With a week to spend in what can only be described as a family hot spot, we never even had time to use our hotel pool. It was incredible how much there was to do.
But our favourite things to do in this rich and vibrant city were:
1. Hands On History @ Porta Poznania (Brama Poznania Ichot)
Brand new on the scene in Poznan is this history museum. It features a walk through the fascinating antiquity of Poznan in a stimulating and intriguing way.
Located on Cathedral Island, this museum makes learning so much fun for kids, they won’t realize how educational it is too. Each room is carefully designed for adults and kids alike to interact and learn. There’s a chill-out zone on the roof with chairs, which is a perfect spot to catch your breath.
The museum also has additional activities available like headsets for hire so visitors can discover the city with interactive guides and games, perfect for families. Everything about this museum has been really well planned and designed.
Considering it has only been open 2 months (at the time of publishing), there may not be a lot of info on the web. But we gave it our big thumbs up.
2. Butting Goats @ Old Market Square
Every day at noon, people crowd around Poznan Town Hall (Ratusz) in Old Market Square, waiting for the two billy goats on the clock tower to march out and ceremoniously clunk their heads together.
Much like Prague’s astronomical clock tower, it’s a very touristy thing to do which is not overly exciting, but the atmospheric crowd which oohhh and ahhh certainly add a sense of delight to the whole event.
3. Croissant Demo @ Rogal’s Museum (Rogalowe Muzeum Poznania)
The kids were very excited to be making croissants and so there was a little bit of disappointment when we found the class was more of a demonstration than cooking class. Perhaps if we had prepared them differently they would have been a little more excited.
Not really a museum, but more of a cooking demonstration, this class will show you how the famous St Martin Rogal is made, a pastry very similar to the croissant, but with almond and poppy seed filling and sugar glazing.
The building is one of the oldest in Old Market Square and commands an unparalleled view of the Butting Goats if you can get into a midday class.
Kids get to dress up in an adorable apron and chef hat, and may get the opportunity to help for a few moments during the preparation.
4. Riding The Rails @ Maltanka Park Railway
After a morning walking around the expansive grounds of the New Zoo, we decided to hitch a ride on the railway. There is a stop directly at the zoo and it carries passengers to the western end of Lake Malta.
5. Tigers and Giraffes @ New Zoo (Ogród Zoologiczny)
There are 2 zoos in Poznan, an older 100-year-old facility, and a more recent 40-year-old one that we visited.
The expansive grounds covering 116.33 ha holds a broad array of creatures from seals to giraffes to tigers and elephants. The enclosures are some of the largest we’ve seen at any zoo around the world, which gives the animals plenty of space to roam. That also makes for a very long walk (allow at least 3-4 hours if walking around). So to make this easier, the entry ticket price includes free use of the tram which transports visitors all around the zoo. These run about every 15 minutes.
A mini ropes obstacle course is located on the property which the kids can play on for a small extra fee.
And near the entrance a child-friendly petting zoo allows kids to get up close to animals like ponies, goats, chickens and more.
6. Indoor Waterpark @ Termy Maltanskie
This place was a huge surprise. Inside is a plethora of slides and pools all heated to a pleasantly warm temperature. Even the hall is like a sauna. Outdoors are even more slides and pools, also all heated.
A musical interlude plays regularly announcing a change in features – a new slide open, water fountains turning on, a wave pool starting. Ever changing and lots of fun.
A café is on the premises for the munchies, there is also a spa and sauna.
The strangest thing about this thermal waterpark is the entrance. We thought for sure we had it wrong, but no, you do need to wander through the naked bodies showering in the men’s or women’s bathroom before entering the swimming pool area. Perhaps it is to encourage people to be clean in the communal areas, but it was a little confronting for the children and the husband.
Our unanimous decision had the green slide as the best ride of the day with it’s flashing lights, whirring sirens and break-neck speed. A really fun day out!
7. Making Lollypops @ BonBon Café
Unlike the Rogal’s Museum, in this workshop you can actually tell the kids they are making something. We surprised our kids with this class and they were delighted. Set in a corner shop, this beautiful café has two floors. Upstairs is a fun play area for impatient kids, while downstairs is a café with a lolly preparation area.
The kids were walked through the different colours and asked to smell the different flavours while in the back kitchen the toffee was busy bubbling to the perfect temperature.
The kids decided on lemon and it was added to the sugar mixture. When it was brought out the kids watched impatiently as the cooks poured the mixture out on the table, added the colouring and proceeded to pull and stretch the very hot taffy.
Finally when it was sufficiently cooled and ready to be rolled, pieces were placed on a small plastic table for the kids to roll, twist and make into a lollypop. You need to act fast though, because all too soon the taffy was hard and ready to be eaten.
We came away with ten lollypops beautifully wrapped with ribbons. Anybody want one?
8. Playgrounds & Jets @ Citadel Park
Citadel Park is a large family-friendly area. Exploring it is a wonder in itself, but add to it big jet planes from the Army Museum and playgrounds, it’s a kids paradise.
There is a lovely boutique café, Umberto, right next to one of the playgrounds, with lounge chairs nearby on the grass so parents can have a cuppa and an amazing slice of apple pie while the kids wear themselves out on the playground.
9. Fun Filled Walk @ Malta Lake
This lake turned out to be a huge surprise. One sunny Sunday we took a walk around it on our way to Malta Ski, which was on the other side from where our hotel lay. As we enjoyed the leisurely stroll we stumbled upon a marathon that was about to begin.
There were stalls set up for free water, sausage tasting, kids colouring tables, and much more. We had a great time being part of the festivities, despite not being one of the very enthusiastic looking runners.
As we ventured on we realised the lake had all kinds of entertainment. There were rope climbing structures where kids could pay a small fee and spend time making their way through the obstacle course. There were playgrounds and jumping castles, restaurants, shops and so much more.
I recommend biking or taking a walk around the entire lake, one of the highlights was the cute baby ducks paddling around near the shore.
10. Toboggan Ride @ Malta Ski
This place is fun. You can purchase individual tickets to go on several different rides. We choose a toboggan ride and then the kids also did some tubing. It was like being in the snow without the cold, ice and snow.
Located on the southern end of Malta Lake and very reasonably priced, we had a really fun time.
* BONUS *
11. Play Time @ Galeria Malta Shopping Mall
We spent one evening at Galeria Malta and noticed the indoor playground located next to the cinema. We never made it back to take advantage of it, but we so wanted to. You pay per hour and can leave the children there while you go shopping or to the movies, or both.
The forward-thinking folks at the City of Poznan have created a very comprehensive website for visitors which contains lots of useful info. My favourite feature is the trip planner. Simply answer a handful of questions, such as the and the timeframe of your visit, and it will provide you with suggestions on where to go. Then you just choose whatever recommended activities strikes your fancy. Next it compiles all the info into a proposed itinerary, complete with driving or walking directions, maps and attraction details. You can even share the itinerary with friends or print it. Wow, what a timesaver!
Poznan is a city full or surprises… in a good way. And if you have kids like us, you’re bound to fall in love with this family-friendly city. Narrowing down the list of fun things to do in Poznan with kids was a tough task, and there are so many other things that could fit on this list. What else would you add?