Vienna is not only a historic, old place, but also a modern, entertaining city for the entire family, offering an abundance of fun and unlimited leisure activities, especially in the summertime. And with a little planning, you too can experience the history as well as the fun....of Vienna.
For your little prince or princess, you may want to start at the Imperial Schönbrunn Palace where you will visit the world of Empress Maria Theresia on special guided tours, after which your little ones can experience life in baroque costumes with corsets and hopped skirts, or dance the minuet or practise a deep curtsy. Then it’s on to the Imperial Park which houses the Schönbrunn Zoo, the world's oldest and only baroque zoo which by any standard is a jewel of architecture. Today, it is also among the most modern zoos as animal keeping and research are concerned. Schönbrunn Zoo, situated in the south-eastern part of the Habsburg's summer residence, was Emperor's Franz Stephan von Lothringen's husband of Maria Theresia, private menagerie. In the summer of 1752, the Emperor opened his menagerie. Seven years later, he had the impressive pavilion built which is now the zoo's most famous historical monument. On July 14, 1906, an elephant was born here, the first time ever in a zoo. Until then, zoologists had held the opinion that elephants could not reproduce in captivity. Today, you will find a variety of young animals, not only in the elephant cage but also with the tigers, cheetahs, polar bears, giraffes, seals and penguins, hippopotami and all native species. The motto of the zoo, “Schönbrunn” should be a zoo of happy animals, is clearly visible everywhere! Highlights of the zoo include the Aquarium and Terrarium house as well as an area where you can experience a “Night in the Tropical Forest”. There is also an original Tyrolean farmhouse where you can learn about everyday life on a farm. If an afternoon at the zoo leaves your little explorers a bit enervated, there is no better place to refuel than at the Schönbrunn Palace’s Marionette Theatre. Then it’s off to the Doll Museum, the Toy Museum and many others. Also check out the Zoom Children’s Museum with its do-it-yourself exhibitions, where even the youngest of travellers can have fun. Directly opposite the MQ (museum quarter) there is an info-stationfor children, the “wienxtra Kinderinfo”, where you will discover just about everything Vienna offers three to 13 year olds-and the information is absolutely free. (www.kinderinfowien.at) The Danube Island promises”cool” action for hot days. At this Viennese open-air paradise with its 42-kilometer-long beach, one can perform almost every outdoor sport activity. Dozens of restaurants at the Copa Cagrana (the lively beach promenade of the Danube at the “northern mainland” near Reichsbrücke) offer a variety of food to satiate size hunger. If you’d prefer just relax for a while, you will find that Vienna’s boasts one of the most extensive collection of parks, where children can play to their hearts content-in the middle of the city. And more then 200 attractions, each offering endless adventures, await the visitors to Wurstelprater (amusement park) in Vienna’s Prater (www.wiener-prater.at). If all the activities make you hungry, you can bring your own picnic including some wurstsemmel (sausage sandwich). But if picnicking isn’t your forte, you may want to try special Viennese dishes available in just about every restaurant, coffee shop, or even at the street corner sausage stand. Among them is the staple, of course, the famous schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet). Then there are dozens of sausages, sweet strudels, Cakes (like the famous Sacher torte) and hot chocolate. To take a trip back to pre-historical times, visit the Museum of Natural History where you will find dinosaur skeletons, fascinating minerals, interesting animals and rare plants. The museum offers guided tours daily except Tuesdays. Whether you prefer to relax on the Danube or play princess for a day, one thing you most probably won’t hear from your little adventurers is “I’m bored!”

/Article is taken from the airline Magazine Air Transat. by Caro Strasnik/