A month ago we spent three days in The Netherlands, timing our visit so H could see some of the Miffy Statues around Amsterdam and Utrecht. We’ve mentioned the Miffy Art Parade on here already, but this was our chance to see them properly.
We landed in Schiphol Airport mid-morning, knowing there was a Miffy Statue before and after passport control [note – the one after passport control had been moved] – and found a Miffy Pop Up Store as we exited Passport Control. Happily, our first one was in there, as well as a map of Amsterdam showing us locations of the statues – phew!
So the aim was, find as many statues from the Miffy Art Parade while going to areas we’d be going to anyway. That seemed an easy enough task – we met Steven whose house we stayed in, and headed off on the tram towards the museumplein where we knew several statues would be. As it was we missed loads by a matter of days, as they had been removed, but still found two statues at the Rijksmuseum – who have recently opened a Dick Bruna exhibition which is showing until the 15th November 2015, and has borrowed work from the Centraal Museum in Utrecht as well as some of Dick Bruna’s own personal collection. More info here. Most places around here no longer had statues (check the website for up to date information) so we moved on.
We walked to the Miffy Store (de winkel von Nijntje) via the Hotel Okura (which had another statue inside), and were left baffled why the store didn’t have a statue (but you can look inside the store on Google Maps which was fun). We still managed to spend money on essentials like a nice dutch Nijntje, a pack of plasters, several postcards of the statues (picking out the ones we’d seen), and a keyring, money box… so much stuff, but enough we could still carry it all home in our hand luggage.
The following day was the big one – our trip to Utrecht. The home of Dick Bruna, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, and the home of the Dick Bruna Huis (currently being refurbished until December 2015), and over the road the Centraal Museum which has a large Miffy exhibition.
On arriving at Utrecht we wandered around the streets, relying on our data on our phones to find some statues – and stumbling across another Miffy Pop Up Store which was closing on the day we went. Inside was a statue, and there were many more to follow. Knowing there was a map for Amsterdam, I found out that Utrecht also had them, so headed to the tourist information building, where of course there was another statue, so our total spotted was growing!
When in Utrecht, and you have a map of all the Miffy things, the one place you need to visit is the Nijntje Pleintje (Miffy Place). In reality just a square with a permanent little Miffy in there, but the name was the first time I’d got the pronunciation of Nijntje correct (nine-tche is the closest I can say).
It was wet on our Utrecht day, and we were getting cold, and had been wandering around a while now. It was decided we needed food – in H’s case she decided she needed ice cream. So we headed back into the main shopping area, where we found the wonderful Njintje crossing – it’s a Dick Bruna fan’s Abbey Road, basically. We may have crossed over it several times, much to H’s delight. Lesser so, the drivers… oops.
By now we’d eaten and had to head over to the other side of Utrecht, so took a boat on the canal. What a lovely way to get to know the city – and seeing all the shops canal-side was a great perspective to look at the areas we’d walked. We were soon at the Centraal Museum, where we continued our trip, visiting the Miffy exhibition. In the first room you can see two statues from the Miffy Art Parade.
These were followed by many more – plus some we couldn’t find. With it being towards the end of the exhibition a lot of the statues were being moved into the Rijksmuseum for an auction on the 8th October (which I’m guessing will tie in with what’s going on there now), but there were still plenty to see!
H had a wonderful time in the museum, doing some crafts and colouring in while I wandered around, my childhood in giant books I could hide inside. We stopped in the cafe for a Miffy pancake which I shared with H.
We decided to wander back and see which other statues we could find. As it was, there was just the one – in Winkel van Sinkel (which we had walked past several times that morning).
Plus we also spotted some of the Miffy statues that were on cars when the Tour de France came through Utrecht, on display in a window at the central Council offices. That was it, we were Miffy-d out for another day, and caught our train back to Leiden!
Our final day, we were back in Amsterdam. The sun was shining and it was a glorious day. A day for wandering around, and if we happened to be near anywhere that had a statue, we’d pop in. We spent most of the day at the Dutch Resistance Museum Junior, before wandering around and finding ourselves where another three statues lived – in the Hortus Botanicus – who let me in at a reduced rate and H in for free – so we found our final two statues which were inside the grounds, including the one by Madelon Bruna, Dick Bruna’s daughter [far right].
I would imagine all the Miffy Art Parade statues have gone, as the exhibition is due to finish around now, but the celebrations are continuing this year – Miffy is 60, and I’m so happy we had a chance to visit and celebrate too!
The Miffy Art Parade website is here where you can check the status of which Miffy’s are still on show. There’s also a webstore, and I really wish I had bought this Design-Your-Own Miffy – at €39.95 it isn’t cheap, so you’d need to know what you wanted your Miffy to be!
The Miffy Art Parade is still on show in Japan in various cities. Again, check the website for which are still viewable for up to date information.