Happy Museum Monday! This week’s tip takes us Copenhagen, to the Nationalmuseet – or the National Museum of Denmark. We have visited this museum twice, once when Oskar was 3, and once with both boys when they were 2 and 6, and we loved it both times. I’ve briefly mentioned the museum before, in my ’48 hrs in Copenhagen’ post, but thought I’d tell you a bit more about it.
The Nationalmuseet includes a dedicated Children’s Museum, and we knew once the kids saw that we wouldn’t be able to get them to go anywhere else, so we had a little wander around the rest of the museum first. The main collections cover Denmark’s history from prehistoric times, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, to modern times. There’s also a section with Near Eastern and Classical Antiquities, a Coins & Medals collection, and the museum’s Ethnographic Collections.
Oskar really wanted to see the ‘Viking stuff’, and we also enjoyed looking at the toy displays on the top floor. It offers several rooms of historical toys for children to marvel over, including a whole ‘street’ of doll’s houses. Comparing the toys on display with those they have at home made a good talking point.
However, the highlight at the Nationalmuseet for our kids was, without doubt, the Children’s Museum on the ground floor. It describes itself a “an indoor playground where kids of all ages have fun discovering the past”. I don’t know if it’s changed much in the last three years, but when we last visited there were four main themes or areas to be discovered. The first was set in the early 20th century, where you could play traditional games such as hopscotch, climb aboard a sailing ship or try your hand at writing on a slate in a 1930s classroom.
Next, there was a section on contemporary life, which addressed the many Danish children who have grandparents living abroad in other countries. Here you could step behind the counter of a grocery store in Pakistan, entertain guests in the kitchen, or climb a ramp to try out the bed on the rooftop.
After this, we took a bug jump back in history, to the Viking age, where the change to climb aboard a boat proved very popular. You could also ‘cook’ up a Viking meal or challenge each other to a wooden sword fight.
And finally, in the Medieval section, you could ‘ride’ a horse, get busy in a 14th century kitchen, or try your hand at working the pulley to construct a stone wall, among other things.
Throughout the Children’s Museum there were also opportunities to dress up from the different periods, and as well as the many things to touch and play with there were also some original artefacts on display relating to the activities.
We absolutely loved everything at the Nationalmuseet, and our only wish was that we could have had ten times the amount of time to explore it. It’s definitely not one you should miss.
Opening Times: The Nationalmuseet is open daily from April to October, and from Tuesdays to Sundays the rest of the year. You can find up-to-date opening times on the museum website.
Admission: Full price adult day tickets are DKK 100 (just over £11). Discounts are available for families and groups. Free admission for under 18s. Up-to-date admission prices are also listed on the museum website, alongside other practical info.
Pushchair Policy: Note that you are not allowed to take your own pushchairs in to the museum, but you can park it in the cloakroom area and borrow one of the museum pushchairs instead.
WiFi: Free WiFi
Food: There is a lunch area where you can eat your own food, if you choose to bring some, or there is also a very nice museum cafe with highchairs and a children’s menu.