(More pics on digimontage.com)
Reviews of Kid/Family Activities in Munich:
- Residenz Museum (Residence Museum)
Andee (Mom): I didn’t quite know what to expect from this institution. We were quite impressed. The palace is huge. Visitors grab an audioguide (free with admission) and tour the rooms at your own pace. They happily give audioguides to kids, as well (which is always a plus). The palace was the seat of the Bavarian government and home to dukes, electors and kings. The entire place was bombed to the ground during WWII, but it has been re-built to original specifications with painstaking detail. Furniture and decor were saved in a bunker, so they’re the real deal. It’s nice to be able to see a palace without being led by a guide, but the rooms start to blend together after awhile. Take the short tour with young kids. Older kids might be able to wile away a rainy day. If you’re into palaces and castles, this is refreshing break from the typical 4 or 5 room, hour-long tour at most places.
Zia: I would say kids should go, but some kids might not like it. Some kids aren’t that interested in history and it’s all about history. I’m fancy, so I liked all the fancy rooms and the fancy pictures and frames.
Brant: I would tell them to do it. It’s fancy.
- Munchner Stadtmuseum (City Museum of Munich)
Note: Website is not in English, but you can get the address.
Andee (Mom): I left our brochure there, so I may not have all these details straight, but the museum has four floors of exhibitions plus a separate “Munich” exhibit. You can pay for “Munich” separately or do a combined ticket. “Munich” has an English guidebook and audioguide. The rest of the collection does not. The Munich exhibit was mildly interesting to an outsider – a lot of it referenced the “traditional idea of a Munich local,” and it was lost on someone not familiar with the quirks and attitudes of a focused locale. The other exhibits consisted of a great puppet/amusement park section, a fashion section, a music section and a photography exhibit (which we didn’t see). The lack of explanation in English didn’t seem as big of a problem because of all the eye candy. I thought it was worth the three hours we spent there. Although some of the things on display can be pretty enticing to curious little fingers.
Zia: I loved this museum. My favorite part was the fashion section. I liked the puppets and the coughing up blood man and the gorilla and the dancing skeletons.
Brant: You would love it. There’s this red blooded man.
- Viktualienmarkt Market
Andee (Mom): I have to stop at this market every day. Meat, bread, produce and dairy. Yum.
Zia: I loved that market. Especially the weisswurst. And my brush.
Brant: You gotta go to get potatoes at it.
- Obletter Spielwaren (A Toy Store)
Karlsplatz 11, 80335 München, Germany 089 5508951-0
Andee (Mom): Not as big as FAO Schwarz and no ferris wheel like Toys ‘R Us in Times Square, but we had fun exploring all the toys. It’s kind of a cross between a hobby shop and a toy store. Many German wooden toys, arts and craft supplies (finally, affordable beeswax crayons!). Dig around all the board games. Many of them have directions available in English inside and they all seem quite fun. Oh – and there’s a few of the usual slew of plastic fare.
Zia: Oh, the toy store! The toy store was kind of American, but it was fun, too. It had some nice, little German toys and a Pippi Longstocking tea set.
Brant: You HAVE to go there. There’s really expensive toys. And there’s lots.
- Deutsche Museum
Andee (Mom): Like everyone says, you should go.
Zia: Yeah. Kids should go to it.
Brant: I loved that museum.
- Glockenspiel, Munich’s City Hall
Andee (Mom): It’s always fun to see little figures dancing way up on a clock tower. But don’t sit down in the platz. Kids will toss coins at you as if you are a beggar. The figures do the Cooper’s (a person who makes or repairs casks, barrels, etc.) Dance at 11am, noon and 5pm. There’s a “bedtime” show with a monk (one of the traditional symbols for “Munchen”) at 9pm.
Zia: Oh, I thought that was fun!
Brant: Yes. Go to it.
- Museum of Man and Nature (Museum Mensch und Natur)
Andee (Mom): No English guides or information, but don’t let this deter you. We’ve been to a lot of big science and nature museums. This one was small and do-able in 3-4 hours. It’s part of Schloss Nymphenburg and the kids had fun playing with the swans and ducks before we went into the museum (we didn’t do the Schloss, only the Man and Nature Museume). Bring some bread for the birds! Back to the Man and Nature Museum – they traced evolution from the beginning of the planet through rock formations and into human evolution. Short and sweet exhibits. Upstairs was a wide array of interactive science (computer) games. All in Deutsches, but we could figure some of them out. There was also a section on the brain and on genes, but we ran out of time.
Zia: I liked interactive games. And the rocks… the rocks!
Brant: Go to it, but it’s closing very soon.
- Geologic Museum (Geologisches Museum)
Andee (Mom): If we lived in Munich, spoke German and were studying geology, this would be a great resource. It’s part of the University and has simple, but nicely laid out exhibits of various rocks. It seemed like there were some good explanations on the formation of the rocks, too. However, if you don’t speak German and you’re not studying geology – skip it.
Zia: Good if you spoke German.
Brant: I would say stay home for that one.
Andee (Mom): Don’t forget – you’re in a city full of fantastic architecture. Be sure to take note as you’re walking from place to place.
Zia: I think they should do more of this stuff in America.
Brant: I wish that the United States looked like that.
Things We Didn’t Have Time To Do:
There were two sites that had a lot of great suggestions:
- Valentin Musäum, about Karl Valentin and Liesl Karlstadt, two cabaret artists from the 1930s. Heard kids like it.
- Children’s Museum (Kindermuseum)
- Firefighters’ Museum (Feuerwehr Museum)
- Kaltenberger Rittertunier — Knight’s Tournament every July. Daytrip with the S-Bahn and bus.
- Surfing in the English Gardens (Englischer Gartens)