Visiting the Teylers Museum with a toddler

When I was a kid, we used to visit the Teylers Museum in Haarlem as a school outing. I was fascinated by all the history and the weird and wonderful things the museum holds. A few weeks ago I took our toddler, who’s now 3,5, to visit the museum. He’s still a bit too young to fully appreciate it, but he enjoyed it nonetheless and was very impressed. He still talks about our visit now and wants to go back.

The Teylers Museum is the oldest museum in the Netherlands, dating back to 1784. It’s the only place in the world where you can see an authentic museum interior from the 18th century. The building is absolutely stunning and worth visiting even without the extensive collection of paintings, drawings, ancient scientific instruments, old coins, fossils and minerals and valuable books.

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The history of the Teylers museum

The museum is named after Pieter Teyler van der Hulst (1702-1778), who was a rich cloth merchant and banker from Haarlem. He had a great interest in art and science. When he died in 1778 he left his collection of books, drawings and coins as well as his considerable wealth to the Teylers Foundation. In line with the ideas of the Enlightenment, the first directors of the Teylers Foundation decided to create a center for study and education. The Oval Room, designed by Leendert Viervant 1779 as an ‘art and book’ room, was meant for research and study. Over the years, the museum was gradually extended. The latest addition was in 2002, with a museum shop and a multimedia room.

Visiting the Teylers Museum (with a toddler)

The museum is absolutely fascinating if you enjoy history and as it had been a long time since I was there myself, I decided to give it a go. We spend about one hour inside. That doesn’t seem so long, but I was quite impressed by our tot. It’s a proper museum, without much interaction. There’s a lot to see, but not much to do for a toddler. They do offer activities for slightly older kids (from age 4), such as treasure hunts and workshops and educational programs for schools. I’m sure we’ll be back when he gets a bit older. There’s still a lot to discover!

Our visit in pictures

To give you an impression of the Teylers Museum and our visit, check out these pictures. - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem - huge collection of strange ancient instruments
Huge collection of strange ancient instruments - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem - inside
The Teylers Museum is housed in an amazing 18th century building - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem - lots of fossils
Amazing collection of fossils, stones and minerals - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem - checking out the fossils
Checking out the fossils - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem - Bioluminescent stones
The little dark room with glow stones fascinated our little boy tremendously - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem - The Oval Room
The famous Oval Room at Teylers Museum - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem - large collection of historic paintings
The Teylers Museum houses a large collection of historic paintings - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem with a toddler
At the entrance they gave us a little stool so our little one could see all the displays - Blog: Teylers Museum Haarlem - face to face with a cave bear skeleton
Face to face with a cave bear skeleton

8 thoughts on “Visiting the Teylers Museum with a toddler”

  1. This looks like a grand, glorious type of place. I love the look of it! I still haven’t been to Haarlem, although we stayed not too far from there a few years ago. I’d love a springtime visit to the Netherlands in 2018 – might just factor this into our schedule! Thanks for linking up with #CulturedKids

    • The building is stunning and it has a great and very varied collection. I definitely recommend it. If you do visit Haarlem, drop me a line and I’ll show you around!

  2. That’s a proper old-fashioned museum, isn’t it? Looks great! It was a nice touch to give your son a stool to see the exhibits; sometimes it’s the little things that matter most. Very interesting – thanks! #CulturedKids

    • The atmosphere in the museum is amazing. We visited again yesterday and I saw they have a whole stack of those little stools. Very thoughtful. We did the treasure hunt, wich was good fun.

    • Let me know if you want any more tips about our hometown Haarlem (or other places in Holland)! Teylers Museum is definitely a fascinating place to visit.

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