Save The Parents
Kid-friendly activities and locations to keep the parents sane and everybody happy. BY SOLVEIG STEINHARDT
erlin is many things: the city of nightlife, the world capital of creativity, start-up heaven. But it is also a city made for children, and not just because of its 1850 playgrounds, its two zoos, and its stroller-friendly transportation system. Berliners like to adapt adult places like cafés, restaurants, and gyms and turn them into spots children will enjoy as well – which means lots of fun for the little ones and more relaxed afternoons for the parents.
At a Kindercafé, parents may even enjoy a half-hour of undisturbed chat with friends while the kids climb ceiling-high wooden castles or ride around on toy cars. Scattered all over the city, these indoor playgroundscum-cafés are a great solution to rainy Sunday dilemmas. Milchbart in Prenzlauer Berg
explores the city’s most “adult-friendly” children’s attractions.
(Paul-Robeson-Straße 6, daily 10am–6pm) focuses on manual activities, while Knilchbar in Friedrichshain (Krossener Str. 8, Tue–Sun 10am–6:30pm) serves a rich brunch buffet while kids crawl through aerial tunnels between the rooms. In roomier Charlottchen (Droysenstr. 1, Mon–Fri from 3pm, Sat & Sun from 10am) in Charlottenburg, the adult space is (mildly) separated from the kids’ playroom, allowing for relatively peaceful conversations, and there is also a theater for daily puppet shows.
There’s nothing like a good climb for energetic kids in need of letting off some steam. The Waldhochseilgarten Jungfernheide (Heckerdamm 260, www.waldhochseilgarten-jungfernheide. de) is a climbing park in the Charlottenburg woods. Designed for grown-ups and children 7+, the park has nine different adult routes and three kids’ ones. Got a younger climber? Head to one of the city’s playgrounds. From Charlottenburg’s Snow White house to the giant dragon slide in Friedrichshain to the pirate ships of Görlitzer Park, each of the countless playgrounds has a theme; if your favorite theme is relaxing-while-the-kids-play, there’s the Café am Neuen See, a beer garden in the Tiergarten that also offers a sandpit, a nearby playground, and rental boats.
For a journey back in time, kids and adults alike should take a walk in the Museumsdorf Düppel (www.dueppel.de) in Zehlendorf. This reconstructed medieval town takes visitors back to the Middle Ages as they walk through the village, enter the thatched houses, or visit the pigs and sheep at the farm. There is also a working old well and a medieval café selling freshly baked bread, pickles, and soup. For more hands-on fun, the FEZ (www.fezberlin.de) family cultural center, created as an amusement park during the GDR, offers material for kids to build their own village. They can also manage their own store, go on a boat trip run by other children, take part in an art class or, if visiting on 16 and 17 August, blow gigantic bubbles, all while mom and dad sip coffee and read the newspaper.