Momma Told Me: Ripley's Believe It Or Not!: Mariner's Square- Newport, Oregon

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Ripley's Believe It Or Not!: Mariner's Square- Newport, Oregon

WARNING: Some of the following Ripley's Believe It Or Not! (Newport, Oregon) content may be disturbing for the weak of stomach, read on at your own risk! Photos copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2015.
Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
Momma Told Me: Believe it or not....

I loved to read from an early age. In fact, most of my fascination with the written word came from factual or historical content. Our family always had stacks of coffee table books under the living room table, and my grandparents spend a small fortune shipping them cross country to us every month or so. They'd go on their travels, as a newly retired couple, and bring home books from exotic travel destinations and cultural curiosities. I still have my favorite book from the 3rd grade, "The Trial of Lizzy Borden," a truly age appropriate recollection of the actual court and investigative proceedings revolving around one of the nation's first female murderer prosecutions.
I'd wait all year for my favorite books- each Christmas may grandparent's would send us the full color, hardbacked, coffee table editions of my two favorite curiosity collections, The Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley's Believe It Or Not. These two books were released with a new edition each year, and kept me fascinated for hours on end as I poured through the morbid, macabre, and just plain bizarre facts of humanity. Sabrina, 12, has a very similar curiosity for the world around her. Equally obsessed with learning random facts about the abnormal to mundane, I knew she would properly appreciate a visit to Ripley's Believe It Or Not! in Newport, Oregon.
Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
The Ripley's franchise operates 95 locations, across 4 continents, and 32 of which are Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museums. Many of these museums are located in prime tourist spots, and almost always attached to a separate admission wax museum. On our last day of our Road Trip up to Oregon, this Summer, we stopped into the tourist spot known as Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon. Mariner's Square offers 3 main tourist attractions for families; Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, Wax Museum, and Undersea Gardens (and Underwater Sea Show.) For $15 (child) to $25 (adult) your family can get an all day pass to all three attractions, a real steal for a day of entertainment by the sea.
Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
What we loved most about Mariner's Square (which we'll cover more in future posts) was the ability to roam and take in the attractions at your own pace and leisure. There is plenty to do and eat nearby, so it's definitely an event to be made a day of. We started ours with Ripley's Believe It Or Not! which feels quite small upon entering but truly offers a wealth of exhibits and hands on exploring. A couple or family could easily spent hours browsing the exhibits, halls, and rooms- though I do warn that the majority of the museum is dimly lit for mood and any kids should be kept close by at all times.
Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
While I knew the majority of the exhibits at this particular (Newport, Oregon) Ripley's were older and from the 90's everything was new and fascinating to Sabrina, who actually took time to read the anecdotes on the wall and artifact descriptions. The museum itself is a feast for the eyes and several exhibits encourage hands on, immersive exploration to really help capture the interest of the younger crowd. Each room/wing had it's own theme- with the classic Ripley's 'voodoo' and tribal style focus beginning the self guided tour. One of the highlights here was the faux hot coal walk and the 'Balloon Lawn Chair Man's' actual lawn chair.
Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
Several of the exhibits were outfitted with television screens playing short clips no more than a few minutes long, for those who preferred to learn visually rather than through reading their own narrative. These videos were clearly older and taken from previous Ripley's episodes, so they felt a bit cheesy in themselves.
Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
Sabrina's favorite room was the Music room- surprisingly there was very little music to be heard there. We consider it more of a Rock N' Roll peculiarity collection. Here Sabrina is seen marveling at the unusual artwork of several pop culture icons. I thought for sure she'd try and take the Taylor Swift Good N' Plenty artwork home with her, but was surprised to see her contemplating the technique used in the much smaller, delicate, Rose Petal Madonna piece.
World's Smallest Playable Violin- Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
Elvis on a Piece of Human Hair- Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
The music room also had 4 miniature exhibits. These little light boxes on the wall each had a magnifying panel and free hand magnifying glass. Above you'll see the World's Smallest Working Violin, housed in a walnut shell, and a Portrait of Elvis on a piece of human hair. Of course my photos are taken indoors with poor lighting and a basic camera, zoomed in, so you'll have to take my word, these things are super, ultra, teeny, tiny, small.
Real Shrunken Head- Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
After the Music Room we walked through a mock up of King Tut's tomb, which playfully illustrated how 13 people who had entered the tomb came to know their untimely death through sheer mystery and circumstance. Around the corner was a creepy photo-opp, a bookcase with hollowed out jars and wax heads. In the middle of the dimly lit hallway was a wax couple- a son taking a photo of their mother, lit only by flash. This display was so eerily real there were actual patrons lined up in an attempt to avoid interrupting the photo shoot! Other highlights include an Earthquake Simulator, and real Human Shrunken Head (complete with video tutorial/documentary,) that made me a bit queasy.
Stop by Mariner's Square in Newport, Oregon to visit 3 family attractions for just $25; Ripley's Believe It Or Not!, Undersea Gardens, and Wax Museum.
Next we passed through the Carival Curiosity theater, Fiji Mermaid exhibit, and 'Roll Your Tongue' mirror. The mirror is an exhibit used at several similar museums- while I knew all to well we were being video taped and played on the opposite end of the two way mirror, Sabrina did not. Can you roll your tongue? 4 out of 5 people cannot, but Sabrina and I both could! Through the sound activated neon dance theater, to the Titanic exhibit complete with actual iceberg temperature water, we ended our visit in my favorite room. The star chart room was a mirrored room where one felt as though they were literally standing in the middle of the galaxy, surrounded by nothing but stars. It was oddly calming and for me, worth the ticket price.
We wandered out of the star room into, surprise, a very large gift shop. This gift shop is also where the Wax Museum filters out into so it contained souvenirs and trinkets covering a wide range of categories. It also has a fully functioning wax hand station, where I was tickled to introduce Sabrina to the completely useless tourist experience of having one's hand dipped in hot wax for the sack of a tacky bookshelf memento. In all, despite having a 102 fever, and the plague, it was a far out, good time. Have you ever been to a Ripley's Believe It Or Not!?

What Daughter Says: Life's too short not to explore the strange.

16 comments:

  1. I have been to a couple of other ones (NYC and Niagara Falls) and they were a blast. Yours sounds like fun, too!

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  2. That is so cool! I'd love to visit Ripley's. I used to watch that show all the time when I was young.

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  3. That would be so much fun. I used to watch Ripley's religiously when I was younger. I literally never missed an episode.

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  4. That looks like a fun place to go visit! I think you could spend hours in there looking at all the neat stuff!

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  5. I was like two seconds from visiting the one in Williamsburg, VA last month. These are some pretty awesome sites to see though!

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  6. I always loved Ripley's when I was little. They were gross and fascinating all in one. I would love to check out this museum, you all look like you had a great time.

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  7. We have on in Orlando, this looks really interesting. I need to try and plan a trip because my kids would love many of these exhibits!

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  8. I have never been to Ripley's but I've always wanted to go. I think it would be so much fun. I use to watch the show all the time when I was younger and I also read some of the books they had.

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  9. I would love to take my son here. They have so many unique exhibits!

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  10. Oh, how fun! I love Ripley's. We live in Knoxville and are only 30 minutes from several Ripley's exhibits.

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  11. I love Ripley's Believe It Or Not. I have only been to the one in Niagara Falls. It is an amazing place for the whole family.

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  12. We have one here in San Antonio and love to go. The kids are always so amazed at what they find. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  13. These places are so cool. They really know how to make you "Ooh" and "Ahh!"

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  14. Ripley’s is always an interesting place to visit! They have some pretty cool things.

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  15. i used to watch ripleys all the time when growing up. i would love to visit this place. looks creepy and fun. lol

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  16. My daughter wants to go there so bad. It would be the perfect vacation for her.

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