Since the weather in Salzburg was still rainy, we decided a day at the Nature House (Haus de Natur) would be a great way to pass the time!
This Natural History Museum spans 8 floors in 2 buildings…and was overwhelmingly interesting! We had the option of paying a small fee to rent headphones with English translations, but realized that is something that is more easily enjoyed without children. So, we “roughed” it, and simply observed most of the displays (since they were primarily in German…with a bit of English here and there).
They had rooms for just about everything—Space, Continents, Legends, Animals, Reptiles, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Oceans…
…to bugs and beyond!
This display had clear piping running from display to display, with ants and beetles crawling around doing their thing.
These, my friends, are BUGS. Every last one of them! They are STICK bugs! How cool is that?!
The Human Body area was quite hands-on, allowing the kids to learn about the 5 senses, and how different muscles and organs work. This section actually had quite a bit of English, so we learned a lot in this area!
There were fantastic displays about digestion, and this display shows how long the intestines are when stretched out straight!
I was admittedly a bit disappointed when a large room was devoted to human sexuality, as well. Not reproduction/babies/etc…just sexuality. When you entered there were nude mannequins in the center, sitting on a bench together. I was curious how we were going to escape this room, when we had so painstakingly explored the others. Fortunately, just inside the entrance to this room was the one and only little play area for children. It was simple—but enough to attract the kid’s attention immediately, and keep their eyes down and keep them from asking questions. There were displays and photos in that room that I found inappropriate, although they were slightly safeguarded from children’s view. Within a minute a group of young pubescent boys entered the room, and we grabbed our kids and scooted out of there as fast as we could (trying not to listen to the immature noises of that unsupervised group. Help!)! They certainly could have done without that room!
Meanwhile, floor after floor after floor…and we did NOT lose interest! Especially the kids!
After 3 1/2 hours later, we thought we had finally seen it all. As we were exiting we realized we had missed 3 more floors that were located across the street! Oh no!
We decided to take a break and walk around downtown Salzburg (post coming later), and return to the exhibit later.
Which we did! This time we enjoyed the exhibits in their “Science Center”.
The kids particularly enjoyed the Mozart room, that was devoted to sound and music. Everything was hands-on…such as this drum that you could hit, and watch the sound “bounce” off the shimmering large sequins on the sign.
There were singing and sound exhibits…
And our family loved the room where they blared Mozart’s classics in awesome armchairs with individual speakers on each chair. The sound was so intense that the floor shook…but it still wasn’t overwhelmingly loud! Why don’t they try these in movie theaters? I might actually understand everything!
Their body/fitness/energy/aerodynamics area was a hit, too! This area fortunately had translations in English, as well.
Challenge after challenge made you not only get physically into the activity…but helped you understand why you got the results that you did.
This one had you sit on a revolving seat, and then had you try to hold different revolving disks. The direction of the turning disk in your hand determined the direction your seat would turn.
The kids had fun trying to lift Jared, and then be lifted by him! Ella also got to drive a workman’s lift (as she stood in it with Jared)!
The water area, of course, left everyone wet and happy.
All in all, we spent about 5 1/2 hours in this museum, and we certainly could have spent more! The entrance of 7.50 Euros for adults, and 4 Euros for kids is money well-spent! Located right downtown in Salzburg, it is an excellent stop in your journey for kids (but beware…the parking just across the street totaled 19 Euros for the day…OUCH!).