Meet Dinos and Sand Sharks before Getting Lost in the Mirror Maze

Taking the kids to Prague is an excellent idea. They will love this city with its hundred spires, an ancient bridge festooned with sculptures and better still, lots of toy shops filled with cuddly toys and in particular little Mole, Krtek in Czech. Every neighborhood in Prague has several playgrounds with swings, climbing frames and a sandpit for toddlers. Even though it cannot move, the toy train at Kastanek Playground is special because children can sit on it, climb in, on and over it. The bonus is the pleasant cafe next to this playground with special menus for children. Eating out with kids is easy because Prague has many kid-friendly restaurants. Ovocny Svetozor, right in the center of Nove Mesto, is the best place for huge ice creams and strong fragrant coffee for mothers and beer for fathers. Very young children will love the mirror maze and bump into mirrors time and again.  Harfa Dino Park is full of life size dinos, making loud noises and moving their head and eyes. It is a bit scary for very young children but once they realize that these big dinos can't move, they, too, will love it. Finally, bring your own paint spray and add your piece of art to the public John Lennon Wall. 


Prague 05 Smichov
Railway Kingdom
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

No need to be a model railway enthusiast, everyone who watches the trains cruising the Railway Kingdom will be enchanted. Trains run to a regular schedule and include day and night shifts. An integral part of the Railroad Kingdom is the permanent exhibition about the history of railways in the Czech Republic. The trains runs through landscaped backgrounds in huge glass display cases. Building the Railway Kingdom started in 2009 and has now almost been completed. The Railway Kingdom represents a model of the railroads in the Czech Republic. Model train climb up to Karlstejn, they stop at Prague Central station before going to Karlovy Vary.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Small children can walk along a ridge so that their parents need not lift them all the time for a good view.

Marianne's expert tip: Locomotives pull trains, InterCity trains stop at stations, bells ring at level crossings, The Railway Kingdom offers a view of a miniature world.

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John Lennon Wall
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Every night political activists daubed graffiti slogans on the wall. Every day the police scrubbed them away. After John Lennon's murder in 1980,this part of the wall belonging to the Knights of Malta became a work of art with a political touch overnight. The wall became a symbol of protest against the totalitarian regime. Today, some locals but mainly tourist still embellish it with graffiti, but the political tone is abscent. The John Lennon Wall is located on a leafy square close to Charles Bridge. Take metro line A to Malostransk� station or hop on tram 12,20,22 and get off at Malostransk� stop.

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Baja Bike Tour
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Don a safety helmet and mount one of the canary yellow bikes for a two-hour Baja Bike cycling tour through Prague. An English speaking guide will lead you through broad avenues and winding alleys, showing you famous and secret beauty spots of the Czech capital. You will pedal on proper cycle tracks or along the pavement that you share with pedestrians. The tour takes you up to Prague castle and down again alongside the Vltava River. You will also tour the Mala Strana quarter and Josefov, the former Jewish district. Half-way, you will have a refuel stop. Savour apple strudel and wash is down with Viennese coffee topped with a big dollop of whipped cream. Full of energy you can continue the tour.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Cycling in Prague is easy and especially suited for families with children, very young ones sit in the child seat, older ones will pedal themselves.

Marianne's expert tip: Go on the Highlights of Prague tour if you are a moderate cyclist, but if you like a challenge join the Prague Castle Trail Tour because it includes tackling Letna Hill. It doesn't compare with Alpe d'Huez ascent but the route is quite steep in places.

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Trams in Prague
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Most children especially boys, love to ride on the trams. Prague has an extensive network of trams and if you like you can go round the city on public transport all day. All you need is a day pass. You get your ticket at the vending machine which you will find at most tram stops or you get it at the info center at Museum metro station. The price of a 24-hour ticket is $3. Children under 6 are free. Be sure to validate your ticket at the beginning of the 24-hour period. You can expect random checks, no clemency for foreigners.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: The best tourist route is tram #22 which takes you from Prague Castle right through the center to Karlovo namesti.

Marianne's expert tip: On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays an adult passenger may be accompanied by one child up to the age of 15 who is free of charge.

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Prague 09 Cerny Most
Harfa Dino Park
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Dino Park right on the top floor of Harfa Shopping Center is for everyone who likes to want to know more about dinos. They look very real, they are huge and make fearful noises. Quite frightening for very young children, but once they realize that these dinos cannot move, they are no longer scared. After having learned interesting details about the life and size of these animals, you can go to the dino movie theater on the second floor of the shopping center. The dino film was especially made for the dino park. It is sad story of a dino baby whose mother is killed.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Dino park includes lots of dinos, a playgound and a 3D dino movie.

Marianne's expert tip: The toy shops in Harfa shopping center have a large selection of toy dinos.

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Ovocny Sve›tozor, Vaclavske nam
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Ovocny Svetozor is a household name today as it was in the old days. Most people in Prague have been to one of the Ovocny Svetozors, for a coffee, an open sandwich but most likely to indulge in their for an ice cream. There are ten Ovocny Svetozor cafes in Prague of which three are in the center. The one on Vaclavske namesti is most central and when sightseeing you will pass this spot quite often. This is the perfect place to stop for mouthwatering ice cream served with fresh fruit accompanied by strong coffee and for the kids raspberry lemonade.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Huge ice creams, but also all kinds of pastry and a corner for children to play.

Marianne's expert tip: This mecca for lovers of all sweet things is a combination of Italian ice cream parlor and French patisserie.

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Prague 07 Holesovice
Sea World
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Every Tuesday at 3 pm it is shark feeding time! See how they swallow small fish and how they love it. They swim along graciously in a giant tank that holds 100,000 liters of water together with other fish. This underwater world makes a good family outing. The tanks are decorated with corals and plants that wave in the current. The sand shark is the most feared shark in the world and grows to a length of 3.5 meters but looks not so very fierce when you see him behind glass. There are steps for small children so that they can see fish in the tanks. There are also some aquariums on a lower level, excellent for young children.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Beautiful fish in large tanks. Very well suited for children because there are steps for the little ones to stand on.

Marianne's expert tip: Be sure to see the turtle tank at feeding time.

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Mirror Maze
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Entertainment for young and old. Take the cable car to the top of Petrin Hill first. The Mirror Maze is housed in a miniature castle on Petrin Hill. This building was part of the Great Exhibition of 1891, when also the miniature Eiffel Tower that stands on top of Petrin Hill was built. The mirror maze looks intricate but you will not lose the way. However young children will. They bump their noses against the mirrors thinking they are following a path. Besides the labyrinth you will also find a room with distorting mirrors, fun for fathers, mothers, grandparents and children alike.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: Very young children will love the mirror maze, older ones the distorting mirrors. Parents will love both.

Marianne's expert tip: This is an excellent place to be with kids on a rainy day. Take the funicular to the top of Petrin Hill before entering the mirror maze

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Prague 05 Smichov

As most little boys love to ride on the Prague trams and metro, IKEA is your destination. This shop is not only famous for its Swedish design furniture but also for its excellent meals that won't break the bank. Swedish meat balls are the favorite of everyone, small portion if you are not so hungry, large portion for the big eater. IKEA serves a special kids menu at 35 CZK (€1.30 $1.80) for children up to 15 years old. The supervised play area is well equipped and meant for children over 3 and under 7. They can watch videos in a cute separate place that looks like a little cinema. Upstairs near the restaurant is a play corner for under 5s. Zlicin is the last stop of the yellow metro line. A free bus service whisks you to the IKEA store in Metropole Zlicin Shopping Center.

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Prague 07 Holesovice
Kastanek Playground
Photo courtesy of Marianne Crone

Stromovka is Prague's largest park. Be Czech with the Czechs and come here on a Sunday to stroll or cycle along leafy paths. Playground Kastanek, little chestnut, is close to the Planetarium and the V�staviste exhibition grounds. You will find here equipment for all ages from climbing frames to swings and balance beans to see-saws. The big feature in this playground is the two-carriage tram with musical instruments. Children can climb onto and into this fiery red tram and play conductor. The tram has lots of surprises. They can wriggle through a tunnel to move carriages, check out the view through a telescope or communicate through pipes.

Recommended for Things to Do with Kids because: If you want to meet Czech mothers and fathers with children, this is the place to be.

Marianne's expert tip: Children will love this! Catch the historical tram number 5 to get back to the center, but only at summer weekends, otherwise hop on tram 12,17 or 24.

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Meet Marianne Crone

Marianne Crone divides her time between her home in the Netherlands and an apartment in Prague, the city where her son, daughter-in-law and grandson live.

Now retired, Marianne is still an...  More About Marianne