On Saturday 24th August East Lothian Council hosted a Family Activity Day at Prestongrange Museum, East Lothian. There were a variety of events and activities to take part in and many visitors – mostly families – came along.
On the lawn close to the cafe and reception building were outdoor games, Nature Detectives and Orienteering. The Countryside Rangers were based in a small tent and on display inside was a taxidermy collection of a shrew, weasel, stout and badger, as well as an otter skin and deer antlers. Visitors also had the opportunity to look at photographs of animal tracks and guess which animal made each one.
East Lothian Orienteers were next to the reception building, where visitors could sign up for a map and have a go at orienteering to find the control points placed around the grounds of the museum.
Additionally, outdoor games were set up on the lawn that included badminton, Swingball and giant Jenga.
The local fire service also made an appearance at the event, however, they were slightly delayed after having to respond to an emergency but they still came as soon as they could. Families and visitors could see what is stored in each of the compartments of the fire engine, while children could sit at the front and behind the wheel. This proved to be one of the most popular activities with crowds of people surrounding the fire engine and looking around inside.
The Borders Search and Rescue Unit were next to the Fire Service. Here visitors learned the rescue methods used by Search and Rescue and even try moving an stretcher on wheels. Children could also sit inside the rescue service’s ambulance and activate the sirens – which was heard throughout the day!
Located next to the Borders Search and Rescue Unit was an archaeologist demonstrating how people lived in the area hundreds of years ago. Visitors could even use some of the replicas of prehistoric flour grinders to make their own flour. After studying the remains of people from that period, archaeologists found their teeth eroded more than normal as a result of the tiny pieces of stone in the bread from the flour that was ground with stone grinders.
In the Powerhouse, there was storytelling and craft making for those with a creative side. Finally, the other popular activity of the day was archery. Opposite the visitor centre, families were lined up for children wanting to learn how to improve their accuracy in shooting with a bow.
To conclude, the day was a huge success and with something for everyone, visitors certainly enjoyed themselves.
Article by volunteer Claire Wheelans. For more information about volunteering with us, visit: http://www.eastlothianmuseums.org/content/pages/volunteer-with-us.php