If you are planning on visiting the "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs" exhibit at the Pacific Science Center (PSC) are a few tips I would like to offer:
- A membership to the PSC gives generous discounts on the entry fee as well as discounts for things like the audio guide and the gift shop. Costco offers discounted tickets although it's not as low as the membership prices. Plus it only applies to the entry fee to the exhibit.
- Go now rather than wait until closer to the end of the exhibit, January 6, 2013. Reserve your ticket and entry time at least 24 hours in advance for “off” times, several days in advance for peak times. As it gets closer to the end, these times will fill up fast and a week or two in advance could be necessary.
- The self-guided audio tour (an additional $5 for PSC members, $6 for non-members) is great for adults but some children, unless they are very interested in the subject, could find it wordy and, to quote my son, “boring.”
- Catch one of the two IMAX movies on the subject at the PSC prior to visiting the exhibit to get a more in depth understanding of the items you will see. It’s best to reserve tickets for the movies when you make your exhibit reservations as these movies sell out fast. One of the movies, “Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs” is even available on Netflix.
- No photography of any kind is allowed in the exhibit. They experimented with allowing non-flash photography for the first few months of the exhibit (a first for the tour in any city), hence the photos I was able to include in this and my previous post about our visit. This is a link to a more detailed description of why they changed that policy and I agree completely with their conclusions.
- Once you are let into the exhibit, there is no re-entry so make sure you visit the restrooms prior to entering.
- I have actually visited the exhibit twice. The first time was with 3 children, ages 9 thru 11. We let the kids set the pace and made it through the entire exhibit in less than 45 minutes. The last few galleries, the ones with actual items from the tomb of King Tut, were far more interesting to them than the first ones. The two boys in the group were VERY disappointed to discover that there weren’t any actual mummies there. I think they had pictured it to be more like a campy horror movie.
- The tour, as always, ends in the gift shop which instantly brightened the mood of the disappointed children. And after the last few tours the PSC offered, it was a pleasant surprise that they offered many reasonably priced souvenirs. We were able to escape there without too big of a financial hit.
- My second visit was with my 20 year old son. We stopped at each and every artifact and read every sign. There are short little movies throughout the exhibit that play on a loop. We took 2 hours to complete the visit and I feel that we left there with a complete experience.
I hope you enjoy the exhibit as much as our family did!