indianajonesIf you are headed to Montreal with the kids this summer, you can’t miss out on the latest exhibit at the Montreal Science Center. It’s a great experience for kids of all ages – as well as adults – and an opportunity to study an important part of history, both in terms of film-making and archaeology.

Who’s childhood wasn’t affected by the brave, honest Indiana Jones? For me, he was a true hero. I’ve followed all of Spielberg’s film about the meek professor who seemed to save the world from harm over and over again. I’m also a film buff, so I’ve followed the careers of its stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw and so many others. Since his big screen debut in 1981, the globe-trotting, rugged, whip-lashing archaeologist Indiana Jones has captured the imagination of audiences around the world, not just myself – and over the years, his quest for treasure, fortune and glory has engendered a pop culture fascination with the field of archaeology.

Lucasfilm Ltd. and Montreal’s X3 Productions are thrilled to celebrate thirty years of Indy’s adventures – and the science that inspired them – with Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, a world-touring exhibition presented by the National Geographic Society. The exhibition puts the spotlight on the extremely large and exclusive collection of props, models, film scenes, original costumes, drawings and concept and set designs for the making of the Indiana Jones film series but also archaeological artifacts.

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology is designed to transport visitors into the universe of Indiana Jones whilst shedding light on the true nature of archaeology. I was excited by the original audio greeting recorded by Harrison Ford – the world-renowned actor who brought Indy to life. To supplement the tour, the center provides an automated tour via remove control that you operate while walking through the exhibit. It’s easy to handle, and I saw kids as young as five or six diligently following along. They seemed very engaged in the exhibit. They combine all kinds of media to tell the story of the making of the film, including film, artifacts and story-telling.

The exhibit took me back in time behind the scenes to my childhood when I was growing up with the invincible Indiana Jones, but I also learned so many new facts about the making of the film series. Who knew there were Star Wars references in the film? Who knew that 2,000 rats were involved in the making of the film and 10,000 snakes were used?

Indiana_JonesAs they visit Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, children will learn how archaeology has changed from the mid-20th century, when Indy’s adventures took place, until the present day. Along with the Indy Trail, the exhibition takes visitors through four zones: The Quest, The Discovery, The Investigation and The Interpretation. Among the archaeological highlights visitors will encounter are a collection of gold artefacts from the Royal Cemetery at Ur, in ancient Mesopotamia; a series of nine beautifully decorated bowls and vessels from Nasca, Peru; the world’s oldest known map; and the world’s oldest known evidence of wine-making. The exhibition also features an extensive collection of Indiana Jones movie props, including the Ark of the Covenant, a life-size sarcophagus from the Well of Souls, Mutt’s motorcycle, a crystal skeleton from Akator on its throne, the remains of Francisco de Orellana, the costumes of the leading ladies of all four Indy movies, and the costume of Indiana Jones himself, complete with hat and whip.

It’s pretty incredible and you can catch it until September 18th when it leaves North America to travel and won’t be back in our neck of the woods for about six years. After its premiere at the Montreal Science Centre on April 28, the traveling exhibition will be presented in eleven world-class institutions throughout Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. This is really your only chance to catch the exhibit in the North American region for the next six years.

The museum also has permanent collections that offer educational activities, both traditional and digital, an interactive movie game and an IMAX theater. They are currently showing “Born to be Wild 3D” that delves in the world of orphaned orangutans and elephant and the people who devote their lives to saving them.

As a bonus, the museum offers all types of cuisine in its various food courts. They have many options for kids and adults from pizza, Thai, middle eastern, sushi and more.

Address: Old Port of MontrΓ©al, 333 de la Commune St. West
Telephone: 514-496-4724
Hours: Monday – Friday 9am-5pm; Saturday 10am – 9pm; Sunday 10am-6pm
Fees: Adult $16.50; Children 4-12 $8.25; Teens & Seniors $12.50; Child 2-4 $2.50 (Canadian dollars)
Indiana Jones exhibit: Adults $23.00; Teens & Seniors $20.00; Children 4-12 $13.50; Famlly $63.00

Information and ticket sales Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology – The Exhibition launches its world premiere at the Montreal Science Centre through September 18th, 2011. Advance ticket purchases are available online or by visiting the Montreal Science Centre Box Office or by contacting them at (514) 496-4724 or (877) 496-4724. You can also watch the trailer to get a good idea of how good the exhibit actually is. They don’t allow photographs to be taken inside the exhibit.

For more about Montreal, check out the Montreal Buzz blog at www.tourisme-montreal.org/Blog.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to facilitate this review by Tourisme MontrΓ©al but no opinion was expected of me.