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Kids in Prague

Indoor Playground at Kotva Department Store, Prague 1

Indoor Playgrounds on 30 April 2009 by Karen (5 comments)

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Indoor playgrounds (Detsky Koutek) with full-time minders are hard to come by in the middle of Prague, so when this one opened up in late December 2008, I was rather pleased.

Conveniently situated in the centre of town at Namesti Republiky, it is directly opposite the modern and up-market Palladium Shopping Centre, which incidentally, does not have an indoor playground of its own. Kotva Department store is a bit of a dinosaur (built in the early 1970s) among the many other much more modern shopping Malls in Prague.

The Indoor Playground is located on the 3rd floor and is much bigger than it first appears by just looking at it from the reception counter. There is a large window, so it gets plenty of natural light streaming in from the outside, with a nice view of the Namesti Republiky square as well.

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There are no carpets, so the floors are very clean. One thing that also struck me was the great diversity of toys and equipment for children to play with including LEGO tables, other tables with wooden train sets, dolls, buggies, and a large climbing frame with slides, mats and ball pools.

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This extensive availability of toys might have something to do with the fact it is owned and run by ‘BAMBULE’ toy-store, which is located directly opposite. There is no way one can arrive at or leave this indoor playground without seeing and passing this toy-store where the temptation for kid-folk to want to go in and buy something is naturally very strong.

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Should you decide to stay put and not wander too far away from your young ones while they are playing, then you can take a break at the lovely café tucked in neatly between the Detsky Koutek and BAMBULE toy store. I always see quite a few mums chilling out at this place.

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During your first visit, your children will need to be registered (name, dob, your mobile number), you then receive a key to a locker where you can deposit their shoes and other belongings. If the play area is busy, each child is also required to put on a numbered shirt for quick recognition. As is the case with most Indoor Playground, children can be left unattended from the age of 3 and up.
Cost:
0 - 60 min 35 CZK
61 - 90 min 50 CZK
91 - 120 min 65 CZK
121 - 150 min 80 CZK
151 – 180 min 95 CZK
Every additional hour – 70 CZK

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If you have never been to Kotva Department Store, then it’s definitely worth a visit. The top floor has a great haberdashery section and also a tailor (krejcovstvi). One floor below you can find lots of well-priced Bohemian crystal and glass, some of which make great gifts for people overseas. There is also an engraver who can carve a personalized message onto your glass right next to the crystal section.

I like Kotva’s selection of shoes for both kids and adults plus if you are looking for a formal dress, you might just find one here. It is true that this store is not the best at visual merchandising (although they are slowly starting to modernize),but searching through the labyrinth of ad hoc clothes shelves and stands before you find something suitable, is half the fun.

On the first floor there is a watch maker (changes watch batteries on the spot),a key maker, printer, pharmacy, SAZKA ticket sales point, a gift-wrapping service and a well-stocked perfume shop which sells lots of international fragrances as well as beauty products (including ‘la prairie’ skin care, which is not always easy to find around Prague). Between 4-5pm each day, this department even has a so-called ‘Happy Hour’ during which you get 20% off all their make-up as well as perfumes - bargain!

Directly opposite the printer is an inexpensive milk bar which makes fantastic freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices. If you’re pressed for time and need to do some grocery shopping, then the 2-floor Albert Supermarket will stock you up and allow you to wheel all of your groceries straight into your car (best accessed if you park on the level -2).

Finally, a great place to take your kids for lunch right next to Kotva is Ambiente Pizza Nuaova Restaurant.

OPEN: Mon-Fri: 9am to 8pm; Sat: 10am to 7pm; Sun: 10am to 6pm

ADDRESS: Namesti Republiky 8, Prague 1; Tel.: 224 801 111, 224 801 438

FURTHER INFORMATION:http://www.od-kotva.cz

DIRECTIONS: By Tram: take no: 8, 14 or 26 to tram stop Namesti Republiky. By Metro: Take the yellow Line B to Namesti Republiky. By Car: Kotva has 360 parking spaces available underneath the department store (cost is 50 CZK per hour from 7am to 8pm and 30 CZK per hour from 8pm to 7am).

  • karen on 30 April 2009 @ 03:39 PM

    The crystal/glass department on Level 2 is moving one floor up and currently has 40% off absolutely everything, which also includes all chinaware. I bought some great Bohemian Crystal wine glasses today for next to nothing, so there are some mega-bargains here but it all ends on 04.05.2009.

  • Julia on 13 September 2009 @ 07:35 PM

    We went there last week and your piece on it fully covers what I experienced. We went there on a Saturday one hour before Kotva closes. The lady behind the counter let my daughter in for free because it was already late. Nice piece of service! I also love Kotva for its variety of shops. Whenever I need something I cannot find anywhere else, I go to Kotva and can usually get it there. Thanks for giving such a detailed account of its shops!

  • Karen on 13 September 2009 @ 08:45 PM

    I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! I have a real soft-spot for Kotva. My kids absolutely love the indoor playground there. It keeps on getting new toys all the time, so both my 4-year-old as well as 8-year-old are always kept entertained, and then I manage to do my grocery shopping at the Albert downstairs, in peace. I also quite like Kotva’s (relatively) new OKAIDI (French brand) baby and children’s clothes department. Apparently it’s the only one in the Czech Republic. The kids’clothes are a bit different to the same old H&M, Zara etc, and the prices are not bad either.

  • Silvia on 05 January 2012 @ 10:11 PM

    Hi, just went to Kotva 3rd floor today and SURPRISE - a new huge indoor playground appeared right in front of me when leaving the lift. As I got to know by the perfectly English speaking staff, it is the former indoor playground of Palladium which has moved to Kotva now. So, it would be really great to update your article about the KOTVA indoor playground asap. The former kids corner seems still to be available, but to be honest: if the people just see this huge and nice playground, it is hard to believe that a lot of people will visit Kotvas own playground….
    Oh, and just as a warning: my friend wanted to buy some toys in the toys shop on the same floor, and when she got to pay they asked her for almost 50% more at the cashier than the toy was priced. The excuse was that they did not update their prices on the items yet, which were only valid till Jan 2. I just ask myself whether this is legally correct, since it is Jan 5 already, so there should have been enough time to update prices.. otherwise they should have to sell it as priced on the item, right? Does anybody know about the legal aspect here?

  • Darina on 16 January 2012 @ 07:40 PM

    Hi Silvia, we are just about to post an new article about the new Indoor Playground in Kotva. So there will be 2 now right next to each other.

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