Known for its shop-window marionettes and candy-coloured Baroque buildings, Prague feels very much the fairytale destination. However, the Czech capital has much more in store for visiting families than just wooden toys and a great big ol’ castle. The kids will be enchanted by the city’s wide open green spaces dotted with well-equipped playgrounds, world-class child-friendly museums, and array of restaurants that’ll satisfy small and big appetites alike. And most importantly of all, we’d argue, the city boasts some of the world’s most drinkable and least expensive beer – meaning Prague gets the parental seal of approval, too. But save that for later: these are strictly the best things to do with kids in Prague.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Prague
Best things to do with kids in Prague
Many of Prague’s most significant landmarks harbour quiet playgrounds ideal for escaping the tourist trail. The most magical? The grassy courtyard tucked between the hushed brick lanes of the castle’s Nový Svět quarter. To get there, take the 22 tram to Brusnice, walking south until you see a stone passageway marked ‘Dětské hřiště’ (children’s playground). The playground closes for the winter but this picturesque village is worth a visit any time of year.
Parents looking for an exhilarating way to exhaust their offspring will appreciate the Prague Zoo. Frequently ranked among the top zoos in the world for its diverse inhabitants – rare Malayan tapirs and Asiatic lions are among the almost 700 species here – this 140-acre zoological park encompasses pony rides, a petting farm and an Amazonian village-themed play area. Refuel with whole wheat crêpes and grilled seafood from the newly refurbished canteen. Early bedtime, anyone?
The gilded roof of Prague’s National Theatre is an essential fixture of the city’s skyline. Culture seekers of all ages should check out the theatre’s repertoire of family-friendly performances ranging from ballets and operas to ‘Wonderful Circus’, in the pioneering Czech Laterna Magika tradition (a multimedia performances combining dance, pantomime and black-light theatre). Children are eligible for discounted tickets to morning and afternoon performances.
If the medieval aura of the Charles Bridge feels diminished by the crowds, escape to the docks below for a watery adventure. The vintage wooden riverboats of the Prague Venice Boat Tour embark on a 45-minute voyage up the Vltava to the Little Devil (Čertovka) canal. Enjoy sweeping views and go swan-spotting along the way. Ticket prices cover admission to the Charles Bridge Museum where a detailed model of the Gothic bridge’s construction is on display.
An array of tractors and exhibits beckons families to the National Museum of Agriculture in the residential borough of Letná. Don’t miss the rooftop garden – now open to the public, this grassy patch of flowers and beehives affords a sprawling 360-degree view over towers and spires. If time permits, visit the neighbouring National Technical Museum, then recover at the scenic Letná Park or nearby Mr Hot Dog, which serves a winning combo of Coney dogs and Czech microbrews.
Part game, part thrill ride, Golem VR tells the tale of Rabbi Loew’s infamous creation via cutting-edge virtual reality technology. Go back in time to an astonishingly detailed 16th-century Prague, exploring the Charles Bridge, Jewish Quarter, and, eventually, facing off with the Golem itself. The life-like nature of this attraction makes it best for older kids, though its location on the lower level of Hamleys toy store, complete with carousel and megaslide, will keep smaller siblings occupied.
Czech cuisine isn’t all pork knuckles and cabbage – it’s also main courses that look more like dessert. Schoolchildren (and nostalgic grown-ups) regularly sit down to meals of pasta sprinkled with sugary poppy seeds or the classic ovocné knedlíky (fruit dumplings), knobs of fruit-filled dough garnished with cottage cheese and melted butter. Gastropub Vinohradský Parlament, a hit with local parents for its playroom and attached Belgian restaurant, does a delicious plum version.
The majestic staircase of the neo-Renaissance Rudolfinum concert hall may be a popular vantage point for selfie seekers but don’t overlook all that lies within. Galerie Rudolfinum, housed in the buildings’ west wing, showcases contemporary artists amid grand 19th-century architecture. Its ground-floor Artpark, a kids’ corner designed to inspire wee Pollocks and Warhols, offers interactive learning and craft stations, plus a free Sunday afternoon workshop for children. Finish with coffee and cake at the gallery’s cafe.
From lavish Baroque gardens to craggy nature reserves, Prague boasts some 200 green spaces. So how to tell which is best? Follow the beer. Locals flock to Riegrovy Sady and Letná Park beer gardens in the warmer months for dazzling views and cold pivo but the wide boulevards of Stromovka Park, Prague’s largest, are a firm favourite with young parents. Enter at the Výstaviště exhibition grounds where you’ll find a multi-floor jungle gym (next to a pub, of course).
Reaching the summit of this 1,000-foot hill requires a funicular ride with eye-popping views over the city, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Once you’re up there, a mirror maze, rose garden and mini replica of the Eiffel Tower await. From Petřín, a wooded path leads towards Strahov Monastery and then on to Prague Castle. Do them all in one go.
Not only does Pizza Nuova get Neapolitan thin crust spot on, its roomy play corner and simple yet flavourful menu of Italian classics are sure to win over the little ones. Order the tasting menu and brace yourself for a parade of pizza and pasta dishes arriving at your table faster than you can eat them. Babysitting (weekends only) and an impressive wine list make this one of one of Prague’s family-friendliest dining experiences.
Trdelník, those spit-roasted chimney cakes hawked by street vendors all over central Prague, are sure to prove a cinnamon-y temptation to tots. A word to the wise, however: no self-respecting Czech would be caught dead eating one. When hunger strikes, opt for Coffee & Waffles, a kid-approved Old Town diner serving up sweet and savoury waffles, all-day breakfast and wacky waffle-themed décor. Coffee by Prague roasters Dos Mundos keeps parents caffeinated.
Lego blocks cover most surfaces of your home, empty your wallet and occupy your kids’ every waking thought – and now they’re invading your holiday, too. But even the most Lego-averse parent couldn’t help but marvel at Czech Repubrick. From Karlštejn Castle to Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral, major Czech monuments have been painstakingly reproduced using thousands of Lego bricks. Aside from the exhibit’s historical highlights, it also features a 9,000-piece working Lego roller coaster.
The enamelware tradition has flourished in these parts since the 19th century – the most iconic example of the craft being the red street signs and blue house numbers that adorn buildings all over Prague. Smaltum, a cosy workshop in the shadows of St. Nicholas tower, invites visitors of all ages to don aprons and paint an enamel teapot or mug. Come here for a quintessentially Czech memento.
It may look straight out of Jules Verne, but this 130-by-32 foot colossus was named for the titular hero of Jonathan Swift’s 18th-century ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. Young imaginations will be captivated by the airship annex to the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, while a café with play area, gift shop stocked with children’s books and retro toys, and educational kid’s worksheets make this museum in Prague’s hip Holešovice area well worth the trip.