Vienna With Kids
Top 10 Things For An All-Singing All-Dancing Family Break
Vienna with Kids. You probably know that classical city breaks don't rank top with children's holiday favourites. How do you inspire your kids in Vienna while sightseeing? Which classical music activities are fun for them? Where are the best green spaces in Vienna for children? My own kids and their local cousins recommend top 10 things to do in Vienna which we have listed in more detail below.
The activities cover an age range from four to fourteen years, as well as some things to do that I have been keeping in store for them when they are a little older. Share these tips with your kids, and drop me a line using the form at the bottom if you have questions.
1. Schonbrunn Palace: Zoo, Marionette Theatre and Historic Dance Lessons
Schonbrunn Palace has a range of attractions for children, from its award winning zoo to the Children's Museum where kids learn about the life of Hapsburgs' Imperial children, the Marionette Theatre with its high quality historic rococo marionette plays, and lessons in quadrille dancing. My daughter adored putting on a princess gown in the children's museum before joining the quadrille dancing lessons at Empress Sisi's work out room.
Learn more about Schonbrunn Palace and its attractions for small people.
The Prater is Vienna's oldest and largest amusement park. From good old steam trains taking you through the local woodlands to Madame Tussauds wax cabinet, a fun way for your kids to learn about Austrian history. The Vienna Prater offers things to do in Vienna with kids of all ages. I have learnt this from visiting the Prater with both my 10 and 12 year old nephews and my own younger kids.
Read more about what to see and do in the Vienna Prater.
There is a family combo package that covers Vienna's main attractions for children while leaving enough space for the parents to do their own thing in various locations. Schonbrunn Zoo is the best zoo in Europe: The combo includes entrance tickets, a three-course lunch at lovely Tirolergarten tavern (an original 15th century Tyrol farmhouse rebuilt by the Habsburgs) and a ride with the panorama train up and down the hilly gardens of Schonbrunn. At Vienna Prater, you can skip the lines for a ride on the Giant Ferris Wheel. My kids loved it and my non-Viennese husband got a good overview of Vienna. Madame Tussaud's wax museum right next features main characters of Austrian history, including Empress Maria Theresia, and the usual suspects of international sports and pop stars.
What is really convenient overall is the Vienna Card that comes with the pack. It lets you use all public transport for free, and includes 210 discounts on attractions, museums, restaurants, and shops.
Vienna nurtures musical theatre and opera for children. The Vienna State Opera, the Volksoper and the Marionette Theatre Schönbrunn perform bespoke opera for kids. The performances introduce classical music for children, are fun and most do not last longer than one hour.
Learn more about Opera for Children in Vienna.
The life and music of Wolfgang Mozart appeals to many children. The Mozart house in Vienna therefore offers audio guided family tours through his Viennese residence. You will learn about Mozart, where he lived, composed and conducted his music, who his friends and patrons were, and life in baroque period Vienna. The tour also allows you to listen to Mozart's most important works and learn more about them. The tour is based on audio guides and special children's audio guides and is available in 11 languages.
Learn more about the Mozart House Family Tour.
5. Classical Music For Children: Haus der Musik
Vienna for kids has a brilliant highlight that few travelling families are aware of: the Haus der Musik, an extraordinarlly well conceptualised interactive museum where kids have fun exploring sounds and music, while learning about sounds, music and the great composers.
My four year old's favourite was the sonosphere. He loved hearing and feeling the sounds a baby experiences in mummy's womb, swishing and banging on a drum four times his size, and
generating different sounds of the human voice and visualising phonemas.
My six year old daughter loved Namadeus, a musical game invented by Wolfgang A. Mozart that transforms names into beautiful melodies. This can be played with an interactive computer programme.
The most fun for all of us was when she took the conductor's stick and virtually conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Listening to other children sing engages kids more than visiting a common classical concert. The 10 to 14-year old boys of the Vienna Boys Choir
sing to music from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss, Ludwig van Beethoven and others in their own new concert hall, just next to their boarding school
at baroque Augarten palace. Though not cheap, this is a pretty unique way for your kids to indulge in the joy of singing. I recommend the concert for kids
from 10 years of age.
The Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK), part of the Museumsquartier run fun workshops for children on the week ends. At the MUMOK, you can let your kids invent comics from the stories they saw in exhibitions; do junk modelling from cardboard, sponges and wire; create animated short films and poems from what they saw in the museum; or train in Andy Warhol-style pop art. In general, workshops are for kids between 4 and 12 years.
Museum of Modern Art
8. ZOOM Children's Museum
The Museumsquartier, Vienn's large complex of more than 10 museums and cultural institutions, has a few sites for children, such as the ZOOM children's museum or the theatre house Dschungel Wien.
Also to recommend is the café/deli at the Dschungel Wien.
Read more about the Museumsquartier.
9. Spanish Riding School for Kids: Piber Meets Vienna
Every July, the illustrious Spanish Riding School presents their Lipizzaner horses in relaxed fun shows. Young foles and their mothers are brought in from the Federal Austrian Stud of Piber, where they showcase life before they receive their formal training at the stud and the Spanish Riding School. The performances are very vivid and include presentations of Lipizzaners pulling original horse carriages.
Learn more about Piber Meets Vienna.
10. Forest Rope Park Kahlenberg
If you feel your kids need a thorough work out in green space, take them to Forest Rope Park Kahlenberg, about 45 minutes from the city centre in the north of Vienna.
Children from 1.10 m upwards can climb and walk at a height between 1 and 20 metres in two areas for different age groups. The area has the size of four football fields
and includes 18 climbing courses. The park is located on a hill, with beautiful views of the Vienna skyline. Don't miss nearby Josefinenhütte, an utterly charming
traditional restaurant and café.
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