How To Create An All-Singing All-Dancing Family Break
Vienna with Kids. Classical city breaks don’t rank top with children. How do you inspire your kids in Vienna while sightseeing? Which classical music activities are fun for them? Where are the best green spaces for children? My own kids and their local cousins recommend top 12 things to do in Vienna. We have listed in more detail below.
Vienna with Kids. 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 older. Share these tips with your kids. And do drop me a line using the form at the bottom if you have questions.
1. Schonbrunn Palace: Zoo, Marionette Theatre and Historic Dance Lessons
Vienna with Kids. Schonbrunn Palace has a range of attractions for children: its award winning zoo, 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. Then she joined the quadrille dancing lessons at Empress Sisi’s work out room. It was her highlight. Learn more about Schonbrunn Palace and its attractions for small people.
Vienna with Kids. The Prater is Vienna’s oldest and largest amusement park. Good old steam trains taking you through the local woodlands. Madame Tussauds wax cabinet is 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 visited 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.
Vienna with Kids. There is a family combo package that covers Vienna’s main attractions for children while leaving space for the parents to do their own thing. 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. At Vienna Prater, 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 international sports and pop stars.
The Vienna Card that comes with the pack, which is excellent value. The card lets you use all public transport for free, and includes 210 discounts on attractions, museums, restaurants, and shops. Read more and book tickets
Vienna with Kids. Vienna nurtures musical theatre and opera for children. The Vienna State Opera, the Volksoper and theMarionette Theatre Schönbrunnperform 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.
Vienna with Kids. 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: House of Music
Vienna with Kids. 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. Read our full review of the House of Music.
Vienna with Kids. 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. Learn more about the Vienna Boys Choir concerts.
Vienna with Kids. 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.
Opening times: Sunday, 2pm to 4.30pm
Workshop fee: kids EUR 4, accompanying adult EUR 9;
Museum of Modern Art
Opening times: every other Saturday, every Sunday, 2pm to 4pm
Tickets: EUR 2 (EUR 5 for adults)
Bookings: required for most of these popular workshops; English speaking kids can participate upon prior notice; email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Museumsquartier, Vienna’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 Museumsquartier.
8. Spanish Riding School for Kids: Piber Meets Vienna
Vienna with Kids. 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.
Vienna With Kids. Good news for bike fans with young children. Local entrepreneur Christine Nouikat lets you bike around Vienna while storing your kids safely in a fun vehicle. It is called ‘Kinderkutsche’ (‘children’s carriage’), has space and safety belts for up to four children of all ages, and comes with a sun/rain canopy and raingear for the driver. If you need an extra push, you can rent a Kinderkutsche with electric motor. Great for bike rides along Ringstrasse boulevard, in nearby Prater and on Danube Island.
Rental shop: Glockengasse 22, 1020 Vienna
Rental fees: EUR 6/ 8,50 (with electric motor) per hour; EUR 36/ 52 (with electric motor) per day; EUR 50 /78 for a week end;
Get more information or rent a Kinderkutsche:
Vienna With Kids. Viennese candy (‘Bonbons’) has a tradition, like cakes do. My Austrian friend Elisabeth recommended this place to me. She had to take her kids there three times. They were fascinated by the showroom, seeing the candy makers mix, knead, roll, cut and shape the sweets.
The candies come in all colours of the rainbow. The most traditional are the Wiener Seidenzuckerl (Viennese silk candy). The stripey cushions have a silky surface and are filled with cocoa.
Location: Herrengasse 6-8/4 (close to Spanish Riding School and Cafe Central)
Vienna with Kids. Vienna has a few excellent public swimming pools. Schafbergbad for example is great for adults and children alike. The popular pool is located on ‘Schafberg’ hill in one of the villa outskirts of Vienna. My kids and I love it because it has several large pools, two of them shallow enough for non-swimmers, beautiful views of Vienna’s skyline, and a fantastic spiral waterslide. There is lots of space for you to stretch out on the lawns. Hot summer weekends can get a little busy. Try to visit Schafbergbad during weekdays.
Location: Josef-Redl-Gasse 2, A-1180 Vienna
Opening Times: 2nd May to 14th September
Price: around EUR 7 for one adult and one child
How to Get There: take tramway 2 from Vienna State Opera to Ottakringer Strasse/Wattgasse; then take bus 10A to Czartoriskigasse; then take bus 42A to Schafbergbad (total journey: around 50 minutes)
12. Forest Rope Park Kahlenberg
Vienna with Kids. If your kids need a thorough work out, take them to Forest Rope Park Kahlenberg. The adventure park is 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.
This photo show my 13-year-old nephew who literally went wild there. We all had to put on full mountaineer-gear and received a thorough instruction from staff at the start.
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.
Location: Josefsdorf 47, A-1190 Vienna (take metro U4 from city centre to Heiligenstadt terminal, then take bus 38A to Waldseilpark;
Dates and opening hours: 1st June to 30th September, daily from 10am to sunset;
Tickets: between EUR 12 and 25; family tickets available;
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