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The Dynamikum: Science Center Pirmasens

Summer days are quickly approaching. Kids will be free of school, and vacation days will allow for some fun family time. Personally, I like to have a plan for how to fill up some of those days. The summer can feel pretty long if you’re stuck in the house with energy-filled kids. So, it’s time create a list of day trips and activities that will bring some excitement to long summer days. The Dynamikum, Science Center Pirmasens, is an awesome place to spend a free day. My family and I spent a fantastic day at the museum recently, and I recommend it to others who are looking for a day of activity and fun.

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The Dynamikum is housed in a building that used to be home to a shoe factory. Silhouettes of shoes line the walls and ceilings throughout the museum, and displays featuring black and white photographs of factory workers crafting shoes are scattered throughout the museum to help visitors imagine the hustle and bustle that originally buzzed through the building. The museum is dedicated to the science of movement, which reflects the memory of factory workers moving throughout the building, the constant hum of machinery, and the function of the products produced there. The exhibits throughout the museum are hands-on and invite visitors of all ages to explore speed, force, rotating movement, mass and motion, speed in nature, and machine-based movement.

The moment we entered the museum, my kids were instantly engaged. They jumped right up to an exhibit that illustrates motion caused by air. Motors sent air through tunnels, and visitors could place objects of different sizes and weights into the tunnel to see if the air was strong enough to shoot them out the top. I thought for a moment that we may spend our entire visit trying to send foam balls and cubes up to the ceiling because my kids were so entranced by the activity that they didn’t seem to want to move on. Eventually, a bicycle sitting on top of a rubber bubble that inflated and slid across the floor like a disk on an air hockey table when someone pedaled hard enough caught one of the kid’s eye. The air tunnel and the bike are the first two things visitors to the Dynamikum come across, and their ability to instantly capture the attention of everyone in my family speaks to how fantastic the museum is.

Eventually, we made it past the air tunnel and the bike and entered a huge room with different exhibits in every direction. Museum staff members roam the room and offer assistance with the different activities and help explain the scientific concept behind each one.   It wasn’t long before we were making waves with a giant slinky, testing centripetal force on a rotating table, and using countermotion to move people on swings facing each other. We all went from exhibit to exhibit and tried out everything we came across. And, when I say “we,” I am including my husband and me in addition to my three kids. The activities and exhibits aren’t just aimed at kids. Adults can have just as much fun trying out all the machines and manipulatives found at the Dynamikum. I saw several people well into retirement age lining up giant dominoes to knock over and moving huge gears so that they worked together to ring a bell.

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After a morning of exploring the Dynamikum, you will be ready for a snack or light meal. Upstairs visitors find a cafeteria with a full menu of snacks, sandwiches, salads, drinks, and desserts. Tables in the cafeteria can be reserved and decorated for birthday parties and special events. When lunch time is over, visitors can use an indoor slide to move from the cafeteria back downstairs to the main floor of the museum where the exploration of exhibits can continue.

By the end of our visit, we were sure that we would return to the Dynamikum. I have only described a handful of the exhibits awaiting visitors to the museum; I have no doubt that you will enjoy exploring the full range of activities available at the Dynamikum, Science Center Pirmasens. It’s a fantastic place for the entire family to spend a day free of work and school exploring the science of movement.

The Dynamikum is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. On Saturdays, Sundays, and German holidays, opening hours are 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The science museum is closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Adult tickets cost €9, while children over 6, students, senior citizens, and people with disabilities qualify for tickets reduced to €8. Children under the age of 6 enter for free if they are not part of large groups. Family tickets for two adults and one child can be purchased for €23 with tickets for additional children available for €5,50. If you visit after 4:00 PM, tickets only cost €5. Additional reductions are available for groups of more than ten and people who purchase annual memberships. Information about scheduling trips for groups can be found at www.dynamikum.de or by emailing info@dynamikum.de or calling +49 (0) 63 31/23943-22.

The Dynamikum is easy to reach by car. Its address is Im Rheinberger, Frӧhnstraβe 8, 66954 Pirmasens. A parking garage is conveniently located right next to the museum. A map with directions from the train station is available at www.dynamikum.de. The walk from the station should only take about five minutes.

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