It’s the February school break here, and like all parents we’re looking for ways to amuse the kids. Today we checked out the Maritime Museum (Maritiem Museum) in Rotterdam and it ended up being one of the best museum experiences we’ve ever had.
Just arriving at the museum was exciting for our kids, as the museum is located in one of the oldest harbours of the Netherlands. We were there a few minutes before opening time, so we spent a happy 10 minutes walking around the historic ships, cranes and lighthouse next to the museum. During opening hours, you can go on board many of the vessels.
When the doors opened, we went straight to the “Professor Splash” (Professor Plons) section on the second floor — a play area that (in our opinion) is perfect for kids from 2-8 years old. It’s divided into two sections: indoor and outdoor. Inside you’ll find a sailboat to climb in (with sails that you can raise and lower), a big pirate ship to explore, a slide and other small activities.
Outside is a dockyard-themed play area. Kids can put on helmets and spend a happy hour loading containers and barrels on and off ships with cranes and wheelbarrows. There are also boat-shaped trampolines to jump on, and a giant construct-your-own marble run to play with. We had no problem spending two hours in this area.
After a snack break (there are picnic tables if you’ve brought your own lunch, and a restaurant on site), we watched a “mad scientist” show (a special event put on for the school vacation period) and briefly checked out the other exhibits. If your kids enjoy looking at big model ships, they’ll like this part of the museum. And depending on when you visit there may be a temporary exhibit that is interesting for you. The temporary exhibits are often designed with families in mind.
We would have liked to see the Offshore Experience but the lines were quite long after lunch and by this point we’d already been at the museum for nearly 4 hours. Rather than stay longer (and test the energy levels of our kids), we decided to definitely come back another time. There’s so much here to do, whatever the weather. Highly recommended!
Where to find it: The Maritime Museum is in Rotterdam, next to Metro Station Beurs. You can take line E directly there from The Hague, or go to Rotterdam Central Station and take Metro D or E a couple stops.