CONTRIBUTED BY LUCY B.
Since the weather can’t be great all the time, we have a list of back-up destinations for soggy weekend days. This is one of our top places. The Natural History Museum in Stuttgart is divided into two parts, both worth seeing. The Dino Museum, as we call it, is the museum at Löwentor. The other one, which is also a great wet weather or winter destination, is at Schloss Rosenstein (about a 15 minute walk away) and contains contemporary animals and sea creatures. Both places are very tolerant of children and noise and reasonably priced at less than 5 Euros admission for adults.
The Dino Museum features plenty of displays and dioramas of ancient animals in their former habitats. There are dinosaurs, lizards, ancient fish, buffalo, a wooly mammoth, huge whales, dinosaur bones, and plenty of other replicas. The displays are almost entirely incased in glass or raised off the ground so that quick little fingers are less likely to break something (and give you a nervous breakdown in the process). Older children might be interested in some of the history and science on offer, but our little ones were more inclined to explore and discover things as they came. The main attraction for our little ones was the Tyrannosaurus Rex head that is meant to look like it’s bursting through a wall (great photo op) and the small excavation site (sandbox) where they could dig for bones. For older kids, there are areas showing how dinosaur replicas are constructed, some tables for drawing and crafting and also a window on a paleontology studio where bones are being cleaned and examined (only certain times and days).
There are various programs put on by the museum to educate children. If your kids speak German, there is a guided tour we noticed in which several school-aged children were learning about each display and animal with the help of a very enthusiastic teacher. If you don’t speak German, the good news is that the info boxes near the displays have pull-out boards with information in English, and are divided by age and interest level, so you can get the elementary school version, or the more detailed adult version for almost any topic they cover.
Stroller access is excellent, as it’s located very close to the U-Bahn stop and there are elevators inside. If the weather is nice, it’s worth exploring the grounds as well since the museum is located in part of the Schlossgarten, which extends across the city and includes playgrounds, ponds, museums, the Wilhelma zoo, and countless other features. The museum features a cafeteria-style restaurant (fries, coffee, ice cream, other snacks), but in the Garderobe (coat closet) downstairs, there are two nooks with benches set up for you to eat your sack lunch or have a snack. Each space could accommodate about 4-6 people, so there’s room for everyone. Since the place wasn’t crowded, we parked our stroller and piled up all of our jackets on top so that nothing would hold us back while we explored. (As always, I would mention that it’s not a good idea to leave valuables behind. If you must, there are lockers provided.)
Tips For Your Trip:
Saturday, Sunday, Holidays: 1000-1800
Prices vary depending on the group you are in, and if you are going to both museums or only one. €4.00 will get an adult into the Dino museum. The museum is FREE on Wednesday after 1300. Check the museum website for details.
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde
Note: For a similarly themed museum in the KMC area, check out Gondwana Prehistoria Museum in Saarland!