Children’s House

The Children's House offers programmes aimed at children, parents and grandparents. These programmes also invite young visitors from Croatia and all of Europe to come to Rijeka.

"With them and not just for them"

“Children’s House” stimulates the imagination and daydreaming, invites play and laughter. It was created for the exchange of the most creative ideas and fun, which always gives us the opportunity to learn something new. “Children’s House” programmes are designed for all young magicians with a restless artistic spirit and all those who are yet to become ones.

Some of the Children’s House programmes taking place in 2020 have been taking shape and growing for the past three years, such as the Tobogan Festival, while others have been surprising both children and adults, such as the first large-scale exhibition dedicated to the beloved character that is professor Balthazar.

The building and the programme

It should also be noted that the Children’s House is not just the name of the European Capital of Culture flagship, but also an actual physical structure that is being constructed at the site of the former Rikard Benčić Factory in Rijeka, where several industrial heritage buildings will be given a cultural makeover. One such building is the Brick Building, which will be repurposed as the Children’s House.

The City of Rijeka has received EU funding for the renovation and construction works in the form of a grant amounting to HRK 68.21 million as part of the “Revitalisation of the Benčić complex – the Brick and the T-shaped Buildings” project.

The development of children in a creative environment – a guarantee for creating a better and brighter world

The programmes that have been developed as part of this ECoC flagship, such as the Tobogan Festival, have taught the children of Rijeka that culture entails plays, films and concerts, but also many other areas, such as video games, 3D printing, robotics, scientific experiments, ecology and environmental protection, outdoor games and walks in nature.

The values behind this flagship suggest that children growing up in a creative environment could become the leaders and creators of a better and brighter future world.

In this context, the aforementioned portion of the ECoC programme emphasises the imagination and fantasy that spark creativity in children. “Children’s House” programmes are designed for all young magicians with a restless artistic spirit and all those who are yet to become ones. They are small, but big, and when they grow up, they will build a society of active and aware citizens. The Children’s House, both the programme and the building, creates a frame in which children have the right to develop their potential and to express themselves.  “With them, not just for them” is a slogan that guides us in the design of this flagship.

The 2020 cultural programme – from Professor Balthazar, down the big Slide (Tobogan) to puppet plays with plenty of laughter and joy

Highlights of the extensive programme include the Tobogan Festival featuring a plethora of workshops and spectacular open-air events, which are shaping up to be a quite an attractive affair, following three years of preparations. An array of programmes is dedicated to the character and feats of the legendary Professor Balthazar, such as the large-scale interactive exhibition and the art intervention on the ship Uragan. Balthazar in Rijeka will delight both the kids and the grown-ups who remember him from when they were children. Then there is a series of puppet plays, such as the Bomboniera variete! cabaret, film workshops and the Month of Good Children’s Books festival.