Review of Miffy Museum (Nijintje) in Utrecht, Netherlands
There are free parks and playgrounds for children to run around in Netherlands. To have a bit more of a tourist fun, you can consider Miffy Museum in Utrecht and Madurodam in Hague. More on Madurodam later.
About Miffy Museum (Nijintje)
Utrecht Centraal is the hometown of Miffy’s illustrator, Dick Bruna. He published his first Miffy book, “Miffy at the Zoo” in 1955. Hence, it’s not surprising to find Miffy museum and other Miffy attractions in this city. By the way, Miffy’s Dutch name is Nijntje, so the museum is commonly referred to as Nijntje Museum in Netherlands.
Before our trip to Netherlands, I borrowed Miffy books in the local library to read to Baby EX. Introducing Miffy to her should make her trip to Miffy museum more meaningful. Sure enough, being able to recognise Miffy gave her something to be excited about as she stepped foot into the place full of Miffy. I would say that Miffy is the first official book/”cartoon” character she knows. Now, as we go to the library, she is sure to have Miffy books borrowed.
I would recommend this museum for those with young children from one to six years old. Everything in the museum is child-proof, so feel free to let your child crawl and climb freely throughout the place. One can also find many interactive and hands on activities for the little ones. Almost like an indoor playground.
If you have no kids in tow, I would suggest skipping this attraction and save some money, unless you are a super fan of Miffy.
Our Visit to Miffy Museum
It’s a relatively small museum of two floors. The museum should be able to keep your kids entertained for about 1-2 hours. You can always have them join the weekend workshop for some craft time. Or if your kids know the dutch language, join in the storytelling time every Sunday at 2PM and 3PM.
Feel free to stay longer and take a break at Café Centraal (in Centraal museum across the road) with organic juices and Miffy pancakes. Otherwise, bring your own food and enjoy them in the picnic room at Miffy Museum.
There are 10 miniature sections of fun in the museum. Each section has a theme, such as cooking in the kitchen or visiting the doctor, all decorated with illustrations from Miffy books. You can find puzzles, exhibits, toys, tricycles, and many more to engage your child and fuel his or her imagination.
On the second floor, there’s a mini traffic road system that comes with functioning level crossing barrier and pedestrian crossings. Have your child ride on one of the vehicles and teach him/her some road safety lessons.
Otherwise, go behind the puppet show stage to put up a show for your little ones, or vice versa.
Of course, like all museums, there are tidbits of information displayed and shared about the subject matter. In this case, read the descriptions about Miffy, Dick Bruna and his titles that are displayed around the museum. You will get to know about Dick Bruna’s lesser known works as well. Because of Miffy’s worldwide fans, descriptions are in multiple languages.
p.s. Scroll down to the video and take a virtual tour of Miffy museum with us!
Shopping for Miffy Merchandise
Because we arrived late at the museum, we only had a short while for the museum shop before closing time. Couldn’t find the shop anywhere in Miffy museum initially, and a quick enquiry have the staff pointing us to Centraal museum across the street. Beside the Centraal museum shop was a wide array of Miffy merchandise.
We still had a road trip to Belgium and hence we didn’t want to buy so much at this stop. Seeing Miffy merchandise elsewhere in Netherlands, I thought I could easily get what I want from other places. But alas, learn from my mistake. Get whatever you like here, they have a good range, from place mats, soft toys, T-shirts to puzzles. You might not find the items you want elsewhere.
For last minute shopping, you can still find Miffy merchandise, before and after checking in Schiphol airport. Or have fun shopping at the two large shops in Amsterdam, De winkel van nijntje.
Walking Tour for Post-Miffy Blues (in Utrecht)
After buying your Miffy souvenirs at Centraal Museum, tour the museum to find a reconstruction of Dick Bruna’s studio. It’s filled with the original furniture and personal items from his studio, including photos, pencils and drawing table among others. Learn more about the story behind Miffy, of how much effort were put in to create the seemingly simple X of Miffy’s mouth.
From Centraal museum, walk about 1km up north to Theo Blom, Dick Bruna’s favourite pastry shop. Grab some delicious Miffy biscuits sold here. The shop has many raving google reviews, so be in for a treat! Continue along Mariastraat and Lange Elisabethstraat and retraced the route Dick Bruna used to bike every day to his studio.
As you reached Vredenburg, keep walking until you reach a traffic junction with Lange Viestraat. At the rainbow coloured pedestrian crossing, you’ll find the traffic light of a green bunny instead of a green man telling pedestrians when they can cross.
With a few more strides, you’ll be able to take photos with Nijntje Pleintje, a bronze statue of Miffy made by Dick Bruna’s son, Marc. It’s located in a small, grassy and peaceful square, just before Van Asch van Wijckskade.
At night, drift off to dreamland, under a starry sky, in a Miffy-themed room. This four-person room by Stayokay Utrecht City Centre on Neude square (a hostel chain) has an en-suite toilet and a toy chest full of Miffy games and accessories. Be surrounded by Miffy — lamps, beanbag, wall paintings, towels and even linens are stamped with Miffy’s face!
Finally, if all else fails to cure your post-Miffy blues, let’s explore Miffy Museum with Baby EX again!
Tips before Miffy Museum Trip
Interested to go to Miffy Museum after reading about my experience?
Buy your tickets soon to visit at your desired timeslot. 200 vacancies are available for each respective time slot:
- 10:00AM – 10:45AM
- 12:00PM – 12:45PM
- 1:30PM – 2:15PM
- 3:00PM – 4:30PM
Tickets purchased online are cheaper than at the ticket desk. Online prices has been revised for 2020:
- Under 2 years old, or Museum Card: FREE
- 2 to 6 years old: € 10 (S$15)
- Above 7 years old: € 6,50 (S$9.80)
- Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children): € 24,50 (S$37)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: +31 (0)30 2362399
- Hours: 10:00AM – 5:00PM; Tuesday to Sunday (Closed Monday, PH)
- Website: nijntjemuseum.nl/?lang=en
- Address: Agnietenstraat 2, 3512 XB Utrecht, The Netherlands