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Some books and characters from your childhood remain with you forever.
I don’t remember when I was first introduced to this delightful little rabbit but I have always loved Miffy!
So when we planned a road trip to the Netherlands I put the Miffy Museum at the top of my to do list.
My husband was a little dubious but I convinced him it would be a nice break for the children after a long time in the car.
All about Miffy the rabbit
Miffy is the anglicised version of the name Nijntje (pronounced nein-che) derived from the Dutch word for ‘little bunny’. She has been entertaining generations of children across the world for 60 years!
Created by artist Dick Bruna who was born and lived in Utrecht until his recent death, the little rabbit is a global phenomenon.
I think her appeal is her innocent yet positive outlook on life and new experiences.
Dick Bruna’s philosophy in writing Miffy’s stories was that her life provides a safe window into the real world and a platform from where children can begin their own exploration.
To date over 150 Miffy books have been published in over 40 languages.
Bruna’s drawings are simple and exact. Over the years Miffy’s features have changed a little but the simplicity of the art and design remains.
I was fascinated to learn more about Dick Bruna when reading his obituary – you can see it here.
The Miffy museum
So much more than a museum, this is really a Miffy experience and miniature world.
Aimed at children aged 2-6, there are 10 rooms to explore and discover all the aspects of Miffy’s life. Just like the books, the museum allows children to experience the adult world from a child’s perspective.
Along the way you meet the little rabbit’s family and friends too. (I just love Miffy’s dad’s whiskers!)
Children can climb into Miffy’s bed, make some cakes in her kitchen and tidy the garden shed.
In the road and traffic room kids can ride trikes along a road with traffic lights and push a train along its tracks.
You can even visit the zoo with Miffy!
Then stop by the art stations where you can make crafts and draw.
If you need some quiet time there are many opportunities to read the Miffy stories and hug her too. Awww
For parents – there are many colourful graphics, murals and interesting pieces of information throughout the exhibition so you can learn all about the little rabbit while the kids play happily.
The Miffy museum is one of the best indoor activities for small children we have experienced. Our time spent at there was so much fun.
Practical information for your visit
As you would hope from an attraction aimed at children, the facilities are family friendly. There is a picnic room, children’s toilets, lockers and a big area to store prams and strollers.
We must have been very lucky as it was not too busy when we visited. Apparently there can be queues so be prepared if you are visiting in peak times – mid morning and later in the afternoon.
The best time to visit is during the first sessions in the morning.
Only a few tickets are kept on the door for walk ins. The best idea is to prebook your tickets on the museum website for an allocated time. A family ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 children is €22.50 (2018). Kids under 2 are free but you still need to book a time slot.
Once you enter the museum you can stay as long as you like.
For more information go to the Nijntje (Miffy) Museum website – in English
Centraal Museum Utrecht – Studio Dick Bruna, shop and cafe
Adults and older children will enjoy visiting the Centraal Museum Utrecht across the street where the Studio Dick Bruna exhibition provides a broader perspective of the artist’s work.
Here you can view items from the museum’s collection of over 6,000 works by Dick Bruna including many original drawings.
There is a lovely cafe at the back of the museum where you can get great coffee and a Miffy themed lunch for the kids including a bunny shaped roll – so cute!
I feel like I exercised restraint at the shop but really there are so many cute things – books in English, Japanese and off course Dutch, toys, clothing, and much more.
The Miffy merchandise is very cute and high quality as you would expect for a character built on such strong artistic and design principles.
Needless to say, my children are now obsessed with Miffy. Objective achieved!
Utrecht is about an hour’s drive from Amsterdam and it is even faster by train – 40 minutes! – from Amsterdam Centraal.
The city itself is pretty with cobbled streets, canals and interesting cafes. So it makes a perfect day trip from Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is one of our favourite cities. We love its laid back vibe, fantastic coffee and culture.
It’s a fantastic city to explore with kids if you avoid the partying areas and enjoy the parks, museums and of course canals.
Spring is a great time to visit with all of the flowers blooming. If you love tulips then this is the time to visit the famous Keukenhof gardens – another easy tour from Amsterdam – read our tips on visiting Keukenhof here.
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