Prague with kids
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Prague has a lot of interesting places to go but, if you are here with children it can get a bit tiring watching out for them on the narrow streets etc. This is a travelogue to point out places where you can stop to let the little monsters run around and tire themselves out in safety and to let the parents have a drink etc. It's mainly based for children up to 5 but, if there's something else (Zofin, Letensky etc) for up to 10 then I included that as well.
Many people like to walk along the riverside. If you start at "The Rudolfinum" walking away from the castle, you can walk down to the water's edge and continue past many of the moored boats and the Botel Albatross until you are forced up onto the main road. There is a footbridge which crosses the road and on the other side about 50 metres back is a play area which has some climbing frames etc. Most of the local kids use the playground for football or hockey.
Walking away from the centrum on either Jungmannova or Vodickova will bring you to a road which goes uphill. At the top of the hill is Karlovo Namesti (Charles Square) which is divided by a main road. The park itself has no play area but, the first part of the park has a nice water fountain around which many people sit and enjoy the atmosphere. The children are normally just running around or maybe sailing something in the pond. DO NOT GO IN THIS PARK AT NIGHT.
Half way up Vinohradska directly opposite Jiriho z Pdebrad metro stop is a small park. The entry to the playground is from the side road. Contains climbing frames, see-saws etc.
McDonalds at Florenc has a nice inside play area. All the drive-thru's have little outside play areas.
Vysehrad (Kongress Centrum) is the other place where skateboarders and in-line skaters meet.
Sparky's toystore has a Rocket Slide but, it's a toystore so be warned, lots of nice things for kids to want.
Hotel Marriot (behind Namesti Republiky) does a Sunday Brunch and runs a play area for 2yrs to 7yrs at the same time.
Casa Mia (Restaurant) accessed from Jungmannova or Vodickova. Has a large open air section although no play area it's easy to keep an eye on the little monsters. Nice place and only a few minutes from Karlovo Namesti.
Hypernova (Supermarket) D1 junction 6, has a supervised centre for children over 3. Slides, plastic balls, videos, art stuff etc.
Spectrum (Shopping Centre) D1 junction 6, has a supervised centre for children over 3. Slides, plastic balls, videos, art stuff etc. Also has a pet shop with some unusual creatures.
IKEA (Superstore), Zlicin is the last stop at this end of the yellow metro line, a free bus service takes you the few hundred metres to the shopping area. IKEA has a supervised area for children over 3 and a separate place for videos which has the appearance of a little cinema. Upstairs in the restaurant is a play corner for under 5's. Very popular with young families. Very child friendly place.
This is the easiest area. On one side of the castle is Petrin (Little Eiffel Tower) lots of space to run around but, no play areas. On the other side of the castle is Letna and most people arrive here to see the view back over toward the Old Town Square and the river bend. The viewing area is by the "Metronome" (the site of Stalin's Statue - now removed). For older kids, this is Skateboard territory, for younger kids walk back into the park near the tennis courts and you'll find a play area. If the skateboarders want to run on the half pipes etc, on the far left of AC Sparta Athletics you'll find the "Rodeo Skate park" (opens 1000 to 2000 monday to sunday. There is an open air cafe for ice-cream and beer etc by the tree-covered scenic viewing area about 100 metres from the "National Technical Museum". For coffee or something to eat, walk in the direction of the playgrounds and a little restaurant will be on your right (opens 11am). Take a ball and there's also a huge grassed area to run around in.
As you step onto Charles bridge coming from Mala Strana, about 50 metres on your right is a stone staircase. If you go down here (Kampa) there is a little place to the right, back under the bridge near Kampa Restaurant. It has swings etc.
Also from the stone steps go into the pedestrianised square and go out the other end into the park. Lots of grassed area good for football and frisbees. About mid-way along on the left is the Chidrens Area good for all ages.
The area between Mala Strana and Andel is called Ujezd. If you are here, you will have been on your way to the "Cantina" tex-mex restaurant or to the lift. The lift takes you up the hill to Petrin. Outside the entry to the lift are the lower slopes of the hill where many locals will be found laying on the grass and enjoying the sun. Definitely a place for ball games. If you go up to Petrin and the kids need the toilet, use the one in the basement of the tower itself. Don't go to the shack about 20 metres away.
This is one of the main streets and you'll probably be walking along the river road or looking at the National Theatre. From the National Theatre, turn left to walk away from the castle along the river road. After about 50 metres you will see a large yellow building with a bridge leading to it. This is Restaurace Zofin and it is situated on a little island. The outside part of the restaurant has a swing, toy cars and other things for under 5's to play on. Behind the restaurant is another play area for older kids. At the other end of the island you'll find the boat hire place for rowboats and peddalo boats.
At the other end of Narodni (before Tesco's) on the left is an Amusement Arcade (under the arches).
"Wenceslas Square south end (pedestrianised)"
It's actually the street called Na Prikope. There are three shopping centres very close together.
1) Myslbek - Here you will find Mothercare and the baby changing room in the "Next" children section (upstairs). Mothercare has a little Lego play area.
2) Detsky Dum - "House of Children". There are different "rides" dotted over the 4 floors with a carousel in the basement (10kc pay the woman in the cafe).
3) Cerna Ruze - On the ground floor in the far corner is a coffee shop where outside you will find a few bits for under 5's to play with.
"Wenceslas Square park."
The park is called Frantiskanska Zahrada and can be considered "off the beaten track" as so few tourists ever come here. Three entries, the easiest to describe is to go to the middle of the square where the tramline runs across. Turn into Vodickova and after 20 metres there is a Shopping Arcade (also Svetozor Kino) on the right. Go to the end of the arcade and turn left into the park. On the right in the far corner is the children play area (bring a little bucket and spade). The little shop sells drinks and ice creams. Lovely place. No dogs.
A little way out of town but easy access, just take the No.18 tram to the end of the line (Petriny is 20 mins). Go a few metres further and turn left onto the main road. You'll see the park wall at the end of the road (200 metres). The side entry is 30 metres on the right. A large wooded area, forest play area and the "Star House". Large grassed area just outside the park.
Going south down the river 3km from Charles Bridge you come to Podoli. There are two things here that you would be coming for, the swimming pools at the sport centrum or the Botel Racek (Floating Hotel). There is a very nice play area about 100 metres from the sport centrum going back up the river. The access is in the next road back from the main road. No dogs allowed. Lots of play things, slides, see-saws, sand pits (with buckets and spades), play house, roundabout and a small grassed area for ball games etc.