Thursday, 26 April 2012

Playground at Schliemannstrasse

We spotted this fairly big playground on Schliemannstrasse in Prenzlauer Berg today and thought that it was worth a mention. We subsequently returned and I have updated this post.

There is a lovely shaded seating area which gives a good view of the playground so you can watch your children in comfort.

I was excited to discover a community garden (a lot like an allotment) at the back of the space.

There is this great climbing structure for older children.

The community gardeners have planted a fledgling orchard. What really pleased me was how much respect has been given to the growing spaces. I love this place and it offers so much more than the first glance from the street suggests.

Address: Schliemannstrasse, 10437 Berlin

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Another Playground in Schloßpark, Pankow

We recently discovered another playground, a bit smaller than the other one, in Schloßpark. It is nonetheless well equipped and keeps my son busy for at least an hour.

This Click Clack maze is great fun.

Address: am Schlosspark, 13187 Berlin

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Casa Italia Restaurant, Unter den Linden

I only review restaurants that we have consistently good experiences with. Casa Italia on Unter den Linden has been our go-to place for lunch or dinner with our son when in the centre of the city since we moved here. The children's menu is limited to one pasta dish and one pizza but we have asked for smaller portions of other pasta dishes and they have obliged (although I am not sure if this is a usual thing and we had been there a number of time before I asked).

The food is tasty particularly the pizzas and homemade pasta. The ice cream sundaes are massive and lovely; well worth the price. On a hot day you can get cheaper ice creams from the ice cream counter outside.

We have always found the staff charming and very child friendly.

Address: Unter den Linden 39, 10117 Berlin

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Monday, 23 April 2012

Schonhauser Apartments

We recently had friends with their two children (17 months and 4 years old) come and visit us in Berlin. They chose to stay in the child friendly area of Prenzlauer Berg at the Schonhauser Apartments. There is a selection of sizes of the apartments available in the hotel and they chose the one bedroom one. The apartments all look out over a quiet central courtyard and have small balconies. It is very centrally based yet peaceful after a busy day sightseeing.

The apartments are spacious, clean and well equipped and the staff in the reception area are helpful. It is important to note that the entrance to the apartments is around the corner from the reception in a quiet side road. The hotel provided the cot bed but we provided the high chair. I am not sure if the hotel offers them but worth asking when booking.

There are a number of supermarkets close to the hotel and our friends particularly enjoyed take out food from Rolls and Wraps across the road from the hotel on Schonhauser Alle. It is easy to travel into the city on the U2 U bahn line from Senefelderplatz or Rosa Luxembourg Platz stations and there are a number of great playgrounds within walking distance.

Address: Schönhauser Allee 185, 10119 Berlin

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Saturday, 21 April 2012

Fleamarkets this Sunday in Prenzlauer Berg

Fleamarkets are a great way to pick up great finds at great prices and have a nice day in the process.

This Sunday and (once every month) the kids' flea market is taking place at Helmholtzplatz. It will be our first time there and I am looking forward to seeing what the Prenzlauer Berg families have to sell.

Every Sunday there is, of course, the famous flea market at Mauerpark and a smaller one at Arkonplatz. I have heard the Mauerpark one can get busy so strollers may be worth leaving at home but it is an experience!

Word is that locals get there early for the best bargains!

Web links
Arkonplatz Flohmarkt - starts at 10am
Mauerpark Flohmarkt - starts at 9am
Helmholzplatz Flohmarkt - starts at 10am

Friday, 20 April 2012

Mundo Azul International Bookshop + list of bilingual Kita

Mundo Azul is an international bookshop on Choriner Strasse in Prenzlauer Berg. The shop offers a selection of books in English, French, Spanish and Italian and some toys and sticker sets. It has a lovely atmosphere and the staff are very helpful. They also offer regular events, concerts, workshops and courses in English for different age groups.

Their website also has a list of all bilingual Kindergartens and schools in Berlin - an invaluable resource.

Address: Choriner Strasse 49, 10435 Berlin

Website Link
Link to list of kindergartens and schools

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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Berlin Family Pass

The Berlin Family Pass offers discounts and in come cases free entry to over 260 cultural, educational, sports and leisure facilities in the city to families with children under 18 years of age for a calendar year. The Pass only costs 6€. You can purchase the pass via their website here. The website is in German but Google Translate or Google Chrome can help you out with this.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Fernsehturm (TV Tower)

The TV Tower at Alexander Platz is a great way to see the city from a whole new perspective as you can see (on a clear day) right to the edge of the city. The main sites are spread out below you and can be seen very clearly.

I would recommend this as great way to spend a morning with children but it is advisable to get there early especially during tourist periods. The lift to the viewing level takes less than a minute so unless there are big queues to get down it is very easy to leave once you or your children have seen enough.

The interior of the tower is very 1960s and reminds me of Austin Powers or James Bond!

I am not sure there are changing facilities for babies, there are certainly not at the viewing level but the tower is very close to Galeria Kaufhof department store where there are.

For opening hours and current prices see the website.

Address: Alex Berlin, Panoramastr. 1, 10178 Berlin

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Monday, 16 April 2012

Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is the powerful symbol of Berlin and is a must for sightseeing. It is easy to access as the S bahn station entrance and exit is right by the gate with lifts to ground level.

The area in front of the Gate is a mecca for street performers and characters that (for a small charge of around 2€) you can pose for photos with from Darth Vader, Berlin Bears and soldiers to name a few. At times there is a woman making huge soap bubbles which always attracts children's attention.

There are lots of gifts shops. cafes and restaurants nearby on Unter den Linden and Tiergarten and the Reichstag are a few minutes walk away.

Address: Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin

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Friday, 13 April 2012

Pankow Guide

This leaflet can be picked up virtually anywhere in Pankow and is regularly updated. It is an extensive list of everything to see and do in Pankow including shops, cafes, cultural, sporting and outdoor places. The leaflet and website is in both English and German.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Kiezkind Kindercafe, Helmholtzplatz

Kiezkind Kindercafe on Helmholtzplatz is definitely unique. It is a bohemian kind of place with an indoor sandpit, which children go crazy for despite the fact that most of the toys there have seen better days.  We love it here!

The food menu is good and there are lots of little nooks and crannies beyond the sandpit including a little reading corner. There are tables and chairs outside for when the weather is good and a selection of trikes, bobby cars, rocking and bouncing animals.

The cafe also offers free Wifi. The toilets are clean and have a changing table. There is no charge to play here but they ask for a contribution of 20c for using the toilet.

We are regular visitors here and these are some new sunnier pictures showing the great outdoor space.

The cafe is close to the playground at Helmholtzplatz.

Address: Auf dem Helmholtzplatz 1, 10437 Berlin

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Friday, 6 April 2012

Mr Barnaby's Baby Babble meetup group

Just a quick recommendation for a place to meet other expat parents is the meet up group, Mr Barnaby's Baby Babble. Click here for more information

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Siebenstern secondhand shop

There are a number of secondhand shops selling children's clothes and toys in Berlin. It seems most are run as businesses rather than charities and the offerings differ vastly in quality and price. I really like Siebenstern in Pankow. The selection is good quality and also fairly priced. Its is well worth a visit, especially as it is only a few doors down from Schonhausen Kindcafe.

Address: Florastrasse 26, 13187 Berlin
Opening hours here

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