June 2023

Miffy museum: The world in miniature

After extensive renovations, the Miffy Museum will reopen its doors on 22 June. ‘It’s like stepping into one of Dick Bruna’s books.’

text: Rosa Lee Szarzynski
photography: Wessel Spoelder

Seven years ago, having just turned 60, Miffy opened an iconic museum in her own name on Agnietenstraat. Before this, the museum was had been known as the Dick Bruna House, a museum where mainly adult audiences could admire the numerous sketches, preparations and graphic work created by the Utrecht artist. There were some discovery corners for kids. The museum largely attracted two groups of visitors: art lovers and active children. As these two groups didn’t mix particularly well and there was a need for a museum for young families, the idea of a Miffy Museum at the same location gradually emerged.

It was an immediate success, says Yolanda van den Berg, curator from the start. ‘In the first year (2016), we already had 100,000 visitor more than expected. We soon introduced time slots and a booking system, but still had to disappoint people sometimes. The crowds of people meant that we couldn’t create the friendly atmosphere we were aiming for.’ The museum needed to be extended due its popularity. This month, after two years of renovation work, Miffy is opening the doors of her museum again.

What can we expect from the revamped museum?
Curator Yolanda: ‘The concept is unchanged: the world in miniature for 2 to 6-year-olds. You can walk through 12 themed rooms, including a forest and a street, made with Dick Bruna’s drawings. It’s like stepping into one of his books: from Farmer John’s farm and Miffy’s house, to Poppy Pig’s shop. Some of the themed rooms have been brought up-to-date. The zoo is now a farm, for example. And all the rooms have games allowing children to puzzle, read, count, practise their language skills and do role play. Kids can explore at their own level of curiosity, practising social and motor skills, and challenging their concentration along the way.’

What about the parents (and grandparents)?
‘We want adults and children to enjoy a day out discovering the museum together. The seats for adults are right next to the children’s games, so that they can easily get started together. Adults can also dress up in different rooms. We also regularly host story-telling hours, performances and workshops that you can do together with the kids. For art lovers, there’s a showcase in every room with original work by Dick Bruna with an accompanying explanatory text.’

What shape does your ‘all-inclusive’ policy take?
‘The first version of the Miffy Museum did not sufficiently meet the needs of visitors with a visual or hearing impairment, so we’ve paid extra attention to that. We use a lot of different tactile materials, embossed drawings and games in sign language to open up the experience to this group of children. The movement area has a wheelchair for toddlers to try out, and we regularly provide guided tours and story-telling sessions in sign language. We have sound-reducing headphones for children who are sensitive to stimuli and two stimulus-free cabins where they can catch their breath. Our ambition is to be the very best museum for all very young children.’

Miffy Musuem will be reopened from 22 June  2023.


Miffy Museum

The Miffy Museum is a miniature world and the most fun museum for toddlers. Get to know Dick Bruna's art, work with shapes and colours or build a work of art.

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