Krakow for Kids
While the scores of bars and clubs lining Krakow's streets might give the impression that Krakow is a city for adult revelries, in reality Krakow is a very kid-friendly place, with lots of businesses specially catering to children and regular special events just for the little ones. Below, we've tried to list some of the most kid-friendly places (that adults can enjoy as well) to keep your little ones happy while on holiday.
Hint: Your children will look happier than the ones above if you don't make them wear folk costumes and parade through town
Sure, a trip through the state rooms will seem like a yawn-fest to most kids, but afterwards you can reward them with a journey to the dragon's lair! At the foot of the castle by the Wisla, you'll find a real fire-breathing dragon that's always a hit with kids.
ul. Wawrzynca 15
While spending a day at the museum might seem like a one-way ticket on boredom express to little Timmy, just wait until he gets inside the Transport Museum. This gem is a big hit with kids of all ages, with all kinds of motor vehicles on display, as well as plenty of interactive exhibits that are actually fun whilst being educational.
ul. Skarbowa 2
Krakow's only theatre especially catering to the youngest audience, Groteska has special showings of magical plays just for kids every Sunday, as well as frequent special presentations year-round.
ul. Sebastiana 9
Goldfish and seahorses and sharks, oh my! This newly-opened aquarium features a wide variety of colourful fish and sea-life for viewing.
ul. Krasinskiego 34
When the weather's bad or the kids are being especially hyperactive, sometimes a day at the movies is the only solution. Kijow hosts frequent movie showings for children, particularly on weekend mornings and afternoons.
ul. Dobrego Pasterza 128
Multikino is generally the only movie theatre that shows children's films undubbed - so if you want to take your child to see Harry Potter or Shrek in its original version, this is the place to go.
Al. Pokoju 44
This IMAX theatre plays a host of movies in 3D, from undersea documentaries to gigantic dinosaur adventures, as well as special 3D-screenings of new movies.
Al. Pokoju 44
One of the most modern bowling alleys on the continent is the main attraction of this park, which also features pool, air-hockey, and video arcades. A supervised play-pen is available for very young children. For the adults, there's a full bar as well.
Cracovia Football or Ice Hockey
ul. Kaluzy 1, ul. Siedleckiego 7
If your kid is into sports, why not take him or her to a match? Depending on the season, a game of football or ice hockey is an entertaining way to pass the afternoon. Who knows, you might even end up bonding!
Krakowianka Ice Rink
ul. Siedleckiego 7
While it's hard to find outdoor activities in the winter, it is the perfect season for ice skating, and Krakow's indoor rink will guarantee that you don't freeze while your kid is practising his or her figure eights.
Wieliczka Salt Mines
Just 20 minutes from Krakow, the biggest attraction in the small town of Wieliczka are the salt mines: giant underground caverns full of carvings made of salt. But this one is only for the more patient youngsters, as the tour takes two hours and goes through 2 km of underground tunnels, immense chambers, and underground lakes. It's well worth it however, and there's even a special display for children consisting of the Seven Dwarfs!
Kids never seem to get enough of the Market Square. Whether it's chasing pigeons (a quite unsanitary activity in our opinion), watching the many street performers in the summer, or getting some cotton candy at one of the numerous festivals that take place here year-round, you can't go wrong with taking a stroll through the Rynek.
Blonia Commons and Jordan Park
Al. 3ego Maja
Jordan Park (Park Jordanski) is located adjacent to the enormous Blonia Commons, and both locales are excellent for spending a whole day outdoors with the kids. In Jordan Park there are plenty of paths for strolling or biking, as well as several playgrounds, including a new one with a wooden castle. But the prime attraction of the park is the artificial lake with paddle boats and canoes that can be rented, and a colourful train that circles the park frequently and costs only a few zloty for a ticket.
In the summer, there's nothing better than relaxing at the beach, making sandcastles and swimming. Luckily, there's a place where you can take your kids to the beach, and it's just outside of Krakow! Kryspinow has a playground for younger kids, beach volleyball and basketball for the older kids, as well as a swimming area that's carefully watched by lifeguards, and even a bar to occupy the adults.
The Aviation Museum
Al. Jana Pawla II 39
Another museum with big shiny machines that kids love. With over a hundred aircraft, from pre-war Polish fighter-planes to German Albatrosses, Spitfires and Soviet Kakaruzniks, all on a giant former airfield, it's sure to be a great day out.
ul. Kasy Oszczednosci 14
An excellent zoo with a variety of animals, big and small, furry and scaly, as well as a playground and petting zoo. It's located in the spacious Wolski Forest at the edge of town, which in itself makes for a great day out with its many walking and biking trails.
ul. Dobrego Pasterza 126
Krakow's only waterpark has plenty of chutes and slides to keep the young ones busy, plus nice pool-side chairs to lounge around in.
Undisclosed military facility
While this is mostly for the older kids, adults undoubtedly will have a blast as well hunting each other with paint guns in the woods.
ul. Wawrzynca 12
Krakow's only go-carting track will delight both kids and adults. But be careful, the carts are quite fast and the safety gear is minimal - basically a helmet - so we wouldn't recommend it for children under 10.
Krakow Valley Horse-Riding or Tabun Horseriding
Paczoltowice 328 Krzeszowice 3, ul. Ireny Kosmowskiej 12
If your daughter has always begged for a pony, better than breaking her heart outright and saying she can't have one, offer her a day of riding! The beautiful countryside an hour out of Krakow is the perfect setting for a riding tour.
pl. Szczepanski 3a
During the warmer months, this cafe has an outdoor sandbox where the children can occupy themselves while the adults have a coffee or drink.
ul. Felicjanek 4
Whether you need to pick up a Tolstoy or a guide-book around Krakow, this quaint English bookshop has a kids' section complete with toys and a large selection of children's books in English.
In just about every large shopping centre
Poland's answer to Toys'R'Us, the Smyk chain has been around for decades, and its stores' shelves are stacked high with dolls, toy cars, video games, Legos, and just about everything you child could want. The larger stores offer children's clothing as well as baby accessories.
In addition, the following restaurants, cafes, and cultural institutions were voted "Krakow Przyjazny Maluchom 2006" ("Krakow Friendly to Children") places by Gazeta.pl, and can be identified by a sticker with the KPM logo. It signifies that there's a play area for children, kid's menus or menu selections at restaurants, and often special feeding and changing facilities.
Krakow Friendly to Children 2006:
National Museum, al. 3-go Maja 1
Galicia Museum, ul. Dajwor 18
Collegium Maius Museum, ul. Jagiellonska 15
Art Club Cieplarnia, ul. Bracka 15
Klub Skowronek, ul. Gertrudy 3
U Louisa, Rynek Głwny 13
Kawiarnia Lido, ul. Zagaje 40
Cherubino, ul. Tomasza 15
Oberza Sasiadow Restaurant, ul. Kordiana 19
Cosa Nostra Restaurant, ul. Dajwor 25
Kawaleria Restaurant, ul. Golebia 4
Dynia Cafe Bar, ul. Krupnicza 20
Cafe Africana, ul. Straszewskiego 24
Magillo Pizzeria, ul. Lipowskiego 24
Taco Mexicano, ul. Poselska 20
Wierzynek Restaurant, Rynek Glowny 15
Pod Sloncem Restaurant, Rynek Glowny 43
Rooster Restaurant, ul. Szczepańska 4
Farina Restaurant, ul. Sw. Marka 16
Del Papa Ristorante, ul. Sw. Tomasza 6
Bar Smaczny, ul. Sw. Tomasza 24
Ikea, ul. Josepha Conrada 6
Services and Activities for Children:
"Rosie and Violetta's Musical Storytime" - Krakow's only English-language entertainment for kids
Massolit Books, Various Locations
Rosie and Violetta are two musical, story-telling flowers. Rosie is an accordion-playing rose who creates an interesting musical soundtrack while her partner, Violetta, tells exciting stories. Between the stories there are lots of interactive songs and games. The shows that are open to the public occur once every few months, but they are also available for private hire. Check their MySpace page for details of the next show.
"Children Now" ("Teraz Dzieci")
In front of Bunkier Sztuki, pl. Szczepanski 3a
Every Sunday in July and August, Children Now invites children to join them at 11 am for an afternoon of painting and colouring.
Be sure to regularly check our events calendar, where we frequently list special shows and events just for children. Of course, if you have any other suggestions for places to take children in Krakow, please contact us or comment below!
Slávka Pitková from Slovak Republic Reply
Hello! I am Slovak student studying in Cracow, offering you babysitting of your children. Experience: 6 yrs of babysitting. Speaking English, French, Slovak. Write me :)
Rachel from United Kingdom Reply
Hi we've just moved to cracow with our 4year old son and 16 month old daughter and I'm keen to for them to meet other children as won't start school until September
Anna from Poland Reply
I'm looking for a female native speaker of English to play with and talk to 4,5-years old girl. She is polish but she is a student of american preschool. If You have a children, age: 3-7 years old who can play with my doughter during the meeting we can come to Your house or You can take them to us. Lessons/ activities in english should be twice a week no longer than 1,5 hour anna 602 225 369
Paulina from United States Reply
TUKAN is a safe, fun place featuring age-appropriate activities for parents and young children to play together. Every Thursday we have Fun and Play Classes for parents and toddlers. From sensory stimulation to problem-solving games and storytelling, our classes use play-based activities to stretch the body and mind. Come and visit us: www.tukancentrum.pl
Cracow for Kids from Poland Reply
May I recommend here a new site about activities for children in Cracow? http://cracow-kids.blogspot.com
Mika from United States Reply
Very very very helpful and informative site. Thank you!
Andrzej Michalik from Poland Reply
A handful of bilingual children aged 5-8, including my son, meet at Mufinka Cafe in Wawrzyńca St. on Sundays at 11:00. We continue the tradition of 'Storytime', i.e. reading English books to children, with one of the parents doing the reading. Afterwards we often end up in a park. We would love to extend the group, so any English-speaking children would be very welcome. BYO book.
Kasia from United States Reply
Hi, My name is Kasia. Just came to Krakow two months ago. I am looking for anyone that is interested in a playdate? My kids are 5 and 2. firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth from Poland Reply
If you need a lovely baby sitter I'm happy to halp you. My name is Eilzabeth,I'm 30 years old Polish, living in Krakow. I'm master degree in Pedagogy.I speak English to a very good standard and I have children expirience(working in nurserys and schools in UK)Something about myself:) I'm very energetic, caring, reliable, patient and hard working, non smoker. I love all kind of sports.I'm also very creative - making pottry and sculpture. I played violin since I was nine years old. I'm happy to put you in touch with people for whom I used to work in Uk. Regards Elizabeth Please contact me on my e-mail:email@example.com
Monika from Poland Reply
Hi I am looking for English speaking children to play with my daughter (6years old)we're going to relocate to Krakow soon. firstname.lastname@example.org
bianka from Canada Reply
Staying in krakow until september. Looking for babysitter twice a week for six hours each time for a 7 month old. If interested and available please contact me via email to chat. email@example.com
Heather from Australia Reply
HI there, looking for an English speaking Babysitter? My name is Heather and I am from Australia. I am currently living in Krakow and looking for work around this area. I enjoy working with children and have done so for many years. I also have experience working with children with special needs. Hope to hear from you soon, Heather. firstname.lastname@example.org
Espe from Poland Reply
Mine is almost 2 years old and I also would like her to be in contact to other English children speakers. Shall we arrange for a mtg?
Graeme from Poland Reply
Does anybody know anything about play groups for English-speaking children in Kraków? I am desperate to find some English-speaking children for my 2 yr old daughter to play with here.
Kerri from Poland Reply
Thanks for the info, I'm trying to find English events for my son now that we have emmigrated to Poland from Canada. Does anybody have any info about English primary schools in Krakow or Tarnow.
janice from Canada Reply
my son is doing a school report on what polish kids like to do. this site was a great help
lynn george from United Kingdom Reply
Very helpful site, Many thanks. Does anyone know what the rules are for children in restaurants and bars? are there certain places that they are definately not allowed? are we able to sit in or outside of a bar for a leisurely glass of wine without a meal if we have children with us? thanks for any advice
Anna from Ireland Reply
It was great to come across this site as i am very interested in all things Polish as my partner is Polish, keep me updated please x Anna
Vandana from India Reply
I was really happy to see so many activities for children listed. Elizabeth, did you find any English speaking day care / baby sitters? I am looking out for the same.
Elizabeth from United Kingdom Reply
Are there any babysitters who speak English available in Krakow? Or perhaps a daycare service for English children?
Julia from United Kingdom Reply
The parks in Krakow are perfect for children - most have playgrounds, or sandboxes like in the Planty. When the weather is nice, you can spend all day strolling through the parks, and your children will get some fresh air and exercise and still have fun.
Martin from United Kingdom Reply
This is REALLY useful - thanks!