{Sweden} Ship Ahoy at the Sjöfartsmuseet

April 28, 2016

Kids in Museums, Sweden

100 Museums Challenge: Museum No.23

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I admit, I’m a sucker for maritime museums. So even without it being recommended to us as a great place to visit with kids, Gothenburg’s Sjöfartsmuseet would have been high on my list! Actually, it’s the Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet, to give it its full name, as it includes a small aquarium too.

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Afore mentioned aquarium can be found on the ground floor. It was smaller than the one at Universeum science centre, which we’d seen a few days before, but it was also much less crowded. When I say smaller, there were still a lot of different marine animals to see, there just weren’t any huge tanks full of sharks and swordfish. Definitely a cheaper alternative to consider if your kids are interested in sea life and you want to take them to an aquarium. I loved how each tank presented a different marine environment (coral reef, kelp forest etc), and was amazed an just how many of both the environments and the animals #MuseumBoy was able to identify, considering he can’t read the labels. All hail the Octonauts! After demonstrating just how much he’s learned from that TV programme, he pretty much now gets a free pass to watch it whenever.

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We found Nemo! And Dory!

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That’s one way to grab the kids’ attention! 

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On the upper two floors you will find the permanent museum displays, temporary exhibitions, a ship simulator, and apparently the best views of the city’s port from the reading room. We started in the new special exhibition ‘On Adventure with the Chief and Sally Jones’, which is inspired by the prizewinning book ” The Legend of Sally Jones” by Jakob Wegelius. Here children can play in a jungle, step behind the counter of a seamen’s tavern, and – most popularly – explore a ‘real’ ship. The exhibition runs until early January 2017.

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Before breaking for lunch – as well as a cafe, the museum has a picnic area complete with high chairs and a microwave – we had a wander around the permanent displays, which include ‘400 Years of Swedish Shipping’, an exhibition charting the history of shipping “from seamen and pirates to emigration and transatlantic crossings”, and ‘City by the Water’, a “cultural historic exhibition covering everything from the global port system to the local quayside”. #MuseumBoy most enjoyed the models and paintings of ships on fire or being blown up by canons, lol.

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After lunch, we checked out the permanent galleries for children. Besides the ship simulator (for kids and those young at heart), there is the ‘T/S Supertube’, with a mixture of manual and computer interactives, such as loading cargo on to a ship, a ship to steer – you can’t see it in the photos, but it moved around like on stormy waters, a seascape to climb around on and a mini submarine to slip inside. And for the very little ones, there is the ‘Knattegatt’ playroom, complete with shipwreck and sea monster to climb around and explore.

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The Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet is open Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays). Exact opening times can be found on the museum’s website. Be aware that the children’s Sally Jones exhibition does not open until 1pm on week days! Admission is free for under 25s, and it was only 40 SEK (just over 4 Euros) per adult, which actually gets you an annual pass valid not only here but also in four other museums in Gothenburg. We already had our passes from our visit to the Gothenburg City Museum and the Naturhistoriska Museum, so this visit cost us nothing! This was another museum we had to drag the kids away fighting at the end of the day, because they didn’t want to leave. Definitely recommended!

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  1. {Travel} Gothenburg With Kids – Our Top Tips! – The Bear & The Fox - May 26, 2016

    […] You can read a more detailed review of the Sjöfartsmuseet over at Museum Diary. […]

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