Today at My Well Traveled friend we have picked Berlin’s top 5 child-friendly museums. What makes a museum child-friendly in the first place and why should you visit? Well, my system is simple, I ask my son. He’s 3.5 now, very opinionated and I take him to a lot of museums, so I figure I have a fool proof rating method.
1.Berlin’s TOP 5 child-friendly museums
This one is consistantly at number 1. Main draw. The giant dinosaur which is located as soon as you walk in. The museum is large but manageable for small children, you can’t bring a stroller inside but there is a good coat check and great gift store. Wander through rooms filled with pickled animals (not for the squeamish) a ton of beautiful stuffed animals. It feels like your stepping back in time, entering a private collection of some long forgotten entimology professor. Don’t worry there is some 21st century toys here too. The astronomy section comes complete with an observatory, best enjoyed lying down.
2.Berlin’s TOP 5 child-friendly museums
We have been here several times now and I still don’t feel like we have seen everything. Oscar particularly likes the wave and sound machines in the science building and boat section complete with lots of interactive models.
The museum is separated into an old and new building so make sure you don’t totally overlook one of them. This is easily a full day activity. Be sure to pack a picnic too, there is an outdoor play area and 2 windmills to enjoy. Our latest discovery was an onsite brewery, sadly no longer working although the restaurant does serve beer on draught in a wonderfully cosy, rustic German wood panelled bar.
Other highlights are the train section which also has a ton of hands on locomotives for curious kids.
3.Berlin’s TOP 5 child-friendly museums
This is by far my favourite museum. A large triple height, light filled space with just a million interactive children’s activities. You can drive a selection of vehicles around a small city road scape, which to every child’s delight also on occasion has a real live policeman directing the merry procession. We spend a lot of time working in the grocery store and on the building site, planting flowers and figuring out the marble run.
Very charming and very hands on. If you have an ultra curious child like mine, this is a delight, nothing is off limits and everything can be played with. What a relief!
There is a great café too with pretty decent coffee and an indoor stroller parking.
4.Berlin’s TOP 5 child-friendly museums
Exhibitions change here on a monthly basis and each time we have visited I have been pleasantly surprised by how creatively this small space is used. Downstairs houses a small museum space which uses a different artist to inspire the displays. From baths filled with grains of rice to a hall of mirrors, the space is always rich in sensory experiences.
The upper floor is taken over by a giant multi-storey assault course, tunnels, nets, and bridges connect a wooden structure in the middle of a room. The area around the structure is filled with small craft booths. We have got to work with some beautiful letter presses and even taken a Japanese calligraphy class. Oscar loves the assault course best but also talks about making tea in the Mongolian yurt too (yes that really happened). Coffee shop and food are top-notch. Do not miss the carrot cake.
My only complaint is the toilets in the basement. The potential for little accidents is real.
5.Berlin’s TOP 5 child-friendly museums
Ok this may seem a little leftfield but bare with me. I love photography and Helmut Newton is of course amongst the greats. His wife June, vastly under rated is an incredible documentary photographer too. Oscar loved it here. The ground floor is an introduction to Helmut’s world. You can see his entire office, cameras, favourite outfits and much to Oscars amusement his passport too. He was thrown through a loop as to how Helmut would get on an airoplane with it being locked in a cabinet. I decided not to mention the fact Helmut was no longer around to get on a plane. Kids will love looking at all the charismatic faces in Junes work and we loved making up stories about everyone and what they liked to eat and what colour car they drove.
Never to early to teach them some photography appreciation! There is a great bookshop here but the café was closed, I would personally recommend walking around the corner for lunch at Bikini Berlin and watching the orangatang’s from the zoo for free.