Vienna Media News – June 2023 Family Vacation Destination
It's not just the children's pulses that will be racing during a visit to Austria’s best-known amusement park, the legendary Prater. The location itself is steeped in history: it’s here that the 1873 Vienna World's Fair played out exactly 150 years ago.
One part of the Prater, known locally as the Wurstelprater, has about 250 rides and attractions. The nostalgic rides are suitable for smaller children, with the carousel, a sedate ride on the swan boat, the old Viennese grotto train, the narrow-gauge Liliputbahn railway and the Giant Ferris Wheel ever popular. Dating back to 1897, this well-known Viennese landmark towers at a height of 64.75 meters, opening up breathtaking views of the city during the ride, which lasts about 15 minutes.
Older children and teenagers – and adults, too, for that matter – will most likely find themselves drawn to the adrenaline-filled thrills on offer: from the bumper cars to scenic roller coasters and ghost rides, and then there’s the really extreme attractions with names that speak for themselves: Windobona Skydiving, Turbo Boost, Ejection Seat, Vienna Free Fall Tower, Space Shot, Black Mamba and Extasy.
Anyone looking for a bit of peace and quiet will find exactly what their heart desires at the neighboring Grüner Prater or Green Prater, which covers an impressive 3,271,947 square meters with meadows for sunbathing, shady trees and plenty of trails to walk along.
The entertainment at the Prater is complemented by cafés and restaurants, buffets, ice cream parlors and snack booths. One that deserves particular mention is Luftburg - Kolarik im Prater, which is the world’s largest fully-certified organic restaurant. It is also known for its family-friendly atmosphere including a bouncy castle experience and children's playground outside.
Talking of the Prater: there’s actually another Prater in a completely different part of town, the Böhmisches Prater (Bohemian Prater) in the tenth district, Favoriten. Things are a little less full-on than at the Wurstelprater, and the attractions are suitable for very young visitors. Time seems to stand still in this nostalgic corner, which is a real insider tip!
Water Fun on the Danube
For anyone who prefers boating (romantic full moon excursions) or swimming, the Old Danube and the Danube Island – Vienna’s largest recreation zone – are the places to be. They are also great destinations for skating, cycling, climbing the high ropes, playing beach volleyball and picnicking. Alternatively, thrill-seekers can jump on the world's largest floating trampoline, kayak on the white-water canal, and splash around on the family beach or at the water playground.
Selected events on “The Island” (as it’s often referred to by locals) have programs that put a particular focus on families: already taking place for the 40th time, the Danube Island Festival (Jun 23-25, 2023) has more than just music acts lined up; there’s also lots of fun and games for kids in store. This year the action will largely center on the OKIDOKI Kinderfreunde stage, where youngsters will also find the inflatable OKIDOKI TolleTiereSpieleZoo. Elsewhere, the Sports Island awaits with a program for fitness fans, as well as exhibition events and sports club presentations.
And at the Africa Days Vienna (Aug 11-28, 2023), the children's tent will be offering a changing creative program with new highlights every day, supplemented by acrobatics and clown shows, dance workshops, drum sessions, storytellers, and camel and pony rides.
Museum Highlights with VR, Music and Dinosaurs
A number of museums have also come up with ideas to keep kids engaged. At the Vienna Museum of Technology, the BioInspiration exhibition sheds light on how ingenious solutions found in the natural world can be transferred to the realm of science and technology. The 200 objects and interactive stations related to bionics are a surefire hit with children from school age upwards. Among the big questions under the microscope: what do the Eiffel Tower and femurs have in common? Unmissable highlights at the Vienna Museum of Science and Technology: the high-voltage and steam locomotive demonstrations and the Birdly VR flight experience (reservation required, recommended for visitors aged 10 and up). The latter is a big hit with kids. There are five different VR experiences to choose from, including Birdly Insects (seeing the world from an insect's point of view), Jurassic Flight (from a pterosaur's perspective) and Reef Dive (swimming with dolphins).
Meanwhile, the House of Music offers an interactive music experience. Popular fixtures include the waltz dice game (which generates a new composition) and the virtual conductor. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra play to the conductor’s baton – no matter whose hands it’s in. This summer, the House of Music will host live music every Sunday at singer-songwriter Bernhard Fibich’s children's concerts.
The MuseumsQuartier is home to the ZOOM Children's Museum, where visitors can ask questions, explore and play to their heart’s content. Here, hands-on fun sets the tone, especially at the multimedia animation studio for visitors aged 8-14 and the Zoom Atelier workshop for kids aged 4-12. Aimed at 6-12-year olds, current interactive exhibition With and Without Words is all about the topic of communication (runs until Sep 3, 2023). Also at the museum, the ZOOM Ocean adventure area is set aside for the youngest visitors. (All ZOOM programs have fixed start times. Tickets are best bought in advance online, or at the museum on the day, depending on availability).
The Museum of Natural History Vienna has plenty of surprises in store for visitors of all ages: favorites include the exhibition centered on the world-famous Venus of Willendorf. Almost 30,000 years old, this approximately 11cm tall figurine of Venus is Austria’s best-known archeological find. Other recommendations include a walk through the magnificent exhibition halls, the Kids & Co. tours which encourage children to look, play and do their own research, and the views of Vienna’s historic first district from the museum’s rooftop (roof tour for ages 12 and up). Eye-catchers include the world's first full-size live model of a terror bird and a terrifyingly lifelike mechatronic allosaur complete with spine-chilling roar.
Schönbrunn Imperial Family Hot Spot
Years ago, Maria Theresa’s 16 children had the run of Schönbrunn Palace. And today, the Children's Museum gives visitors an insight into people’s everyday lives at that time. Twelve rooms in the west wing of the former Habsburg residence are open to the public, giving visitors the opportunity to admire walls painted with fantasy landscapes, learn the language of fans and find out about personal hygiene and even courtly make-up conventions. There are also Baroque dresses and wigs for visitors to try on. Aristocratic childrearing is also covered, alongside the little princesses’ and princes’ favorite games. In summer, families can explore the Children's Museum under their own steam with the Imperial Puzzle Rally Booklet and palace mascot Poldi to guide them (Jul 1-Sep 10, 2023).
Schönbrunn even has its own award-winning puppet theater. Coming up this summer as an open-air event: a special kids version of Mozart's Magic Flute. Out in the palace grounds, meanwhile, there is a 1,715m² maze with activity stations and a viewing platform. The Panoramabahn roadtrain wends its leisurely way from the palace up to the Gloriette and back again. And what would Schönbrunn be without the famous zoo? Voted the best in Europe, the world's oldest surviving zoo is home to 700 species of animals, from Siberian tigers and pandas to rainforest dwellers and marine creatures. Another insider tip for horse lovers: children's tours of the Spanish Riding School, which even include a visit to the Lipizzaner horses in the stables.
New Kids Guide in the ivie app
ivie is the digital city guide app for Vienna (free to download on iOS & Android, in German and English). A new feature was launched at the end of April: the ivie Kids Guide. Comprising 15 ports of call, it includes Viennese sights with their own children's and family programs, as well as zoos, parks and museums aimed exclusively at children. Most of the attractions outlined above also feature in the ivie Kids Guide, alongside the Planetarium, the Butterfly House, the Parliament, the House of the Sea, Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark and Therme Wien. On top of all the places profiled in the Kids Guide, hundreds of other exciting places in the city await discovery with ivie.
ivie and the new ivie Kids Guide: https://www.wien.info/en/travel-info/ivie-app/ivie-kids-guide-discover-vienna-with-the-family-451074
More tips for families: https://www.wien.info/en/see-do/families
- Wiener Prater, 1020 Vienna, www.prateraktiv.at
- Giant Ferris Wheel, Prater, 1020 Vienna, www.wienerriesenrad.com
- Luftburg – Kolarik im Prater, 1020 Vienna, Waldsteingartenstrasse 128, www.kolarik.at
- Böhmischer Prater, 1100 Vienna, Laaer Wald 30c, www.böhmischer-prater.at
- Old Danube leisure paradise Boat rentals, full moon pleasure cruises on the Old Danube on May 5, Jun 4, Jul 3, Aug 1, Aug 31, 2023, https://alte-donau.info
- Island Info on the Danube Island, 1220 Vienna: www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/gewaesser/donauinsel/inselinfo
- 40 Years of the Danube Island Festival – Europe’s largest free open-air festival: Jun 23-25, 2023, www.donauinselfest.at
- 19th Africa Days Vienna on the Danube Island, 1220 Vienna: Aug 11-28, 2023, https://wien.afrika-tage.de/kids
- Vienna Museum of Science and Technology, 1140 Vienna, Mariahilfer Strasse 212, www.technischesmuseum.at
- House of Music, 1010 Vienna, Seilerstätte 30, www.hdm.at
- ZOOM Children’s Museum, 1070 Vienna, Museumsplatz 1, www.kindermuseum.at
- Museum of Natural History Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Maria-Theresien-Platz, www.nhm-wien.ac.at
- Children’s Museum at Schönbrunn Palace, 1130 Vienna, Schönbrunner Schlossstrass 47, www.kindermuseumschoenbrunn.at
- Schönbrunn Palace Puppet Theater, 1130 Vienna, Hofratstrakt wing, www.marionettentheater.at
- Schönbrunn Zoo, 1130 Vienna, Schönbrunner Schosspark, entrance via Hietzinger Tor/Hietzinger Hauptstrasse, www.zoovienna.at
- Spanish Riding School, 1010 Vienna, Michaelerplatz 1, www.srs.at
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