Expat Essentials

Summer in Vienna: Eight great outdoor activities you and your kids can do now

(Editor’s note: Terry Boyd also contributed to this post about summer in Vienna.)

When the weather warms up, Vienna truly comes to life. Residents peek out of their cozy, winter-warmed homes and test the air to see if it is truly warm outside. And when it is, they come out in droves.

It is one of my favorite things to see the city streets and sidewalks filled, once again, with cheerful sun-seekers.

With the warm weather comes many more outdoor activities to enjoy. There are a ton of activity options for the whole family.

Below are some great options for both you and your kids to experience together in Vienna:

Schönbrunn Palace and Zoo

Schönbrunn Palace and grounds provides a wealth of great opportunities for fun, education and adventure.

The zoo is a must see, rain or shine! It is the oldest zoo in the world and is truly magnificent.

Right outside the zoo gates lie the Schönbrunn Palace grounds. There you can explore the Labyrinth, the Labrynthikon playground, take a train ride around the grounds (highly recommend!), the Desert House and the Palmenhaus (greenhouse).

You can also visit the Schönbrunn Children’s Museum, which is a lot of fun.

It is possible to buy a combined ticket for the zoo, maze and museum – 28 euros for adults and 16 euros for kids. However kids from ages 3-to- 5 only need a ticket to the museum.

Find the ticket sales here.

Prater Amusement Park

The Prater Amusement Park is a must see while in Vienna. You can spend an hour or a day there enjoying the attractions and cafes.

While visiting make sure you ride the Riesenrad, Vienna’s giant ferris wheel. It was constructed in 1897 and provides 200 foot views over the city. It’s easy to handle with little kids because the cars are completely enclosed and you can stand or sit in them.

There is also a beautiful park with multiple playgrounds just outside of the amusement park.

Entry to Prater is free and you pay per ride throughout the park.


Carriage rides through Vienna

If you live in or have visited Vienna you’ve doubtless seen many horse-drawn carriages, or fiakers, around the city. They are a cornerstone of Viennese culture! And they make a perfect outing for families.

You can take a fiaker tour through the old city for either 20 minutes or 40 minutes. If you have squirmy kids then maybe the 20 minute ride is best. We have two little kids, four and two, and they actually enjoy the longer ride. You can book directly through a fiaker company or you can pick up a fiaker at Stephansplatz, Michaelerplatz, Albertinaplatz, Petersplatz and Burgtheater/Volksgarten.

You can also take a fiaker tour through the Central Cemetery and Schönbrunn palace.

Keep in mind the carriages typically only accommodate four riders. We have fit six riders in one carriage, but our children sat on our laps.

Treetop ropes course on Danube Island

If you have adventurous kids you have to take them to Leisure Park Gänselhäuflbad on Danube Island. In addition to a treetop ropes course this park has crate climbing, a pumptrack (a type of bicycle course), skimboarding, body sliding (think the slip-n-slide of your childhood dreams) and Vienna’s first outdoor escape course.

This park would be great for kids ages six and up. The younger ages require an adult to help them but kids eight and up can go on multiple courses on their own.

Prices range from 14 euros to 26 euros depending on the participant’s ages.

Rathaus Summer Film Festival

The Rathaus summer film festival only runs from about July through August but it is worth fitting into your schedule. Each Friday features a free family-friendly performance at the Rathauspark at 5 pm. A free kid’s activities and sports program is also offered every Friday from 2 pm. Two of this year’s performance offerings were “Fantasia” and “The Magic Flute.”

One of the main draws of the festival is the amazing food options. The Rathaus grounds are filled with delicious food vendors from all over the city. Many people visit the festival just to eat the food.

You can also find a great kid’s playground at the Rathaus if you have squirmy kids during the performance.

Hohe und Wiese Toboggan Run

Our family recently took a day trip to a toboggan run and our daughter had a blast (our son is still too young to participate). Toboggan runs are like mountainside roller coasters and they are lots of fun. The Hohe und Wiese toboggan run is within Vienna city limits and reachable by public transit. There is also a small restaurant on site for when those hunger pangs kick in after a long day of fun.

Hohe und Wiese is only open from May through September, with limited hours in September. One ride down the mountain is 4.50 euros for adults and 3.50 euros for kids but you can also purchase multiple rides at once.

Pools and Beaches

You just can’t fail with a good family day at one of the city’s public pools or one of the many beaches in the city.

The Strandbad Alte Donau is a popular kid-friendly beach which features a sandy beach and a pool especially for kids. It is open for swimming from mid-May through September. There is also a restaurant, boating, beach volleyball and many other family friendly features.

A family ticket is 7 euros for one adult and one child.

There are so many wonderful public pools throughout the city. No doubt there is one in your district that is great. We love Hugo Wolf Familienbad (family pool) because it is a smaller, shallow pool just for families. Click here for a full list of family pools. 

But we also love the Schafbergbad because it offers multiple pools of different depths so every member of the family can enjoy their experience. It also has a playground, a buffet restaurant and a smaller walk-up eatery.

This year the public pool season runs until September 15.

Surfing and wakeboards

Though Austria is a landlocked country, you can still hone your surfing skills in Vienna with some manmade waves.

Vienna’s newest facility is Multiplex CityWave, which has an English website. The 10,000-square-foot facility is in Shopping Center Süd, the retail development on the southern edge of Vienna, and the biggest mall in the city.

Sessions start at 29 euros.

See our full post here.

There’s also a wakeboard circuit in the Danube itself. You read the details here.

About the author:

Lauren Bordeaux is a freelance writer and Instagram micro-blogger.

You can find her on Instagram at @minivan_memoirs where she posts about expat life, family travel and worldschooling. 

She and her family are from the United States and and are currently loving expat life in Vienna, Austria.

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