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    Friday, July 19, 2024

    The world of Captain Nemo brought to life in new Mystic Seaport exhibit

    The Nautilus on display in the Voyage of the Deep-Underwater Adventures traveling exhibit Friday, June 7, 2024, at Mystic Seaport Museum. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    The Nautilus on display in the Voyage of the Deep-Underwater Adventures traveling exhibit Friday, June 7, 2024, at Mystic Seaport Museum. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Emma Ballenas, exhibits and special projects coordinator, in the area of the bridge in the Nautilus in the Voyage of the Deep-Underwater Adventures traveling exhibit Friday, June 7, 2024, at Mystic Seaport Museum. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    A display case with items and books in the Nautilus in the Voyage of the Deep-Underwater Adventures traveling exhibit Friday, June 7, 2024, at Mystic Seaport Museum. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Emma Ballenas, exhibits and special projects coordinator, in the control room of the Nautilus in the Voyage of the Deep-Underwater Adventures traveling exhibit Friday, June 7, 2024, at Mystic Seaport Museum. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Emma Ballenas, exhibits and special projects coordinator, opens the iris and sees a shark while inside the Nautilus in the Voyage of the Deep-Underwater Adventures traveling exhibit Friday, June 7, 2024, at Mystic Seaport Museum. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Emma Ballenas, exhibits and special projects coordinator, adjust battery power inside the Nautilus in the Voyage of the Deep-Underwater Adventures traveling exhibit Friday, June 7, 2024, at Mystic Seaport Museum. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    The Atlantis stage floor that changes images on display in the Voyage of the Deep-Underwater Adventures traveling exhibit Friday, June 7, 2024, at Mystic Seaport Museum. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Mystic — From now through September 2, visitors to Mystic Seaport Museum can look through Captain Nemo’s belongings, drive his submarine, the Nautilus, climb up into the conning tower and slide down the escape hatch.

    “There’s a ton of content in here, so I think anyone young at heart is really going to enjoy this,” said Emma Ballenas, exhibits and special projects coordinator at the museum.

    Voyage to the Deep — Underwater Adventures, the family-oriented exhibit opening Saturday in the Collins Gallery in the Thompson Exhibition building, takes visitors inside the imagination of Jules Verne and immerses them in the world of his novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”

    Centered around a walk-through, interactive model inspired by Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, the “high-touch, high-interaction” exhibit primarily targets children 10 and younger, but is designed to appeal to older children, parents and adults as well.

    The traveling exhibit was produced by the Australian National Maritime Museum in 2014 and is touring internationally by exhibition company Flying Fish.

    Everything in the exhibit is made to be touched. There are ladders to climb, drawers to open, lockers to sift through, ship’s wheels to spin and games to play while visitors explore and “operate” Nemo’s Nautilus.

    However, the exhibition goes beyond just a fun hands-on exhibit for young children.

    Informative panels in Spanish and English throughout the exhibit incorporate an educational component, introduce new vocabulary and inspire creativity, and, as Ballenas pointed out, help parents to engage their children in a creative and fun learning environment.

    Ballenas said the museum consistently tries to develop exhibits that appeal to a wide range of visitors, but is always looking to better serve families with younger children that visit the museum.

    “This is really the perfect opportunity to have something for the summer that’s just fun and interactive and really family friendly,” she said, noting the air-conditioned space will provide a reprieve from summer heat while parents sit and watch their children explore from the seating spread throughout the space.

    Additionally, the museum incorporated a small reading area with several versions of Verne’s deep-sea tale adapted for children and similarly themed books, including several in Spanish and a dual Braille and English children’s book.

    The exhibit also offers sensory kits for children to use. The kits include fidget toys for children who may need extra sensory input and noise canceling headphones for children who may need to reduce sensory input.

    The exhibit is open during museum hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and is included in the price of admission to the museum.

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