One of the great fears about geolocation in phones is that we'll all end up living in a Phillip K Dick inspired world where every time we pass a store at the mall we're barraged with text messages offering a coupon only good for the next fifteen minutes. So far, my beloved iPhone has been spared that bit of dystopian drama, but even I have to admit the concept itself is sound. I like the idea of local, timely deals from places I know won't harass me until the end of time once they get their grubby hands on my email address.
That's why I'm pretty delighted by Groupon. You sign up for a single daily email and they send you one local coupon good that day only. Today you can get a one year family membership to the Frazier museum for $30, which is 60% off the normal rate.
Color me biased, but I have a slightly unhealthy love of the Frazier Museum. I own multiple pirate costumes, love ren faires, and yes, I own a few sharp pointy objects that aren't branded Wusthof.
Right now, the Frazier is in the midst of an awesome Pirate-O-Rama titled, "Pirates: Treasure and Trechery." I was privilaged to see the new exhibit opening night. They do a remarkable job of presenting genuine historical artifacts in a context that won't scare the bejezus out of kids. You can play with a cannon, pose in the stocks, climb beneath a replica deck (yes, those glowing red eyes are the rats watching you), spin the wheel, and use stamps to make your own pirate flag. It's more than enough to keep the kids entertained while further up on the walls you'll find ornate ceremonial daggers with a skull hilt, multiple examples of explosives and boarding tools, and in a nod to the very serious issues of modern piracy, a TV in back playing coverage of Somali Pirate attacks.
"I love the grappling hooks," said Madeline Burnside, Executive Director of the Frazier Museum. "When you think of pirates, you think of them swinging those grappling hooks and jumping aboard. Those are real, actually used by pirates."
I asked the school aged set what they liked best about the exhibit.
"Davy Jones Locker," said Haley, 10.
Addie, 6, said, "I like all the gold and jewelry stuff."
Nick, another 6 year old, was all about the weapons. "The swords! And the guns!"
"The wheel! I turned it!" David, 5, was in the middle of cranking a wench on one of the other interactive parts when I asked. If you could crawl on it, over it, or under it, you had his love. I'm not sure if he saw anything over four feet up. The adults appreciated the rest of the view, though.
When asked for her favorite part of the exhibit, Madeline Burnside said, "There's so much, but...the dress ornaments. I've read about those and I've seen one or two, but I've never seen an entire collection of them. I'm not into jewelry really, but they're tiny and detailed, and just spectacular."
The Frazier has a whole slew of piratical goodness coming up over the next few months. If you're looking for a summer day camp, kids age 6-12 can sign up for "A Pirate Adventure" starting June 6. Saturday, July 10 they'll host another kid friendly day called "Ahoy, Pirates!" For those of us adults who love an excuse to dress up as a Pirate, they're hosting a Scallywags Rooftop Soiree on July 8 where we can indulge in a little costumed shenanigans with adult beverages.
September 4, they're capping it all off with an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most pirates assembled in one place. I'll be the pirate in a gold coat and red corset.