Wednesday, October 9, 2013

And the Nobel Goes To . . .

The Nobel Prize in chocolate goes to . . . 
The Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, physics, physiology or medicine, and literature are being announced in Stockholm this week. The Norwegians are responsible for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize, and that announcement will be made in Oslo on Friday.

Each winner will receive gold medal, a beautiful hand painted diploma, and a check for 8 million Swedish Kroner (SEK), roughly $1.2 million USD which is split amongst the up to three winners. You can view the awards and learn all about past winners at the incredibly interesting Nobel Museum in the Gamla Stan neighborhood in Stockholm.

Stortorget is Stockholm's oldest square, and home to the Nobel Museum, located in the former Swedish Stock Exchange building. For what could be a very dry and unappealing topic for kids, the museum has done an amazing job of making everything interesting and interactive.

Portraits of all the past winners zoom overhead on an automated conveyor belt and kiosks in the front lobby allow you to look up anyone in any category. Assign your kiddos a topic, like finding someone from your home state, and see what they can report back. A friends father was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine years ago, so the little C&Gs were on a mission to find out all they could about him.

Be sure to pick up the Nobel Trivia Hunt (available in 8 languages) at the entrance when you walk in and off the kiddos will run into the exhibition. Glass cases with stories and treasured objects are on display, and the trivia questions can't be answered without some in depth reading and examining. Even Little C&G, who was six at the time, was insistent on finding the answers all on his own.

Return the completed sheet to the gift store and they'll "win" their very own Nobel gold medal. Made of chocolate of course. The glass case outside the shop showcases the incredible hand painted awards, beautifully illustrated and unique to each winner.

You don't need to go too far out the front door of the Nobel Museum to track down snacks and cocktails. Stortorget square is surrounded by colorful merchant buildings dating from the 17th century, many of which are now bars and restaurants.

We found an outdoor table at De Svarta Fåren (The Black Sheep) for a late lunch and the little C&Gs were very happy to find pizzas and pastas on the menu. The square has excellent people-watching, and everybody was kept busy while I started planning what to wear to the awards banquet when Big C&G collects his Nobel Prize in physics. . .

The Nobel Museum is open daily June through August, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Winter hours are slightly different, and check the calendar for closings due to special events. Admission for adults is SEK 100 (roughly $15) and children under 18 are free.

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