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Prague for Kids

If you are staying in Prague with your children and are not sure how to keep them entertained, here are a few places that may do the trick:

Top of Petrín Hill: Mirror Maze, Observatory, Pony Rides

The mirror maze on the top of Petrín Hill - the one with the TV tower on it that looks a bit like the Eiffel Tower - can be a fun diversion for kids and adults alike. Pony rides are sometimes available for small children on Petrín, while the observatory can be of interest to older kids. To get to the top of the hill, take the funicular that starts on Újezd street (you can get there by tram 12, 22, or 23 and get off at Újezd). The funicular operates daily from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (April - October) or 9 a.m. to 10:20 p.m. (November - March) and runs every 10 to 15 minutes. You will need a public transportation ticket to use the funicular.

Prague Zoo

U Trojského zámku 3/120, Prague 7
The Prague Zoo is located near the Trója Chateau in Prague 7 and is open year round. To get there, take bus 112 from Nádraží Holešovice (Metro C) and get off at the last stop - Zoologická zahrada.
Opening hours:
March: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
April, May, September, October: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
June - August: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
November - February: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Admission: adults 80 Kc, children/students/seniors 50 Kc, family 200 Kc

Toy Museum

Prague Castle, Prague 1
The second largest exposition of toys in the world, from ancient Greece to the present, collected from all over the world. Open daily, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Puppet Shows

Most of the puppet/marionette shows in the Prague city center are targeted at adults rather than children. There is a puppet theatre in the outskirts that has daily shows for children but all performances are in Czech:
Loutkové divadlo Jiskra (Puppet Theatre Jiskra), Klapkova 26, Prague 8. Take tram number 10, 14, 17, 24, or 5 and get off at Ke Stírce.

Prague Parks and Gardens

Some of Prague's numerous parks can be just the right place to let your kids run wild... Figuratively speaking.

According to a legend, Prague was founded in the middle of a forest where nature grew spontaneously and was lush and abundant thanks to the Moldau River. Covering an area of 550 square kilometers, Prague embraces a natural territory of valleys and hills that even nowadays create a varied landscape. The locals have a deep respect for nature and like to spend their spare time walking around parks and gardens.

Prague 7

This large park lies on a hill that faces the city center, which makes it a nice place from where to see Prague from above. In the west part of the park, there is an Art Deco pavilion from the Jubilee exhibition of 1891, now a restaurant. In the northern part, there is a large clearing where one and half million people gathered during the Velvet Revolution of 1989 to listen to a speech by Havel, the future president, and Dubcek, the leader of the Prague Spring of 1968.

Petrín Hill
Prague 1

Petrín is a hill that was turned into a public park. During the reign of Charles IV, in the second half of the 14th century, it was a vineyard as were many other hills in town. Later on, in the 1600s, the bottom of the hill became the private gardens of the palaces belonging to the noble families of Malá Strana. Petrín has been a public park since 1800.
To get to the top, you can walk or take the funicular that has been in service since 1891. Just for your information, the ticket is the same one that you would use for trams and metro, for 12 crowns.
This park also boasts the statue of the most famous poet of Czech Romanticism, Karel Hynek Mácha, author of a poem of love and tragedy called "May". On May 1, lovers come to the statue to kiss and lay flowers to remember the poet and bring good luck into their future relationship.
On the top of the hill, you can climb the Petrín Tower, a smaller copy of the Eiffel Tower, built in 1891, and visit the rose garden, planetarium and mirror maze. You can get a nice view of the city from the top.

Franciscan Garden
Vodickova 41 (entrance from Jungmann Square or Svetozor passageway)

This garden is in a very unusual position, being just in the middle of the city center, a few steps from Wenceslas Square. Its name comes from the Franciscan monastery just in front of it. In the back, you can see the Church of the Virgin Mary of the Snow built in 1348 and never completed. The whole nave is missing. Locals come here during spring and summer for their lunch break.

Vrtba Gardens
Karmelitská 25, Malá Strana

These gardens are part of the baroque residence of the Vrtba family, built in the 1600s. The gardens were added in the 1700s. They are made of terraces built on the bottom of the Petrín hill in the Italian style. The gardens are decorated with statues and paintings by famous local artists. From here you can enjoy a nice view of the city. Open from April to October.

Park Hvezda
Brevnov, Prague 6

There used to be a large forest here that belonged to the Brevnov Monastery nearby. This area was then bought by Ferdinand I of Habsburg who created a game-reserve far from the Castle. His son, Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol, built a star shaped summer palace in 1556. "Hvezda" means "star" in Czech. The palace is at the end of a nice boulevard in the park and is surrounded by a large forest.

Gardens below the Castle
Valdštejnská 8-14, Malá Strana

All the noble families that were friends with the Habsburgs chose this district for their residences and built luxurious palaces most of which were surrounded by nice gardens. Some of these gardens are now open from April to October. Along Valdštejnská Street, the Ledebourský, large and small Pállfy, Kolovrat and small Furstenberský gardens are all joined together to form a park in the Italian style, with terraces dating back to the 1700s.

Royal Gardens
Prague Castle

Ferdinand I of Habsburg created the Royal Gardens in 1534. They are separated from the Castle by the deer moat that is spanned by the Powders Bridge. At the beginning, the gardens were designed in the Renaissance style, then Baroque, and later acquired an English style.
At the entrance on the left side, there is the Lion Court from the time of Rudolf II. Wild animals were kept here during his reign. Rudolf II was an emperor with many personal problems that caused him deep depression. A legend says that his astrologer predicted that his destiny was deeply connected with the destiny of his favorite lion, Mohammed. When the lion died, Rudolf II lived for only three more days.
The gardens were destroyed at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War but were saved during the Prussian invasion of 1741, supposedly because the gardener donated three dozen pineapples to the Prussian general.


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