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.
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 Habsburgs’ Imperial children, the Marionette Theatre with its charming 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. The panorama train through the gardens is another children’s favourite. 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 take you through the local woodlands. Smaller kids love Vienna’s First Pony Caroussel while older ones enjoy roller coasters, the haunted house and more nauseating stuff. The photo shows my daughter pony riding at Prater. 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 been visiting Prater with my kids and nephews since they were small. Read more about what to see and do in the Vienna Prater.
Vienna with Kids. The life and music of child prodigy Wolfgang Mozart fascinates many children. At his apartment they learn how he lived, what he composed and how he conducted his music, who his friends and patrons were, and life in baroque Vienna. Our favourites are the media installations of Mozart’s Magic Flute (photo) and Figaro Parallelo. You can listen to Mozart’s most important works and learn more about them. There are special children’s audio guides in 11 languages. Learn more about touring the Mozart House.
I wanted to my children to learn about Viennese history and key figures in a fun way. We booked tickets for a history show right in the centre. The venue takes place in the vast underground world of a 17th century Salvatorian monastery. Guests get a virtual welcome by Wolfgang A. Mozart, Empress Sissi, Sigmund Freud and Johann Strauss. Throughout the venue you meet more Habsburgs, hear parts of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Anschluss’ speech, and confront 17th century Ottomans and 20th century Russian Allies. Stories about coffee and Sacher Torte included. My children’s favourite was the 5D film that sweeped them through more than 1,000 years of Vienna history (with scents and ‘rat tails’ swinging around our ankles). The show isn’t a critical appraisal of historic events but provides your children with a fun overview that prepares them for city sightseeing. Find out more about the show.
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.
6. Classical Music For Children
Vienna with Kids. Make classical music charming and exciting for your children: Operettas are a fun way for them to explore light hearted Viennese music. Peterskirche sometimes also stages afternoon operettas.
The House of Music, an interactive music museum, lets your kids explore sounds and music, while learning about great composers. My six year old daughter loved Namadeus, a musical game invented by Wolfgang A. Mozart, and virtually conducted the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
The 10 to 14-year old boys of the Vienna Boys Choir introduce your children to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss, Ludwig van Beethoven and others. The choir boys’ Sunday Mass concerts are also one of the few Vienna daytime concerts. 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 8/ 12 (with electric motor) per hour; EUR 48/ 72 (with electric motor) per day; EUR 96 /144 for a week end;
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. More Vienna With Kids: 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;
go to What to do with a toddler in Vienna
go to Vienna Daytime Concerts: Best Live Music during the day
go to Mini Danube Cruise
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