Summer fun programs for families with young children
Budapest is a beautiful European city. It offers loads of attractions with historical, traditional and cultural points of interest for the whole family. Some favourites we can recommend for families with young children are:
1. Danube River boat trip
The city looks completely different from the water! Take a short trip on one of the many boats that leave regularly from Vigadó tér, on the Pest side of the city between Erzsébet and Chain bridges. Another option is the „Kids boat” that operates a 2 hour trip with toys and entertainment for children. It is a floating playhouse and theater in one and although the program is in Hungarian, language does not present a problem for the young ones here.
www.szemelyhajozas.hu * www.kolyokhajo.hu * www.legenda.hu
2. Margaret Island
The island is an oasis of green in the middle of the river and offers lots of fun activities. Bikes and pedal cars can be rented and are a fun healthy way to explore the island. There is a large swimming pool with thermal baths, slides and children’s pools as well as a small zoo with old water tower offering sweeping views over the island.
3. Budapest Zoo
An all year favourite for families. The Zoo features many standard attractions plus a newly rebuilt acquarium, fascinating Palm house, and a wonderful Playhouse that offers tons of activities for kids (great in wet weather).
4. Chairlift and Children’s railway
The open chairlift offers a scenic 12 minute ride to the Buda Hills. From the top you can walk to an old lookout tower boasting an incredible panorama from Budapest’s highest point of 529m. Nearby is the ever popular children’s railway (pioneer railway in the Communist era). This single track train connects Hüvösvölgy with its hghest stop at Széchényi hegy. Vintage steam engines sometimes can be seen on weekends and open carriages in summer months.
You can stop anywhere along the route for a picnic, bush walks etc. www.libego.hu
5. Railway History Museum
If you wish to arrive in style, take the vintage diesel train that departs Nyugati railway station April – October. The museum is a fascinating collection of old railway cars, locomotives, model trains, working turntables and historical train memorabilia. It is very „hands on”, allowing children to enter and play in the carriages and locomotives.
6. Dance Craze Academy
Dance Craze academy has Fairy School for four to six xear olds during half term holidays and sleepovers for older childrn during the summer months. Performing arts activities mixed with other fun activities such as crafts, swimming, trips and parties and of course dressing up!
7. Challengeland (Kalandpálya Csillebérc)
This outdoor climbing park has rope and cable courses int he trees. Children must be at least 100 centimeters tall to participate, and a parent must sign a permission form. They will be fitted with a safety harness and helmet, and given instructions and assistance. There is an entry fee.
8. Petneházy Horseriding Center
Located on the edge of District 2/a, here is a green oasis for nature lovers just minutes from the noise of the big city. Perfect for nature walks or cycling tours. The Center offers horse and pony rides at all levels for children and adults. The Sunday Brunch is from 12 noon – 4 p.m. and features an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch plus kids corner with child care for the little ones. The kids will love it!
9. Budapest Circus
The Budapest Circus is open all year round with new shows regularly.
10. Palace of Miracles
Recently moved to Campona Shopping Center, this offers a great selection of science and general interest exhibits for the whole family. Over 100 games make you experience the wonders of physics!
A tropical jungle experience with thousands of snakes, birds,insects, alligators and fish.
Then step into the sea with the sharks and stingrays… Located inside the Campona shopping center it is most convenient for parking, shopping and there is a wonderful Peter Pan playhouse (giant pirate ship) where the kids are guaranteed to have a great hour or two.
www.tropicarium.hu * www.panpeterjatszohaz.hu
12. Pálvölgyi and Szemlőhegyi caves
Hungary features a host of caves and the Buda Hills hold tons of limestone waiting for a visit- perfect for a rainy or very hot day! These caves have been formed by thermal waters dripping though the limestone. There are some amazing rock and crystal formations and the kids will have their imaginations run riot!
The constant temperature of the caves is around 11-12 degrees so bring a jacket! Definitely worth a visit!
13. Mini City
Mini City is a new, interactive exhibition for children at the Nyugati Railway Station. They can try different kinds of jobs in a role play situation and see what it feels like to be part of the adult world. Children can become anything, even a dentist, a hair dresser or a star! Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm.
and finally at any time of year:
Sunday Brunch Programs
Many of the better hotels in Budapest offer an all-you-can-eat Sunday Brunch with children’s entertainment. Two we can recommend are the Hotel Marriott beside the riverbank near the Erzsébet Bridge, and the Hotel Royal Corinthia Grand Hotel on Erzsébet körút. Both offer superb cuisine and excellent Kids corner programs with professional Happy Kids English speaking staff directing arts and crafts, balloons, games and other activities to keep the little ones busy, allowing parents to enjoy a relaxing lunch.
www.peppers.hu and www.corinthia.hu