{Germany} Museumsdorf Düppel

September 3, 2012

Kids in Museums, Germany

The other week my parents were visiting. They had their car with them, and as we don’t have a car they asked if there was anywhere in Berlin we’d like to go that was a bit further afield and not so easy to get to by public transport. So I whipped out our Berlin guidebook and came up with the Museumsdorf Düppel, which was listed not only under ‘further afield’ but also under ‘Children’s Berlin’.

Museumsorf Düppel is a reconstructed medieval village (Dorf = village) on 8 hectares of land about 10 miles out of town, built on the site of a 13th century settlement. Surrounded by lush green fields, it’s hard to believe you’re still in Berlin. The village includes everything from a pottery, wood turnery and smithy, to a herb garden, bee hives and a barnyard. It was the perfect place to take a toddler and #MuseumBaby loved it. He could run around the ‘village green’ (except for the smithy and the tar demonstration, where we kept a close hold on him!)  and explore inside some of the houses and a medieval well. We stayed a couple of hours and had a picnic lunch on a blanket underneath some apple trees.

It turned out Sunday was a great day to visit, as the village comes to life then with a small army of volunteers putting on demonstrations of traditional crafts such as weaving, woodwork or pottery. The blacksmith was particularly impressive, with his billows of smoke followed by sky high flames, which elicited an excited “Heiss!” (Engl: hot) from the boy.

But there were not only demonstrations but also activities to take part in, for example drawing with charcoal…

…or word game puzzles with blocks of wood from local trees (more something for the adults in our group).

In the middle of the village there were medieval games to be played, e.g. with walnuts, which were a big hit with #MuseumBaby, he could have rolled them down that ramp all day long…

…or hoops and horses, which he wasn’t really that bothered about. Or maybe he was just grumpy that we’d dragged him away from the walnuts.

There are also sheep and pigs raised in the museum village, and despite the ‘no feeding’ signs the kids were allowed to feed them handfuls of grass, which one of the volunteers was handing out.

Bigger kids can try their hand at using some tools, and there’s also a small exhibition for older children in one of the houses on every day life in the Middle Ages, with puzzles, spot the difference, flaps to lift etc to help you find out about medieval life.

Although we decided to head back in to town for coffee and cake at the Jewish Museum, there is a little sales area at the end of your walk around the village, where you could not only but some traditional crafts made on site and a selection of books, but also a small selection of cake, bread, porridge, and cups of coffee from a coffee machine. There are also some things for sale on site as you go round, e.g. wooden buttons at the turnery or bottles of herb vinegar at the museum garden.

Museumsdorf Düppel is open from late March until early October, on Thursdays from 3pm until 7pm, and on Sundays and public holidays from 10am until 5pm. Admission fee is 2 Euro for adults, 1 Euro concession, kids under 18 go free (on special event days prices double and kids pay 1 Euro). If you’re looking for a great day out with your kids away from the city, but without going too far, then I would definitely recommend this museum to you. It was a huge hit with #MuseumBaby.


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