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BuddingDockyardExplorerInspired by “Exploring Antarctica: The Final Expeditions of Scott and Shackleton” – the stunning photographic exhibition in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery – an abundance of activities awaits budding explorers at The Historic Dockyard Chatham this spring.

In addition to an interactive activity area within the Antarctica exhibition, families can follow a Potty Penguins and Rope Trail or a Hearts of Oak trail, take part in the popular Forget Me Knots tying activity, Shipwrecks and Rescues with the RNLI, Mask Making or even Orienteering! These school holiday activities run from 25th May until 2nd June.

During the Orienteering Family Challenge, families are given a booklet to follow map references and picture clues and then they will find out some fascinating facts about The Historic Dockyard and discover the secret of the Commissioners Garden!

The crash of waves and cry of gulls beckons visitors to the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection, where dramatic tales of disastrous shipwrecks and gallant rescues will be told. Visitors are invited to explore the heroic work of the RNLI and listen to dramatic stories of real life sea-rescues featuring people included on the information panels around the gallery. They can make and test their own ‘self-righting’ lifeboat and have a go at medal making in the art and crafts activities.

The Commander’s Cabin on board the historic Victorian Naval Sloop HMS GANNET (1878), provides the focal point for Forget Me Knots, as visitors learn the age old skill of knot tying and then take away a hand-made souvenir which demonstrates what they have learnt.

The new Potty Penguins and Rope Trail sets families the challenge of finding penguins around the Dockyard! They will test their knowledge of rope related phrases used in everyday life, but which originate from Naval speak. In the Hearts of Oak Trail, visitors can find and follow the Green Man trail and make their own mask at the end.

The Railway Workshop Indoor Picnic and Soft Play area has plenty of space for the children to play – they may even see an engineer working on one of the dockyard’s steam locomotives!

The outdoor adventure play area provides families with plenty of opportunities for the children to let off steam and with all dockyard tickets valid for 12 months, families can come back again and again.

Details of special events and exhibitions being held at The Historic Dockyard in 2013 can be found at http://www.thedockyard.co.uk