Although Prague is far from the first place to spring to mind for a family holiday, the capital of the Czech Republic promises an unforgettable break away with children. For parents who want a more cultural holiday and something different for your family, Prague holidays are a great choice. It’s only a 3 hour direct flight from the UK to Prague and a 2/3 day holiday works out cheaper and easier than a week in overcrowded beach resorts.
Prague has so much potential for a family break in both the summer and winter. Here are my favourite attractions for families to visit when in Prague:
Prague Castle’s Toy Museum
The biggest castle complex in Europe is Prague Castle. The beautiful castle and its huge grounds are a top attraction for everyone visiting Prague. The grounds house a number of cathedrals and gardens that overlook the Vltava River and the baroque buildings are fantastic for little princes and princesses-in-waiting to explore. A great highlight of Prague Castle, particularly for children, is the brilliant Toy Museum. Its ground floor has everything from antique teddy bears to model trains, musical toy instruments to wooden dolls. The piece de resistance however is the second floor. Up here you’ll find the world’s second largest display of Barbie dolls. Protected in huge glass cases, there are hundreds and hundreds of Barbie dolls including an original edition Barbie, all her friends, Ken dolls and celebrity dolls.
Prague’s Parks and Gardens
The city of Prague has a number of excellent gardens and parks, many with playgrounds and rides for kids. The largest of Prague’s parks is Stromovka Park which has pretty streams, gardens and woods to explore together. The best outdoor area for children is at the top of Petrin Hill in the Mala Strana, which has fun gardens with fun-fair attractions including a mirror maze and a charming funicular railway. Down the hill, at Slav Island, you can hire pedal boats or rowing boats. Hiring our a vessel and exploring the River Vltava is a wonderful family activity – and a much more unforgettable experience than some of the over-priced ferry boats.
Prague Theatre for Children
Prague has lots of theatrical entertainment to offer children. Some of the more striking shows to see are performances at the Black Light Theatre. In this unique theatre all the shows are played out under a black light which creates bizarre and dreamlike quality to the performances.
The Rise Loutek Theatre has off-season performances perfect for children visiting Prague. Fairy-tales and folk stories are re-told in one hour shows using captivating marionette and hand puppets – a magical experience for kids and grown-ups alike.
Restaurants in Prague for Kids
Contrary to popular opinion, Prague has plenty of child-friendly eating establishments. Recommended by locals is Kogo, a child-friendly, relaxed Italian restaurant in New Town which serves up tasty pizzas, pasta, steak and seafood. Oliva restaurant has a fantastic menu and there’s a wonderful play area especially for children.
Museums of Miniatures
Another museum that’s great for children is the Miniatures Museums, snuck away in the Strahov Monastery. It’s definitely worth rooting it out though as Miniatures Museums is home to about 30 tiny artworks that can only be fully appreciated when you view then under a microscope or magnifying glass. All the artworks were created by world-record holder Anatoly Konyenko, he has dedicated his life to creating mini masterpieces, with one piece taking him seven years to finish! His works include a mini Eiffel Tower, a flea wearing golden horseshoes and holding a minuscule pair of scissors and padlock in its hand and the world’s smallest book.
There a daily market sin Prague where you’ll find a selection of classical Czech goods and souvenirs. You’ll find excellent example of cut-glass, but children will prefer the handmade marionette puppets – a very popular a gift and attraction in Prague.
Winter time in Prague is simply magical, with the market squares looking like something out of a fairy tale. Children will delight at the enchanting stalls selling traditional hot food, quaint stocking fillers, wooden toys, scented candles and decorations. There’s more to do at the Christmas markets than just shop though, there are animal paddocks with sheep, goats and donkeys and a Bethlehem stable scene with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and the Three Kings.
The four star Hotel Popelka in Prague is a great choice for those visiting Prague with kids. The Hotel Popelka is ideally located in a peaceful spot near the town centre, perfect for being close to all the major attractions whilst still being quiet in the evenings.
Alternatively, the four star Hotel Elysee situated on Wenceslas Square is close to the Jalta shopping centre which has restaurants, cafes and shops close to hand. Tastefully decorated the Hotel Elysee is a great choice for families looking for smart accommodation in the centre of Prague.