My daughter LOVES pirates…truth be told so do I! We especially love the world of Peter Pan, Captain Hook, fairies, mermaids and all the magic that goes along with it. We of course watch lots of Jake and the Neverland Pirates too. Yes, we love pirates. It was therefore a necessity that we attend Pirate Days at the San Diego Maritime Museum. The collections of the Maritime Museum are vast and engaging. One of our favorites, among the many incredible ships there, is the Star of India. Built in 1863, it is the world’s oldest active sailing ship. It is a beautiful vessel inside and out. Many volunteers were hard at work cleaning and maintaining her in the midst of festivities and tourists. I was surprised that my three year old daughter stopped to take a look at almost every display. She was fascinated with everything on the ship…from stem to stern, so to speak. There were also plenty of pirates on board that were ready to engage in sword fights and playful banter. My daughter, J, wore her finest and was ready to join the crew! She was picked unanimously as the winner of the girls costume contest. I think she charmed just about everyone on board! 🙂 One of the activities was a scavenger hunt that had you follow clues through several ships. Your prize for all of the effort was a visit to the magical mermaid grotto set up on the Star of India. This was very enchanting for J! The mermaids handed out jewels and a coveted key necklace to her. It was perfect, for she was sure it opened a treasure chest somewhere on board. This necklace is so special we have since redesigned a new and stronger chain of beads for it. It gets worn regularly! Besides exciting encounters with the buccaneers, there were also other re-enactors aboard the ship HMS Surprise. An admiral made his rounds and hosted a “dance” with ladies and gentlemen in period dress. The San Diego Maritime Museum is a wonderful opportunity to experience hands on history. There are many educational opportunities for the family. They have many exciting events to attend throughout the year. It is a great day trip and makes for a fun homeschool field trip as well.