Children at the Christmas market
© WienTourismus/Peter Rigaud

Advent program for children

In the run-up to Christmas, a family visit to the Vienna Christmas World on Rathausplatz is a tradition. A tall arched gateway with candles forms the entrance, the trees are draped in fairytale lighting, and everyone can go skating through the park on a 3,000 m² ice rink. Children will be wide-eyed at the sight of the wares and treats offered by the more than 150 market booths. The Christmas World in the park is packed with attractions for the youngest visitors: reindeer train, sleigh ride, historic carousel and interactive stations. (November 15 – December 26)

At the Old Viennese Christmas Market on Freyung, the grown-ups marvel at the diverse handicrafts, while the little ones enjoy Kasperl, Strolchi and their amusing experiences to the fullest. Creative kids can prove their skill at making musical clay pipes. (November 16 – December 23)

The atmospheric Christmas Village in the Altes AKH also has lots to offer children: a nostalgic carousel, a children's railway, Giant Ferris Wheel, puppet show and magic show. (November 15 – December 23)

In the Christmas Village at Belvedere Palace, the very youngest can climb aboard the nostalgic children's carousel and go for a ride on the reindeer railway. (November 22 – December 26)

The Vienna Prater organizes a winter market on Riesenradplatz. The kids explore the Prater together with the adults – on adventure rides on board the winter train, at the puppet show and at the winter circus. There's action on the chair-o-plane and in the autodrome. A round on the Giant Ferris Wheel is unforgettable for everyone. (November 16, 2019 – January 6, 2020)

Schönbrunn Palace and Zoo

The Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace, with its romantic booths, is especially nice. Children can model marzipan figures, decorate gingerbread and play in the adventurous House of Stars. Shepherds on stilts are the market's mascots – they help to solve tricky puzzles in a participatory rally. (November 24 – December 26, New Year's Market until January 6, 2020)

The Schloss Schönbrunn Children's Museum ensures a diverse program for wide-eyed children at Christmas. A program highlight is the themed tour "Christmas in the Children's Museum" (November 23 – December 26). This is where the children learn how the imperial family celebrated Christmas. And from November 23 – December 24, it's "Christmastime is handicraft time" again: the palace ghost Poldi has come up with some great things for the children to make. They can paint, decorate and do much more besides. However, the Children's Museum is not only about beavering away making things but also about looking for Christmas gifts (November 23 – December 26). As they flew over the palace, the fully laden Christmas angels lost a few parcels. And the scatterbrained palace ghost Poldi needs help looking for them, so that all the gifts can be placed under the Christmas tree in time. On the glove puppet guided tour "Poldi and the Christmas goose Martina" (December 24), the palace ghost Poldi takes children (aged 4 years and up) on the search for his good friend, the Christmas goose Martina.

There are free guided tours of the zoo for children every Sunday in Advent at Schönbrunn Zoo. There is pre-Christmas puppet adventure for children aged 3 years and up on December 5. The original TV puppet Kasperl and his friend Sepperl present their popular performances in the zoo's ORANG.erie. Afterwards, St. Nicholas hands out small gifts to the children and sings an Advent song with them. The zoo also opens its doors for some lively cookie baking in the Tirolerhof on December 7 and 8. Apart from kneading dough, punching out shapes, and baking, nibbling on the finished products is naturally also part of the occasion. And on December 24, a visit to the penguins and maned seals shortens the wait for the Christkind. Anyone in need of some last-minute gifts can make a few in the ORANG.erie until 4.00 pm.

Shepherds' songs and Advent concerts

The popular children's songwriter Bernhard Fibich gives seven participatory Christmas concerts at the House of Music.

Another program highlight is the concert "When winter comes" with Mai Cocopelli on December 14 in the Stadtsaal for everyone aged 4 years and up. And Marko Simsa together with the Boogie Woogie Gang invites everyone aged 5 years and up to sing and dance along at the "Swinging Christmas" concert in the Stadtsaal on December 23. Unusual instruments are used at the Christmas concert of Schneck & Co. at Kabarett Niedermair, from the singing saw to angklungs. (December 23)

Musical, figure play, children's theater

The family musical "Scrooge" based on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol", takes audiences into a moving fairytale world: the stingy, old Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts in the night before Christmas (December 20-26, MuseumsQuartier Hall E). 

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" (December 3-23).

The fairytale theater Apfelbaum presents the story "The Holy Night" based on story by Selma Lagerlöf (December 21, 22 and 24, 2019)

At the MuTh, the Neues Wiener Krippenspiel tells the Christmas story in a new and contemporary way on December 18, 19, 21 and 23. Mary, Joseph, the Archangel Gabriel, Herod and baby Jesus interact with an actor and two musicians. And from December 10 to 14, the Vienna Boys' Choir puts on its fantastic Christmas rendezvous with "Good Shepherds 2019".

Overview: Advent program for families

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