Museum Night for Kids, The Hague

Museum Night for Kids, The Hague

In 2017, Kinder Museum Nacht Den Haag was held on Saturday March 18th. The yearly event opens about 20 museums after-hours with special kids programming. The Big Little was old enough to enjoy the events this year – and also able to stay awake late enough to make it fun.

The event targets 4-12 year olds and runs 5pm-10pm. Children and adults both require tickets, which can be purchased on the event’s website. Of course, you can buy tickets at a handful of the participating museums but it’s far more convenient to arrive with your ticket-in-hand.

Experiencing the museums with your kid is a lot of fun but one way to ensure your kid has the most fun is to invite a friend. This way, your child can enjoy the exhibits with a playmate. Even if you don’t arrange this ahead of time, don’t worry. Den Haag is a small enough community that we bumped into our Big Little’s school friends at one of the museums we visited.

When planning your Museum Night 2018 logistics, take a look at the clustering of museums. There are a handful of museums open near the Binnenhof area and another  main cluster centered around the Gemeente Museum. The reason for thinking about the clustering of open museums is because you won’t want to spend your night transferring between locations. In the Binnenhof area, you can make a really nice evening out of the M.C. Escher Museum, Prince William V Gallery, Gevangenpoort and Mauritshuis. Pick two, since each hosts workshops and other activities for kids. In the museum district, the Gemeente Museum, Museon and Omniversum makes another convenient cluster. Of course, there are a dozen other options spread out across the city – including some off-beat options that might interest even the keenest of Den Haag museum-goers.

All the details on last year’s program can be viewed here.

In 2017, we chose the Gemeente Museum and Museon as the two museums we visited. We did this for a couple of reasons. First, we thought parking in this area would be easier than some of the museums near the Binnenhof (and we were right). We also had never been to these museums. So it was perfect to get an introduction during a special event.

We arrived right at 5pm when the event opened. We toured Museon first, a conservation-themed science and nature museum. Here, the special activities were laced through the exhibit areas. First, our Big Little built a balloon-powered bottle car. The staff built a roadway on which kids could test their creations. Next, there was a table for bug-eating. Our kid enjoyed the dried worms so much that he ate an entire spoonful of them. The live science demonstrations were also a lot of fun for our four-year-old.

With about half the evening burned up, we transitioned to the Gemeente Museum. Here we found an even more incredible setup. Kids were given a map of the activities and the adults had a hard time keeping up. Our kid’s favorite activity was the “silent dance party.” In a first-rate art museum, I didn’t expect a dance party. Each child got a pair of wireless headphones to wear. Dance music played in the headphones from a central broadcast area. So while the dance floor was hopping with dancing kids, parents couldn’t hear a thing!

The Gemeente Museum’s Mondriaan & De Stijl exhibit was open. Our child had been studying Mondriaan in school in the months prior, so he recognized some of the art. After looking at masterpieces, we retreated to the museum’s central atrium and boy were we impressed. There was a DJ set up playing kids museum. There was an art table with canvases and fabulous art supplies. There was also a cafe serving great food and drinks.

Our plan to stick to one area and spend more time in one or two museums was the right choice. We will surely attend next year’s Kids Museum Night in The Hague. It was a hit for our child and a night to remember!

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