Advent program for children
In the run-up to Christmas, a family visit to the Viennese Christmas Market at City Hall Square is a tradition. Children will be wide-eyed at the sight of the wares and treats offered by the 100 or so market booths. Not far from the almost 12 meter-high hand-painted carousel is a market booth for the very youngest, where children's punch or drinking chocolate is served in smaller cups.
An interactive program playfully shortens the wait for the big day for children between 3 and 12 years: In the children's chalet away from the market booths, the youngest guests can create tree decorations, decorate candles, write letters to the Christkind, compose Christmas songs, and build gingerbread houses daily from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm with supervision. On the weekends, the chalet is open from 11.00 am; a magician, Saint Nicholas and the Christkind have announced their attendance. In the neighboring indoor coffee house, the adults can take a break.
City Hall Park is full of attractions – from the reindeer train and ferris wheel to the outsize XL scratch-card Advent calendar, to the Tree of Hearts, mistletoe pavilion, and nativity trail. On the children's ice rink, children can have their first experiences on the ice free of charge (on-site rental of skating aids and skating boots). Adult ice skaters make their rounds at the Vienna Ice World at the Christmas Market until January 8, 2023, on romantic trails that lead right through City Hall Park (huge ice rink: 3,000 m²). (Viennese Christmas Market: November 19 – December 26, 2022)
Other Advent markets with attractions for children
A visit to an Advent market is sure to enchant families – here is a selection of where you can find special attractions for children:
Art Advent on Karlsplatz presents handicrafts and demonstration workshops, and the children can also look forward to an extensive daily offering: the straw landscape, the Draisinen Express, the lost property carousel, barrel organ music from Werkelmann, supervised creative handicrafts in the Star Workshop in the big yurt at the pond area (3.00 pm - 7.00 pm) and storytellers in the Sky Tent (3.00 pm). (November 18 – December 23, 2022)
The Prater organizes a winter market on Riesenradplatz. The kids explore the Prater together with the adults – such as on adventure rides on board the winter train, high-flying rides on the chair-o-plane, and at the autodrome. A round on the Giant Ferris Wheel is unforgettable for everyone. Music appeals to everyone: Every Wednesday to Sunday, mostly local artists give live concerts ranging from gospel to pop. Open until January 8!
At the Advent Market in the Remise Transport Museum, a children's program, the vintage tram, curling lanes, and choral music in the historic ambience of the tramway museum of the Wiener Linien shorten the wait for the Christkind. (December 2-18, 2022)
In the Christmas Village on the University Campus in the Altes AKH, Wolfgang, the magician in the red tailcoat, spreads his magic. The Schillerdrops Kasperl theater also provides entertainment. And the Nalela baking parlor as well as rides like the children's carousel and children's railway are attractions for the youngest generation. (November 11 – December 23, 2022)
At the Advent market around Liechtenstein Garden Palace, there's a huge playground and a historic carousel with little horses. (November 18 – December 23, 2022)
Christmas in and around Schönbrunn Palace
At the Christmas Market & New Year's Market Schloss Schönbrunn there's something for young guests to discover: the adventure starry cottage, the Christmas hidden object image, and giant versions of the games Connect Four and Memory. Shepherds on stilts help the children solve tricky puzzles in the join-in rally. St. Nicholas drops by on December 5 and 6. And creatives have a great time in the sugar-sweet Christmas workshop. (November 19, 2022 - January 4, 2023)
Next door in the Schloss Schönbrunn Children's Museum, palace ghost Poldi has come up with a few activities: the themed tour "Christmas Stories from Schönbrunn", the winter puzzle rally, the "Packerlsuche" hunting game, and Poldi's craft workshop. St. Nicholas drops by on December 6, and on December 24 there's a special program with puzzle rally and glove puppet tour. On this tour, Poldi recounts how Maria Theresa celebrated Christmas and the fabulous task he had on the imperial family's sleigh rides.
At the Lilarum, Vienna's biggest children's theater, Christmas character theater fascinates the very youngest from 3 years of age with the story Christmas in the Winter Forest. Famous theater people lend the hare and the other characters their voices, such as Götz Kauffmann and Andy Hallwaxx. (November 26 - December 24, 2022)
The fairytale theater Apfelbaum presents the story The Holy Night based on a story by Selma Lagerlöf. (December 17, 18, 23, 24, 2022)
Nativity play, shepherds' songs, children's opera
The New Vienna Nativity Play 2022 recounts the Christmas story here in a very modern style, as a multimedia theater experience for the whole family. Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and baby Jesus interact with an actor and two musicians. (December 11 & 22, 2022)
Opera specially for families: at the Peterskirche (Church of St. Peter), downstairs in the bright, comfortably heated crypt. The Christmas Witch flies to the music of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. In the Italian Christmas story, Befana the witch arrives too late for the birth of baby Jesus. She comes across the Three Wise Men, who are just setting off on their journey home. (December 24, 26, 2022, and January 6, 2023)
Advent concerts, theater, musicals
Family highlights at the Stadtsaal are the concert Wenn es Winter wird (When winter comes) with Mai Cocopelli (December 3, 2022) and an afternoon with Marko Simsa. He and the Kokosbusserl Band invite everyone to rummage deep in the treasure chest of Christmas songs (December 18, 2022).
There – at Kabarett Niedermair – even more is on: A pre-Christmas theater experience full of surprises for the whole family and packed with songs is delivered by Schneck & Co.: Herr Holle hört Weihnachten (Mr. Holle hears Christmas) (December 8 & 22, 2022). And the WiKiMu – Wiener Kinder Musical puts on Weihnachtshasi und Ostermann (Christmas Hare and Easter Man) for everyone from four years of age (December 18, 2022). Unusual instruments are used in the Christmas concert of Schneck & Co: From the singing saw to angklungs (December 23, 2022).
Theater Heuschreck performs a cheerful Christmas musical for young (from 3 years) and old to the stage at the Porgy & Bess: Von Engerln und Bengerln (Of Angels and Rascals) tells of a curious dormouse family that breaks its long hibernation for the big Christmas concert. (December 4, 10, 11, 17, 2022)
Program changes possible – please check the applicable Covid measures and the website of the respective organizer.