Off we got to Germany! A highlight of our German tour was a visit to the sweet Steiff Museum to learn the story of all the beloved Steiff bears and animals that we have in our homes.
Where to Find the Museum
Our summer vacation to Germany involves mostly visiting with family. We’re lucky to have relatives of Mr. Momtrends in Baden Wurttemberg—and extra lucky that they open up their homes to us. Past trips included visits to castles and LEGOLand Germany.
The museum is located about 90 minutes from Stuttgart, the closest big city. It was a perfect day tip for our family.
Visiting family and friends overseas is the best. You get to dig deeper into the culture and the kids have playmates to keep them from boredom bickering with one another.
Our hosts always thoughtfully suggest a daily “program” or plan for the day. We did many fun outings—and with any luck I’ll have the time to write a round up. Until such time, I have to make time to share about the Steiff Museum.
Hurrah for female entrepreneurs! Margarete Steiff founded the company. Steiff is the world's oldest and most exclusive brand of plush toys. Margarete Steiff founded the company in 1880. Though wheelchair-bound, the plucky German became and accomplished seamstress. In her shop, she made a felt elephant on a whim. The requests for felt animals soon outpaced the requests for dresses and her business was born.
In 1902 Richard Steiff created the first jointed bear in 1902. Inspired by a cartoon of Teddy Roosevelt hunting, the bear was named Teddy. A century later, the "button ear" toys have become collector's items. The quality remains the same: All Steiff plush animals are rigorously tested to ensure their freedom from harmful chemicals.
Take the Steiff Tour
The tour is 100% geared towards kids—think talking bears and mechanical fish. But I think the girls learned a little along the way about supplying something of quality and giving the customers what they want.
You'll learn some history and have lots of fun -- so everyone wins.
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Interactive Fun at Steiff
After the brief jaunt through history, it’s time to interact with the plush animals. We got to pose on a huge pachyderm, saddle up a unicorn, and of course bears.
Note: build in time for your kids to race up the stairs again and again to slide down the huge stuffed snake slide.
At the end of the tour, you’ll see Steiff artisans sewing and stuffing animals that will end up in the shop. If you're interested, this giant giraffe will sell for $6,000. Bravo for the handmade toy experience.
Visit the Gift Shop:
Good luck trying to leave the premises without a stuffed toy. After you’ve seen the artistry, you can’t resist investing in a stuffed treasure. Our girls picked a small owl (Pigwidgeon…you’ll understand if you’ve read Harry Potter) and a penguin (Mr. Fluffers…origin unknown).
For those with tots, be sure to check out the adorable children’s clothes. The designs are classic and classy.
Note: It might make sense to hop over to the Steiff Outlet in the plaza before making a purchase. Prices were about 40% off the mains tore.
Snack Time: There is a café with a large outdoor seating area attached to the museum. We didn’t visit it—our German relatives made packing snack for the road look like an Olympic sport.
This is just the right mix of culture a and consumption. When exploring Germany, don’t forget to make time for these small gems.
Plan Your Trip
89537 Giengen an der Brenz
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