{Germany} X Marks the Spot

August 4, 2016

Germany

100 Museums Challenge: Museums No.86

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We are currently on our summer vacation in Wuppertal, and the blog is meant to be having a bit of a break, but I wanted to share some pics from our museum trip yesterday. I was thrilled that we found the time to pop over to one of my favourite museums in Germany – the Deutsches Röntgen Museum, home to X-ray history, in the neighbouring town of Lennep. I’ve written about it extensively before, so I won’t go in to too much detail here and repeat everything again, you can just read the previous post. I love this museum because the exhibition is lovingly designed, there are some cool interactive and hands-on elements without it being over the top, and, last but not least, the topic is interesting. At almost six years old, I thought it would be perfect to introduce #MuseumBoy to, and I wanted him to love it as much as I do.

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Sadly, I was left feeling a bit disappointed. The exhibition is still lovingly designed, the topic is still interesting, but the majority of the interactives were not working. The podium that you can give your Nobel Prize acceptance speech at didn’t play any applause, the X-ray simulator – a pretty key interactive in an X-ray museum – wasn’t working, and most of the games in the basement level weren’t working. interactives are not the be all and end off of a museum visit – in fact, I have preached many times about how you can make a museum visit fun without any interactives at all – BUT in this case I had been telling #MuseumBoy all about the cool things at the museum that he would be able to do, and then he couldn’t do any of them. So you can see how that would be a little disappointing. However…

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…#MuseumBoy said he still enjoyed his visit. There were other things to do to that were working, e.g. old photos to flick through, flaps and doors to look behind, drawers to pull out, and a secret sweetie stash to find. I think he wasn’t disappointed at all, it was just me because I’d had this vision in my head of what the visit should be like. We also picked up a little puzzle trail at the info desk, and solved some of the puzzles and questions as we went round, as well as listening to the children’s audio guide. It’s perhaps a little long, at almost an hour, but it features two cute mice who ‘live’ at the museum and tell the children about what they are seeing. Including where to find the hidden sweeties!

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There wasn’t really that much for #MuseumBaby, but that’s fine because the visit hadn’t been aimed at him, poor kid just always needs to come along for the ride. He did really enjoy the reconstruction of Wilhelm Röntgen’s office though – he couldn’t get enough of opening and closing all the flaps, drawers and doors! And, of course, he didn’t say no to the sweeties, lol.

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I don’t know how much #MuseumBoy understood of the exhibition content, but he was talking about ‘looking through people’ for the rest of the day and a few days afterwards, and describing to Oma – who hadn’t come with us – all the things he had seen. He was particularly fascinated with the display of glass eyes, and why and how they were used.

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And, of course, it didn’t take them long to find the kids TV corner, showing some films about X-rays. We had to drag them away in the end.

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So, overall, we had a good visit. I still love this museum and would still totally recommend a visit, and hopefully the broken interactives will be fixed soon for others to enjoy. I think age 5-6 was a good age for a first visit (keeping in mind that #MuseumBoy is a bit of a museum veteran). The kids audio guide is free, the puzzle trail cost 50 cent, but I would recommend picking up both. Unfortunately, they are only available in German. But the adult audio guide, which is also free, is available in English and other languages, so maybe suitable for older children who don’t speak German. Up to date opening times and prices can be found – in English! – on the museum website.

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