TAIPEI #20 (2020 Summer)
Exploring Museums with Kids in Taipei
Words by: Jamie R. Wood
Photos by: KidsAwesome Children’s Museum of Taipei, National Taiwan Science Education Center, Nanmen Park Branch of National Taiwan Museum, Taiwan Insect Hall
Summer vacation is right around the corner, and TAIPEI is here to help any parent who might be feeling a bit nervous about having the kids around for weeks on end. It’s no secret that Taiwan’s capital offers plenty of fun choices for kids of all ages. But once you’ve taken a hike up Xiangshan and had that picnic in Daan Park (大安森林公園), what else is there? Why not take the chance to explore Taipei’s kid-friendly museums and add some knowledge to their summer journey? It may surprise you to learn that these museums are not just designed for kids, and even adults can enjoy a stroll through the many interactive exhibits. Here are some of the top choices as selected by all of us on the TAIPEI team.
KIDSAWESOME CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF TAIPEI
Located right next to MRT Daan Station (捷運大安站), KidsAwesome Children’s Museum of Taipei (奧森兒童博物館) is a private museum dedicated to children aged 0 to 10. There are 13 exhibition areas in the museum featuring different themes kids will enjoy. The Art Studio is a perfect area for kids to paint to their hearts’ content without making a mess at home for parents to clean up. Children who love science will have lots of fun at the Kinetic Area, with its massive machine that triggers tons of balls to drop from the sky. Don’t miss out on the speedy slide at their Zip Lines Zone, where helmets are on hand to keep kids safe from any rough-and-tumble mishaps. But the biggest highlight of all has to be the Bubbles Room. Imagine not just blowing bubbles with a straw, but actually standing inside a bubble! Even adults would have trouble resisting such a magical moment that can transport anyone back to the carefree days of childhood.▲Kids are provided with various themed areas in which to learn by doing at KidsAwesome Children’s Museum of Taipei. (Photo/KidsAwesome Children’s Museum of Taipei)
Though it is definitely a museum for children, KidsAwesome does not forget the needs of parents. Nursing rooms and changing tables can be easily found in case moms and dads need them. In some exhibition rooms that are “children-only,” they also set up monitors outside for parents to keep an eye on their babies. The cafe on the first floor is an oasis for parents who need to take a break. As we all know, no one needs coffee more than moms.▲Kids are provided with various themed areas in which to learn by doing at KidsAwesome Children’s Museum of Taipei. (Photo/KidsAwesome Children’s Museum of Taipei)
|🏫 153, Xinyi Rd., Sec. 3, Daan Dist.
🕙 10:00am - 5:00pm (Closed on Tuesdays & Wednesdays)
NATIONAL TAIWAN SCIENCE EDUCATION CENTER
Established in 1956, the National Taiwan Science Education Center (NTSEC, 國立臺灣科學教育館) is a well-known place for kids and parents to learn about science together. The museum itself has nine floors in total. While the permanent exhibition areas display interesting content related to life sciences, physics, chemistry, mathematics and earth sciences, there are also special exhibitions occasionally held in the lobby or on the 7th and 8th floors, featuring educational subjects such as dinosaurs, rockets and robots.
One of the childhood memories of every Taipei residents is to go on a school field trip to the NTSEC and watch a 3D movie that takes you on a trip to the fascinating world of outer space. It’s also a common scene to see young students swarming in “The Amazing World of Chemistry” exhibition on the 5th floor, holding a pencil and paper in their hands and trying to find the correct answer for the pop quiz their teachers just gave them. The crystal ball that generates electricity by using the basic principle of vacuum discharge is always crowded with excited children who are ready power up their day. If you are looking for a place for your kids to learn and play, the NTSEC will never let you down.▲NTSEC cultivates children’s interest in science through interactive exhibitions such as “Staying Your Shadow on the Wall” and “The Lightning Ball,” both heavily favored by kids. (Photo/NTSEC)
|🏫 189, Shishang Rd., Shilin Dist.
🕙 9:00am - 5:00pm (Tuesday to Friday)；9:00am - 6:00pm (Saturday & Sunday)
NATIONAL TAIWAN MUSEUM — NANMEN PARK BRANCH
Nanmen Park Branch of National Taiwan Museum (台灣博物館南門園區) sits in a tranquil neighborhood close to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. It’s a historic building established during the Japanese era, and had served as a camphor factory, operated by the Monopoly Bureau of the Taiwan Governor's Office and later by the Taiwan Tobacco and Wine Monopoly Bureau, from 1899 to 1967.▲The Nanmen Park Branch of National Taiwan Museum was built during the Japanese Era, and now serves as an exhibition hall that showcases the history of Taiwan’s camphor industry. (Photo/Nanmen Park Branch of National Taiwan Museum)
To start this educational trip with your kids, you can walk into the park to admire the historic site known as the “Little White House,” a stone building that is now being used as an event space for special exhibitions. The mottled brick building next to the Little White House, known as the “Red House,” is the main exhibition area in the park. At the Red House, you can learn about the background of Taiwan’s camphor industry, which was one of the top three export industries of Taiwan in the 1910s. Don’t worry, kids will not be bored by the exhibition, as interactive displays such as Legos and projector screen games are set up for children to learn more about Taiwan’s history in an entertaining and educational way.
The children’s room on the first floor, on the other hand, is a space decorated with creative paintings on the walls for children to learn about the planets, birds and insects that grow and lives here. Admission only costs NT$20 for adults, NT$10 for kids aged six to twelve. Children under six get in free of charge. Nanmen Park Branch of National Taiwan Museum is certainly a parent’s best choice to spend a budget-friendly day in Taipei.▲Children can also learn about the creatures that live there by joining the branch's environmental education activities. (Photo/Nanmen Park Branch of National Taiwan Museum)
|🏫 1, Sec. 1, Nanchang Rd., Zhongzheng Dist.
🕙 Park: 6:00am - 10:00pm (Monday to Sunday)
🕑 Exhibition Hall: 9:30am - 5:00pm (Tuesday to Sunday)
TAIWAN INSECT HALL
Founded by a group of insect fanatics, Taiwan Insect Hall (台灣昆蟲館) is a museum/NGO that encourages kids to get into nature and fall in love with their multi-legged and slimy friends. The exhibition displays the background information of different bugs, featuring thousands of insect specimens while also recreating their habitats for children to explore. Visitors can interact with those charming creatures since the museum is also a large zoo for insects and reptiles. Here at Taiwan Insect Hall, dorbeetles, snakes and lizards are loved and pampered like kittens and rabbits. Kids can pet and feed them under the watch of the professional instructors who also teach them the proper ways to get along with these unusual friends.▲Don’t miss the chance to see these unusual animals up close and learn how different they are from professional instructors at Taiwan Insect Hall. (Photo/Taiwan Insect Hall)
As Taiwan Insect Hall cares about children’s education very much, the open hours are in concert with Taiwan’s school time. You might not be able to visit in the morning, but that also means Taiwan Insect Hall cannot be more suitable for you if your child’s energy never drops at night, like a nocturnal animal. Opening until 9:00 in the evening, it also occasionally holds outdoor exploration trips for parents and kids in nearby Fuyang Eco Park (富陽自然生態公園), a well-known habitat for fireflies in Taipei. The Taipei night might be colorful in the glitzy Xinyi District, but it can certainly be more lively when it’s lit up by fireflies and children’s laughter.▲The exhibition in the Taiwan Insect Hall displays and recreates the habitats of various creepy-crawly creatures. (Photo/Taiwan Insect Hall)
Taiwan Insect Hall
|🏫 B1F, 8, Ln. 406, Sec. 3, Heping E. Rd., Daan Dist.
🕙 6:00pm - 9:00pm (Monday & Tuesday)；12:00pm - 9:00pm (Wednesday)；4:00pm - 9:00pm (Thursday & Friday)；10:00am - 9:00pm (Saturday & Sunday)
A friendly reminder: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, there might be safety/hygiene measures enforced at each destination, such as the mandatory wearing of masks or temperature check.
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