Advent program for children
In the run-up to Christmas, a family visit to the Vienna Christmas World at the Christmas Market is a tradition. There are lots of new things this year: A tall arched gateway with candles forms the entrance to City Hall Square, the trees are given a new lighting design and everyone, young and old, can go curling or glide through the park on skates on a 4,000 m² ice rink. Children will be wide-eyed at the sight of the wares and treats offered by the 150 or so market booths. Wondrous installations in the park focus on Christmas stories for children. A historical carousel gets hearts beating faster. In the Volkshalle at City Hall, the little ones can decorate gingerbread cookies, do crafts and write wish lists to the Christkind. (11 November to 26 December).
The atmospheric Christmas Village at the Altes AKH also has lots to offer children: the original Prater Kasperl (similar to Punch and Judy) visits the Altes AKH every Sunday. A ride on the historic Giant Ferris Wheel, the children's carousel or the children's train fascinates many small visitors. On Saturdays, the magician Helmut teaches the young sorcerer's apprentices tricks (12 November to 23 December).
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 (18 November to 23 December).
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, on pony rides or on a tour with the mechanical riding animals: zebra, lion and unicorn. There's action on the chair-o-plane and in the autodrome. A round on the Giant Ferris Wheel is an unforgettable experience for everyone. The CliniClowns come to visit on Sunday afternoons in Advent. (19 November 2016 to 8 January 2017).
Schönbrunn Palace and Zoo
The Cultural and 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 in the search for the lost lamb at the children's rally "Shepherds' Christmas" (19 November – 26 December, New Year's Market until 1 January).
At the Children's Museum Schloss Schönbrunn Experience, where palace ghost Poldi resides, Poldi's Christmas Workshop (19 – 24 December) and special guided Christmas tours for children (Sa, Su, hols.) are on the program. St. Nicholas gives presents to all the children on "his" day (6 December). On 24 December, Poldi tells a Christmas story on a guided puppet tour.
And at the Marionette Theater at Schönbrunn Palace, there's a special program including "The Children's Magic Flute" and "Hansel and Gretel".
At Schönbrunn Zoo, visitors can make small Christmas gifts in the elephant park under expert instruction and bake Christmas animal-shaped cookies at the Tyrolean farm (3 to 4 December). There are free guided tours of the zoo for children every Sunday in Advent.
Shepherds' songs and musical
The Vienna Boys' Choir gets in the mood for Christmas with its program Good Shepherds in their concert hall, the MuTh (7, 8, 9, 10, 22 December). Young and old dive into a moving fairytale world at the interactive family musical Scrooge - A Christmas Tale (based on the story by Charles Dickens) (MuseumsQuartier, 8 to 11 December).
You can find even more for families to do during Advent in our event database.