Vienna With Kids At Christmas

by Nancy

Christmas market at Altes AKH


Christmas market at Altes AKH

Vienna With Kids At Christmas

What are the best places to bring kids to have fun during the Christmas season?

Dear Nancy,

the most exciting places for kids in the run up to Christmas are theChristmas markets. Many of them run regular children’s programmes and activities that kids enjoy. Here are the most fun markets for kids, by order of my own children’s preference:

Weihnachtsdorf im Alten AKH

A great neighbourhood Christmas market, the Weihnachtsdorf(Christmas village) is located in the huge courtyard of our 17th century town hospital, now used as a university campus. There are loads of booths selling traditional seasonal staples, from ‘punsch’ (ask for ‘Kinderpunsch’ without alcohol for the kids) and mulled wine to gingerbread, Christmas cookies, and potato pies (Erdäpfelpuffer). You and your kids can do ice skating and curling (a game played on ice, in which heavy stones with handles are slid towards a target circle) andlearn traditional craftsmanship of making candles, gingerbread and learning turnery.

Dates: 16th November to 23rd December;
Monday to Friday 2pm to 10pm; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays (8th December): 11am to 10pm
Location: Altes AKH / Universitätscampus, Hof 1; Alserstrasse/Spitalgasse; A-1090 Vienna

Altwiener Christkindlmarkt, Freyung

My kids and I love this market because it is traditional without being kitsch. There is a gorgeous Christmas
tree in the middle, a beautiful long Christmas cradle (Austria’s longest), and loads of booths selling punsch, roast chestnuts,
candles, wooden toys by Austrian manufacturers, knitwear. There is a regular children’s programme Monday to Friday at 10am.

Dates: 22nd November to 23rd December; 10am to 9pm
Location: Freyung square, A-1010 Vienna

Weihnachtsmarkt Schönbrunn Palace

The backdrop of illuminated Schönbrunn Palace and a gigantic Christmas tree, mixed with the smell of Christmas cookies and mulled wine will be a great experience for all of you.

Like at Freyung, you can shop around for seasonal accessories from traditional craftsmanship and natural materials. However, make sure you dress warmly as the square in front of Schönbrunn can be really windy. There is a children’s workshop every Sunday before Christmas (2.30 to 5.30pm) – my daughter made beeswax candles two years ago and loved it. There are other children’s activities going on such as guided tours through the children’s museum – ask at Information if and when they are on as you arrive.

This is one of the few markets that is open after Christmas.

Dates: 19th November to 26th December; 27th December to 1st January (New Year’s market); daily from 10 am to 6pm;
24th December: 10am to 4pm;
25th, 26th December, and 28th December to 1st January 10am to 6pm;
LocationSchönbrunn Palace, front entrance; A-1130 Vienna

The other two nice Christmas markets for kids are the large Christmas market in front of Vienna City Hall along Ringstrasse, and the Christmas market in front of the Belvedere Vienna. The Viennese Christkindl will be around to welcome kids at the market at Vienna City Hall every Sunday between 4 and 7pm. The children’s Christmas arts and crafts workshops at Belvedere are on every Sunday before Christmas (10.30 to 12.30 for kids from 3 to 6 years; 2.30 to 4.30 for kids from 6 to 11 years; 24th December: 10.30 to 12.30 for kids from 3 to 11 years).

Have loads of Christmas fun in Vienna!