A family experience at the Acropolis
Who won the battle of the gods Athena and Poseidon? And what would a typical day for an actor look like in ancient Greece? Which herbs were used in antiquity and all still part of modern cures?
Me and my little girl found out. Because in November 2015 we were invited by Discover Greek Culture to join one of their educational family tours to the Acropolis.
We were promised an English language walking tour with the following description: ‘Using activities, games, storytelling, and art, this tour offers a glimpse of life in a bustling metropolis of the ancient world: From competitions between gods to monumental architecture, early medicine, and theater festivals, it brings the Acropolis to life and is the perfect way to introduce youngsters to the myths and wonders of ancient Athens and inspire in adults a renewed fascination with the marvels of antiquity’. (From the Discover Greek Culture website)
So on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon me and my child headed towards one of my favorite part of Athens and met our tour guides and the other participants of the tour at the Acropolis metro station. We were introduced to our very hospitable specialist tour guides Sortiris and Christina. Being the youngest participant of the tour, my daughter was a bit shy at the start. Thankfully, but both guids very sweet and know how to quickly get her enthusiastic and to participate in the adventure that we were going to start.
This was truly an interactive tour. We started peacefully under an olive tree and our guide showed us several objects that we would be using during the tour:…. Our imagination and curiosity was instantly triggered. At each stop we were going to use one of the objects.
We started at the ancient theatre of Dionysus. Our guides explained us how the theatre was used in ancient times and the children got to answer questions The objects from Sortiris bag were ancient masks. We discovered names of ancient VIP’s carved in the stone seats. The children learned how to play theatre and us adults learned to cheap and applaud for them in the ‘ancient’ way and we all had great fun. The children also read some text in ancient language. This was especially interesting for my daughter who had just learned how to read at school. Did you know that all roles used to be played by male actors in ancient times ? Even the parts of the woman.
Continuing our tour on the road called ‘PERIPATOS’ (still the Modern Greek word for ‘walk’) we came to the Sanctuary of Asklepios, a temple where people used to come to be cured. There we discovered what herbs were used as medication in ancient times. We also talked about herbs that are still being used in our times. The children were constantly asked for their opinions and ideas.
After several stops at the major monument around the Acropolis rock we finally arrived on top of the hill near the Parthenon. Here we talked about the story of Poseidon and Athena. We talked about how Athina gave Athens it’s olive trees and we were given a branch and we good take it home. This was such a nice souvenir. What object would also belong to this story ? My daughter loved this one: the lighting bolt!
After the drawing session we finalized the tour and headed back to the entrance.
Both my and my child had amazing fun and interesting tour. Having been to the Acropolis very often, I saw everything with new enthusiasm and renewed fascination. Our guides brought the ancient history alive through their vivid myth – and storytelling. The tour was very suitable from children starting from 6 years old up to teenagers and even adults. There was plenty of time to stop and look around or to ask questions. The route was steep and rocky at some parts therefore less suitable for younger children or strollers. Both guides were very good with the children (and adults), were experts in their field and spoke flawless English. The tour was long enough to keep us all excited. I would love to get on another tour with them again and can recommend this tour to both families visiting Athens and locals families that want to see the Acropolis from a different ‘point of view’.
Thank you very much Discover Greek Culture for inviting us.
**As always, all thoughts and opinions remain my own**
Refer to Discover Greek Culture Website for information.
Suitable for ages:
Celeste lives in Athens, is a mother of 2 young children and is always searching for family friendly activities to do with her girls. She is the community manager and blogger for “Family Goes Out in Greece” (the specialist on family friendly activities and vacations in Athens and Greece).