Museum tip: the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

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Today Annick had a meeting in Brussels. Since it’s a school holiday, Maarten & Febe decided to hop on the same train and visit one of the nicest museums in Belgium, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. A real mouthfull, but it’s worth a visit. Here’s why!

  1. It has the largest European museum hall dedicated to dinosaurs. If you are fascinated by dinosaurs, or simply want to find out more about how they lived, what they fed on or how they looked like, this museum is the place to be. Their large dinosaur hall is about 3000 m² big and the displayed skeletons are impressive (even if you’re not that fascinated about dinos…). The collection of displayed Iguanodon skeletons is unique in the world.
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    Febe in front of some massive Iguanodon skeletons.

    2. The museum has different halls about evolution that are definitely worth taking a look at. Febe especially loved the hall of the evolution of humans, which displays different stages of evolution from the oldest known human ancestor untill the homo sapiens, or mankind as we are now. At each ancestors information stand you can access a tablet screen, which shows you the most important features and how the ancestor could have looked like. For kids this kind of interactive learning is a real bonus!

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    3. The museum often has really good temporary exhibitions.

    Currently, there’s an expo called “Teddy & Bear” (runs untill 01/09/2019), which explains all about bears around the world. A bit of history, and a lot of facts about the bear species of today. The teddy aspect is especially for kids: if they bring their own teddy, they get an interactive card that they can use to activate all kinds of fun things during the exhibit. Simply scan your card on a bear logo and the fun starts! Sometimes it’s a story that’s told, other elements are more fun, like when they have to feed the bear species the food they think they’ll like. It made learning about bears so much fun, and with their own teddy starring along the way… Just perfect!
    With information available in Dutch, French, English and German, the museum is fit for international visitors.

Badge and teddy ready to explore with Febe!
Badge and teddy ready to explore with Febe!
Virtual bone digging.
Virtual bone digging.
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Kids have to guess what the marks on the bone are.
Which bear likes what food types?
Which bear likes what food types?
Panda meets Panda.
Panda meets Panda.

4. The museum has different interactive trails for the whole family

A trail leading you past all the baby animals, a trail about winter, one that takes you to all the museum masterpieces, … The museum team designed a few lovely themed trails to make your visit more interactive and fun with children.  You can find more info and download the necessary files to prepare your visit at https://www.naturalsciences.be/en  – choose for ‘Visits and activities for everybody’ – ‘Open Trails’.

Have fun!

If you are visiting Brussels, this museum is certainly a must do – especially when you have children. Parking space around the museum is very limited, so we would advise you to use public transport. All the needed info is available on their website https://www.naturalsciences.be/en – choose for ‘Practical information’ – ‘Getting here’.

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