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6 x art on the streets with kids

Did you know that Rotterdam is one of the cities with the most art in public spaces? From Picasso, Rodin, Moore to Van Lieshout, it is a veritable open-air museum. But with young children, you obviously can't see everything at once, so we made a selection of six cool artworks you can see every day for free.

1. Flashing cloud of light

You don't even have to leave Central Station to be surprised by a stunning work of art: John Körmeling's twinkling cloud of light. Happy Cloud (2012) is a gigantic chandelier with countless LED lights that constantly switch on and off. A real eye-catcher!

2. Street art

Within stumbling distance of the station, the black-and-white mural by Rotterdam artist collective Venour immediately catches the eye. Just a bit of people-watching. The different heads represent the neighbourhood's many cultures. Don't walk straight on, we haven't finished here yet! Around the corner, at the intersection of West-Kruiskade and Diergaardesingel, we see a striking red-orange wall full of floating fantasy creatures painted by Brazilian graffiti artist Onesto in 2009. This will make us happy!

3. Zebra in the nests

Look up. Yes there! Four large aluminium stork nests, with a zebra even on one of them. That is sure to get children's attention. Zebra in the Nests (2015) was created by Herman Lamers and refers to the moment when Blijdorp Zoo's zebras were literally in the nests. Indeed, during the bombing in World War II, they were running loose through the city.

4. Brick Art

Henry Moore, one of the grand masters of sculpture, is best known for his abstract bronze and marble sculptures. Only once did he use brick, and let this unique work be seen precisely in Rotterdam. Wall Relief No.1 (1955), opposite the Groothandelsgebouw, is 8.4 metres high and 10 metres wide and consists of geometric elements. You can have fun fantasising and philosophising with children about the organic figures. If you lie down under a blanket yourself, what does the other person see?

So take a break. Because right next to Henry Moore's artwork is Speelcentrum Weena, a large, free playground. Here your kids can run wild and you can take a break. Just check if the playground is open and if you need to book in advance.

5. Rotterdam's Big Friendly Giant

As soon as you manage to pull your offspring out of the playground again, walk to the park on Kruiskade. Here we can see a statue of Rigardus Rijnhout, the tallest man in Dutch history. This 'Giant of Rotterdam' was 2 metres and 37 centimetres tall, weighed 230 kilos and had shoe size 62. Rigardus was bullied a lot because of his stature, but he always remained friendly. Just like the Big Friendly Giant from Roald Dahl's children's book. You can try on his shoes and sit on his giant chair.

6. Teapot & eating an ice cream

On the West-Kruiskade, young children need to look carefully. The image on the façade of elderly home Humanitas Leeuwenhoek is not always immediately recognised. The Delft-blue teapot is a work of art by Anne-Mercedes Langhorst and symbolises the meeting of different cultures and generations. After all, everyone drinks tea. There are benches outside and on the ground floor is the Ice Cream Parlour. A nice and tasty ending to this mini tour for little art fanatics!

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