The Nauticus museum in Norfolk, VA is at the top of the list of our favorite places we’ve visited with the children. The museum had so many hands-on activities for the children to do that we didn’t want to leave. An exhibit on the Panama Canal discussed the use of locks to move cargo ships through the canal. This fit well with our previous visit to the Cumberland Visitor Center and its exhibit on locks and their use on the C&O canal.
In addition to the refresher on locks, we learned:
- The “bow” and “stern” of a boat are the “front” and “rear” of the boat
- The right side of the boat is called the “starboard” side and the left side is called the “port” side
- Buoys are color coded to assist boaters: “Red, Right, Returning” means the red buoy should be on the right (starboard) side of the boat when returning from open seas. The opposite is true for green buoys.
We also had a chance to do the following fun activities:
- Kate was able to touch a live Brownbanded Bamboo Shark fin by reaching her hand into the “Shark Experience” exhibit
- Grace built a submersible remote-controlled robot and tried to drive it to collect rings that were scattered in the pool of water
- We withstood the 80 mile an hour hurricane force winds in the “hurricane simulator”
- We toured the Battleship Wisconsin, one of the largest and last Battleships ever built by the U.S. navy.
Time Spent: 3 hours
Cost: ~$50 for 2 adults and 2 children