Children's Day? Only in Gdansk
The largest 1st June fête, a wide range of attractions prepared specifically for children, the seaside atmosphere, and of course – fun on the beach. Adventure ahoy! Children ahoy! Gdansk is waiting for you!
We suggest you start your trip in the city centre. This is where you get off the train at the central railway station, with the journey from Warsaw lasting just 180 minutes, from Olsztyn – 140 minutes and from Bydgoszcz – 90 minutes.
Once you arrive, you can take a short walk to Hewelianum, a modern science centre situated on the Gora Gradowa mountain (about 50 m AMSL), from which you can admire the breathtaking panorama of the shipyard and the monuments of the Old Town.
Learning through fun
As the mountain top is close to the sky, you might want to start with a space journey. On the 1st and 2nd June, Centrum Hewelianum celebrates Children's Day with interactive screenings of the film Male ABC (Little ABC), aimed at the youngest visitors (pre-school children and first-second form primary school students). It lasts about 45 minutes, and tickets are PLN 5. Prior booking is required – please call 58 742 33 52.
For those visiting Hewelianum on their own, you may want to see the permanent exhibition, which is equally exciting. Children who love travelling can set off on the Around the World expedition. It begins with exploring the interior of the Earth and volcanoes, and then takes you to Asia, where you can form the Himalayas and eat with chopsticks. Sounds interesting? And that’s just the beginning. Other attractions include a desert storm, a visit to the South Pole, a meeting with an anaconda, a geyser eruption and observation of the magnificent aurora borealis. The Around the World exposition is situated in the Koszary Schronowe (Barracks) building, at the main yard of the fort – the parade ground.
In Bateria Mozdzierzy (Mortar Battery), considered to be one of the most exciting places on Gora Gradowa Mountain, you can enjoy The Time Machine – Fun with History, with a wide range of attractions for military equipment enthusiasts. Curiously enough, the interactive stations are operated with... gestures. The Time Machine – Bullet and Man exhibition offers a similar atmosphere.
Younger children (up to the age of 9) are sure to enjoy Mr. Kleks's Lab and the In the Jungle of Imagination creative playground. It is the perfect place for everyone to feel like a child again. You can, for instance, build various structures from soft building blocks.
Maritime monuments of the Main City
Having visited Hewelianum, you can take a walk towards the Main City. The distance is short enough to be done on foot. You can take a stroll down the famous streets of the town. Going down Szeroka Street, you will reach the former crane known as Zuraw, one of Gdansk's most recognisable monuments, and very popular with children. The tour takes less than an hour, and stomping around on the wooden port crane is bound to be an unforgettable experience - especially since the top level (about 27 meters high) offers a magnificent view of the Motlawa River, Wyspa Spichrzow island, Olowianka island, and the marina with yachts.
And don’t forget to visit Soldek. The historical steamship moored at Olowianka is one of Gdansk's greatest attractions. Located nearby is yet another place loved by children – Osrodek Kultury Morskiej (Maritime Culture Centre). This is where they can handle an actual steering wheel, dress as sailors and feel like the captain of a ship, or enjoy ship races by steering model boats.
To immerse in the maritime atmosphere of the city even more, you can take a trip to the Westerplatte peninsula on the ship Zegluga Gdanska, combined with a tour of the harbour. The trips start on the hours (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and their duration is suitable for children – they last approximately 50 minutes. You can find the ticket offices at the Zielona Brama gate (phone: 58 301 49 26).
Fête in the stadium
An absolute must, and the highlight of Children's Day, is the “Gdansk for Children” Family Fête. It takes place on 3rd June in the Energa Gdansk stadium, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are going to be over 100 attractions (!) so everyone is bound to find something to their liking. The attractions will include sports shows, workshops for little scientists, art activities, performances by Gdansk's youngest citizens, as well as the tremendously popular bouncy castles. Events take part with the participation of fire fighters, the police, commandos, and paramedics. Gdanskie Autobusy i Tramwaje, the public transport company, will present its vehicles, including a number of historical ones.
Children will also have the opportunity to enjoy the Path of Adventure city game. By performing particular tasks, they will collect stamps, and win a prize once they have all of them.
And since the Fête will be held in the Energa Gdansk stadium, visitors will be able to tour the facility. The yellow stand will be made available to children.
Visitors may also have something to eat at the wide range of barbecue stands and food trucks.
Trip to a mysterious forest
Moving towards Sopot and Gdynia, you can visit Loopy’s World – the largest entertainment centre in the region, where Children's Day will be celebrated for four days - from 1st to 4th June. Aside from tremendous fun, this huge playground offers expeditions to a truly magical forest. They include an encounter with an enchanted cow and a dwarf living in a forest meadow, a visit to the house of a real giant, and a climb up the tower where an evil witch has imprisoned Rapunzel.
Children can enjoy all the attractions prepared for their great day within the ticket price. Admission for parents and guardians, as well as children below the age of 1 and above the age of 13 is, as always, free.
A little winter in the middle of the summer
For Children's Day, a special attraction has been prepared for winter sports enthusiasts. In SkiMondo (also at Grunwaldzka Avenue in Gdansk, just 1 km from Loopy’s World), from 1st to 3rd June, children up to the age of 13 may join a skiing practice session at a special price (PLN 40). However, if you do not want to be disappointed make a booking first (phone 58 3550550).
Poland's largest zoo
Children are bound to enjoy the Oliwa zoo, which is the largest animal park in Poland. It is 4 km from SkiMondo but you can reach it easily by taking the city train to Oliwa station, and then taking a bus (no. 179 or 622) directly to the zoo.
Make sure you have at least 2-3 hours to spare because the site covers an area of 125 hectares. But don't worry – we have good news for parents. At the entrance to the zoo, you can rent wooden carts for children for next to nothing (PLN 10). They are intended for visitors up to the age of 7, with one cart being big enough for two smaller children. Parents who want sightseeing to be even more comfortable can use the Retro Rail (additional payment, three routes to choose from).
While visiting the zoo, you can also try the adventure park or take children for a pony ride. Don't worry if you get hungry – the park has three food establishments. You can also have a picnic on the grass or in one of the arbours.
Medieval garden in the heart of Sopot
Remember to make sure that your trip itinerary includes Grodzisko 63 Haffnera Street – the oldest historical site in Sopot, now a branch of the Archaeological Museum in Gdansk. It is an enchanting outdoor museum situated among rich vegetation and murmuring streams.
The celebrations of Children's Day begin at noon and last until 4 p.m. During that time, visitors will be able to learn how to make pottery from clay, throw a javelin and shoot a bow like the brave princess Merida. You can enjoy tug of war in pairs and have the opportunity to put on the amour of true warriors. After these attractions, you can relax by doing jigsaw puzzles and playing board games (including some of the older ones that you may remember from your childhood) with your children. And if you get hungry, you can cook sausages over the fire – so remember to pick some up before your visit. Admission is free.
The beach – a must-go
Since you will be spending Children's Day in Gdansk, you must pay a visit to the beach. Families with children tend to choose the beaches in Stogi, Brzezno and Jelitkowo.
And if you get bored playing in the sand, you can visit the large modern outdoor play ground Kraina Zabawy situated in Reagan Park (Dabrowszczakow street) or go to the Port Brzezno Family Entertainment Park. The latter is very close to Brzezno pier (a 3-minute walk) and we can guarantee that children won't be the only ones to enjoy it. There is also plenty of shade here where parents can choose to relax with a cup of coffee.
So how do you like Gdansk's idea for Children's Day? Just pack your bags and get on the train. We're waiting for you! Make sure to book the whole weekend because, as you can see, there is a lot to do!