Favourite Playgrounds in Berlin
Knowing that we would be moving here for only five months (two of which would be taken over by a fresh newborn bubba), I made it my mission to explore as much as possible with Noah in those first few months we had together in the city. City life is certainly different when you have a toddler in tow. The people watching in a hip café, bar hopping, museum strolling, concert watching, restaurant trialing…just doesn’t happen very frequently – or ever. And although Berlin has so much of that to offer and more, Berlin is also one of the most child-friendly places I’ve come across, ever. It really is a city that has something for everyone and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to experience it, even for a short period of time. I very quickly discovered that it’s a place I’d happily come back to, knowing I would very quickly feel at home.
When I first move somewhere, I always get in amongst it right away. It is my answer to not feeling ‘lonely’ when you know absolutely no one. For Berlin, I did a whole lot of research online and this blog played a key role in feeling settled veeeery quickly. Its gold - check it out. I looked up a few classes I wanted to trial with Noah, I wrote down the most recommended parks, looked up kinder-cafes, of course the best restaurants, cafes, and bakeries, and most importantly, I searched high and low for the absolute best playgrounds. Fun fact: There are about 1,805 public playgrounds in Berlin, a city of nearly four million inhabitants, of which about half a million are under 18. Statistically, this is a fantastic ratio and visually its apparent everywhere. Playgrounds pop up like wildflowers in this city and seem to fill every empty spot there is. But quantity is not what makes Berlin a playground paradise.
Playgrounds here are themed and speak to the children’s imagination. They are playful, colourful and creative. They are mostly built out of wood instead of plastic and so many of them have fantastic water fountains, which can be used during the warmer months of the year. They are challenging - goodness me, are they ever!? – but they provide children the chance to explore, learn, and test some of their boundaries. Some of those slides are s.t.e.e.p and Noah is too young for a lot of the structures that have been built with rope walkways, etc. but when he isn’t able to do something on his own, he will watch other children with burning curiosity and develop the healthy desire to do it too. And yes, parents are more hands off in this country, giving their children the freedom to explore on their own and develop a good dose of self-confidence, but they are always there when needed and otherwise, there will always be an adult that springs into action regardless of whether it is someone else’s kid or that of their own. There is still a very strong collective sense of responsibility for children in public spaces. Here is an extract from an article by Anna Winger which I absolutely love:
“The relaxed attitude toward childrearing runs counter to the stereotype of Germans as uptight, but it’s true across the board. Children learn to read in first grade in Germany, and parents are not inclined to teach them earlier. Pressure is a dirty word. Playtime is key. Fresh air is everything. Playgrounds are full of children come rain or shine, even in winter, when snowsuits are out in full force. And you will not see Berlin parents hovering over their little ones.”
Below is a list of some of our favourite playgrounds we’ve discovered. Some we haven’t made it to yet but have been meaning to so they are listed as well. Happy exploring if and when you come to Berlin!
1001 Nights Playground
Hasenheide Park, Neukoelln/Kreuzberg (Nearest U-bahn station: Hermannplatz)
Oh and do not forget to check out the sweet little animal park when you are in Hasenheide Park:
Eisenacherstr 29, Schoeneberg
Rosenheimer Strasse Playground
Heilbronnerstr. 18, Schoeneberg
Bundesring 40, Tempelhof Feld
Gleisdreieck Park Playground
Gleisdreieck Park Kreuzberg (Eingang Buelowstr)
The above images are of the biggest playground in the Gleisdreieck Park and although we certainly love this one best, there are a few different ones to choose from in this amazing park. There are also trampolines, volleyball courts, ping pong tables, a skate park, a soccer/football pitch, cafes, so much green space. We absolutely love it.
Helmholtzplatz, Prenzlauer Berg
Snow White Playground
Momsenstr 48, Charlottenburg
Boxhagener Platz Playground
Krossener Str. 11, Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg
On weekends, this sweet playground is surrounded by a bustling flea market. So fun!
And some more playgrounds which we've been meaning to check out:
Tegeler Weg 97 & Corner of Bonhoeffer Ufer, Charlottenburg
Pippi Langstrumpf Playground
Zillerstr 83, Charlottenburg
Robin Hood Ritterburg Playground
Robin Hood Playground (another Robin Hood one apparently :))
Elfriede-Kuhr-Str. 7, Neukoelln
Fairy Tale Playground
Koellnische Heide, Neukoelln (Station: S Bahn Koellnische Heide)
Sherwood Forest Playground
Knesebeckstr. 78, Charlottenburg
Kolle 37 Adventure Playground, Prenzlauer Berg
This is a unique concept which only caters to children over a certain age. Since our Noah is too young, I cannot rate it myself but it sounds absolutely fantastic!
Playgrounds with fantastic water fountains for in the summer:
Spray Park Nordbahnhof, Mitte
Elephant Spray Fountain, Friedrichshain
Gleisdreieck Park Water Playground, Kreuzberg
Koenigs Wusterhausen Water Playground
Bahnhofstr, 15711 Koenigs Wusterhausen