{Denmark} Nisse University

December 23, 2013

Kids in Museums, Denmark

I know I said Museum Diary was taking a break over the holidays, but yesterday we had a lovely visit to the National Museum of Denmark which was very Christmassy so it made sense to share it with you now rather than in the new year. Little visitors could take part in the ‘Nisseversitet’ (which they were calling ‘Pixieversity’ in English). A Nisse is a mythological creature from Scandinavian folklore (also called ‘Tomte’ in Sweden) typically associated with Christmas. It’s small, often wears a red hat and brings gifts, though is also a bit mischievous. A little bit like a Christmas elf, I guess, though not employed by Santa ;)


Anyway, there were eight different tasks to accomplish as part of the Nisseversitet ‘training’, including writing your name with a quill, walking in wooden clogs and on stilts, crafting a cat companion and seeing how much wood you can carry (it gets cold in winter, so you need to be able to keep your fire going!)



Nisse students all got measured up as well, and it turns out #MuseumBaby is as tall as a ‘Kirkenisse’ (Church Nisse) – which then sent us to the exhibition with an old church pew, where lo and behold we met a Nisse bearing a secret message: he loves sweeping! Actually, so does #MuseumBaby, so it seems he measured up quite well on all counts.


The final exam, in order to become a Nisse, was the great pancake toss – which #MuseumBaby had been looking forward to from the moment we ‘enrolled’! And he accomplished it with great gusto :)


At the end of the training and the exam, each kid got a diploma to take home. On the back there was a list of Nisse pranks to play on your parents – I guess we’re lucky #MuseumBaby can’t read yet!


Have any of you been to any great museum Christmas events? I’d love to hear about it! Thanks for letting me share our Nisse adventure with you.

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3 Responses to “{Denmark} Nisse University”

  1. Mette Boritz Says:

    Hi Jenny
    Nice words about my museum and childrens activities. Nisseversitetet is always popular for children. It’s also and example on how we work with children making them have an active apporach to history. Hope to see you again soon in the museum – next time we must have a coffee.
    Mette (Icom/Ceca – The National Museum, Copenhagen)


    • Jenni Fuchs Says:

      Hi Mette, nice to hear from you. Glad you like the post. Next time I come to Copenhagen I’ll definitely be in touch for a coffee :)



  1. {Denmark} Copenhagen’s Nationalmuseet | Museum Diary - January 9, 2014

    […] age of your children, there are various things to do. I’ve already told you about the ‘Nisse University‘ workshop we attended there, for which there was a small fee of 30 DKK to cover the cost of […]

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