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Did you know that the city of Berlin has over 1850 playgrounds? No neither did I. Imagine basing your whole visit to Berlin exploring the best of them? Well here is your chance, the best guide to Berlin playgrounds “Spielplatzguide Berlin”.

The Berlin Playground Scene

When we moved to Berlin we had no idea how insanely creative and inspiring the playgrounds here were. The first neighborhood we lived in, Prenzleurberg, had quite a few within walking distance. At the time I thought this was fabulous and attributed it to the slightly more affluent corner of the city we first landed in. I could not have been more wrong. The Playgrounds or Speilplatz”s of Berlin are the hub of every neighborhood or Kiez (I know I’m totally showing off my impeccable German). Kindergartens bring trains of brightly clad children through them every day. After 3:30 pm most are teaming with tiny humans. Some, have enticing themes like Aladin, the Circus, or my favorite, the Dracula playground. Most have water features that get switched on just after Mayday and remain water logged until September. They range from a tiny water pump to a fully synchronized water show. Getting filthy, wet and utterly lost in play is encouraged here and in all honesty isn’t that what childhood is all about.

A few months ago I opened my emails a see one titled “Spieltzguide Berlin”. Well, Halleluja someone had done the hard work for me. A book, fully curating some of the most unique and imaginative of Berlins 1850 + playgrounds. I immediately got in touch with the masterminds behind this title, the Berlin-based publishers Marianna Hillmer and Johannes Klaus and asked to interview the talented travel writer and photographer Cindy Ruch.

Cindy spent a summer visiting Berlins best playgrounds. She would photograph them very early in the morning, empty, often bumping into the crews of maintenance workers quietly keeping these tiny urban oases oiled and clean. Cindy fills the book with not only her photographs but an impressive amount of facts, fun stories and did I mention the Ice Cream tips? Brilliant. Some of my favorites from my Best Berlin Ice Cream guide were here too. What I loved to hear most of all from Cindy was how much these places sparked her own adult imagination and all the hidden treasures (included in the book) that she discovered in her research. The book is currently published in German but even with my limited vocabulary it’s seriously easy to use with beautifully illustrated maps, a rating system of your own, lovely little anecdotes about each location and of course the photographs, so many pretty photographs. BUY IT HERE Or in one of the many independent bookshops dotted around Berlin.

Where to find Berlins Best Playgrounds?

Since I felt like Cindy had really done here research here I asked her to pick her favorites too. Here are her top three.

  • Garten der welt – Location, location, location within this incredible Berlin garden complete with funicular try and find the giant wooden whale.
  • Heinrich Lassen Scöneberg – a brand new fairytale-inspired castle, little huts with different themes, you can measure how tall you are.
  • Ayres rocks in Tempelhof – a pretty good replica of the real deal, you can climb on it and try out your rock climbing skills.
Our personal list of Berlin Best Playgrounds

For those of you who aren’t visiting this site for the first time, you will be familiar with my obsession with Google Maps. I made a humble beginning with the tiniest of great NYC Playgrounds. Full disclosure Manhattan had practically NO playgrounds so this wasn’t a challenge. Our most successful “Second Hand Kids Clothes Berlin” and of course our massive “Berlin Kid Friendly Cafes” I’m not about to start one for playground’s because Berlin Playgrounds is my go to and already does an amazing job. So next best thing a short list of our favorites!

  • Spielplatz auf dem Helmholzplatz – Right in the center of Prenzlaurberg, close to ice cream, amazing toy shops, ping pong tables, and even an indoor sandpit should it rain!
  • Krausnickpark – Berlins best-kept secret. Behind a house fascad through a tunnel, this urban retreat is well worth the search. Rope swings rose garden and sun loungers!
  • Jockel – A giant adventure playground attached to a beer garden. Need I explain more? I should really do a post on this theme alone…

Do you have the best Berlin playground to recommend? The more the merrier, write us in your comments or come and see us here on INSTAGRAM

The post The BEST Berlin playgrounds guide appeared first on My Well Traveled Friend.

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With the help, of Berlins most supportive parenting community Berlin Expat Babies I finally got around to creating Berlins first and best (of course!) map of child-friendly cafes and restaurants.

Here’s the dream scenario. Create a downloadable map for every city I visit with all its child-friendly cafes and restaurants. I bet we could do it. I know you guys are on board. Every time you see one tag me on Instagram or on Facebook or write a comment below. Let’s make it happen! This was my first attempt at map building was this NYC playground map. I recently noticed I numbered it no1, it must have been a sign.

Who doesn’t want to sit down for a hot second and drink a coffee in relative peace? Some of our cafes have kids corners and some simply have enough space for strollers. Some have exceptional menus and some have full on play areas. Well, I’m starting with 34 spots recommended by the amazing facebook group community of Berlin Expat Babies but do feel free to add me, tag me and comment below with any other favorite child-friendly cafes and restaurants I will be sure to update my map.

Without further ado, YOU CAN CLICK HERE to get yourself all hooked up.

PIN IT FOR LATER

The post Berlin child friendly cafes and restaurants appeared first on My Well Traveled Friend.

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Autumn in Berlin is one of my favorite times of the year. The city gets calmer. The leaves on the tree-lined avenues start changing colors and showering the city with a golden carpet. With so many parks, woodland and children’s farms in the city itself getting out and about in Berlin with kids is easy.

GETTING THERE – Children’s Farm Pinke Panke

If your looking for a perfect autumn kid-friendly adventure and want to stay in the city one of the many urban children’s farms is a great place to start. Search for “Kinderbauernhof” in google maps and one is likely to light up in your area. We spent the day last weekend at my favorite children’s farm so far Kinderbauernhof Pinke Panke. The farm is an easy 10-minute walk from the S1, S25, S26 stop Wollankstrasse. 

WHAT TO DO – Children’s Farm Pinke Panke

Crossing over a pretty bridge you see the picturesque faded mustard farm buildings on your left-hand side. The giant farmyard has something for everyone. Be sure to check the website for activities as every weekend seems to have a new festival or event. We had the option of face painting, wood workshops and cooking burek in a giant fire pit on our visit. For younger children, there is a giant sandpit and antique tractor, slides, and swings to discover. The giant wooden tree house structure and workshops are geared to the slightly older children. The brightly colored vans and colorful characters manning the cafes and bratwurst stands certainly make you feel like you have stepped well and truly out of big city life.

The rest of the grounds are covered with various animal enclosures with chickens, geese, rabbits, pigs, sheep and even donkeys.  All seemed, at various points in the day, to roam freely around the yard. There is also a small flower and vegetable garden where we loved finding fruits and vegetables that we ate at home hidden amongst all the plants. Cucumbers, tomatoes and a giant quince tree which my mother would have filled her handbag with no doubt ( I restrained myself, although I was tempted by the sour cherries).

WHAT DOES IT COST – Children’s Farm Pinke Panke

Children’s Farm Panke Pinke was all the things a farm should be, lively, busy, colorful and slightly chaotic! We loved it! Most importantly it is completely free to visit there working urban farms. It almost makes you forgive the super grumpy staff. Almost.

If you’re looking for some more beautiful place to visit in Berlin with kids check out our guide to some interesting day trips HERE

If FREE Berlin kids activities are more your speed check out this guest post I did with my TOP 10 Free Berlin Activities.

5 fun day trips from Berlin with kids.

The post BERLIN WITH KIDS – Children’s Farm Pinke Panke appeared first on My Well Traveled Friend.

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REFORMATION WOVEN WASTE BAG 89,00$

Reformation is one of my favorite brands, ethical, environmentally aware and super chic. I know this isn’t the most practical of my travel gear for mums finds but caution to the wind! Live a little. Fits a phone, passport and a few other choice items. Doubles up a chic evening item too. A bit of doubling up when picking travel accessories is always helpful.  This is the only item I haven’t tried out yet so if you do, let me know!

BUY ME

CLARE VIVIER TAN LEATHER FANNY PACK

OK don’t judge me but I totally spent 259$ on a leather Clare Vivier fanny pack. I owned this beautiful Italian leather marvel of a fanny pack and I do not regret it NOT ONE BIT. What I do regret is walking with it in my giant shopper in Berlin two years later and having it stolen from my bag. Amateur move. The point is if you have the budget and are looking for an extra lux, classic design. real leather bum bag. This is the one. It comes in other colors too but this tan leather one literally went with everything and looked great when it was a bit battered and work two years down the line. Fitted passports, phones, keys, sunglasses and even a folded over nappy. Sorry, Clare!

BUY ME

NIKE FANNY PACK WITH LOGO 24.99€

Truly tried and tested this one. It sits quite wide across the body so not for the petite frame. My two favorite things about this, firstly the price 24.99€ what a deal, secondly the back pocket access to the mesh interior handy for cell phone access. The material is a little rough so it’s a bit chaffy when I cycle but it is waterproof so that’s an added bonus. Great temporary replacement for my Clare V.

BUY ME

The post FANNY PACK OR BUMBAG? EITHER WAY, YOU SHOULD OWN ONE appeared first on My Well Traveled Friend.

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When is it a good idea to go to an exhibition with kids? I would say the Philippe Parreno exhibit at the Gropius Bau gallery in Berlin is a great time.

Our Kindergarten closes at 4:00 pm and so the daily task of child-friendly entertainment presents itself. I am incredibly lucky in one sense that I get to spend these few hours with my son (4-8pm) but sometimes I feel like throwing my arms up in the air and screaming “NO I have no clue what we are going to do today!” But in the spirit of keeping up my appearance as the coolest mum ever I persevere in unearthing awesome things to do like this CLIMBING WALLS + INDOOR SAND PITS. 

Drum roll Phillippe Parreno’s interactive show at Gropius Bau in Berlin. Exhibitions with kids are tricky, will they like it? Will it be too weird? What kind of questions will they ask me? Will the touch the Picasso? All these things go through my paranoid head. Thanks to my wonderful friend Sandra who already tested the ground and reported back that this is a MUST SEE.

The Gropius Bau is an incredible quadratic space (it’s a square basically) with a double height atrium right next to the Topography of Terror Museum and 100m from a section of the Berlin Wall so if you’re just visiting you can combine the trip. The exhibition starts in the main atrium with a body of water using sound to produce the effect of lily pads on water. Utterly mesmerizing. I won’t ruin all the surprises but DONT MISS the room filled with floating fish powered by sound and wind is very interactive for smaller children and provided your kids don’t kick the inflatables you’re all good to push them around and float them up in the air!

Exhibitions with kids – Philippe Parreno at Gropius Bau, Berlin is on until the CONTINUES UNTIL THE 5th OF AUGUST.

WANT MORE GREAT EXHIBITIONS WITH KIDS CLICK HERE….. http://www.mywelltraveledfriend.com/berlins-top-5-child-friendly-museums/

The post Exhibitions with kids – Philippe Parreno at Gropius Bau, Berlin, UNTIL THE 5th of AUGUST appeared first on My Well Traveled Friend.

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A Guide to Berlins BEST Family Friendly Lakes

What makes a lake a THE BEST is open for debate, but these are our Berlin best family-friendly lakes. Why not comment and tell us about yours?

In other news, I’m starting to update all my Google Maps which I personally find so handy for inspiration. You can click directly on the location title below and download our handy Google Map “Berlins Best Family Friendly Lakes”

WANSEE STRANDBAD

Germany is quite fond of Strandbad’s and these are a common feature in our area. They are basically a fenced off area of a lake that usually has some sort of dock, slide, swimming buoys, a small restaurant and some shower/WC facilities. They are kept clean and are (most of the time) well signposted.  Some come with lifeguards too but that’s the basic idea. They rank pretty high in qualifying as a Berlin best family-friendly lake.

Strandbad Wannsee is a very large stretch of sandy beach on Lake Wannsee. The lake is shallow at the edge and perfect for small children and sand castle building. There is a restaurant here and a large grass area above the beach where you can picnic and avoid the sand if you want.

IS THERE SHADE? – Yes, but it’s limited to one giant tree.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING? – A spade + an inflatable

DOWNSIDE – Strandbad’s are NOT FREE although this one is for under 5’s

HOW DO I GET THERE? – Download our Google Map by clicking the location name.

More information can be found here https://www.berlinerbaeder.de/baeder/strandbad-wannsee/

TONSEE

We went to this lake for the first time this weekend. Why? I’m not sure how we missed this one but now we are hooked and its right up there on our list of Berlins best family-friendly lakes.

The unique thing about Tonsee is the crystal clear water and multitude of secluded tiny coves you can basically set up camp in and be all alone. If you are a little more social the campsite on the lake has a medium sized sandy beach where families are very welcome. There is also a small restaurant here which serves basic food until 6 pm. They are SO rude here I will not be recommending them but they are there, in an ice-cream emergency I guess. It’s extremely easy to walk the entire lake which has a pretty footpath circumferencing it.  One corner has a large green meadow to sit in just to the right side of the main car park when you face the lake. Great for a game of badminton!

IS THERE SHADE – Yes lots, the lake is tree-lined and on the outskirts of a pine forest. Fresh air galore.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING – A SUP board, badminton and a really BIG PICNIC, you will want to stay all day!

DOWNSIDE – Walking from the train station or bus stop. If you can take a bike or stroller.

HOW DO I GET THERE? – Download our Google Map by clicking the location name.

 

MÜGGELSEE

The story goes that this is one of prettiest tram rides you can take outside of Berlin. I have to agree. There is something very magical about leaving a town and then immediately driving through a lush green forest. Added bonus the tram stops directly outside the entrance to the lake. This is another Strandbad, however, we didn’t pay an entrance fee here. One of our favorite things at Mügelsee was the FANTASTIC inflatables shop. I’m not a huge fan of plastic but we had a lot of fun checking out all the crazy floats.

There is classic German food served at two little cafes and ice-cream of course. We really enjoyed the playground a little further down a paved walkway. The added bonus of grass seating was nice too. Sand, kids, picnic, ice-cream don’t often mix well. The water here is medium clear but clean. Slightly more on the muddy side as you get deeper.

IS THERE SHADE – Yes the area to the right as you go in has a grassy tree-lined bank.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING? – You could actually come empty-handed. Everything can be got here LOL.

DOWNSIDE – The water isn’t crystal clear. Sorry but I’m a tough customer. Grew up by the sea in Croatia.

HOW DO I GET THERE? – Download our Google Map by clicking the location name.

STRANDBAD ORANKESEE

Ok I admit, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue but while everyone is cramming themselves onto the banks of nearby Weißensee you will be sitting in possibly the cutest beach chair ever. Bring on those photo opportunities. My child will not entertain such a thing, but good luck!

The beach here is sandy and gently slopes into the lake. The water is extremely clear and clean considering this our CLOSEST Berlin best family-friendly lake. There is also a restaurant here with beer on tap as well as showers and WC’s. There is a lawn if you want to picnic and avoid actual sandwiches. For us this 30-minute cycle ride but it is also fully accessible by public transport which stops very close by. Just click on the location name above to download our special “Berlins Best Family Friendly Lakes” Google Map.

IS THERE SHADE – Yes, you absolutely NEED to rent one of those stripy basket thingies.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING? – A bucket and spade and armbands as the water does get deeper.

DOWNSIDE – Its pretty small I’m sure it sees some overcrowded days in peak season.

HOW DO I GET THERE? – Download our Google Map by clicking the location name.

PIN ME FOR LATER

A GUIDE TO BERLIN’S BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY LAKES www.mywelltraveledfriend.com

The post A Guide to Berlin’s BEST family-friendly lakes appeared first on My Well Traveled Friend.

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