This week is Sportlov in Sweden. A week long break from school to give the kids and their family time to do winter sports like ski, skating and so on. At first, we were thinking to go for a ski in this year’s sportlov, but given the fact that Baby K is still so little, we decided to do something more baby friendly 😀 . The idea is to have a day trip within Sweden, to a place we’ve never been before, which is easy to be accessed by public transport. Having look at things here and there, we then decided to go to IKEA Museum, a relatively new museum located in Älmhult, Kronoberg county, one hour away by train from Lund.
We took the Öresundtåg with destination to Kalmar C and got off at Älmhult Station (the fifth stop from Lund C). It was gloomy and rainy when we arrived. Not a perfect day to have a trip. Luckily, IKEA Museum is just a stroll away from the station. So we don’t need to be outside for too long.
Älmhult itself is like the home for IKEA as it’s where the first IKEA store was opened in 1958. Even now, Älmhult is the location for not only IKEA Museum, but also IKEA hotel, IKEA Fynd and many other IKEA related things 😀 . Besides, Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, was born in Pjätteryd (now part of Älmhult) so it’s understandable to choose Älmhult as “the homebase.”
What’s inside the museum?
Prior to my visit, I thought that IKEA Museum, like any other private museums owned by company or organisation, would be full of glorification of the past and justification of what they’ve been doing. To my surprise, IKEA Museum offers a flashback to the Swedish history and everyday life, and how this country has transformed from once a really poor country to a rich and developed Sweden that we know today. Well, of course, the glimpse of Swedish history is used in the museum to establish the background for the birth of IKEA. But it’s still interesting to see.
Here, in the Our Roots section in level 1, we are invited to look closer at the everyday life in Småland in 19th century, Ingvar Kamprad’s childhood on Elmtaryd Farm, and the 20th century transformation of Swedish society where a new vision of home led the way. This exhibition also tells a brief story of famous botanist Carl Linnaeus who was also born in Älmhult. If you’re feeling tired, you can grab a stool and enjoy the exhibition in more convenient way. There are also video displays for you who wants to watch the movies about IKEA.
In the same level, we can also find the temporary exhibition and the creative corner for kids and parents to play together. When we went there, the temporary exhibition was the HOME REBELS exhibition, which showcases Karin and Carl Larsson’s vision of the home as a place for playing, learning and being together, which is claimed as an inspiration source for IKEA. This exhibition was full of interesting layout and colourful designs. It’s like going inside the house sample in IKEA Store but more interactive and fun.
The other main exhibition is the Our Story section in level two. This section exhibits the journey of IKEA from time to time, including its reflections, ideas, solutions, successes, failures and many other things that have shaped IKEA. In this section, we can see the IKEA catalogues from all over the world (including Indonesia! 😀 ). And, we can also grab a copy of the cover of this year’s IKEA catalogue with picture of us on it! What a tempting gimmick indeed 😀
Level two is also the place to learn more about the man behind IKEA: Ingvar Kamprad at The Many Sides of Ingvar Kamprad exhibition. We can take a look at his journey, his office, and also “meet” his family.
In addition to the exhibitions, there are also a restaurant and a shop in the ground level. There, you can treat yourself with the signature menu: Swedish meatballs or take home one of the most iconic IKEA designs. Don’t worry, the meatballs in the restaurant is different from the typical meatball we usually find in IKEA Store so they are worth to try 😀 . And as we all know, IKEA is quite “family oriented” so in the museum you can find nursing and nappy changing room, as well as a nap room if you’re tired from your trip and want to rest for a while (too bad we didn’t have time to try this particular room).
Overall, it was a nice visit. It’s good to go to a family friendly museum especially when you take a two months old baby with you. It was indeed the first long trip for Baby K. She’s quite okay during the trip except once when she was suddenly crying in the museum and didn’t want to be in the stroller :D. I think it was because she wanted to see around more clearly and I should have brought my baby carrier. But anyway, I think she’s now ready to be an “active member” of The Unsettled Family. So, where should we go next, honey? 😉 .