Finding family activities in winter in Berlin can be daunting for some. It can get very cold, it will snow, your heaters will be turned on high and the thermal tights and kids snowsuits get dusted off once more. But if you look a little deeper you’ll see that Berlin in winter can be just as vibrant as it is in the other seasons of the year. So, if you want to find some family activities in winter in Berlin, read on!
Berlin’s famous Christmas markets
For the month of December, Berlin’s Christmas markets would have to be at the top of anyone’s to-do list. There are many, and they vary in size, location and theme, however, it’s a sure thing to say that you’ll find hot wine and good market food at them all, plus an array of Christmas gifts, games or rides, music and treats at them all. Here at the top three on our list, great for families in Berlin and travelling couples and friends.
Photo with courtesy of berlin.de
The Charlottenburg Christmas markets would have to be one of the best markets for families in Berlin. With the stunning Charlottenburg Palace as a backdrop, 250 market stalls are lined up in the palace’s front square, including a whole indoor marquee section of handmade goods and a very clean and friendly toilet and baby change cubicle. Not only that, there is a section dedicated to bringing joy to young children and the kid inside all the adults: the carnival rides here are something out of another era. Rickey, wooden and some look as if they have seen better days, but the simplicity of these rides is what makes them perfect for little kids (no monster rides here). Buy your pack of tokens and check them all out. The kids love it, especially at night as it shines with a Christmas glow of fairy lights and tinsel, and it’s especially lovely when it’s snowing.
Runs until Dec 26, admission is free
Wintertraum at Alexa
Alexa Christmas markets are known in Berlin as the party markets. Mainly because of the carnival atmosphere amongst the rides, games, cotton candy and prizes. Ghost train, roller coasters, rocking pirate ships, and a huge Ferris Wheel (this is where you’ll find your monster rides), this market has been going since 1973!
Daytimes its very family orientated and in the evening Berlin teenagers like to go have some fun. So if your kids are a bit older and are looking for a circus atmosphere with a Christmas spirit, head to these markets behind the Alexa shopping center in Mitte. The lights are so bright here, you’ll see them a few train stops away.
Runs until Dec 23, admission is free
Lucia Christmas Markets at Kulturbrauerei
Kulturbrauerei Christmas markets have a bit of a different feel about them. Within the outdoor ground of this 19th century beer factory, These markets are Scandinavian themed, which means you’ll find some great hot brews, hand-made crafts and a yurt (traditional tent) or two, some Nordic delicacies, (swap a bratwurst for an elk sausage) and an entertainment program for young and old. It can get pretty crowded here so go in the day if you feel you need room, Santa comes between 5 and 6 pm to hand out some treats to the little ones still out and about. Or head there in the evening for a more party atmosphere, where you can warm yourself by the log fires with a mulled wine in hand.
Runs until Dec 23, admission is free.
Taking a step indoors for a change, let’s talk about things to do in winter in Berlin, (family activities in winter) that are inside! Sometimes the cold is just too much and staying at home can turn into a bit of cabin fever in even the most patient and resilient of people. So why not head out to some exciting indoor activities the whole family can enjoy?
Lunchtime concerts at Philharmonie
Between September and June each year, the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra (and friends) gives weekly free lunchtime concerts for the general public. You can take the family to enjoy a 45-minute concert of Berlin’s best chamber music in the foyer of the building. There is some seating available but it is mostly standing room, or even sitting on the staircase if its full, but that only adds to the charm of the fact that the Philharmonie opens its doors every Tuesday in the week and gives a free live concert! Perfect for winter, or even just to take a break from the rush of the day and enjoy a moment or two of gorgeous classical music. There is also some food available to buy if you want to make a bit more of a lunchtime event out of the experience, but even if you are just there for the music, it’s a great experience, for an audience of any age.
English film screenings
A perfect activity for winter for any age in Berlin is heading out to grab a popcorn and a drink and settle into the comfy cinema chairs at the movies. Germany is famous for their booming voice-over industry; they will overdub nearly all movies that show in cinemas into the German language. So don’t be surprised if you head to the cinema and it’s all Deutsch. You need to look for the cinemas that show films in their original language. There are quite a few around so it’s not too hard to find. If the title of the film has the abbreviation OmU under it, it means Original With Subtitles (original mit Untertiteln) where German subtitles will be shown, or if you find one that says OF, this means the original language (Original Fassung), without subtitles.
For an updated list of what cinemas and screenings are screening films in their original English language head to the Angloinfo English Cinema page which is updated Thursdays of every week.
Get your blood pumping and have a little fun out of the snow by heading to MY JUMP for an afternoon. My JUMP is a fabulous trampoline activity center in Markisches Viertel. It is a little ways out of the center of Berlin, but worth the trip because from traveling, jumping, having a break, and traveling again, you can make a whole day out of it. This is a really great fun for the entire family no matter what the age. Saturdays and Sundays they are open from 10 am till late, but in the week only from 3 pm till late. Kids under 7 years old need to be accompanied by an adult and you’ll need socks with rubber spots, or stoppers on them, but you can get them at the receptions if you need to buy a pair. Hourly rate is €13 per person and in 2018, the My Jump Berlin Mitte center will open!
Contributed by Charmaine from www.myguideberlin.com