Ronneby Naturum is set inside Ronneby Brunnspark – a huge outdoor nature area, with many walks, woods, play parks, ponds, and a swimming pool. The nature centre itself literally took our breath away. It is filled with fantastic exhibitions for both young and old, but what grabbed our attention and made it so great for the trio, was that it is so interactive, hands on, and there is nothing out of bounds to little fingers that like touching everything! We have been to Ronneby Naturum a few times now, and one rainy afternoon we spent the entire time in there together with our nature journals, merrily sketching away.
As you enter Ronneby Naturum you immediately come across a very striking and visual exhibition (see the photo!) about lynx in Sweden. My three just stood their gawping! We have moved to a country with wildlife that really grabs their imaginations; bears, wolves, wild boar, älg (moose), and lynx are just some of what is here. However, these are all very hard to see in real life, especially with three young children who give the wildlife plenty of warning that they are approaching, with their noise levels 🙂 So, to walk in and see this life sized lynx was fantastic, and really brought it home to them what is lurking out there. We spent some time learning about them and looking at the areas where they live around and near us before being drawn further into the centre.
Another favourite was a transparent operational bee hive, which had an entrance/exit to the outdoors. This was so good for the children to watch the bees so close up. The emphasis is very much on being able to interact with exhibits. This may take the form of sticking your hand into a container “blind” to work out what’s in there with just a written clue, feeding the fish in the tanks, pressing buttons to hear various animal/bird sounds (twin 1 can never resist a button so he was in his element), or just picking up and handling various exhibits that are laid out.
In our county (Blekinge), we are surrounded by water, with islands everywhere making up the archipelago we live on. So, naturally there is a big exhibition about the coast and the marine life around our area. The older ones can learn more about the geology, the biodiversity, why it is such a sensitive area of nature, and how we can fish or sail whilst protecting it. Part of this exhibition is a sail boat which the children can board and pretend to sail the high seas. It has moving parts to handle, sails to move, and benches to lift, under which reside very cute and fluffy cuddly mice and seals. This was a revelation to us being allowed to climb on board such an exhibit, and when the staff saw my good old English reservation about children clambering over exhibits, they came and said the children must climb all over it!
The “lab” is another highlight of Ronneby Naturum. This is a separate little room that you can lose yourself in for a good few hours! It is full of stuffed wild animals from the forests, and exhibits you can pick up and handle. Anything from snake skins, to stag beetles, to animal bones, animal antlers, and a whole heap of samples you can examine under one of the microscopes in there. There are also a couple of aquariums in there. It is such a lovely place, with so much to see, and it is also very cosy!
I thoroughly recommend a visit to Ronneby Naturum (but check the opening times first as they alter drastically day to day, and season to season). You can easily spend a day in the park, with a visit to the naturum as part of it. You can wander the woods blueberry picking in the early autumn, have lunch on one of the fire pits, and feed the ducks also. There is also an ice cream kiosk serving delicious tasty treats too 🙂 Plus there is no charge for the park or its naturum. Ronneby Naturum is a place we will be returning to many many more times.