In Tilburg you don't have to be bored for a single moment throughout the year. In fact: in general you miss more than you see. Luckily, we're here for you! Ticket to Tilburg is the leisure lighthouse on which you can navigate. The medicine against FOMO. The place where you can find out everything about the coolest hotspots, the greatest events and the most beautiful cultural pearls. Like Natuurmuseum Brabant, naturally the best museum in our province!
Natuurmuseum Brabant is a real family museum. Playful, cheerful and airy. The museum is very popular with families: for years it has been in the top ten most child-friendly museums in the Netherlands. The museum is completely designed for families: children can play, touch things and discover things. For over 35 years it has been a lively place at the Spoorlaan in Tilburg. Time to pop in again for a visit to our favorite nature museum. Under the wing of Anke Jongen, manager of presentation, education and collection, we get a tour of the museum.
The wonders of nature
We meet Anke at the reception desk, walk past the museum café and are immediately greeted by a colorful collection of stuffed exotic birds, fish and four-legged friends in the OO zone. The display cases are almost bursting at the seams with all the flora and fauna. "And this is far from everything," Anke explains. "We have over three thousand square meters of surface area." That's not nothing. "What I always hear back from people is that the museum is much bigger than they think," Anke explains. "And in addition to a lot of space, we also have the second largest collection in the Netherlands."
"What I always hear back from people is that the museum is much larger than they think."
- Anke Jongen
That mega-nature collection is not only fun if you are manager collection of the museum (Anke, that is), but also for the tens of thousands of visitors the museum attracts each year. Children and parents can discover and learn a lot about nature here. Anke: "We want to stir up their enthusiasm and stimulate them to learn more. The great thing is that children can grow along with us; the youngest children first go to the 'Kikker is hier!' exhibition. A small universe in the museum based on the character of Max Velthuijs, where they can enjoy playing. As they get older, they go more and more in depth in terms of nature. When they themselves are older and have children, they come back here and start again from scratch."
"In the exhibition Mispoezen en Pechvogels we have very cross-eyed animals and animals that are in impossible positions."
- Anke Jongen
Mishaps & Misfortunes
Recently, a brand new exhibition has opened at the museum: Mispoezen & Pechvogels. An exhibition about the stuffing of animals, but in a slightly different way. Anke: "Usually in an exhibition you choose the best specimens, but this time we choose the failures, the fools and unlucky ones. So we have very cross-eyed animals and animals in impossible positions.
This does not always have to do with amateur preparators, but also with ignorance. Anke: "In the exhibition we have very old objects. In the past, there were explorers or commercial travellers, for example, who took a skin of an animal with them. In those days it was not possible to take a whole animal with you. The skin was then given to someone and they said: 'Make an animal out of it'. Those preparators had never seen a leopard, for example, and had to guess what they looked like. In retrospect, it then turns out that they got it completely wrong. And that is great fun to see. Really an exhibition for the whole family."
Frog and brie
What is actually Anke's favorite spot in the museum? She doesn't have to think about that for long. That would be the little house in the hall of Frog. "I think that little house, where as an adult you really have to bend down to get in, is my favorite place. And a lot of kids will agree with me. It's really a tiny universe. For a moment you can imagine yourself in the universe of your favorite children's book." In addition, the museum café is also high on the list of finest spots. "That's where I can be found regularly. The brie sandwich with walnut is highly recommended. For children, I can recommend the grilled sandwiches or the muffins, they are always very happy with those."
"We notice that people have a more pleasant museum experience with time slots."
- Anke Jongen
When you visit the Nature Museum, the experience may be slightly different than two years ago. You don't have to wear a mask, but due to current measures there is one-way traffic in the museum and you have to book a time slot. But the latter has turned out to be an advantage, says Anke. "That time slot came about because of corona, but we're going to keep it. We have noticed that people have a more pleasant museum experience with a time slot. At first it was the case that many people came to the museum at the same time. Now the crowds are much better distributed. As a result, you can better take the time to take everything in properly and go on a discovery tour." The time slot allows you to wander around the museum for three hours, which is the average time visitors take in the building. "But if you want to wander around for half an hour longer, that's no problem either." After two and a half hours our tour is over. We thank Anke and ask if we can walk through the museum for a little while longer. We go to Frog's house for a while, at least until closing time.
Natuurmuseum Brabant is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. You can reserve a time slot online via this link.