Guest Report by Karina Bolan
If you’re looking for a little bit of summer heat on a cold rainy day, you might try a trip to Tropical Islands to warm your bones. Located 60km south of Berlin, it took us about 2.5 hours to drive from Prague, an easy journey, mostly on motorways. As you turn off the A113, the truly impressive building looms into view. Formerly a Zeppelin factory, the building is simply huge, and as soon as you see it, you realise how they manage to fit a whole holiday resort inside!
It’s the time of year when we start drawing up a list of gifts for family and friends. These days there are heaps of design markets and small boutique-style shops all over Prague with unique, czech-made gifts for everyone. The range, price and individuality of the products give you a great alternative to shopping malls and big brand items usually made in China.
First lets look at the international fairs and design markets…
Here’s an interesting mix of events happening all over town. Fancy a spooky sausage sizzle? A walk through a Haunted Forest? Lantern Parades and costume competitions? Or just a special meal out with a full entertainment program for the kids? There is lots going on, here are a few events that we know of, please feel free to add any other events to our comments below.
We have a huge and expanding list of after school activities in English, interestingly, many of these are parent-run groups wanting to share their passion for a particular hobby or pursuit. A wide range of courses are on offer covering artistic, sporting and academic classes for school aged children down to toddler and baby classes. Some have started, most are about to. Either way, if you’re interested, now is the time to get in touch with the organisers.
Just over 200km south of Prague, this amazing looking structure allows visitors a unique view of the forest, it’s canopy and beyond. Views extend towards Lake Lipno (billed as Czech Republic’s inland sea), the Sumava Mountains and the Austrian border. It’s actually open all year round, but we happened to go mid-summer holidays when half the population of Czech, Austria and the Netherlands also turned up.
This playful science centre is 30000m2 and the first 3D Planetarium in the Czech Republic. It’s a fantastic place not only for kids but also for parents. What I really like the most is, that it is fun even for the smallest kids. There is a special play area with spongy blocks and I was so tempted to jump in. It is truly education and fun combined together. Make sure you go for the whole day. There is a lot to do.
A favourite time of the year is now, with the green of nature, fragrant flowers and an inundation of amazing theatre shows in English! Prague Fringe showcases funny, poignant and surreal live theatre and music performances all over Mala Strana’s many small theatres. This year there are more shows than ever for kids and teenagers. Lots of Puppet shows, magicians, comedians, live artworks, classic theatre - perfect for families to experience together.
The festival starts on 22 May and runs for 9 days finishing on 30th May.
On the edge of Vinohrady, not far from Hlavickovy Sady/Grebovka is a pretty little cafe especially suited for parents with kids. It’s open to all, even well behaved dogs, but it’s star attraction is a well stocked playroom with glass doors separating it from the cafe. The big difference between here and other places is that there is a babysitter constantly with the children so parents really do get a break from entertaining their little ones.
A common dilemma, how to occupy the family in this cold, bleak winter weather, get some exercise and stay healthy? Due to our location we’ve found one answer - Ice Skating! My daughter was thrilled with the idea, my son less so and me, it was with some trepidation, I had not stepped on the ice for almost 30 years!
This new educational attraction opened on 19.12.2014 So it is a brand spanking new Indoor and Outdoor activity for families with Kids. It is a bit confusing for foreigners so I will do my best to explain how it works. It is a great concept but if you blindly end up here, you will be confused and disappointed. Sure, they do have signs in English, but the staff doesn’t speak English except one Lady-manager, who is not always available. We also organised a birthday party for my Son here, but that is coming in a separate article. Get ready, that your Kids will outsmart you!!