I wanted to surprise my kids with a mysterious trip out of Prague, just me and them. After some research on the web I decided to take them to the town of Tábor , an hour away from Prague to visit a Chocolate and Marzipan Museum. If the Museum wasn’t such a hit then they also have a Haunted Dungeon right on the main square and also Fairy Land as plan B. Both worked out great and we had an awesome time despite the rainy weather. We stayed at the Hotel Palcat with Spa and a kids bowling lane. A truly appealing weekend for the kids.
Tábor (translates as camp in Czech) is a very important historical town in the Czech Republic. Due to it’s rich history, architectural monuments and attractive countryside location, the town of Tábor is one of the Czech Republic´s most favourite tourist spots. Today, Tábor is the second largest town in South Bohemia and has become a major transport, economic, administrative and cultural centre in the region. More on Tabor: here
We went overnight and decided to stay at a Kid friendly hotel. I can recommend the Hotel Palcat, it’s smack bang in the centre and just an 8 min walk away from the main square. The Hotel has a very nice Spa and Bowling with a Kids lane. It has its own parking lot and isn’t ridiculously expensive.
We took a walk through the enchanting streets of Tabor to the Chocolate and Marzipan Museum. Honestly, I was expecting more chocolate and less marzipan. I thought we would see some more chocolate production but maybe it was my wrong interpretation. Still, I would recommend a visit.
The display of marzipan was just amazing. You will see a huge marzipan model of the main square and other landmarks of Tabor, marzipan models of all kinds of kids cartoons, dolls in beautiful dresses, you name it. The chocolate is represented in an exhibition of the history how to make a chocolate and how it has travelled around the world. There is a cinema room with historical artefacts that were used to make chocolate and a movie runs on the screen explaining the harvest and production of cocoa.
The exhibition is accompanied by texts in Czech and English. At a request the receptionist will be pleased to lend out texts in French, Russian and German. Guided tours are at an additional cost and should be reserved beforehand. I dont think there is a need for that.
As a part of the Museum there are 2 attractions. The Fairy Tale Underground and The Chocolate and Marzipan Workshop.
FAIRY TALE ROOMS:
I assume they wanted to make the place a bit more fun to attract more visitors, therefore they created a Fairy-tale display in the underground spaces of the museum. Kids walk through several rooms with fairytale creatures and can visit the gingerbread house of the bad witch. And of course, being the Czech Republic and to scare the kids a bit more they installed a Hell room... where there are 2 life-size devils, one of them rocking in a chair and making noises. I could see watching the expressions on my boys faces that their imaginations were running wild.
For 50czk kids gets to choose to create something from Marzipan or from Chocolate. Nicholas chose the marzipan blocks and made a beautiful mushroom (which he ate afterwards) and Marcus went for a chocolate bird which he created with a plastic form and… melted chocolate. They truly had fun in the workshop. At the end you can visit a cafe behind the reception where they serve chocolate specialities and you can observe a huge chocolate fountain. Marzipan manufacturing is right behind a glass window and you can also watch how the marzipan figures are created. Here they produce marzipan figures and decorations for export.
When we were done, we moved just 50m up to the main square. Right next to the main Church tower there is a SCARY DUNGEON - something like a hauted house. The display of scary stuff is quite big… and it is truly scary. My older son liked it, my younger son walked out. Some of the things may be disturbing for smaller kids. They have figuries of Ghosts, dismembered people, bats.. all accompanied by appropriate lighting and sound effects.
But there is an alternative for smaller kids. Right next to the scary dungeon there is the Land of Nature Dwarfs and that is very sweet. It’s just one room - but filled with beautiful decoration and little dwarfs and fairies hidden all over. The aim is to find all of them. Nicolas - the one who walked out of the scary dungeon didn’t have to pay an entrance fee as compensation for being scared. Either the two attractions belong to the same owner or they have some kind of collaboration which is highly appreciated. It is soothing after visiting the haunted dungeon.
The whole weekend away with just me and my boys was truly nice. They still mention this trip and how they visited the museums. Since Tabor isn’t that far away by car or Bus - I think you would enjoy a day trip or a weekend trip to Tabor. The yellow Student Agency busses go several times to Tábor every day.
TABOR HISTORICAL UNDERGROUND CATACOMBS
Now, we didnt do this but Tábor is famous for its historical underground and many people go there just to visit the underground passages. In the 15th century, a network of underground passages and cellars were built under the Old Town. The areas were used for storage of foodstuffs and beer and as shelter in times of danger. A part of the 800m long labyrinth is open to the public (groups of five or more) and can be entered from the Hussite Museum. You will find information on-line under: Tabor Tunnels
OPEN: CHOCOLATE & MARZIPAN MUSEUM
Every day. November - March: 10:00 - 17:00, April and October: 09:00 - 17:00, May - September: 09:00 - 19:00
ADDRESS: Kotnovská 138, Tábor (Old Town)
ADMITTANCE: Adults: 130 CZK, Kids 6 - 14y: 90 CZK, Kids: 0-6y FREE
Entrance fee includes 10% disscount to the souvenir shop. Extra 30 CZK cost for degustations Menu in the Cafe.(Chocolate and Marzipan)
WORKSHOP ADMITTANCE: 50 CZK per person (for this you walk away with either you own Marzipan or Chocolate product), every other creation 50 CZK - no limit
FURTHER INFORMATION: http://www.cokomuzeum.cz/ (only in Czech)
OPEN: SCARY DUNGEON: June - August, every day except Fridays: 10:00 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 16:00, March, April, May, September, October, November: Sat and Sun: 10:00 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 16:00, December, January, February: Sat and Sun: 13:00 - 16:00 (if the weather is really nasty, they close down) They will open anytime extra if you have group of 10 people and will make a reservation on: 777 264 551