“Destination: Bucharest” – Things to do on a family vacation
A family vacation means nice memories and unique experiences, especially for kids, and Bucharest can be a suitable destination. There are many exciting things to do in the Romanian Capital, regardless of age or passions, and the offer is quite varied when it comes to fun options for children: from the Zoo and the Botanical Garden to interesting museums or adventure parks.
For an educational experience, the museums are probably the best places to go. And the “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History, simply known as the Antipa Museum, should not be missing from the list. With an impressive collection of invertebrates and vertebrates (including skeletons of huge mammals), as well as collections of rocks of strange shapes and sizes and an entire area dedicated to world civilizations, this museum is visited by many families with children every day. And the reason is simple: the museum is interactive and fun and the kids don't get bored here. In addition, the Antipa Museum also organizes numerous activities and events for children throughout the year.
Another museum where the family's juniors can learn new things with pleasure and enthusiasm, this time about the Romanian village life, is the “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum. The open-air permanent exhibition showcases old households from different areas of Romania, some of them hundreds of years old, but also windmills or wooden churches that the children can explore. The museum also organizes workshops for children or other similar activities, usually at the end of the week.
Families with children interested in science and scientific experiments should not miss Casa Experimentelor (the House of Experiments). The kids can learn many interesting things about science in this place, in an interactive and entertaining way: they can touch, rotate or push some of the exhibits, they can do experiments and they can learn more from the exhibits’ descriptions or by asking questions. Visitors can try optical experiments, such as the magic mirror or the Kaleidoscope, but also acoustic or electricity-based experiments.
Museum of Senses is also a fun and educational option for kids. Open in a mall in the central-western part of the Capital, the museum challenges visitors to test their senses, including sight, hearing or smell. The tour starts with a room full of mirrors that seems endless and continues with many other interesting exhibits such as the Upside down room, the Nail bed or the Mirror that changes your appearance. Taking pictures is allowed inside, so all the experiences can be immortalized to be included later in the family album.
The other malls in Bucharest also have fun options for children. Here you can find many places for children of all ages, where the juniors can play freely. In addition, some shopping centers offer extra options such as mini-amusement parks, video games or even an indoor ice rink, open in any season. The list also includes cinemas where the kids can watch their favorite movies or places where the whole family can enjoy VR (virtual reality) experiences.
Orășelul Copiilor (Children’s Town) in Tineretului Park, in District 4, is also a place where the children will not get bored. Visitors can try many activities in this special place, from roller coasters, mini-trains, merry-go-rounds and electric cars to inflatable slides and even a panoramic wheel. In addition, the whole family can enjoy sweets such as cotton candy and lollipops of different shapes, colors and sizes, while on the hot days children and adults alike can cool off with a delicious ice cream. There are also a few restaurants spread through Children’s Town, and the day can end with a stroll through Tineretului Park, on foot, by bike or scooter.
On warmer days, families with children (and not only) should also add adventure parks to their list of things to do. Especially popular among thrill seekers, these parks have many options for kids too, which test their agility as well as their balance or concentration. In the north of the city, for example, Park Aventura Herăstrău includes four trails classified by age, starting with the age of 4. Outside the capital, you can try Edenland Park or Comana Adventure Park, where the whole family can enjoy the trails through the trees, the zip lines, the climbing walls, archery, horseback riding or even painting workshops.
Bucharest has options for nature enthusiasts as well, and the list includes popular locations such as the Zoo and the Botanical Garden. Located in the northern part of the city, the Bucharest Zoo is home to a large variety of animals, birds, reptiles and fish. The kids see lions and tigers here, but also other animals such as different species of monkeys, bears, deer, wolves or lynx. On the other hand, the Botanical Garden is the perfect place for plant and flower lovers, this special location hosting thousands of species of flowers, trees and shrubs from all over the world. In the decorative sector, for example, visitors can admire peonies, lilies, dahlias and carnations, while the Mediterranean sector includes over 100 species of plants of Mediterranean origin and the Rosarium sector turns into a sea of roses in the hot season.
Not far from Bucharest, Ferma Animalelor (the Animal Farm) awaits visitors who love animals. A farm-park with domestic animals designed especially for children, this place in Pantelimon (about 12 km from the center of the Capital) can be the perfect place for an entire weekend. At this farm, the juniors can become friends with ponies, goats, sheep, donkeys, chickens, ducks or even ostriches, and they can learn how to milk a cow, they can help groom the ponies, or they can feed the animals with hay, carrots or fresh grass.
In addition to being the most suitable means of transport to discover the city, Bucharest City Tour buses can also be a fun option for the whole family. The buses, which usually return to the streets in late May-early June, allow travelers to hop on and off the bus anywhere on the route. Passengers can take as many pictures as they want from the busses, while discovering new things and unique tourist destinations in the Romanian Capital.
Check in advance the schedule of museums, amusement parks or other destinations you want to visit; measures taken in the context of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) have led to the closure of museums (and other cultural institutions) during this period.
This material is part of a project under the program of promoting the touristic heritage "Destination: Bucharest", carried out by the Bucharest City Hall through the Public Monuments and Touristic Heritage Administration (AMPT).
Photos by Romania-Insider.com for AMPT