Family holidays can be super-fun, but they can also be super-tricky to plan. Especially if you have the almost unattainable dream of trying to please everyone. I say almost because my new goal in life is to show how geeky families CAN have geeky holidays with big geeky smiles on all of their faces. I swear, it can be done with possibilities stretched around the world! Today, I’m looking at LEGO + Dinosaurs + Museums = one nifty location. Welcome to the Jurassic World exhibit at Sydney’s Australian Museum.
Geeks Love Sydney, Australia
I may have a slightly biased opinion on this, but I have it on good authority that geeks do, in fact, love Sydney. It’s a huge sprawling metropolis filled with culture, history, cuisine, and a good splash of geeky references. In the heart of the city, you can find the recently renovated and still impressive Australian Museum.
The Australian Museum is the oldest museum in Australia and the fifth oldest natural history museum in the world. We’re talking animals, fungi, plants, rocks–all of that really old and ridiculously dangerous stuff #Straya is known for (and lots of the cute and interesting stuff too). That also includes dinosaurs. And while there is something for everyone at the Australian Museum, even in our eclectic family, I can always guarantee the dinosaurs are top of the list.
Side note: everyone should have a favorite. Mine is Ankylosaurus. Anyone who says they don’t have a favorite dinosaur is lying. Me and my Ankylosaurus are ready to fight on this.
Jurassic World by Brickman Exhibition at the Australian Museum
If you are planning to visit Sydney in 2022, make sure you add this new LEGO exhibit to your sightseeing list! In addition to the permanent dinosaur displays at the Australian Museum, more than 15 LEGO dinosaurs have been added as part of a new exhibition in Australian history. It’s part of the celebrations for the new movie Jurassic World Dominion coming in June 2022.
The special limited exhibition is created by Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught, Australia’s very own certified Brickmaster and the only one in the southern hemisphere. Ryan and his amazing team have designed an immersive experience, filled with interactive surprises and plenty of inspiration for LEGO fans. It’s not just pretty to look at! This amazing exhibit draws you in and shares the adventure with you. And while it may look like it is based on the movies, there are scientific displays to turn science fiction into science FACT! From tracking dinosaurs (and other animals) to studying the inner workings of a genetic engineering research lab, Ryan and his team have made this a geek paradise.
The whole idea behind a LEGO Exhibition at this mega-scale is to inspire! Each of the LEGO dinosaurs is based on how dinosaurs are depicted in Jurassic World Dominion, which also relies on what science thinks dinosaurs look like. Of course, no one was around then to take a selfie, so it’s all theoretical and open to creative license. That’s where the 2.5-million LEGO brick pit comes in. Because it wouldn’t be LEGO if you didn’t have an opportunity to build your own ideas too.
Jurassic World by Brickman is an exclusive limited exhibition presented at the Australian Museum until Friday, May 27, 2022. For ticket and booking details, visit the official website here.
A Masterclass for the Grown-Ups
There’s one more special event just for the grown-ups: an exclusive after-hours Masterclass with Brickman himself. If you’re a lover of LEGO, dinosaurs, creative arts, or simply meeting one of the nicest geeks ever, then book yourself in. Ryan will take you on a tour of the exhibition, sharing details from behind the scenes like stories of how they built this and the special techniques they used. He even has a series of LEGO brick challenges to take you through. Ryan is well known for his gift for storytelling and his geeky passions. He is also one of the nicest people you could meet, genuinely interested in sharing his love for LEGO with anyone willing to listen. If you have ever watched an episode of LEGO Masters Australia (as mentioned in our previous article), then you’ve pretty much met Ryan. A Masterclass with him would be just as good, if not better. There are two more sessions available on April 28 and May 26. Tickets and full details are available on the Australian Museum website.
More to See in Sydney
If you can’t make it to Sydney for LEGO Dinosaurs *insert sad T-Rex face*, there is still more to see in Sydney.
- From May 27 to June 18, Sydney lights up the night with the annual Vivid Sydney festival. Filled with light artists, music creators, and plenty of street performances, the Vivid festival is back in 2022 with a bright burst of color! Each year, there is always one big major geeky presentation. Previously, the EG Family saw the Doctor Who Special on Customs House, and the amazing Toy Story montage in the Argyle Cut in the historic Rocks district. Follow @GeekMomBlogs on Instagram to see what catches our eye this year.
- For history buffs, The Rocks is an amazing walk through Australia’s colonial history. It was the first place white people settled in Australia, building their own resourceful township while trying to adjust to this new land. Today, it is a vibrant art and market district, with a huge collection of souvenirs available in the market on the weekend (at a premium price)
- Across the CBD from Australian Museum, you will find the Powerhouse Museum, located in Darling Harbour. Held in an old renovated powerhouse, the museum is a testament to all of the innovation and imagination throughout Australian history. Any and all STEAM kids love visiting here! My kids’ fave permanent feature is the make-your-own fireworks. Now, before you get too excited, it is a simulation teaching kids about the different chemical elements that create various colors and effects in fireworks. The exhibit gives kids, young and old, just enough knowledge to appreciate the world’s greatest light show: the Sydney New Years’ Eve Fireworks. The Sydney New Year Fireworks are the best in the world every year (and you cannot convince me otherwise).
- If you need a place to crash, you will be pleasantly surprised by Sydney Harbour YHA, in The Rocks. It has the best views in all of Sydney, with family rooms and prices that will give you more money to explore the rest of Sydney! Bonus points for being built above genuine archaeological remnants of colonial Sydney. You can see the preserved dig sites and the ongoing research in the area. And if you visit during the New Year Fireworks or Vivid Festival, the Rooftop is absolutely perfect.
- Make sure you save one last stop at Kings Comics. The newest renovations took place before all of the COVID Lockdowns and it has totally paid off. The split level gives plenty to explore both new and classic comics, with a huge range of graphic novels on offer. There is often a slew of signed Nicola Scott and Tom Taylor comics available, along with Louie Joyce, Dean Rankine, and Queenie Chan (to name a few of my local faves). Plus, you can grab a pic of the amazing Spider-Man and Hulk statues gracing the foyer.
At the time of publishing, Sydney is open to tourists with no requirement to quarantine for those fully vaccinated. Always check with the Australian Government websites here before traveling.
No money has been received for any part of this review and article.
Bonus image of Brickman with a Duplo Ankylosaurus because we all know Ankylosaurus is the best.