There are plenty of attractions in Vienna which are suitable for the whole family. You will be able to visit many of the cities historical sights with a baby while toddlers will love the zoo amusement parks and the city’s parks.
You and your family should really plan a whole day at the Schönbrunn Palace and surrounding attractions. The palace itself is extraordinary, but it may not hold your baby or toddler’s attention for too long. That is of course until they see the kid’s museum. Here they are told about the lives of the ruling Hapsburg family and their own children. Older toddlers will have the opportunity to dress up in nineteenth century royal clothes and take part in dancing lessons from long ago. This is a great way to allow your kids enjoy the palace The gardens outside are a wonderful place to run around, get lost and discover. The palace is the former summer residence of the royal family and has over 1 million visitors per year.
The oldest zoo in the world the Schönbrunn Zoo can be found in the palace complex. It has been upgraded to meet today’s rigorous standards and has been voted best zoo in the world four times. Your kids can run around and see all the different animals including panda and polar bears. The zoo has a pond aquarium where your kids can run along at eye level and see the carp and pike inside. There are various different trails to follow in the zoo. The canopy trail is a 10-metre high, 160 – metre long suspension bridge where your family can look out for woodpeckers and a plethora of birds living in the canopy. You will notice that Vienna has plenty of trees in the city and around the parks. The zoo is no exception. Follow the forest trail to discover all sorts of outdoor life from lizards and salamanders to penguins in their own separate enclosure. The zoo is generally buggy accessible and has plenty baby changing facilities.
Toddlers will love the ZOOM Children’s Museum where young children can crawl through a tunnel of mirrors and bounce on a water mattress as they stimulate their motor skills. Older children can enjoy the hands-on exhibits that allow them to experience life in the Middle Ages or work in teams to produce animated films and sounds.
Another great option for toddlers is Minopolis, a kid-size indoor town where children can try out various professions by “working” at the supermarket, train station, hospital, and other businesses. The activities are interactive and stimulating for young children. Kids can make pizzas at the pizzeria, work with play money at the bank, and are even paid for their labour in a special local currency called Eurolinos.
The Spanish Riding School at the Imperial palace is an excellent opportunity to take in some Viennese culture and history. If the kids can stay interested then the will enjoy the pirouettes and caprioles of the Lipizzan ballet and the majesty of these beautiful horses as they perform. In July there are special child friendly shows with fouls and their mothers performing in a much more relaxed atmosphere
The Vienna Prater is Vienna’s oldest and most loved amusement park. It has many child friendly rides and facilities. It even has its own Ferris wheel.
Vienna is on the banks of the Danube and has a canal running almost parallel to its banks. During the summer locals make the most of the narrow land bank between the two bodies of water. On sunny days the Viennese like to cycle, walk ,jog, barbeque, swim and have plenty fun on this sliver of parkland. Vendors selling hot dogs, pizza, cold drinks and snacks dot this wonderful little part of the city. Cycling here is a special treat and easily done with specially allocated cycle lanes and no traffic to worry about. Check out the kinderkutsche. This is a bicycle fitted with a box like compartment to the front for your child. These can be rented for €6.00 per hour and are a great way to get around and see the city.
www.vienna-unwrapped.com offers information on classical music and opera for children. Several different venues around the city perform one hour shows for kids that will introduce them to the music of the city. The Vienna state opera are performing Hansel & Gretel this Christmas. In fact this opera is the only permanent kids opera in the world. This is testament to the value Austrians put on family entertainment and education as a whole. The museum of modern arts, part of the museums quartier run fun workshops for kids at the weekend. Your children can invent comic books, or create animated short films or poems, from what they see at the museum.
The Viennese Christmas markets are amongst the best in the world and offer plenty of stalls and amusements to keep young children entertained.
Vienna is a city with a thriving cafe culture. Coffee houses are where locals and tourists frequent, take it easy and sample coffee and cakes in their own good time. To really feel the pulse of Vienna, stroll into a coffee house (many of which are child friendly) relax and take it all in. Cafe Demel is one such coffee house. It is somewhat of an institution in Vienna. For an unexpected treat for your kids bring them here and take a table at the back next to the kitchen. The glass windows will allow the family to watch the bakers as flour flies into the air and treats are baked. The kids will love this special treat.