Museum mesmerizes kids with whales, ponies, lava
|Photo gallery: Bishop Museum Family Sunday|
By John Windrow
Advertiser Staff Writer
By John Windrow
Crystal Medeiros was a busy 6-year-old yesterday at the Bishop Museum Family Sunday fun fest. So many furry animals needed petting.
She ran to give the gray rabbit a little pat of affection, then she ran to stroke the goat, rub the dog and pet the calf, as she kept one eye on the llama, which looked a bit too tall to reach.
Nearby were ponies. Kids adorned with blue paper whales on their heads saddled up to ride in a merry circle.
So much to do, so little time.
Crystal, who journeyed to the big event from Kailua with her mom, Rose, was far too busy to comment for publication.
Meanwhile, at the volcano exhibit, Maya Calilao, 4, pushed a button that produced a mechanical eruption. She nodded eagerly when asked if she would like to see a real one.
She and her parents, Edward and Tina from Mililani, were at their first Family Sunday. "It's good, it's educational," her father said, "for adults as well as kids."
Upstairs, Barbara and Chris Natale, who live in Kalihi Valley, waited patiently as their boys Chris, 4, and Anthony, 2, waxed increasingly enthusiastic about making orange and red magma and hissing gas spurt from the cone of the big model volcano.
There's something about eruptions that especially appeals to boys, their mother said. "Chris always asks to see the volcano."
Back outside in the bright sunshine, little girls adjusted their tiaras after going down the big inflatable slide before they lined up for gecko tattoos.
At the whale exhibit in the Castle Memorial Building, 5-year-old Megan Cummings worked a lever that moved the jaw of an enormous mechanical sperm whale. The idea was that the whale was moving his jaw to eat. The intensity of Megan's effort showed her belief that whales have very large appetites.
Megan's sisters, Kylie, 12, and Brooke, 9, were there with parents Keola and Dayle Cummings, of Kapolei.
Kylie took notes on different whales — gray, humpback, orca, sperm — and their primitive and very unattractive, distant relatives the andrewsarchus and basilosaurus.
"I think they're amazing," Kylie said, adding that the degree of detail in the leviathans on display was "really cool."
Stephanie Whalen, so fond of whales that she calls her house in Hale'iwa "Whale Inn," gently admonished her grandson, Keahi, 3, that he couldn't climb on the exhibit to touch the basilosaurus, a hideously ugly prehistoric creature that appeared to be a cross between a fanged serpent and an airplane.
"Don't touch, just look," Stephanie told Keahi, who seemed determined to get up close and personal with the basilosaurus despite its long, sharp teeth — which the exhibit described as incisors, canines, premolars and molars.
"Big teeth," his grandmother said ominously, to little effect.
Teeth and all, the basilosaurus shined with beauty for Keahi, who voiced complaints at being kept from the object of his affection.
Nine-year-old Wyatt Yoshika, on hand with mother Wendy and brother Ethan, 5, proclaimed the basilosaurus his favorite, particularly because of its long, sharp incisors, canines, premolars and molars.
One wondered if Crystal Medeiros, so eager to gently stroke the rabbit or the goat, could spare a gentle touch for the basilosaurus. Perhaps not.
All in all, the whale exhibit was a lot to take in and demanded a certain intellectual commitment.
But anyone who didn't want to study whales on a pretty Family Sunday afternoon could always get a gecko tattoo, put on a blue whale hat and ride a pony.
Having some fun now.
Reach John Windrow at email@example.com.