Have you read the Chronicles of Narnia and wondered what it would be like to step through the wardrobe and into that magical land? I’ve imagined that moment since I was a young girl and read the C.S. Lewis classic, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the first time. When my children were young, we read through the entire series as a family. It took us months, as each night at bedtime, we would read a chapter from our current book followed by A Family Guide To Narnia: Biblical Truths in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia a devotional to accompany the series.
When we learned that the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville would be hosting a special traveling exhibit, Narnia: The Exhibition, I couldn’t wait to go! As excited as I was, we nearly missed it, finally deciding to go the last day it was in town — and I’m so glad we made it!
The exhibit opened in the study of C.S. Lewis. It was easy to imagine that you were in England, in a wood paneled room in his home, featuring his writing desk, surrounded by his treasured books, including a rare first edition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Oh, how I’d love to have a copy for my personal library!
As fun as it was to pretend that we were visitors of the late great author, nothing compared to the moment the docent pulled back the heavy wooden door of the wardrobe and we found ourselves stepping inside, through the wardrobe, among coats and furs, emerging on the other side, in site of the lamppost with gently falling snow brushing against our faces. We had entered the enchanting, magical world of Narnia and nothing would have made that moment better than if we’d been greeted by a half man, half goat creature named Tumnus.
If you’ve read the books by C.S. Lewis, or watched the movies by Walt Disney Pictures or Walden Media, and even slightly enjoyed them, you’ll love this exhibit. Not only are costumes and artifacts from the movie on display, but you’ll even encounter some of the creatures themselves! The interactive, hands-on scenes ensure that this museum attraction is fun for the whole family. Young children will enjoy crawling through a log, like the small creatures of Narnia, creating a creature with the spinning blocks, or jumping in the blow up castle.
Older children will enjoy learning about science principals such as climate change while sitting on the frozen White Witch’s Throne or touching the wall of ice—a frozen waterfall. They’ll discover the secrets of building a strong castle by building an arch and viewing an impressive scale model of King Miraz’s castle. They’ll design build their own coat of arms, lift a sword that belonged to the Pevensie children, fire a trebuchet and stand under the shadows of the majestic centaurs.
You may have missed Narnia: The Exhibition in Huntsville, but you can still step through the wardrobe at the Buffalo Museum of Science in New York where the exhibit opens today, January 24th !
The only downside to the exhibit is that photography is not permitted, but you can watch this short YouTube video to learn more.
Are you a Narnia fan? Wouldn’t you love to step through the wardrobe?
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© 2011, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.