River & Rowing Museum visitors were sure of big surprise last Thursday as the museum held their ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ family fun day. The bear-illiant holiday event was packed full of bear-themed activities to compliment the newly opened ‘Bears!’ exhibition. With marvellous crafts to make and wonderful games to play, children and adults were in for a treat.
The Bears! exhibit opened on Saturday 3 August, making the Teddy Bear’s Picnic a perfect way to celebrate the new installation. Featuring original artwork and manuscripts from some of the world’s most iconic fictional bears, the display explores the origins of stories such as Winnie the Pooh, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, and Hugless Douglas.
To accompany the Bears! exhibition, the River & Rowing Museum have created a Bears’ Glade in the gallery upstairs. The magical den was a hotspot of activity on Thursday as children hid away with story books and cozied up with teddy bears in the bear cave.
Of course, no River & Rowing Museum family day would be complete without a visit or two from Mr Toad. Everyone’s favourite friendly amphibian made three appearances throughout the event to sing teddy bear songs and to join in with a very special storytelling session. In the Thames Room, Mr Toad and the children went on a Bear Hunt, squelching through mud and wading through long swishy grass as they travelled around the room in search of a bear. Finally stumbling upon the ‘bear cave’, the children were surprised to find a real(ly cardboard) bear hidden behind a draping piece of black fabric!
Also in the Thames Room and the upstairs galleries were a multitude of bear-themed crafts for children to get messy with. From building bear-ear hats to colouring paper picnics, there was plenty of cutting and sticking to keep the kids and grown ups occupied.
Kerri Cicirello, Marketing Assistant at the Museum, said on Thursday, “It’s been really fun – really busy and buzzy – and we’ve got the Bears exhibition downstairs and a lovely discover area which is beautiful. It’s so gorgeous, and all we can hear in the office is these little squeals of delight. It’s been a really beautiful day.”
The Bears! exhibition and the Bears’ Glade will be open at the River & Rowing Museum until 3 November, so there’s still plenty of opportunity to see it. What’s more, if you missed out on the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, there are more bear themed events in store at the museum this summer, including 29th August’s ‘Bears, Bears, Everywhere’ (free with admission). Head on over to the River & Rowing Museum for some totally paw-some family fun!