By Racquel Joseph
When Mayborn Museum visitors enter the LEGO Castle Adventure exhibit, they should expect to be surprised by all the things that LEGOs can do. All sculptural elements of the exhibit are built of either large-scale LEGO bricks or the traditional play-at-home miniatures. The exhibit itself features two full-size LEGO suits of armor, a dragon, and an impressive throne room complete with costumes. Famous European castles are replicated in the plastic bricks accompanied by information about the realities of castle life from the points of view of cooks, stable hands, and the king and queen. In one area, topiary and castle gardens come with materials for children to build a landscape themselves. Other interactive elements include age-appropriate building areas and a chance to build a LEGO castle defense and test it with a virtual catapult.
To kick off the exhibit, which runs until September 5, the museum hosted a Waco-area LEGO building contest. Rebecca Nall, changing exhibits manager, said that the four or five other venues that have hosted the Castle Adventure exhibit held similar contests. But, she said, the Mayborn Museum wanted to keep it more local by asking entries to focus on Central Texas landmarks or a favorite part of the Mayborn Museum. The museum reviewed almost thirty entries.
Ann Garrett, exhibits coordinator, was on the committee that chose the six most visually interesting, original, and recognizable entries. “We didn’t have age parameters or anything like that. We wanted to make it as broad-reaching as possible so anybody and everybody would feel free to enter,” Garrett said. The six winners that were selected by the committee are currently displayed within the exhibit. The other participants are featured in a slide show.
In conjunction with the LEGO exhibit, there is a display of steel medieval armor on loan from the Higgins Armory Museum. It includes swords, helmets, breastplates, and a ceremonial children’s suit of armor.
Every Wednesday from June 16 until August 18, the museum will offer a special admission price of $5 and have special activities along the theme of “Myths and Legends” from the Middle Ages.