Prague with Kids
You might think that all the architectural buildings, museums and galleries will have little interest for your children. Don’t worry, there are plenty of fun activities that will keep children happy, and maybe even amuse their parents. Výstaviště, Petřín Hill and Zoo are amongst the best choices of where to start.
In the outlying district of Holešovice is situated the Výstaviště fairgrounds complex. The fairgrounds were built in the turn of the 20th century Art Nouveau architecture, and although the complex is slightly rundown, it’s got a small amusement park with a merry-go-round ride, a singing fountain (with water and lighting timed to classical and popular music after sundown), and a small Sea World-style aquarium called “Mořský svět.” Entry to the amusement park is free, but separate admissions are charged for the fountain and Sea World Aquarium.
Petřín Hill Park that rises above Lesser Town is filled with great things for children. You can take the funicular train to the top and just wander around from there. In addition to a mock Eiffel Tower that you can climb to the top, you’ll find an old-fashioned mirror maze, as well as the Observatory.
If you are thinking about taking your children to restaurants, it is good to know that a growing number of eateries now offer children’s menus. A great place to head when you’re with children is Výtopna (www.vytopna.cz), where drinks here are served by model trains that run around the restaurant. Another funny place to experience the Stone Age, both in the restaurant and on the menu, is Pravěk (www.pravek.cz).
Getting around with children in Prague is easy, and if your kids are under six, entrance to most museums and public transport is free of charge.
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Located in the quiet district of Troja, it is probably the best choice. It includes a chairlift which is open from April to November every day except Mondays and Fridays from 10:00 to 18:00. Website / Read more.
There is a puppet theatre that has daily shows for children, but all performances are in Czech – Puppet Theatre Jiskra, Klapkova 26, Prague 8 (take tram number 10, 14, 17, 24, or 5 and get off at Ke Stírce). There is also the famous Špejbl and Hurvínek Theatre – see more at www.spejbl-hurvinek.cz. Other recommended theatres which are generally good choices include: Don Giovanni Marionette Opera and National Marionette Theatre, Žatecká 1, Josefov.
The Vltava river is the perfect place to spend an hour or two pedal-boating with kids, if the weather is nice. We had a great time, pedalling under each bridge and exploring the river. You can rent pedal-boats at Charles Bridge, Mánesův Bridge and Žofín Island (on the Old Town side, also called Slovanský Island).
Speculum Alchemiae (Museum of Alchemy)
It’s a fascinating, magical and spellbinding experience. Watch the revelation from late medieval to early modern times, when science and mysticism were closely linked, and researchers were looking for a “higher purpose” and “harmony of the spheres”, which could help them discover the secrets of nature. This attraction would appeal to a very wide range of visitors, from children of about seven years old to active mature people. It would not, however, be suitable for young children or people with certain mobility problems (due to quite steep, dark stairs and uneven floors in the catacombs). Visitors wanting just one easily-available and not too time-consuming experience of Prague’s wonderful history and legends will find that this attraction is the perfect choice. website
Seaworld is a vast exhibition space offering a great experience of the underwater world. There are 50 tanks, containing more than 150 species of salt and freshwater colourful fish from all over the world, and a huge coral-covered area of 1000 square metres. One tank has, we presume in honour of Finding Nemo, a clownfish and a tang. Deadly but beautiful scorpion and turkey fish languish, looking like fully sailed galleons, and soft corals billow in the current. It is not only a great place for children to visit; adults will also find it very interesting. website
If your older children are tired from walking all day, or just wish to have fun, try The Room. It is an adventurous escape game that tests your skills, logical thinking, ability to improvise, and resistance to stress. Your team of 2 to 5 players is locked in a mysterious room. You have just 66 minutes to get out. Use your intelligence and invention, work out codes, find keys and open 10 locks that will lead you out. Otherwise you might stay in Prague forever. http://www.theroom.cz/en/
An enclosed playground on a small island just off the Lesser Town side of the Vltava river. Entry is possible from Janáčkovo nábřeží (Jiráskův brisge), Lesser Town.
Yellow Beach (Žluté lázně)
As any seasoned parent knows, one of the best ways to keep kids occupied and happy is to let them splash around in water. Fortunately, Yellow Beach offers some outdoor fun. This popular grassy riverside beach is south of town on the Old Town side of the Vltava. It has an outdoor swimming area and lots of activities for both big and small kids. A decent on-site restaurant means you can make a day of it. Admission is 80 CZK. It’s open June to September from 9am to 8pm. www.zlutelazne.cz
St Matthew’s Fair
St Matthew’s Fair, known as Matějská pouť to the locals, is a time-honoured Czech tradition; the earliest recorded festival began over 410 years ago, and although times have changed, the rides have only got better. In total there are some 130 attractions on the exhibition grounds, including rollercoasters, houses of horror, carousels, waterfalls, virtual reality machines, cannonballs, a water world and a ferris wheel. St Matthew’s fair is held at Prague’s Vystaviste exhibition grounds. The opening date will vary each year, but usually it is from the end of February to the end of March. website
The Toy Museum (Muzeum Hraček) is located inside the Prague Castle complex (in the former Count’s Chambers of Prague Castle). It is the world‘s second biggest toy collection, dating from ancient Greece to the present day. It contains toys from all over the world and is a great place to take the children.
National Technical Museum
If you’re put off by the rather uninspiring name, then don’t be, as a visit to Prague’s Technical Museum is a rewarding experience. Without doubt, the most impressive displays are found in the large Transport Hall, crammed full of vintage trains, planes and automobiles. Address: Kostelní 42, Praha 7, Holešovice. website
Mirror Maze at Petřín
Located on the Petrin Hill is a labyrinth with the walls made of mirrors. There is a dioramic picture commemorating the battle of students with Swedes on Charles Bridge in 1648, and a more recently-constructed mirror labyrinth.
This indoor water park is located just about 10 minutes’ drive from Prague-Opatov by public transport. Touted as ‘the largest water park in central Europe’, the facility features saunas, a spa complex, and a fitness centre, along with a variety of pools and nine water slides. It’s an attractive destination for families looking for some summer fun. Directions: bus from Prague-Opatov to Čestlice; distance: 8 km south of Prague. website
If you are at the right time in Prague with your kids, you might wish to visit this wonderful circus. It’s a one-ring show that is bound to charm kids and older people alike, as it includes lots of acrobats, clowns and animal shows, including elephants, horses and camels. It also features the popular show bears riding motorcycles. Tickets can be booked online and prices range from 200 to 350 CZK for adults, and 150 to 200 CZK for children. www.berousek.cz
Museum of the City
Children love stories about knights and princesses, so the Museum of the City of Prague is the right place to peek into the history of the city, to see how the original inhabitants lived, how smaller fortifications became stately homes, and how the city gradually grew into today’s metropolis. Of special interest is the digitized paper model of Prague. www.muzeumprahy.cz
Views from Prague’s Towers
The most beautiful view of the city is from the tower of the Old Town Hall. Žižkov Tower looks like a rocket and has babies climbing all over it (designed by David Černý) and you can ride an elevator to the top. Petřín View Tower on Petřín Hill, which is a miniature copy of the Eiffel Tower, has 299 steps, and if your kids are energetics enough, it’s worth a climb.
Railways Toy Museum
At the Kingdom of Railways, you’ll see the largest model railway in the country. They’re always adding on new things – in the future, it will cover an area of over 1008 sqm. www.kralovstvi-zeleznic.cz
Sparkys, Havířská 2, Prague 1, www.sparkys.cz
One of the largest toy stores in Prague – original Czech wooden toys and more to purchase.
Dolls Land, Rytířská 6, Prague 1, www.dollsland.eu
This private collection features over 1200 Barbie dolls, a collection of Monster High dolls, and over
155 car models.
Cabinet of Curiosities, Strahov Monastery, Prague 1, www.strahovskyklaster.cz
This predecessor of today’s museums has presented mysterious and bizarre exhibits since 1800.
Air Museum Kbely, Mladoboleslavská 902, Prague 9, www.vhu.cz
Browse this aircraft exhibition and learn about the history of aviation in the largest museum of its kind in Europe.
Chocolate Museum, Celetná 10, Prague 1, www.choco-story-praha.cz
Want to know the secrets of making chocolate and why we all think it’s so delicious? This museum for chocolate lovers takes you through the history of this delicacy.
Private Museum of LEGO, Národní 31, Prague 1, www.muzeumlega.cz
Over 2500 Lego models.
Prague Ghosts and Legends Museum, Mostecká 18, Prague 1, www.muzeumpovesti.cz
Follow in the footsteps of mystery; meet with Prague ghosts and phantoms. (B3)
Public Transport Museum, Patočkova 4, Prague 6, www.dpp.cz
Historical trams and buses await visitors in their original splendor.