Even the occasional shower of rain cannot douse the enthusiasm of the many young people who have been visiting the Abbey Museum over the last few days to participate in our Viking School Holiday Family Fun program. The rain is falling gently from the skies, but still the kids are lining up sword and shield in hand waiting eagerly for instructions and more importantly, the whistle that tells them it is time to do battle. The high pitched whistle pierces the grey skies and heralds the drumming sound of sword on shield as these junior Viking warriors advance across the grounds to face yet another group of eager warriors. The Viking warrior training is without doubt one of the most popular activities being offered during the Viking School Holiday Family Fun program at the Abbey Museum.
Archery – a popular Viking School Holiday Activity
Right up there with the Warrior training is the ever popular archery. In the past few days I have looked out of my office window to see one of our education officers dressed in his Viking warrior attire, standing in the rain and also dodging a shower of arrows coming from our young archers with varying levels of ability.
Other outdoor activities include an archaeological dig where our young warriors (now junior archaeologists) excavate objects left behind from a long forgotten Viking village. There are pottery bowls and storage vessels, jewellery – brooches and beads, bits of armour and weapons to discover and to learn the stories of the Vikings that once used them.
In the Museum our visitors enjoy dress-ups, donning Viking tunics, hats, belts and even beards. This leads to many photo opportunities in front of our Viking tent holding a fearsome replica battle axe or sword. Although the costumes are only child-sized, it doesn’t stop this activity being a family affair with the dads also getting in on the act.
All the participants in our Viking School Holiday Family Fun program go home with a swag of crafty loot that they have gathered (made) during their time at the Abbey Museum. I have seen some very fine Viking ships sail out the door, and young warriors wearing newly made helmets and armbands. I have also seen some excellent painted shields which will no doubt adorn the bedroom walls of these junior Vikings.
The Abbey Museum holds Kids Dig It – Family Fun programs each school holidays (except the July holidays). During the Easter holidays we are hosting a Stone Age Family Fun program so put the 13th – 17th April in your diary and bring the kids along.