Columbia River Maritime Museum

IMG_1406 We are big museum fans around here, so when we traveled around the country we were always on the look out for cool, unique museums we could bring our kids to. The Maritime Museum in Astoria was definitely a winner!

You may not have read a lot about the Columbia River in your history books, but it was a major port that has played a big role in America’s commerce.

At the museum they have huge replicas of ships from various eras.

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This life sized replica (complete with mannequins) of a major coast guard rescue was all the more dramatic for being set on a life sized wave. It made you almost feel turbulent water crashing around you. The columbia River bar made it a treacherous passage, so life and death rescues like this one were common.

The kids loved the other life size exhibits too.

Then there were smaller replicas, and a lot of historic displays of things found on various ships. My boys were convinced this china chest was actually a pirate’s treasure chest, and could have spent all day staring at it.

We tried to explain that this was not an astronaut suit, but they weren’t having it.

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We happened to be there when the museum staff were doing a demonstration on rope making and Simon got to make his own rope!

Once we were done we went outside and explored the Lightship Columbia, a floating lighthouse that was once used to guide ships as they approached the river.

This fun, educational activity was definitely a success…getting a good family picture of it, not so much.

Do you have a favorite, family friendly museum?

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