Ok so how to describe this latest find? I’d say this is probably the best man-made outdoor area I’ve ever come across. Brilliant, outdoor facilities are on offer for teenagers, adults and kids in a lovely landscaped environment tucked away from busy roads, but close enough to Prague’s efficient public transport links. Keep in mind that every Wednesday over July and August there will be themed entertainment for kids eg. clown, pirate, bob the builder (den s borkem stavitelem) and olympic days, further details are here (in Czech).
Where to start? Well we’ll begin with the little ones. Opened since August 2008 and still in development, Areal Gutova has two distinct play areas for children. The most unique and fascinating for all (especially technically minded parents and kids) is the Water Playground. Here a curved, sandy riverbank spirals down from the top of a hill passing through various shiny, stainless steel equipment (including a digger) that allows kids to pump, block, spin, squirt and redirect water down the course teaching them the principles of physics and the power of gravity and water. We had two 3 year olds and a 1 year old with us and they all relished playing in the sand and water with the equipment and their buckets and spades. Make sure to bring a change of clothes and a towel, things can get quite messy! If it’s particularly hot, most kids take off their trousers or put on a pair of swimmers, of course shoes were removed early on too. Benches are all over the place so parents just sit back in the sun or shade and enjoy the peace as the little ones go to town.
The second play area is a regular Playground right in front of the Restaurant (the Restaurant is also where you will find the toilets). So grab an outdoor table early and you can have lunch whilst watching your kids safely play on colourful, new play equipment. There are two sand pits, many climbing frames, some of which spin, a tunnel, heaps of swings, a zip line and a large rope bridge. The area is contained by a low fence so older kids can climb out if they want, but the younger, more vulnerable ones are unlikely to escape.
The Restaurant is in a brand new, light filled building, it has a separate section for smokers and a terrace high up where you can watch the rock climbers in action. Open from 11am till 11pm the menu which is both in Czech and English offers a range of adult and children’s meals and drinks at reasonable prices, it has a small children’s play area in one corner as well as high chairs. You can also hire out the restaurant for birthday parties, weddings and company functions. I have to say, this would be a great location for a birthday party and because there are two clearly divided dining areas on different levels you wouldn’t have to worry about other diners crashing your party.
Near to the Water Playground is a Snack Bar with outdoor seating which is also very pleasant. Here you can order a beer on tap, hotdogs, snacks and ice cream.
The Skate Park is right next door to the Playground and is popular with kids aged from 9 up to late teens. We sat down and were thrilled by the bmx riders, skateboarders, scooter riders and rollerbladers tackling concrete ramps, bowls and rails with such amazing skill.
For a fee you can hire one of four newly opened sandy Beach Volleyball Courts or a Football Court on artificial grass with your mates, climb the enormous (and largest in CZ) man-made Rock Mountain or play Table Tennis. Prices are based on an hourly rate and rates vary depending on the time of the day, mornings (8am till 2pm) are cheaper, afternoons (2pm till 5pm) and evening (5pm till 11pm!) sessions cost a little more. Courses are also offered to those who are interested in learning how to rock climb (including kids). There is a sports hire office on-site where you can find out further details or you can call 722 709 450 to reserve any of the courts in advance. Prices are also available on Areal Gutova’s website.
The complex is continuing to expand and plans are in place to build a Swimming Pool, Squash Courts and Tennis Courts. In winter they also have an Ice Skating Rink too. So if you do make the effort to visit it over the next few months share with us your thoughts.
OPEN: Everyday from 8.00am till 11.00pm
ADDRESS: Areal ZS Gutova 39, Prague 10 Strašnice
DIRECTIONS: By Metro: Take the green A line to Strasnicka (which has a lift). When exiting take the tunnel outside which leads directly to Areal Gutova this saves you having to tackle stairs and the busy road and it’s only a short 3 minute walk away. By Tram: take numbers 22, 24, or 26 to Na Hroude tram stop or 7, 19 or 26 to Strasnicka tram stop. The area is within quiet residential streets and parking should not be a problem.
FURTHER INFORMATION: http://www.hamrsport.cz/en_gutovka