A Night at the Museum

On Friday night I went to my second Click + Connect event, held by Her Canberra. This time it was the Night at the Museum event held by the National Museum of Australia that was all about celebrating 50 years of Play School. The great thing about this event was that beforehand we got to mingle and meet new people around a table filled with lollies, champagne, fairy bread and party pies!

mmm lollies!
mmm lollies!

On arrival we were given glasses of champagne topped with fairy floss and completed with a straw! I’m not quite sure of the purpose of the straw but it was quite good for poking the fairy floss down into the champagne. It also a little volcano like with bubbles pouring up out of it after taking a sip.

I think I enjoyed this event better than the last one I went to as it felt a bit more casual. There was no sit down component and you weren’t stuck at the same table, you could wander around and meet everyone if you wanted. Plus there was a huge platter of fairy bread! I have to admit I had a few pieces of that. I don’t know who invented fairy bread but you can’t go past crunchy 100’s & 1000’s on some fresh buttered bread!

Champagne, extra full lolly bag and museum program
Champagne, extra full lolly bag and museum program

After a few glasses of champagne, some time to chat with the others and also to fill up our lolly bags we were given programs for the night and were whisked to the front of the line for entry to the museum. No queuing or tickets required! All very VIP.

Unfortunately as soon as we made it to the museum entrance everyone seemed to get separated and we didn’t enjoy the event as a group. It might have been that the 1 person who I wandered around with (I can’t even remember her name even though we had nametags on!) and I decided we needed to get on the jumping castle! It was a lot of fun but also quite tiring. My heart was racing after only 5 mins of bouncing fun!

People having fun hula hooping
People having fun hula hooping

There were little activities throughout the museum and we were free to wander around where ever we liked. I didn’t give hula hooping a go, I don’t think it would have been too successful.

Lower Landmarks - National Museum of Australia
Lower Landmarks – National Museum of Australia

It seemed like many people didn’t realise you could go further than the main hall as we basically had free rein over the other areas. It was nice to get to see the museum without having to move around other people and especially with no kids.

During one of the activities (that was held in a room that had twinkling stars on the ceiling) we met another girl, Vee, who had been separated from her friend group and asked if she wanted to walk around with us. She was really nice and I’m glad I made the offer, even if I only knew her for about 30 minutes.

The 3 of us then went and tried out kspaces which is an interactive exhibit where you become a time travelling robot that has to help in an event from the past.

They take your photo and for some reason my head/face ended up in a shark’s mouth. Maybe that is just how time travelling robots from the future are! I had a great time, even though it is targeted at kids. Part of the adventure involves a team of 4 having to control 1 mech which was difficult enough as adults, let alone as kids. Our team came 2nd (there were 3 teams of 4) and only lost by 5 points!

Quote on the wall
Quote on the wall

After kspaces my companions for the night had to leave which left me to walk around the museum solo. I didn’t actually get a chance to see the Play School exhibit (I’m not sure where it was as I did walk around quite a bit) and didn’t stay for the talks of the night as my feet really felt like they wanted to fall off.

I didn’t stay anywhere near as long as I expected to, I really wish I had another pair of shoes (and didn’t have to carry my coat around) and that the group had stayed together, at least a little, for the actual museum component of the night. It was fun though and I’m looking forward to finding out what the next Click + Connect event is.

Sarah

Event: Click + Connect

I’ve written previously on how I find it hard to meet and keep friends in my local area. As it turns out, I’m not alone in this thinking. Many people in Canberra (especially if they’re new to the city) find it hard to fit in and find friends.

Her Canberra, a website that keeps people up to date on the goings on in Canberra, published an article last year on finding friends in the city and were amazed at the response they received from people saying that thought it was difficult. As a result of that they started the Click + Connect events to get a bunch of women in the city together to meet new people.

Some of the guests of the event at Guild.
Some of the guests of the event at Guild.

It was 2 days before the event that I found out about the event and I thought it sounded like a pretty good idea. I also found it quite a terrifying  idea when I thought about walking into a restaurant full of strangers. I didn’t buy my ticket until the night before the event and was still pretty scared about doing it. There was an ‘interests’ survey when buying tickets so they could try and match you with similar personalities however I couldn’t tick any of the boxes and had to use the dreaded ‘other’ option. I wondered if I was going to be that quiet weirdo in the corner.

There were more than 50 women that came to the dinner and many others who couldn’t make it because of availability. Part of me thinks it’s pretty amazing feat for Her Canberra and Guild to cater but they did a great job of it. Another part of me thinks it’s a bit sad that so many people (who knows how many more are in the same situation and just don’t know about Click + Connect) have a hard time making friends in this city.

While I did feel a bit like the odd one out wearing my jeans and pop culture reference t-shirt, where most of the other women actually looked like grown ups, I didn’t feel like I was excluded and everyone was very friendly and interested in knowing about everyone else.

Banquet menu and cards from game Timelines
Banquet menu and cards from game Timelines

The dinner was held at our local board game restaurant (it’s the only one we have and opened in January), Guild, which I was also a little hesitant about. I mean, aren’t board games for nerds? It may be that I underestimated the many different types of games that come under the banner of ‘board game’ and that, in fact, they were pretty fun. It was actually an excellent idea to run the event here as it was the perfect ice breaker for all of us shy strangers (although some were less shy) sitting at a table together.

Lavender Lemon Fizz - Vodka in Lavender infused Lemonade
Lavender Lemon Fizz – Vodka in Lavender infused Lemonade

As part of the event, we had a banquet dinner that included a free drink. I, obviously, went for the one that included Vodka. Plus it had lavender infused lemonade! I had to find out what that was about – as it turns out, I am much more adventurous when trying new food than meeting new people. Both me and the girl next to me ordered this drink and marvelled over how pretty it looked. In reality, it was much more purple (you may even say, lavender) than this photo shows with little bits of lavender floating around the glass. Once I got over the fact that I was about to drink some lavender, I gave it a try and it was actually quite decent and really did taste like lavender. I was quite pleasantly surprised.

Zombicide Pizza - Pepperoni, smoked ham, herbed lemon chicken breast, smoked bacon and housemade BBQ sauce
Zombicide Pizza – Pepperoni, smoked ham, herbed lemon chicken breast, smoked bacon and housemade BBQ sauce

I was quite impressed that we were all able to choose our own pizza. It was an amazing feat by the pizza chefs to get so many pizzas out in such a short amount of time. I went with your typical ‘meat lovers’ style pizza which, in this case, was called Zombicide. All the pizzas had game based names, e.g. the 4 cheeses was called Connect 4 which I thought was cute.

The toppings on the pizza were pretty great but the base let it down a bit. It was quite crunchy and sort of biscuit like. I’m not sure if this is because they had to cater for so many people in such a short timeframe or whether this is their standard base. That being said, it didn’t ruin the pizza but it could be improved on.

Guild bar area
Guild bar area

The staff were great at Guild and they had people roaming around whose job it was to come and make sure everyone’s game was going ok or to check if they wanted a new one and in some cases come and play the game with you. It’s a nice service and you can tell they really enjoy what they do. It is definitely a good place to go with a bunch of friends, family or basically anyone (as we found out that night).

Her Canberra put together a pretty great event. It was well organised and a lot of fun. After I made the walk down the stairs to Guild and was introduced to my ‘early bird’ table friends I was less anxious about it all, I knew we were in capable hands!

I’m not sure that I made any lifelong friends this time around but I enjoyed going out and trying something a little different, as well as getting a chance to check out Guild with a big group of people, something I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do.

I’m definitely interested in going to future events and recommend their facebook group for anyone in the area to keep an eye on for next time.

Sarah