Berlin – things to do with kids
Berlin abounds in many cool, original places for kids. One great initiative is Kinderbauernhöfe – farms for children. I’d never seen anything like that in Poland, so when I heard about them here, I just had to find out what it was and how it worked.
Kid’s farms (Kinderbauernhöfe) in Berlin
In Berlin there are about 15 Kinderbauernhöfe, in different parts of the city. So far I’ve had a chance to visit just a few of them, but I’m planning to check out more and regularly add a new one to the list you’ll find below.
Kinderbauerhöfe are sometimes financed by the city and sometimes from donations. Their main goal is to educate and enable urban children to have more contact with nature. They are really like small farms in a city, where animals are kept and fruit and vegetables grown. Such farms also employ educators who take care of the children who come to visit.
Different farms have different operation policies: they are usually for children between 6 and 13 years old and some don’t let their parents in! Children are just brought and picked up again after a couple of hours. Only on special family days (e.g. on Saturdays) are parents allowed to stay.
Some farms follow detailed agendas (which can usually be found on their websites) and for example on Wednesdays children can take part in blacksmithing workshops and learn how to make their own metal works of art and then on Thursdays, they have cooking classes and bake cakes. This is of course always supervised and monitored by educators. There are many different workshops to choose from and the best part of it is that it is all either free or donation-based (you simply throw some money in a tin at the entrance).
Some kids come to such farms regularly, like to after school care centers, and spend their afternoons in a fun and active way. They don’t have to take part in any workshops or classes if they don’t want to. They can play football instead or do something else (many farms are equipped with outdoor toys). Kids are simply given a lot of freedom.
Now, when you’re already a bit more familiar with the idea of a Kinderbauernhof, let me take you for a short trip to the farms I’ve already been to:
This farm is located in the Prenzlauer Berg district, right next to Mauer Park. It’s a very nice and friendly place for kids aged 6 to 16. They can come here after school and help with the animals (horses, goats, guinea pigs and more) or in the garden. My son loves this place. Here you can find a detailed weekly agenda and all the updates.
Another great place where children can help feeding and taking care of animals (hens, goats and donkeys and more). It is bigger than Moritzhof, located in the Pankow district, right by the Panke river and Bürgerpark.
On Saturdays and Sundays kids can take part in carpentry workshops (run by experienced educators) and make something really impressive, like a small wooden plane.
When the weather is bad, you can always hide in a farm’s cafe and play some social games. When it is good and your kids are still small enough to play in sand, let them play in a big sandpit next to the cafe, while you enjoy your well-deserved coffee and cake.
But probably the biggest attraction of this place is a tent with a bonfire inside. For just one euro you can buy the so-caled Stockbrot – a kind of cake that can be speared and roasted over this bonfire. Just how cool is that? 🙂
My last discovery and I’m very impressed. It’s quite a big area, where geese run freely and rabbits and turtles live happily in their coops. There is also a small playground, a big sandpit, an kind of orchard, and a very pleasant, idyllic atmosphere.
Also here, as in every Kinderbauernhof, kids can help with the animals (I saw some girls taking pony for a walk!).
This farm belongs to ufaFabrik, which is an international cultural center, there is also a circus, a school, a bakery, a cafe and a theatre! It’s worth to read what they have to offer, because it’s a lot and it’s all very interesting.
So far I’ve told you about three city farms for kids but soon I’ll add more to this list.
Or maybe you can tell us something interesting about your favourite farms?
I can’t wait to hear from you!