Planning a family vacation to Munich? Your kids will love it! Munich is a great city to explore for young and old, and there are many fun things to do for kids. From interactive museums, and toy stores, to parks, farmers markets, and even beer gardens, here’s how to have a wonderful time in Munich for travelers of all ages.
Bring your kids to Marienplatz, the central square in the heart of Munich’s Old Town. At 11 a.m. or noon, gather in front of the impressive City Hall, which houses a 100-year old Glockenspiel, a beautiful carillon. Every day, the Glockenspiel chimes twice and your kids will enjoy watching the 32 life-sized figures reenact historical Bavarian events. Tell your children to look out for the golden bird that chirps three times to mark the end of each “show”.
There is no better way for kids to spend a (rainy) day in Munich than to explore the German Museum, one of the oldest and largest science and technology museums in the world. The museum offers a plethora of interactive exhibits for busy hands, and there is a whole section dedicated to curious children: At “Kid’s Kingdom”, young explorers can sit behind the wheel of a real fire engine, fly into the air, or play on a giant guitar, just to name a few of the 1000 kid-friendly activities at the German Museum.
Munich’s Toy Museums is housed in a narrow clock tower of Munich’s old Town Hall; spread over four floors (no elevator), the museum is filled with unique historical toys from Europe and the U.S.; there are dolls, teddies, toy trains, and vintage barbies. Please note that this is not an interactive exhibition, and the toys are only for viewing and unfortunately not for playing or touching.
Let your kids run free in Munich’s English Garden (Englischer Garten), which is even bigger than Central Park in New York. Munich’s green heart is a wonderful place to explore: Rent a paddleboat, stroll along wooded paths, visit a playground, feed the ducks, or watch the surfers on the currents of the river “Eisbach”.
Can you take your little ones to a traditional beer garden? Definitely. Munich’s beer gardens are very family friendly and keep the kids happy while you enjoy your Bavarian beer; most beer gardens have a playground (the beer garden “Hirschgarten” even features a small deer park). Kids will love the beer garden food too: Sausages, potatoes salad, pretzels, and apple strudel.
The bustling Viktualienmarkt is Munich’s oldest and best open-air farmers market, dating back to 1807. There is a lot to see and sample: Kids can marvel at booths decorated with garlands of sausages, mountains of fresh vegetables, and pyramids of fruits. The market has everything from meat, and cheese, to bread, pastries, and fresh squeezed juices; buy some treats for the whole family and enjoy them right then and there, at the beer garden in the center of the market.
A visit to Munich’s zoo, "Tierpark Hellabrun" is a fun outing for the whole family. Laid out on 89 acres, the park is more a nature preserve than a traditional zoo. Its 5,000 animals from all over the world are grouped according to their regions and are roaming the park in their natural habitat. There’s also a petting zoo, pony and camel rides in summer, and a penguin parade in winter.