What to see? There is never enough time to do all the things I want to when we visit a place little hasn’t been before. We try to research beforehand a few “sure thing” places we know that all members of our family will enjoy and vet them with our group but also have back up museums if they happen to be closed or too busy or farther away than thought. In general, I make a list on google docs beforehand that I can quickly access with details; so any plans can be changed on the fly with a quick check on my phone of other nearby awesome places to check out.
DDR Museum: This highly interactive museum looks at life in the DDR before Germany reunited. There are 3 sections: Public Life, the State, and Private Life. This exhibit is great for kids because it really shows them the details: you can drive a Trabi car in an interactive exhibit, or explore an entire DDR apartment, flushing the toilet, opening the fridge and learning about common food, seeing what different outfits might look like on you (and learning about blackmarket Levis.) This museum is fabulous and stays open late so it’s a great addition to the day when most other museums begin to close. Good for all kids and adults. Be aware though – there are references to aspects of adult daily life that some kids might pick up on and a whole display about nude bathing.
Altes Museum: Altes Museum is on “Museum Island” – where you can find 5 of the major Museums. We chose Altes because of little’s love of ancient Greek and Roman times and Indian Jones. It’s probably not a good place for really young kids, kids that run around or love to touch. It’s a traditional museum with Greek statues and antiquities. If your child wants to see helmets, statues of Aphrodite, ancient jewelry, sarcophaguses, etc. then don’t miss this one. Kids Free with adult entry!
Nikolai Kirche:Nikolai Kirche: The Oldest churh in Berlin (13th century) is actually a city museum (Stadtmuseum) where for 5 euros you can learn a ton about Berlin’s most famous 17th century citizens. A bit boring for most young kids and certainly a place where you need to mind your manners and be quiet, our little loved it because of the audio tour (free with admission) and the really neat items that were excavated during renovations – basically, tomb raiding. Kids free with adult admission.
Lego Discovery Center: This is a big indoor playground in Potsdamer Platz with 2 rides and a couple activity areas. There are areas to play, design, climb, watch fun movies. This place is a good stop for kids to blow off some steam and be creative; but it is packed (!!!) with tons of kids running everywhere. It’s a good respite from the serious museums.
Of course, we wanted to see so many more museums but there is only so much you can cover in a few days. Just makes the next-time list that much smaller – only 165 museums left to go!