The Prison Museum in Veenhuizen and the Nature Museum Fryslân in Leeuwarden have won the title of best child-friendly museums in the Northern Netherlands. They achieved the title along with another Drents museum, the Hunebed Center in Borger. The Northern contingent of museums are among the sixty best “kids-proof” museums in the Netherlands. No museums in the province of Groningen managed to qualify for the title.
The Museum Kids Awards
Since 2017, children in the Netherlands are invited to visit, inspect and choose the best museums in the country for the Museum Kids Awards. Between November 2018 and October 2019, children registered 12,424 museum inspections. In order to win the Kidsproof title, a museum should welcome at least 60 little inspectors and receive an average grade of 8 or higher throughout the year.
Freedom and punishment in Drenthe
In 2019, the Prison Museum achieved a high score of 8.7 after 133 inspections. Located in Veenhuizen, a special village with more than a hundred national monuments and three prisons, the museum attracts children with a variety of activities: from climbing aboard a barge to take the same journey that the orphans and vagabonds took to Veenhuizen to playing authentic games, and from exploring the house of a prison official to sleeping in a cell.
The nature of Friesland
The Nature Museum Fryslân also earned 8.7 points after 110 visits, during which children enjoyed exploring the nature of Friesland, learning about the theory of evolution in Darwin’s attic and searching for the Big Five of the underwater world of the Netherlands (the otter, beaver, catfish, seal and porpoise).
Not enough inspections in Groningen
In the province of Groningen, no museums received the Kidsproof museum title. “Unfortunately, none of the museums in the province of Groningen passed the threshold of 60 inspections this year,” says the Museum Kids Awards website.