A visit to the museum can make for a fun weekend outing and most of the capital’s museums have programs for children of all ages. Here are some suggestions of museums that families can enjoy.
The National Museum of Romanian Aviation
Located in northern Bucharest, this museum has both indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces and allows visitors a trip through the history of local aviation. One section is dedicated to local aviation pioneers Traian Vuia, Aurel Vlaicu and Henri Coandă, with mock-ups of the planes they designed, as well as items and documents that belonged to engineer Aurel Vlaicu.
Another area looks at the period of the Second World War, and includes a replica of the IAR 80 low-wing monoplane, while the period after 1945 is presented with the help of fighter jets and radiolocation stations. Visitors will also find here MiG 17, 19 and 21, L-29 aircraft, flight simulators, radiolocation and anti-aircraft artillery equipment. The open-air section of the museum displays a variety of planes, helicopters, aviation equipment and ground-to-air missiles. More details on how to get to the museum and the visiting hours here.
Vasile Urseanu Astronomic Observatory
The Astronomic Observatory in Bucharest has a variety of activities and presentations suitable for both children and adults. Those interested can attend presentations held in an inflatable dome, equipped with a digital planetarium system acquired when the Observatory underwent refurbishment. There is also the option of attending astronomy observations with telescopes, as long as the sky is clear. The staff of the Observatory regularly hold presentations at the Bucharest City Museum – Șuțu Palace where the public can learn more about the solar system, the planets and their satellites, the stars and how many have been discovered so far, how the sky looks like from other planets, asteroids or water on Mars. Some presentations are not recommended for children younger than 8. You can check their website for further details.
Grigore Antipa Museum of Nature Sciences
A favorite of children, this museum is known for one of its most valuable exhibits: the Deinotherium gigantissimum skeleton. It hosts many educational events and programs, making use of its extensive collections to take visitors on a trip to various nature habitats, local and from outside of the country, with their characteristic fauna and flora. This is the place to learn about ancient mammals, such as the giant deer (Megaceros giganteus), reptiles, or the cave bear ((Ursus spelaeus), among others. In its Ethnography and Anthropology collections, the museum hosts a variety of artifacts from around the world, but also several mummies. More about the museum, its programs and events here.
National Museum of History of Romania
The place to learn about the country’s history, the National Museum of History of Romania hosts several educational workshops for children of various ages where they can explore the museum’s collections, including the copy of Trajan’s Column and the Historical Treasure. Those who take part in the workshops get to visit the two permanent exhibitions, accompanied by a museum educator but also by animators dressed as Roman legionaries, Dacian noblemen, knights and princesses, but also work to reproduce some of the exhibits in the museum’s collections. More about it here. An extra reason to visit it this season, it hosts an exhibition of the Toys Museum Association, displaying numerous toys manufactured in time, in Romania.
The National Museum of Art of Romania
Visiting an art museum doesn’t have to be an intimidating experience and the National Museum of Art of Romania welcomes children of all ages to discover its collections through playful workshops designed to familiarize them with the works of various artists. In the past, it held workshops on the work of famed Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși and this summer it ran the ninth edition of the Art Garden program at the Theodor Pallady and K.H. Zambaccian Museums. Starting from the patrimony of the two museums, families were able to explore the art of the garden as a nature venue but also as a source of inspiration or a place for play or relaxation. The museum also has programs for kindergartens and schools, designed to let the young audience notice and make up their own mind, draw and interpret the art works in its collections. Further details are available here.
Casa Experimentelor - Romanian Science Center
Although not a museum, this is a great place for children to have fun and learn at the same time. Visitors can see and try over 100 experiments and activities in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology. They can interact with every exhibit, as the center aims to promote individual discovery of the phenomena presented. If you would like to see how lighting in produced indoors, to feel static electricity in your hair, sit on 2,200 nails or pedal and see how your effort turns into electricity, this is the place to go. The center also delivers a variety of workshops, adapted for school children from the 1st to the 9th grade. Further info here.
The Museum of Senses
This venue welcomes visitors to experiences designed to test their perception in a fun way. Visitors are invited to a walk through a dark tunnel where they experience an area where the water flows upwards, cross a busy city street to enter into a park with mind-blowing optical illusions, experience an adrenaline rush and dizziness by walking through a Vortex tunnel, or spend some time in an inclined room or an infinity mirror room. The museum has 13 rooms and offers over 40 different exhibits, such as “Head on a platter”, the “Changing faces hedge”, or the “Infinity room”. More about visiting it here.(Opening photo: Constantin Opris | Dreamstime.com)
The “Grigore Antipa” Museum of Natural History, one of the most popular museums in Bucharest, and BRD–Groupe Société...