Arrr! There be 'Pirates!'

Stephanie Christensen, technical director of Charleston Stage, finishes a mermaid that is part of a mural for the 'Pirates!' exhibit. Charleston Stage is constructing elements for the exhibit at its shop on Warren Street.

Charleston is under siege.

With a nod to Charleston's pirate history, the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry is adding a new exhibit Tuesday for toddlers through adults.

"Pirates!" is a one-of-a-kind interactive exhibit that takes visitors through the Golden Age of Pirates in the Carolinas.

The exhibit is possible because of a partnership with Charleston Stage.

"Charleston Stage is helping design and build the exhibit," says museum spokesman Jennifer Lorenz.

The company designed and produced all the hands-on, interactive experiences in the exhibit. Other contributors are The Buccaneer Restaurant, Lord & Evans Paints and Cupcake Inc.

The exhibit includes the transformation of the museum's Lowcountry Shrimp Boat into a pirate ship.

Lorenz says the shrimp boat, which has been a centerpiece at the museum since it opened in September 2003, will be restored later in October.

"That's an economical way to provide a new exhibit," Lorenz says.

Visitors to the pirate exhibit will be able to search for buried treasure, walk the plank, hoist the sails, visit the brig and the crow's nest, play dress up and more.

Weekly events through August include:

--I Spy with My Pirate Eye! 11 a.m. Tuesdays.

--Jolly Roger Joke Time, 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays.

--Pirate Sing-A-Longs, 10:30 a.m. Thursdays.

--Be A Pirate! Art Workshops, 2 p.m. Saturdays.

--Pirate Play! 3 p.m. Sundays.

All weekly programming is free with museum admission.

Regular museum admission is $7 per person. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, with extended hours until 7 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-5 p.m. Sundays.

The museum is also open 1-5 p.m. Mondays for members only.

Visit www.explorecml.org.

If you go

A grand opening celebration for the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry's "Pirates!" exhibit begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Charleston Maritime Center with the arrival of the Schooner Pride.

"Pirates" will disembark and take "prisoners," then hijack Olde Towne Carriages, go to the Powder Magazine for gunpowder and end up at the Children's Museum.

There, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, along with children from the Meeting Street Academy, the Boys & Girls Club Shaw Unit and Charles Webb Center, will officially open the exhibit.

"This is a grand opening you can play a part in and one you don't want to miss," says museum Director Denis Chirles.

To sign up to be part of the CML Brigade, e-mail Christine Kelly at Christine@explorecml.org; call 853-8962, ext. 224; or RSVP on the CML Facebook page under "Pirates! Grand Opening."

Families who sign up will be entered into a drawing to be selected as prisoners. The first 200 families also will receive free bandannas and eye patches.

Free parking will be available at the Charleston Maritime Center, and the museum is encouraging families to use CARTA DASH trolleys by providing free passes.

The day also includes Jolly Roger Joke Time and a Pirate Sing-A-Long at 11 a.m., a performance of Pure Theatre's Rodney Lee Rogers "The Gentleman Pirate" at 1 p.m. and Pirate Puppet Making with Taylor Wentworth at 3 p.m.