The Museum Challenge makes a visit there much more exciting.

15. May 2016 - Alexander Schmidt

Museum Challenge – How to Have More Fun in the Museum




You think a visit to a museum is one of those leisure activities you’d rather do alone than with kids? Absolutely wrong: because no matter whether you go to a painting gallery, a historical or a scientific museum – with this museum challenge, your visit will be an extraordinary experience.

As a child, my parents took me to every kind of museum imaginable: art galleries, historical museums, exhibitions about the Middle Ages in old castles, technology museums, natural history museums and and and…. I would be lying if I said that I always enjoyed it. Of course, for a child, old knight’s armour, halberds and swords are much more interesting than an exhibition of abstract art. But this definitely stimulated my interest in a wide variety of subjects. The fact that I enjoy going to museums today – even those with abstract art – is certainly thanks to my parents.

However, today I prefer to visit museums together with my friends. Since most of us like to playfully compete with each other, at some point the idea arose to try this out when visiting a museum. Instead of each of us looking at the exhibits on our own and talking about them in between or afterwards as usual, my friends and I came up with a kind of museum challenge that we set ourselves. We realised that this is how a visit to a museum becomes a truly shared, communicative and memorable experience!

1. Which Work of Art Am I in This Museum?

The Museum Challenge is super suitable for museums or exhibitions that are about art. Whether you’re looking at Baroque paintings, modern sculptures or Japanese ink drawings, pick a work of art in each room that you identify with. Now you have to take turns guessing who identifies with which artwork. Of course, there may be overlaps, for example because both John and Paul find themselves in the “Scream” by Edvard Munch. The first person to guess someone else’s artwork gets a point for it. Take a piece of paper and pen with you and write down your group’s points in each room. With 2 players, of course, only one gets a point per room.

2. Homemade Quiz for a Museum Challenge in the New National Gallery in Berlin

I have been to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin many times. I also wanted to show this to some friends who came to visit me. To make the visit as fun as possible, I developed a little quiz with 12 questions beforehand, which I printed out for them. Clara, Max and Olli then competed against each other in the museum: The winner was whoever had the answers to all the questions first. If you have a favourite museum or simply have the time and leisure to look around a museum that you would like to introduce to your friends, then why not design your own museum or exhibition quiz?

12 Art Questions for the Museum Challenge

  • What is the name of the painting in which a woman has two different coloured eyes?
  • What is the oldest work of art in the museum?
  • Find the picture with the man in the monocle and top hat – what is he holding in his right hand?
  • By which artist is the sculpture “Leda and the Swan” and what material is it made of?
  • How many paintings by Otto Dix are on display?
  • In which picture are foxes sitting upright at the coffee table?
  • Which work of art has the largest black surface?
  • Which sculpture on display caused a scandal in the 1920s?
  • What is the name of the artist by whom several painted “playing cards” are exhibited?
  • What is the smallest exhibit on display in terms of dimensions?
  • How many paintings from the period after 1990 are on display?
  • What is the name of the artwork hanging from the ceiling in room 9?

3. Museum Memory

If you have the ambition to take some museum knowledge home with you, the Museum Challenge is for you! Are you a history buff and prefer to feed your knowledge in historical museums instead of books and Wikipedia? Or are you, like me, simply sometimes a curious nerd who actually loves learning new things and stuffing your head with knowledge ;-).

Why don’t you play museum memory next time? While you’re walking through the museum, each of you takes a few notes and thinks of 10 (or more) questions about facts you can learn there. In this way, everyone creates a little quiz for the others, but they only get it afterwards. Because this version of the museum challenge is about remembering as much as possible of what you can see, read and learn in the museum.

Afterwards, for example at the subsequent coffee break, everyone presents their questions and gives them to the others to fill in. Whoever can answer the most questions from the others is the winner. If several players have answered the same number of questions correctly, the winner is the one who finished the fastest.

4. Who finds…?

Often the challenges that my friends and I set ourselves in museums also arise quite spontaneously out of the situation. At the Natural History Museum, for example, Anika came up with the idea of challenging me to see who could find the biggest single dinosaur bone. I joined in shortly afterwards with the museum challenge to see who could find the most beautiful fossil. So it went on to the most bizarre plant, the biggest shell and the most exciting model.

At the Museum of Technology, friends and I once challenged ourselves to find the most impressive technical sketch, the oldest aeroplane part, the largest turbine, etc.

And we have also used this method to animate each other’s spirit of discovery in art museums, most recently with mates in the Alte Nationalgalerie: Who can find the most beautiful portrait of a woman? Who can find the most beautiful portrait of a man? Since, among other things, a whole series of works by the great Caspar David Friedrich hang there, I came up with the idea of calling out the search for the most sombre landscape painting. After that it got sillier: we tried to outdo each other in finding the ugliest person in a painting, the kitschiest motif or simply the most unsuccessful picture. We had a hell of a lot of fun. Thanks to the museum challenge, each of us got more out of the museum visit than if we had looked at the paintings alone.


By the way, on Abenteuer Freundschaft you will not only find good tips for indoor activities and outing tips, but also inspiration for gifts and tips for activities with friends, with children and with your partner.

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