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Colorful tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

Vienna Media News 03/2012 Music and culture for children

The rooftop terrace of the State Opera house is home to a special venue reserved exclusively for young people. High above the streets, the Kinderopernzelt marquee offers a special line-up tailored towards younger audiences. In 2012 Richard Wagner's children's opera Die Feen (The Fairies) will be on the billing here. The Marionette Theater at Schönbrunn Palace provides a memorable experience for all the family. In this imperial setting, the valuable marionettes are brought to life through a combination of traditional puppet mastery and state-of-the-art technology. Performances run throughout the year, with kids' versions of The Magic Flute, Die Fledermaus and Hansel and Gretel among the highlights.

The performances at the Volksoper Wien aren't just for adults, either. From time to time the stage is also given over to children's productions such as Edmund Gleede's Max and Moritz. Young music fans can get to know the Volksoper singers in person at the various workshops, and find out more about opera, ballet and the orchestra. At the House of Music budding virtuosos can conduct the Vienna Philharmonic, give the timpani a whack or try their hand at making music on the computer - and cut their own CDs to listen to their compositions later. The Musikverein offers a range of projects for children and teenagers aged three to nineteen. Whatever the age group, participants are encouraged to get involved as much as possible - from singing and playing along for the youngest, right up to serious discussions with international conductors and soloists for 15 to 19-year-olds.

At the Zoom Children's Museum in Vienna's MuseumsQuartier, children can discover and explore the world using all their senses - by inquiring, touching, researching and playing, with a good deal of fun along the way. For children aged six and up, there are hands-on exhibitions to get stuck into. In the art workshop, kids can experiment with the help of working artists, and in the animation studio they can make their own films. For the youngest (from eight months), the Ocean provides a special sensory experience incorporating creative play. Schönbrunn Palace also has its own children's museum, themed around imperial Vienna. In the west wing of the Baroque palace, kids can experience the day-to-day life of the imperial children and dress up as princes and princesses.

The Vienna Museum of Technology has created a research station exclusively for children aged two to six, the Mini. Here, kids can get to grips with science and technology for the first time, and they are encouraged to touch the exhibits and try things out for themselves. Older children can generate yard-long sparks in the high voltage show, or conduct experiments in workshops in the lab. The dinosaur hall at the Natural History Museum has recently undergone a makeover. The reconstructed skeletons and remains of the prehistoric giants have now been joined by a life-size Allosaurus, with realistic movement and a terrifying call. In the Microtheater, children can get on the trail of the tiniest organisms under microscopes. Special guided tours are on offer for kids aged three and up.

Regular family days at the Belvedere take you back in time to the Middle Ages, reveal the inspiration behind Gustav Klimt's golden paintings or lift the lid on the backstory to the latest special exhibition. Young museum fans have the chance to let their own creativity flourish at the brushstrokes workshop. The Wien Museum boasts an interactive zone specially for kids, free of charge. And at the Museum Moderner Kunst (mumok), in the MuseumsQuartier, members of the kids club (ages four and up, free to join), can borrow a kids' pack, including paper and pens for their own ideas as they make their way round the exhibitions.

Many of Vienna's museums, including the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Albertina, the Belvedere, Museum of Technology, mumok, Zoom Children's Museum and the Wien Museum offer free entry for under 19s. Some museums even offer free entry for the whole family - further information at


Vienna Tourist Board
Helena Hartlauer
Media Relations UK, USA, Canada, Australia
Tel. (+ 43 1) 211 14-364

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