Kyiv is a happening city for kids, although diversions are concentrated in the warm months.

Front and center are the flea market Kurazh Bazar and the food festival Ulichnaya Eda, both of which take place monthly at the wonderful Art-Zavod Platforma events venue on the left (east) bank. Both events have designated areas for family-focused activities.

Among the museums, Pyrohiv Museum of Folk Architecture is at the top of the list, with acres of rolling fields for kids to romp around in. There are craft workshops, a zipline, bicycle rental and, on weekends, activities such as archery or pottery making. A little outside of town is Mezhyhirya, the former presidential compound with a zoo, barnyard animals, and beautiful paved trails for bicycles or Segways.

In the city centre, you'll find creative playgrounds galore along Peyzazhna aleya, while near the top of the funicular, in Volodymyrska Hirka park, there are little pedal carts for rent, an airslide, a trampoline and a sand box. Shevchenka Park in the centre has similar activities, plus pony rides on some weekends. More pony rides can sometimes be found in Park Askoldova Mohyla, near the Friendship of Nations Monument. In the same park you'll find the child-friendly Water Museum and the Puppet Theatre. At all of the above, your kids will find plenty of local playmates!

The Dnipro River islands yield a few fun things, though we don't recommend letting your kids swim in the mighty river, both for safety and sanitary reasons. Hydropark has an old-school amusement park. The footbridge to Trukhaniv Island is a fun jaunt. Once on the other side, head to Skvorechnik, where there's always music or some such colourful event or activity going on.

At the very centre of the city, vul Khreshchatyk is closed off to vehicles and turns into a giant playground at weekends with kids' activities galore. Maidan Nezalezhnosti is a happening place with a colourful nightly dancing fountain that your children will love.

For food, Ostannya Barikada, hidden beneath the fountain on maidan Nezalezhnosti, is relatively fun and child-friendly. Or head down to Podil and drink wine at Vero Vero while the kids play around the fountain and bounce on its trampoline.

For shoppers, the Roshen confectionary shops are colourful and fun (plus have lots of candy).

Practicalities

  • Kyiv is experiencing a mini–baby boom, which means more and more restaurants and public places have changing tables and high chairs. But they remain the exception rather than the rule.
  • There is a slew of children's shops in the Globus Mall under maidan Nezalezhnosti.
  • Nappies are readily available in supermarkets.
  • Ubers and taxis do not supply child seats so bring your own.
  • Sidewalks are wide and generally pram-friendly, at least in the centre around vul Khreshchatyk.