I like living in Dublin. It’s a new city, and that means all kinds of new things to explore and do. When I can get a discount like I did last month from one of the online deals websites, I tend to jump at the chance to go out and explore my new home a little bit more. One of the more recent daily deals was for the National Leprechaun Museum, for half price.
Waiting to get into the museum
The thing is that I had 2 tickets, but I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to “borrow” my friend’s daughter (and give her parents a weekend sleep in) and her honorary uncle, and make a day of adventure for us all. Thus, I made some arrangements to meet at 10 am, take the intelligent Munchkin to the city to see the “little people”, have some lunch, and then visit the candy shop as a set of three people. I had a great time – and so did they. The Leprechaun Museum, in my opinion, is much much better with a child because they still have the innocence to enjoy the story telling.
We got there and were the last ones on the tour. The museum itself isn’t very big – it took about an hour to go through from start to finish. Through most of the museum, you’re accompanied by a story teller, who tells the stories of Ireland – this includes legends of the Leprechaun, tales of the Salmon of Wisdom, Banshee, and those are just the ones I remember. In the beginning, our tour guide told us how Leprechauns have changed their look – it used to be that their hats were red – the red gave them the “magic” powers. They actually looked more like the Gnomes of Germany, to me. As she told us the tale, she pointed us to a tunnel – where we got to enter the magical (Abstract) world of the Leprechauns.
From there, we were taken to a wooden abstract representation of the Giant’s Causeway, which was almost like a maze, full of things too small for me as an adult to climb on, but for the kid – exciting to climb up and perch, wander through and hide, and even look through for a different view above the museum rooms.
Once we found our way out, the next room we entered was the Giant’s room. Everything in here was 3 times bigger than normal size. The dining table and chairs, the easy chair, lamp, and easy chair. The giant coffee cup. A huge set of dresser drawers. For adults, it’s like being a kid again. For the kids, well, it’s extra big and makes for tons of laughter and delight.
From this room, the munchkin raced along forward and hit a hallway filled with the legend of the red socks. I read it to her and a few of the other children about the place as we walked along the hallway. The summary of the story was that there was a leprechaun who got caught by a man. Knowing that once caught, Leprechauns have to give their gold over to the one who caught them, the man was delighted. He kept his eyes on the sneaky Leprechaun and forced it to lead him to the gold. The Leprechaun led the man to a grove of trees, and pointed out where the gold was buried. Not having a spade handy, the man took off his red sock and tied it to the tree, letting the Leprechaun go. Then, he headed home to get something dig up and carry the gold with. When he returned, he found that all the trees had red socks tied to them. The result was that he decided there were too many trees with socks, and it would take too long to find the gold again. (It’s supposed to illustrate how tricky the Leprechaun are.)As we rounded the final corner, we were in a room filled with black trees and red socks – and on the walls there was a creative use of mirrors that made the room feel bigger than it was.
From there, we walked through a few rooms with an Irish map, some Mythical Irish place names.. and on the ceiling were a series of umbrellas:
As we left this room, and went into the next, we walked through an Irish Rainbow …
And found ourselves looking at the pot of gold:
Another tale was told, and we headed into the final rooms, filled with a wishing well to make a wish in and and plenty more legends to think about on the way to Mc Donald’s for lunch, and then to the candy shop for a cupcake and candy.
Making a Wish
Two thoughts on the Leprechaun museum – 1) Go early and try to go during the week. If you can’t get in on one of the tours, it’s about an hour or two wait for the next tour. 2) Take a child. It’s so much more delightful as they discover the legends and race from room to room with excitement.