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Family Guide

Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life is a wonderful opportunity for children—as well as for adults—to explore, discover and learn together.

The exhibition's goal is to create an educational experience for visitors of all ages to explore and witness the human body first hand. Allowing an in-depth exploration of the human body, BODY WORLDS presents anatomy in a way never experienced through conventional textbooks, educational tools and lessons.

Visitors who are familiar with the nature of the exhibits often have a more enjoyable and valuable educational experience. Please review the materials before deciding whether or not to bring your children/students to the exhibition.

Download the BODY WORLDS Family Guide (19 pages; PDF | 3.9 MB)
Includes learning goals, pre-visit activities, frequently asked questions, and much more.

Is this exhibition appropriate for children?

More than 36 million people, including young children, have viewed the BODY WORLDS exhibitions around the world. The exhibition is open to visitors of all ages. Like other museums that have hosted BODY WORLDS, we recommend that a parent or adult accompany children under 13, but there is no age requirement. Parents should know that some displays, such as an area on fetal development, are located in a separate room that can be bypassed if it is not appropriate; however, many of the plastinates do have visible genitals.

examining slices

Tips for preparing for bringing children to BODY WORLDS:

  • Review the contents of the Family Guide prior to attending in order to prepare yourself for questions that children may have about the experience.
  • Discuss the visit with your children in advance. Explain what they will see and the purpose of the exhibition. Be prepared to answer more questions during your visit—what they may see may impact your children in unpredictable ways.
  • Answer your children's questions in an honest and straightforward fashion. It's ok not to know all the answers. You might say, "I don't know the answer to that question, but we can look it up in a book or on the Internet when we get home."
  • During your visit, try to relate elements of the exhibition to experiences in your children's life. (e.g. "What did you learn about your own body from seeing the exhibition?" or "What can you do as an individual and as a family to best take care of your health?")
  • Be sensitive to your children's as well as your reactions. People come away from the exhibition with many different interpretations.