As soon as I mentioned to my 3 year old son that we were going on a Treasure Hunt at the Ipswich Art Gallery, he just couldn’t wait. ‘Are we going yet mum?’ was all I heard in the hours leading up to us leaving.
When we’ve attend the various children’s activities at the Ipswich Art Gallery, it’s usually indoors but the Treasure Hunt exhibit makes the most of the beautiful Spring weather and is situated out the front of the art gallery in d’Arcy Doyle Place, a pedestrian mall. It’s a perfect spot that has been converted into a giant sandpit and is covered with shade sails and surrounded by fences to ensure all children are secure and can’t sneak off easily.
A giant sandpit is exciting for any child but it’s what lays beneath the sand pit at the Ipswich Art Gallery that is really exciting.
But first, before delving into the sand, we had to create our treasure bags in which we would safely stash away our jewels. There were ink pads and heaps of stamps for us to decorate our calico drawstring bags into something fit for precious jewels and treasures. Once our bags were complete, we were given an essential tool to help us find our treasure – a sand sieve.
Oh where to start? A huge sand pit full of treasure! My son had a quick look at one of the Treasure Hunt Discovery guides situated on the edge of the sand pit and decided that it would be his mission to find a pirate trinket. He found white turquoise, clear quartz, shells, turquoise, some ‘bling’ and apatite (a rock that he likes to call Earth because of its blue colour) and compared them to the Treasure Hunt Discovery Guide. But still, he was yet to find the pirate trinket he so desperately wanted.
After much digging and sifting in many different places, not only did he find the pirate trinket he was after, but two ‘pirate’ coins!
Holding his bounty up in the air, he was very pleased with his finds. He would have happily sat and dug for treasure all day if he was able to. Not only did he have loads of fun discovering, he learnt about geology, fossicking and how to pronounce some tricky treasure names.
For children under three years, there’s a separate toddler area with safe and stimulating activities and for the parents who are looking to discover something special too, Mr Coffee is on site with plenty of delicious beverages (including the very important coffee) to enjoy while little treasure seekers have fun.
But, it didn’t end for us at the Ipswich Art Gallery. We came home and created a special treasure chest where all of my son’s treasures and pirate trinkets are now hidden, right at the back of his wardrobe. Mummy is the only other person that knows it’s there, it’s our little secret.
Ipswich Art Gallery d’Arcy Doyle Place, Nicholas Street (Between Limestone and Brisbane Sts), Ipswich CBD
Open Monday 21st September until Friday 2nd October 2015
Open 10am to 4pm daily
$3 per child. FREE for under 3s.
Bookings not required (*except for groups of 10+ or Vacation Care groups – please book to ensure Ipswich Art Gallery can accommodate you.)
Pay at the information desk on the day.
For more information visit www.ipswichartgallery.qld.gov.au