UK families with young children looking for a short break should hop over to Holland to see all things Miffy!
Much loved by a generation of Brits who grew up reading Dutch artist Dick Bruna’s iconic picture books, Miffy the bunny now stars in a new TV show on kids’ channel Tiny Pop. The character is also the subject of a new interactive museum for pre-schoolers in the family-friendly city of Utrecht.
The Miffy Museum (www.miffymuseum.com) is situated opposite the Centraal Museum in the old part of city – Dick Bruna’s birthplace. The permanent visitor attraction welcomed over 10,000 visitors within the first 2 weeks of opening in February.
Each room in the Miffy Museum is dedicated to a different subject, creating a miniature world full of interactive activities, allowing children to discover the world around them. Whilst at the zoo, you can play with all the animals whether they’re wild or tame. When you go to the doctor, the doctor examines your eyes and ears. Dick Bruna’s illustrations of Miffy and other characters feature throughout the museum.
Like Amsterdam - but much smaller – Utrecht has traditional Dutch houses and canals flanked by cafés, restaurants and shops. It is easy and safe to explore the cobbled streets on foot, with or without a pushchair. The city is easily accessible via a 40 minute train ride from Schipol airport.
Families with young Miffy fans should focus a Utrecht city break around a visit to the new Miffy Museum – but there is also lots of fun to be had trying to spot the numerous incarnations of Miffy dotted around the streets in other parts of the city.
As soon as you hop off of the train in Utrecht Centraal Station you’ll be able to see a statue of Miffy which was used during the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, held in 2015 in Utrecht.
Ready… steady… Miffy! Not many people know that there are Miffy-shaped traffic lights in Utrecht. The lights are on the Lange Viestraat - a ten minute walk away from the Utrecht Centraal train station.
Miffy is such a well-loved character in Holland that they named a whole square after her! The Nijntje Pleintje – otherwise known as the Little Miffy Square – is a 10 minute walk from the Miffy Traffic Lights. The square is home to a Miffy statue created by Dick Bruna’s son, Marc Bruna, which stands at the beginning of the Van Asch van Wijckskade.
From the Miffy Square, walk 10 minutes further to Jeruzalemstraat and look out for the little Miffy mosaic showing Miffy peeking around the wall of Dick Bruna’s old studio location.
Explore, discover, touch, smell… this new museum is totally interactive and designed just for young children.
The rooms at the Miffy Museum are each dedicated to a different subject, forming miniature worlds full of interactive activities. Whilst at the zoo, you can play with all the animals whether they’re wild or tame. When you go to the doctor, the doctor examines your eyes and ears.
On leaving the museum, check out the gift shop which has plenty of Miffy treasure. Then head outside to find the perfect spot for selfies - a giant, brightly coloured statue of Miffy (part of the Miffy Art Parade which was held in 2015).
The room is fully decorated in Dick Bruna’s iconic minimalist style, with Miffy lamps, a Miffy beanbag, Miffy bedding and also towels. Fall asleep – literally - under the stars.
In the morning, use the Miffy shower gel and shampoo and sit down to a full breakfast on Miffy tableware; you’ll also receive a family ticket to the Miffy Museum and be presented with a surprise for your little ones!
For Miffy fans extending their trip beyond Utrecht, there are more family-friendly places where children can discover the little bunny.
From Madurodam, take a 40 minute drive to the world famous Keukenhof Gardens where you will find a Miffy playhouse within the picturesque grounds.
There is also a gorgeous display of tulips within the grounds. Keep your eyes peeled for Tulipa Nijntje – a giant Miffy made from tulips!
Here, you can visit the spot where Miffy was first created, when Dick Bruna was on holiday in 1955. Along the beach during summer, there are markers featuring DB’s illustrations on top (characters such as Miffy, plus generic animals) so families can orientate themselves.
When your sightseeing in the capital is coming to an end, there is an utterly adorable Miffy shop in Amsterdam so that you can remember your trip for years to come. For more information, please click HERE.