Visits to museums are fantastic family holiday activities, helping kids learn about history by bringing it to life. They get to see and handle real objects – and it can even develop their empathy and problem solving skills. We’ve done some research (so you don’t have to) and listed our top family friendly museums in Europe that will entertain everyone!
1. Get into the Olympic spirit in Lausanne
Sport has the power to teach us so many things – motivation, ambition, dedication and teamwork. Let your kids learn about those values by visiting the magnificent Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. [responsive-image id=’2669′ align=’right’ caption=’View of the lake at Manor Farm’] It charts the history of the Olympic Games, from their Ancient Greek roots to today, and is full of interactive features and iconic Olympic memorabilia.
Switzerland as a country has lots to offer for a family holiday, and if you want to enjoy an authentic Swiss trip then stay at Manor Farm in Interlaken, on the beautiful shore of Lake Thunersee – just a two-hour drive from the Olympic Museum.
2. Let little minds run free in Barcelona
[responsive-image id=’2671′ align=’left’ caption=’Beautiful Barcelona, home of the Museum of Ideas & Inventions’]
Museums can inspire kids and encourage creativity – and none do it better than the Museum of Ideas and Inventions. It’s set, rather aptly, in Barcelona – a city filled with beautiful architecture. The museum includes a collection of technological creations, a showroom for entertaining but useless inventions, and comical videos in the toilets!
Children are even invited to submit designs for their own inventions, with the best ideas being selected and patented! It’s a place where they can let their minds loose and be encouraged to think openly and freely. Under 4s go free. Stay at Vilanova Park and you’ll be able to enjoy lazy mornings by the pool, then hop on the train to Barcelona later.
3. Learn about the beauty of the world in Graz
[responsive-image id=’2679′ align=’right’ caption=’Fancy staying at Bella Austria?’] Games, gardens, stories, theatre and craft workshops. The idea behind the magnificent FRida & FreD, in Graz, Austria, is to help children learn about the world’s diversity and how they share it with fellow human beings. It’s designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12, and their families, from all backgrounds and cultures.
Above all, it gives children the chance to experiment, think and do things for themselves. The museum was shortlisted for the 2013 EMA ‘Children in Museums’ Award – and if you fancy visiting it, you can stay at Bella Austria, which is located in the heart of the Katschtal Valley.
4. Science experiments to your heart’s content in Amsterdam
As any parent will know, kids insist on touching everything. If there’s a button to press, a switch to flick or a handle to turn, they’ll do it. This behaviour is actively encouraged at the NEMO Science Centre in Amsterdam. They’re also encouraged to take part in experiments, where they’ll find things to blow up and climb over.
[responsive-image id=’2684′ align=’left’ caption=’Hop on a boat and travel between museums’]
It’s a modern and interactive museum that allows kids to explore and learn about why things work. Amsterdam is also home to Anne Frank’s house and the Van Gogh museum (if you have older kids and teenagers who may be learning about them at school). The Dutch capital is within easy reach of our campsite at Koningshof, where you can also hire bikes and explore the countryside the traditional Dutch way!
If you’d like to enjoy even more of these kinds of cultural activities in future, take at closer look at Authentic Europe holidays. These holidays have been made especially for families who like sampling local history, trying local cuisine and generally getting stuck into culture whilst abroad!
(Header photography courtesy of Matt Caville, Natural History Museum, London)