Do you celebrate Easter? It’s a time for family, love, gratitude and, of course, chocolate. In the West, the solemnity of Lent and Good Friday gives way to the celebration of Easter Sunday (and, if you’re very lucky, a public holiday on Easter Monday). The Austrians know how to celebrate. A Catholic country, Easter has a special place in the Austrian culture. The celebrations start weeks before Easter Sunday with the opening of the Easter markets. While not as grand as Austria’s renowned Christmas markets, the Easter markets literally sparkle as the light hits thousands of golden eggs. Here are four Easter markets for kids and three places where you may even get to see the Easter Bunny.
Traditional Easter markets for kids
Visiting an Easter market is a perfect romantic outing. Exquisitely handcrafted decorations, a relaxed but festive atmosphere and plenty of alcoholic drinks — take note guys: the Easter markets are the place to go to romance your significant other. Kindling romance when you have kids is not easy. But thankfully the geniuses at Vienna’s Easter markets make things easier for parents. Here are four Easter markets with activities for kids. While the kids are entertained you can drink rose water wine and take turns to sneak off to look at all the pretty eggs.
Alt Wiener Easter Markets Freyung
The Alt Wiener Easter Markets at Freyung are the quintessential picture perfect Easter markets. In the centre there is a canopy of tree branches from which hang intricately decorated eggs. If a bride and groom were obsessed with Easter, this is how they would decorate their wedding. The Alt Wiener Easter Markets are not just for couples. They are also Easter markets for kids. There is an extensive children’s program, which includes egg decorating and puppet shows.
The Klavarienberg festival is part Easter market, part folk festival. With a strong emphasis on music, arts and crafts, the festival is a celebration of creativity, spring and new life. There are live bands, chocolate making classes, egg decorating classes and even a visit from Buxi the Zauberhase (Buxi the Magic Bunny). The program of events is extensive and includes multiple workshops for children.
Schloss Hof: An Easter market for kids in a palace
Austria is a place of wonder. Rolling hills, delicious milky chocolate, castles and palaces. It’s a child’s wonderland. Schloss Hof is one of the best day trips from Vienna for families. Leave behind the city and escape to a baroque palace. Weekends to 17 April, Schloss Hof is holding Easter markets. Walk among the delightful gardens, eat freshly baked Easter treats and try not to give the goats any chocolate (don’t be drawn in by their cute faces and plaintive eyes — stay strong). There are Easter themed workshops for kids. You may even get to see the Easter Bunny, who is rumoured to visit with a basket of chocolate eggs.
Schönbrunn Palace Easter Market
This Easter the forecourt of the Schönbrunn Palace gets a makeover. The usually muted pallet of Schönbrunn’s entrance adopts a mantel of bold blues, reds and greens. It’s beautiful. In the middle of the marketplace there is a large building dedicated to kids’ activities. Here munchkins can create Easter treats or design traditional Easter decorations. In addition, there is ice cream, gingerbread and, of course, chocolate. After the you and the kids have explored the markets, why not stroll through the grounds and head to the sandpit hidden in a sheltered enclave to the right of the palace?
Where you can see the Easter Bunny in Vienna
The Easter Bunny has discovered the beauty of the Austrian alps and the glamour of the Hapsburg’s former playground.
The Austrians, in turn, have discovered that children really like to wade through grass and flower beds in search of spherical chocolate (secretly, it’s good fun for adults too).
After you’ve visited Vienna’s Easter markets for kids, why not hunt for the Easter Bunny?
The Hard Rock Cafe
The Easter Bunny will let loose and party at the Hard Rock Cafe this Easter. On 8 April, the Bunny will host a breakfast just for kids with autism and special needs. On April 9, the Easter hare will hop by for Easter brunch. There will be face painting, a selection of American breakfast goodies and, of course, rock. Bookings required. Hop to it.
Landgut Wien Cobenzl
Do you remember going on Easter egg hunts as a child? At Landgut Wien Cobenzl in the Vienna hills, children can hunt through the farm for Easter eggs, bake Easter treats and visit the animals. The program starts at 2.00pm and the organisers recommend you get there more than 10 minutes early to avoid losing your spot. Bookings required (when I called to book I was advised that I should have the WienXtra Kinderactiv card). Places fill up quickly.
Prater Easter festival
Have you visited Vienna’s fairground at the Prater? This Easter, the Easter Bunny will be trying the rides, scaling the Riesenrad, riding the Liliputbahn and, most importantly, wandering the fairground spreading some Easter cheer. You can catch the Easter Bunny at the Prater fairground from 8–16 April.