One of Hartlepool’s most iconic tourist attractions will be giving youngsters a true maritime experience this summer.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool is hosting an extensive programme of activities throughout the school holidays to keep kids entertained.
The HMS Trincomalee, which is docked at the NMRN Hartlepool site on Jackson Dock, in the town, is the oldest warship still afloat in Europe.
Activities on offer at the museum include weekly animal handling sessions, that will give families the chance to pet the kinds of animals that would have been found on board His Majesty’s Ships in the 1800s.
Animal handling sessions will run each Friday until August 31 from 10am to 4pm.
A series of creative drop-in sessions will also be taking place from Tuesday, July 31, right the way throughout August, involving activities inspired by famous explorer Captain James Cook, and the history of the Royal Navy.
Roslyn Adamson, general manager of the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, said: “We are delighted to be delivering animal handling sessions this year.
“There are many stories to be told of animals on-board ships and it’s a really nice way of bringing those to life for our younger visitors.
“Combined with our programme of drop-in activities there will be lots for families to do throughout the summer here at the museum.
“Visitors who have a National Membership with us or who Gift Aid their ticket on entry now get free access all year, so the summer programme offers even greater value for money for families trying to entertain children over the holidays.”
Drop-in sessions are based on four themes, including People of the Pacific Islands, where guests will learn more about the Pacific Islands culture and will have the opportunity to use traditional designs to make their own faux bone charms from clay. Sessions will be held on Tuesday, July 31, and Thursday, August 2, from 11am-12.30pm and 1pm-4pm.
Tattoos of the Royal Navy is another session that will see visitors discover the history of the people of Polynesia and their tattoos, and how they influenced the designs worn by Captain Cook’s crew.
Visitors will get the chance to design their own tattoos and have them temporarily painted on at he sessions which will be held on Tuesday, August 7, and Thursday, August 9, from 11am-12.30pm and 1pm-4pm.
Workshop Captain Cook in Hawaii, will see participants learn about Hawaiian culture and make Leis – traditional floral gifts that are given to visitors to the island.
Sessions will be held on Tuesday, August 14, and Thursday, August 16, from 11am-12.30pm and 1pm-4pm.
The final workshop Aboriginal Art, will see visitors put their creativity to the test by painting their own aboriginal inspired pictures or making their very own boomerang. Sessions will take place on Tuesday, August 21, Thursday, August 23, from 11am-12.30pm and 1pm-4pm.
The museum is also hosting Hartlepool’s inaugural rum festival on August 11 from 7pm to 11pm, with a large selection of rums available for visitors to sample, among a range of masterclasses and activities taking place on the evening.
For further information about the summer programme and the rum festival, contact 01429 860 077 or visit http://www.hartlepoolrumfestival.co.uk
There is no additional cost to attend the drop-in sessions if visitors a valid ticket or membership to the site and there is no need to book in advance.