Travelling to Berlin with kids can be child's play, especially if you keep a light schedule and involve them in day-to-day planning. There's plenty to do to keep youngsters occupied, from zoos to kid-oriented museums. Parks and imaginative playgrounds abound in all neighbourhoods, as do public pools.
- Museum für Naturkunde
Meet giant dinosaurs, travel through space back to the beginning of time and find out why zebras are striped in the eye-opening Museum of Natural History.
- Science Center Spectrum
Toddlers to teens get to play with, experience and learn about such things as balance, weight, water, air and electricity by pushing buttons, pulling levers and otherwise engaging in dozens of hands-on science experiments.
- Deutsches Technikmuseum
Next to the Science Center Spectrum, the collection at the German Museum of Technology is so vast, it is best to concentrate time and energy on two or three sections that interest your tech-loving kids the most. The one-hour kid-geared audioguide tour provides a good introduction.
- Madame Tussauds
Kids of any age are all smiles when posing with the waxen likeness of their favourite pop star or celluloid celebrity.
- Legoland Discovery Centre
The milk-tooth set delights in this Lego wonderland with rides, entertainment and interactive stations.
Teens can get their kicks in this universe of computer games – from Pac-Man to World of Warcraft.
Teenagers with an interest in history and a decent attention span may enjoy the ingenious homemade contraptions used to escape from East Germany.
- Labyrinth Kindermuseum
Slip into a fantasy world while learning about tolerance, working together and just having fun at this interactive space.
Parks, Pools & Playgrounds
- Park am Gleisdreieck
This family-friendly park is packed with fun zones including adventure playgrounds, basketball courts, a huge skate park and a nature garden.
This square sports three playgrounds for different age groups, including one with giant wooden toys. All get busy in the afternoon and on weekends. Cafes and ice-cream parlours are just a hop, skip and jump away.
- Kinderbad Monbijou
Keep cool on hot days splashing about this family-friendly public pool in the Scheunenviertel.
- Volkspark Friedrichshain
Play in the ‘Indian Village’, gather your pirate mateys on the boat in the ‘harbour’ or find your favourite fairy-tale characters at the enchanting Märchenbrunnen (fountain of fairy tales) at this park.
- Zoo Berlin
If the 20,000 furry, feathered and finned friends fail to enchant the little ones, there's also the enormous adventure playground.
- Tierpark Berlin
Expect plenty of ooh and aah moments when kids watch baby elephants at play or see lions and tigers being fed at this vast animal park.
- Sealife Berlin
At Sealife, little ones get to press their noses against dozens of fish-filled tanks, solve puzzles and admire starfish and sea anemones up close.
- Domäne Dahlem
Kids can interact with their favourite barnyard animals, help collect eggs, harvest potatoes or just generally watch daily farm life unfold at this fun working farm.
- Jugendfarm Moritzhof
A farm playground for kids complete with barnyard animals and courses in basketweaving, forging, felting and other old-timey crafts.
Eating Out with Kids
It's fine to eat out as a family any time of the day, especially in cafes, bistros and pizzerias. Many offer a limited Kindermenü (children's menu) or Kinderteller (children's dishes) to meet small appetite requirements. If they don't, most places will be happy to serve half-size portions or prepare a simple meal. Popular dishes include schnitzel, Pommes mit Ketchup or Mayonnaise (fries with ketchup or mayo), Nudeln mit Tomatensosse (noodles with tomato sauce) and Fischstäbchen (fish sticks).
Large malls have food courts while larger department stores feature self-service cafeterias. Farmers markets have food stalls selling kid-friendly snacks. Bakeries selling scrumptious cakes and sandwiches are plentiful. The most popular snacks-on-the-run are bratwurst in a bun or Döner Kebab (sliced meat tucked into a pitta pocket with salad and sauce).
Baby food, infant formula, soya and cow’s milk, disposable nappies (diapers) and the like are widely available in supermarkets and chemists (drugstores).
Need to Know
- Public transport Children under six travel free and those between six and 14 pay the reduced (ermässigt) fare.
- Admission fees Many museums, monuments and attractions are free to anyone under age 18, but the cut-off might also be age 12 or 14.