Quizzes, Teachers Guides, and scavenger hunts!

We read and studied Titanic for a little over a week before heading to the Titanic Museum in Branson!  I'm really glad we did!  I'm even more excited to walk you through our adventures at the museum.

The Experience:
We arrived at the Titanic museum about an hour after they opened.  I was grateful that there were no long lines to wait in! 



Upon arrival we were given a Boarding Pass.  This boarding pass shares a bio of a man or a woman who really sailed on the Titanic.  As you voyage through the museum you learn about what life was like on the ship.  Between the 4 of us we made up all 3 classes of people.  Maggie traveled on a 1st class ticket, Kayley and I on a 2nd, and James in 3rd Class.   We also brought our Scavenger Hunt quiz.  We entered the Titanic museum with excitement knowing we would find out at the end if we were survivors or if we perished.


The museum itself is beyond incredible.  Through careful research the museum has been re-created to look exactly as the Titanic did before she sunk.  We were able to look in staterooms, walk the hallways, and when we rounded the corner where we could walk up the grand staircase Kayley started squealing "Mom!  MOM!  Its the grand staircase!!!!" 


There are to-scale re-creations of a lifeboat, the bridge (yes you can turn the wheel!), the Marconi room (you can learn to tap out an SOS), you could "shovel" coal into one of Titanic's boilers, try to climb Titanic's sloping decks, touch a "real" iceberg and if you dare you can try putting your hand down into 28 degree water (it hurts!).   We were overwhelmed by the artifacts, over 4 million dollars worth of real Titanic artifacts are on display... 


We were also interested to see the Titanic tribute to dogs.  We had fun seeing Molly & Carter.  You can sneak a peek at Molly & Carter too by visiting their webcam!


As we neared the end of our visit we were able to determine our fate.  All of us ladies survived but we were sorry to see that our 3rd class passenger, perished in the freezing waters.  Not surprising since it was "women and children" first...

Reflections:
Leaving the Titanic we were awe-struck.  Kayley discussed repeatedly how cold the water was.  Survivors described their plunge into the water as being stabbed by a 1,000 knives.  I'd believe it.  We were encouraged to put our hand in the water past our wrist and count to 10.  It was so painful.  It is hard to imagine how people must've felt in that freezing water.

The museum was amazing.  I couldn't have imagined a better way to culminate our studies of Titanic other than to "see" the ship first hand.  It had something to offer for all ages and even my 2 year old was excited to push buttons, look under flaps, rotate the trivia drums and try to climb up the slanting deck!

Ticket Information:
Reservations are recommended.  I have seen some impressively long lines to get into this museum!  Most weekend tickets sell out quickly so be sure to purchase in advance.

(Ticket Prices include audio players that coordinate with numbered displays throughout the museum.  Audio voices include stories as told by actual Titanic Survivors.)

Advance Reservation - Adult $20.68 + tax
Advance Reservation - Child (5-12) $10.77 + tax
Advance Reservation - Family Pass (2 adults, 4 children)* $60.56 + tax
Advance Reservation - Child (0-4)Free

To make your reservation, click HERE.

Titanic is open daily with tours departing starting at 9am.

We had a fabulous time and I think you will too!  Bon Voyage!

Disclaimer:  We received tickets to the Titanic Museum free of charge through the Titanic Mom Blogger program in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to give positive remarks.  All opinions expressed here are my own.  Thank YOU Titanic - Branson!!

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