How to Travel with Kids. Part 2Russ Bily
With exciting and fun places to go, traveling with kids is entertainment for the whole family. With a bit of know-how, traveling with children wouldn’t be a hassle.
In my previous article, I advised some exciting places to visit when you are traveling with kids in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg.
Here, I’m continuing my review of the best places to visit with children. This time I’m going to give you some recommendations on where to go with your family in case you visit Krakow, Budapest, Berlin, and Munich.
Krakow Is Open for Children
The variety of Krakow’s bars, pubs, and nightclubs can give an impression that this city is for adult fun. In reality, Krakow is a very kid-friendly place, with lots of businesses specially catering to children and regular special events just for the little ones.
First of all, take a horse and carriage ride around the Old Town. This experience will truly delight children. The carriage ride goes down to the Wawel Castle, so try to spend some time visiting Wawel. You can reward your kids with a journey to the “Wawel dragon’s lair.” At the foot of the castle by the Wisla, you’ll find a real fire-breathing dragon that’s always a hit with kids.
Park Zalew Nowohucki is a beautiful outdoor place to visit with kids in Krakow if the weather is good. There is a pond, a playground, walkways, and bike paths. A Large local park is around the lake with some benches and picnic areas. There you can go fishing, play tennis, volleyball. There are the variety of snack bars and restaurants. Child-bike rentals are on site. A popular place for residents of Nowa Huta and surrounding areas. During summer months, you can visit the outdoor cinema and free workout projects at this park.
Jordan Park is located adjacent to the enormous Blonia Commons, and both locales are excellent for spending a whole day outdoors with the kids. In Jordan Park, there are plenty of paths for strolling or biking, as well as several playgrounds, including a new one with a wooden castle. But the prime attraction of the park is the artificial lake with paddle boats and canoes that can be rented, and a colorful train that circles the park frequently and costs only a few zloty for a ticket.
In the summer, there’s nothing better than relaxing at the beach, making sandcastles and swimming. Luckily, there’s a place where you can take your kids to the beach, and it’s just outside of Krakow. Kryspinow has a playground for younger kids, beach volleyball and basketball for the older kids, as well as a swimming area that’s carefully watched by lifeguards, and even a bar to occupy the adults.
Anikino – Kraina Zabaw Dziecięcych is one of the largest and oldest indoor playgrounds in Krakow. Two big rooms are divided into small kids and big kids kingdoms. Costume rental is available. Overnight camps are open during school holidays.
Another indoor gym with climbing wall and playground, popular among the locals and tourists, is Skakanka.
Fantasy Park includes modern bowling alleys, a swimming pool, air-hockey, and video arcades. A supervised playpen is available for very young children. For the adults, there’s a full bar as well.
Krakowianka Ice Rink
While it’s hard to find outdoor activities in the winter, it is the perfect season for ice skating, and Krakow’s indoor rink will guarantee that you don’t freeze while your kid is practicing his or her figure eights.
In my previous article, I wrote a lot about marionette theaters in Vienna, Prague, and Salzburg. Here is also Krakow’s only theater mainly catering to the youngest audience, Groteska has special showings of magical plays just for kids every Sunday, as well as frequent special presentations year-round.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Just 20 minutes from Krakow, the most prominent attraction in the small town of Wieliczka are the salt mines: giant underground caverns full of carvings made of salt. But this one is only for the more patient youngsters, as the tour takes two hours and goes through 2 km of underground tunnels, large chambers, and underground lakes. It’s well worth it, however, and there’s even a special display for children consisting of the Seven Dwarfs.
This aquarium features a wide variety of colorful fish and sea life for viewing, including goldfish and seahorses and sharks. Your kid will enjoy it!
Aquapark in Krakow
If you are tired from the road, take the child and immediately go to the water park, working until late evening. This modern Park Wodny, as the locals call this entertainment complex, appeared on the map of Krakow only in 2000, and now it has become the central element of all tourist excursions. After a tiring road, first, visit the department with a jacuzzi, enjoy a natural water massage, and then give the child a good time.
In a vast area, a lot of pipes for skiing are concentrated—steep and not so much, but the two-hundred-meter hill is especially striking. While your child is riding on the water slides, bathes in artificial geysers and swims in the pool, you can safely go to the sauna or relax in the hot tub.
This aqua park in Kraków is open daily from 8.00 to 22.00. For the detailed information and prices, please visit the website www.ParkWodny.pl.
The Krakow Zoo
It is an excellent zoo with a variety of animals, big and small, furry and scaly, as well as a playground and petting zoo. It’s located in the spacious Wolski Forest at the edge of town, which in itself makes for a great day out with its many walking and biking trails.
The Krakow Zoo contains albatrosses and pink flamingos, exotic swans and bright peacocks. Birds are not afraid of little visitors; they behave naturally, as in wildlife.
Pay attention to the behavior of small monkeys, who sometimes behave exactly like children. Your kid must like elephants and lions with furry manes, deer and chamois, African ostriches and two-humped camels.
Visit the website www.zoo-krakow.pl for more information you are interested in.
During the warmer months, Cafe Bunkier has an outdoor sandbox where the children can occupy themselves while the adults have a coffee or drink.
Massolit Books bookshop has a kids’ section complete with toys and a large selection of children’s books in English.
Smyk stores are located almost in every large shopping center. The Smyk chain has been around for decades, and its stores’ shelves are stacked high with dolls, toy cars, video games, Legos, and just about everything your child could want. The larger stores offer children’s clothing as well as baby accessories.
Please also see one of my previous articles “Shopping in Poland and Hungary” if you are interested in shopping for kids in Krakow.
In Smyk stores, there is a play area for children, kid’s menus or menu selections at restaurants, and often special feeding and changing facilities. Look out for the special sticker, and you know you’ve found a kid-friendly spot.
Related: Travel from Prague to Krakow
To Budapest with Kids
I have already written the article “Best Things to Do in Budapest in 3 Days”, in which I recommended you the most popular tourist attractions in Budapest and even secret places, which tourists cannot find in the guidebooks.
But if you are traveling with your little ones, you won’t be interested in wine cellars in Buda Castle. So please see some different but still amazing places to visit in Budapest with your family.
It is a 300 square foot sand table, with the landscapes of Hungary. The concept is as follows: the trains depart from Budapest and head to the west to rumble through Europe. With many children, this could be a full-day program, but there is a chance that their parents will be the ones begging to stay.
1. For nearly 150 years Budapest Zoo has been delighting children of all ages. The traditional tasks of the zoo have changed a lot in the past decades, moving from show presentations to educational demonstrations to now specializing in a conservation of endangered species.
2. Here you can feed giraffes, peer at Tigers up-close and rest on a bench watching the orang-utans doing their monkeying around. A walk-through butterfly enclosure allows your kids to get up close to these beautiful creatures. The zoo is not too big that the kids were exhausted, but it is big enough to spend the whole day.
- Zoo Café resembles an actual zoo. Here you can drink your coffee among parrots, while your kids keep themselves busy chasing a variety of animals around. The critters are not over-protected, so you can hold a chameleon or a gecko in your hands for as long as you want.
- Holnemvolt Park is the new family leisure park of the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, where, in addition to the presentation of animals, fun playing facilities await for the whole family.
- I have already written about Gellért Hill. So here, Cerka-firka is located, and this playground awaits your playful children. There are a lot of exciting things here: for example, one of the playing castles looks like a pile of colorful pencils scattered by a preschooler. There are also the slides and a rope mesh, but because of the green environment and no traffic noise, the atmosphere is better than at many other playgrounds. The biggest hit of the playground seems to be the in-ground, mini rubber trampoline.
- Vuk Playground is one of the most popular representatives of the themed playgrounds, where your child can climb around in various tubes, play on slides, swings, spring motors and sandpits. The best thing here is undoubtedly the giant chess board with similarly large wooden figures.
- Eleven Park is one of the most popular and the most extensive children’s playgrounds in the city. Here you will find trampolines, bubble hills, numerous slides, climbing walls and regularly organized children’s activities. Adults will not be bored in the park, either, as you can play air hockey and foosball.
- Millipop is located at Millenáris Park. At this large play area, you can find the biggest jungle gym complex in Hungary with a 7-meter high slide, trampolines, spiral and kamikaze slides, and a giant ball pit. Besides, it has a bouncy castle, laser tag, Xbox, and basketball. This is every child’s dream.
- Gipszkorszak is a creative space in Gozsdu Udvar, where every child can paint and keep pre-made plaster figures. They can choose figures of different sizes and difficulties, while the most patient and friendly animators watch over their work.
- The Center of Scientific Wonders is a unique playhouse, where children can learn about physics through more than 100 fun games. Each game is interactive, and children are encouraged to touch and play with everything. There are mirrors and illusions, sounds, materials and set conditions, mechanics, physical optics, extraterrestrial adventures and 4D screenings. You should spend at least 2 hours here to try everything possible!
Related: Travel from Prague to Budapest
Berlin for the Whole Family
Berlin, however, is a very child-friendly city, so there is no reason your visit to Berlin need be stressful. Here are some pieces of advice regarding visiting Berlin with a kid to help make your visit much more comfortable and fun.
In my article “Top 5 sightseeing in Berlin”, I have mentioned about this Germany’s oldest zoo, which occupies a generous corner of the Tiergarten park.
Your kids will like spending almost the whole day at the Berlin Zoo for sure, as it has nearly 15,000 animals of 1500 species. It’s thought to be the world’s most large zoo and will amaze the whole family.
2. Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum or Naturkundemuseum has more than 30 million objects in the scientific collection and a fascinating exhibition. It is also home to the most massive mounted dinosaur skeleton in the world, which will be very exciting for you and your little ones.
3. Museum of Technologie
If your children, especially boys, like airplanes, ships, and trains, this museum will be the most exciting place! It also has a big park with wind- and watermills, for everyone who doesn’t want to be stuck inside all day.
4. Labyrinth Kindermuseum
Unlike other museums, the children are allowed and even asked to touch, feel and take apart things in the interactive exhibitions at the Labyrinth Kindermuseum. Learning by doing is their philosophy of this noisy but exciting place!
5. Legoland Berlin
In my previous article “How to Travel with Kids. Part One”, I wrote about Lego Museum in Prague. It’s not a secret that everyone enjoys Lego. At Legoland Berlin, there are more than 5 million bricks of Lego. See all the iconic sights of Berlin built from Lego! It’s perfect for the whole family.
6. Madame Tussauds Berlin
At Madame Tussauds Museum, your children can meet their favorite Hollywood-stars or superheroes, such as Spiderman. Don’t forget your camera, as everything is possible here!
7. Aqua Dom & Sealife
As you can remember from my previous article, there is House of the Sea in Vienna, where you and your children can enjoy the view of beautiful sea creatures and even find yourself among the fish.
If your kids are fascinated by the underwater world, don’t miss a visit to the Aqua Dom & Sealife in Berlin as well. With more than 5000 creatures, an Interactive Rockpool and feeding demonstrations, it’s exciting and fun for everyone.
8. River Cruise (City Spree fahrt)
See Berlin from the water! Featuring the highlights of Berlin, this river cruise is short, thus not boring for kids, but very interesting and perfect for children, who don’t want to walk anymore!
9. Domäne Dahlem
This farmhouse is over 800 years old and invites everyone to learn how the food comes from the field onto the table. The children will love the animals, including cows, pigs, horses, sheep, goats, ducks and much more. This is a little bit of countryside in the city.
10. Botanical Gardens
The Berlin Botanical Gardens are one of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the world. Walk in the woods and meadows with your kids, feel what it’s like to be in the rainforest, and see plants from all parts of the world.
Related: Travel from Prague to Munich
Munich for Children
Bavaria is a wonderland for kids, with storybook villages, colorfully painted houses, and Europe’s number one fairy-tale castle. Munich, Bavaria’s capital city, is just as appealing, with performing clocks, fanciful Baroque decorations, glittering palaces, engaging hands-on museums, and plenty of places for your kid to be active.
In my article “9 Interesting Things to Do in Munich”, I called Munich the capital of Oktoberfest and the city of a luxurious life. Now please look at it from a different perspective, if you are traveling with children.
Tierpark Hellabrunn (Munich Zoo)
I have talked about visiting the zoo with children so many times, but be sure that it’s worth it! It is one of Europe’s most beautiful zoos, which has walking paths, playgrounds for children, camel rides in the summer, and places to picnic along the river. The whole atmosphere is more like a nature reserve than a zoo.
Nymphenburg Palace Park
Spend time in the park, where you’ll find fountains, cascades, canals, lakes, statues, a walled garden, a palm house, a hedge maze, a theater, and a beautiful bathing pavilion.
The Glockenspiel in Marienplatz
Watch the show of one of the most massive animated clocks in Europe with your children. They will like this performance with a song and colorful life-sized figures dancing around.
The Deutsches Museum
It’s Germany’s most popular museum, brilliantly designed to appeal boys and girls, as well as their parents, as it delves into everything from Arctic explorers to zeppelins. Hundreds of the exhibits are designed for younger children. One section, Kids’ Kingdom, is filled with hands-on activities that explore computers, light, music, ships, water, sound, astronomy, and more. Kids can “drive” a real fire truck, play a giant guitar, discover forces of physics and energy with giant building blocks, and learn about power with pulleys, treadmills, and levers. This section is designed for children ages three through eight. Every means of transportation is covered, with special attention to flight craft. In the warm-weather months, you can tour a lifeboat on the grounds outside.
It is one of the unique things to do in Munich with kids. There are lots of new model BMW bikes and cars in the Welt that you can sit in. Children will love the interactive exhibits with drive simulators and design your car exhibit. They often have stunt drivers showcasing their cars and motorcycles.
The Toy Museum
It is a small museum showcasing toys from past generations. Children will like the doll collections, model boats, miniature collections, and the Barbie display!
It is an entertaining show for the whole family. With thrilling acrobats, daredevil stunts and elephants and tigers, its enjoyable for babies, toddlers, and children!
It is a lovely wildlife park outside of Munich. There are deer roaming freely that you can hand feed. There are a petting zoo and playground for your kids. Your children can see many other animals, such as owls, wolves, and foxes.
As you can see, in Poland, Hungary, and Germany, there are a lot of outdoor and indoor places of entertainment and things to do with kids. So no matter what’s the weather like, you’ll find something entertaining for the whole family in each of these countries.
In spring-summer, your children can play in the parks, playgrounds, visit the zoo, go to the aqua park, have a bike ride or a picnic. Your kids will enjoy splashing in the open-air pools and trying the best ice creams.
In autumn-winter, you can go for ice-skating rink, visit a fascinating museum exhibit, or see a movie at the cinema.
By the way, if you are looking forward to going to Krakow, Budapest, Berlin, Munich, or any other European city with your kids, a private car would be the best and the most comfortable transport for your family trip. Our service www.besttrips.com with the local English-speaking driver can drive you to the destination in every season of the year and with a high comfort!