Berlin for kids

Berlin is not the first thought of people traveling with children, but here they have something to do in the daytime, and if necessary, they can be cared for well. There are no problems playing sports, worse with watching.

The attitude towards young children in Berlin is strangely ambivalent. Though there are many single parents in the city and excellent social care for them, Berliners are reluctant to see children as "adults."” places, such as restaurants and bars; and although the city is made of lakes, parks and forests to a greater extent, than most European cities, there are few facilities intended for children's play.

When coming to Berlin with children, you have to prepare yourself for typical entertainment – zoos, museums and shops than something specific to the city.

Parks, playgrounds and excursions

Because a large part of Berlin's area is parks and forests, often speckled with playgrounds, there is no shortage of places, where children can have fun. The centrally located Tiergarten to the northeast of the Zoo Station imposes itself, though compared to the vast expanses of Grunewald (Grunewald S-Bahn) it is quite civilized; canoes and rowing boats are available for rent in both parks, and at the Grunewald U-Bahn station also bicycles.

Grunewald borders Lake Wannsee and it is worth taking the ferry to Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), where there is a castle and lots of peacocks. W Tegel leisure park (U-Bahn Tegel, walk to the lake, then right) there are playgrounds, springboards, ping-pong tables and rowing boats. There is also a good adventure park on Sodenerstr. 29-41 (U-Bahn Rudsheimer-platz or buses # 60 or # 86), open from Monday to Saturday 12.00-18.00, Thursdays 15.00-18.00. Teufelsberg ("Devil's Mountain", bus #94 do Teufelsee Chaussee, and then a good fifteen minutes walk down the same street), it's a big hill west of the city, from which you can fly kites on weekends.

At the educational Kinderbauernhofen, that is, children's villages, you can have a great time not knowing the language; are located at Wienerstr. 59 (U-Bahn Gorlizter Bahnhof or by bus #29, and then as the path leads; in summer Mon.. , wt., Wed. i pt. 10.00-19.00, under. and sun. 12.00-19.00; in the winter months to 17.00) and at UFA-Fabrik, Viktoriastr. 13-18 (Ullsteinstrasse subway or autobusem #25; open every day. from 10.00).

Of the sports facilities, children will probably be most interested in Blub, indoor and outdoor swimming pool complex at Buschkrugalle 64 (Blaschko Allee subway; Mon.. -pt. 10.00-23.00, under. and sun. 9.00-0.00; adults 16 DM, kids 6-17 years 9 DM). A bit far and expensive, but it's worth it because of the waterfalls, wiry, 12-a meter long water cannon and a wave maker, as well as other attractions.

Views of Berlin from above (in order of ascending horror scale) can be admired from Siegessaule (not for short legs), the top floor of the Europa Center and Funkturm).

Older children may like the Zeiss Planetarium, Munsterdamm 90 (S-Bahn Priesterweg, coaches 25, 68, 76 i 83; guided tour of Fr. 20.00 Wed. -Sun; adults 4 DM, kids 3 DM).

Circuses, amusement parks and the zoo

UFA circus w UFA factory, Viktoriastr. 13 (7528085) and a permanent circus offering an innovative alternative to traditional lions and clowns. In the summer months, visiting circus troupes perform regularly in Berlin. You can find out about time and place at the Zirkusdirektoremerband, Xantenerstgr. 9 (• 88814660). Small amusement parks can be found in Berlin almost all year round in numerous parks. Information about the accommodation is provided by the tourist office in Europa Center.

Zoo, Hardenbergplatz 8 (»2611101; codz. 9.00-until dusk, 7 DM, kids 3-15 years 3.50 DM), near the train station of the same name, has a number of exotic animals living in an environment imitating their natural environment. Children will be most interested in monkeys, orangutany
i goryle, sale nocne (darkened area, where the night Marks of the animal world play), horse and pony rides around the zoo, and a playground. Nearby Aquarium, Budapesterstr. 32 (2611101; codz. 9.00-18.00, last Sat. man. and non-working days to 22.00; 6.50 DM, kids 3-15 years 3.25 DM; combined tickets to the Zoo 11/5.50 DM) well worth the money spent, although it's better to come there on a separate visit.

Museums

Dahiem Junior Museum, Arnimallee, near the U-Bahn Dahlem-Dorf (wt. -Sun. 9.00-17.00; Free entrance). Lots of different things to tinker and manipulate, especially in the ethnographic departments of the main museum, where you can enter a boat or a hut from the South Seas.

Duppel Museum Village, Clauertstr. 11 (V-1X, only on sun. 10.00-13.00; 3 DM; bus #3 i #50). Reconstruction of a medieval village with demonstrations of crafts and farming methods from that time. Rather for older children.

Waxworks, 111 floor, Ku’damm Eck, Kurfiirstendamm 227-228 (codz. 10.00-23.00, children up to years 11 3 DM). Tasteful wax figures.

Museum of Transport and Technology, Trebbinerstr. 9 (wt. -pt. 9.00-18.00, under. and sun. 10.00-18.00; 3.50 DM, kids 1.50 DM). Lots of gadgets to manipulate and a great collection of steam engines and wagons. Perfect entertainment, especially on rainy afternoons.

Gallery in the House of Culture Wilmersdorf - Children's Gallery, Hohenzollern dam 176 (pon.-pt. 10.00-18.00, Sun. 11.00-17.00). Lots of free material, with which children can paint, draw and build, as well as movies to choose from. The local history museum next door includes a showcase exhibition, how old and young lived in Wilmersdorf (Mon.. , Wed. i pt. 10.00-14.00, wt. and Thurs.. 14.00-18.00; Free entrance).

Cinemas and theaters

Berlin puppet theater, Yorckstr. 59 (*7869815). Constantly innovative puppet theater with perfectly made puppets. As in the other puppet theaters listed below, knowledge of German is not necessary, to understand, what is going on.

Flegenotes Theater, Gneisenaustr. 2, w Mehringhof («7933791). Puppet theater.

Grips, Altonaestr. 22 (*3914004). Top-class theater for children and teenagers; usually everything is improvised. Only in German.

Cinema museum, Grossbeerenstrasse. 57. A tiny museum with old cinema equipment. Old slapstick comedy screenings on Wednesdays, piątki i niedziele o 18.00.

blob, Schinkestr. 8-9 ( 6937731). Puppet theater intended for the age group 3-8 years.

Multivisions-Theater, 1 floor, Europa Center (codz. O 9.00, 10.00, 12.00, 13.30, 15.00 i 16.30; 8 DM, kids 6-9 years 5 DM). The history of Berlin in wonderful Technikolor; Headphones with English commentary available. For older children.