These are my favorite must-do things in Prague Lesser Town with kids also called the Little Quarter, or Málá Strana in Czech. It’s one of the most ancient parts of Prague city center, straddling the banks of the Vltava River and the area around Prague Castle including the Legend of the Charles Bridge for kids.
Do you want to have fun with children in Lesser Town and learn something together? Great! Download this Free printable Legend of the Charles Bridge Activity sheet to read it with your children and solve Cut out Puzzle together.
I also created this interactive map for you, so it’s easier to orientate in busy Prague city center.
1. Let kids try to make the Prague Castle guard smile or move
Prague Castle is said to be the biggest castle complex in the world. The beautiful Gothic church towering over the roofs of the surrounding castle buildings is St. Vitus Cathedral. You can visit the Cathedral for free and walk around the courtyard admiring the mix of different architectural styles that likely include every style from the last millennium. The Castle is used for representational services and, of course, is the seat of the President.
Only if you want to visit the Castle interiors and Golden Lane you need to buy tickets. Children will enjoy the open outside areas a bit more though. There is no traffic behind the main gates (there is a security check by all gates to the Castle), so they can run around freely. And before they pass through the gates they can take a picture with the guard. The guard is not allowed to make eye contact or move in any way – go ahead and test them with your children, try out some jokes and see if they can stand still.
2. Leave your family note on the Lennon Wall
Pretty much every tourist comes here and all guides take them here. If you want to see the Lennon Wall by yourselves, check out the map properly. It’s hidden in the little streets of the Kampa area by the Charles Bridge and is quite hard to find. Today, the Wall belongs to the Order of Saint John, who lets people paint on it without any restrictions. To the Czech nation the Lennon Wall is a symbol of freedom and its history is quite amazing.
You can let your children draw on the wall too – just bring some chalk or spray paint with you. It’s also fun to look for the picture of John Lennon and read through the quotes currently on the wall – they change all the time.
3. Get children to Say hello to the Water Goblin of Lesser Town
Kampa is a false island on the Vltava River under the Castle. It was declared the second most beautiful city island in the world by the travel server VirtualTourist. And it’s here, in Kampa. While you cross a mill race named Čertovka (the Devil’s Stream) you can see the water wheel spinning.
To the right of the wheel, you’ll find a statue of Vodník (water goblin) crouching sneakily by the water. Vodnik is a mythical creature with long green hair, frog-like feet and hands with membranes. Besides Czech fairy tales, this water character appears mostly in stories for children in Eastern European countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Serbia.
Fairy tale time!
My friend Anne from Oregon explained to me that her children don’t know what a water goblin is. But Czech children definitely do! To them Vodník is quite a scary fairy tale character that lives by water. He likes to sit on willows by ponds at night to stitch nets in the moonlight. He uses them to pull people under the water. In his kitchen, inside the pond, he has shelves full of porcelain cups to store… the innocent souls of drowned people! Yes, that’s how scary Czech fairy tales can be!
So let your children look for the goblin by the bridge. They might even like him, until you tell them the ugly truth!
4. Help kids climb up the BABIES and take a picture
Once in Prague you’ll see a high TV tower from almost everywhere you go. In the 70s, the Communist government decided to build the highest TV tower in the Czech Republic on a hill called Žižkov. In 1992, the tower, which symbolizes a launching rocket, was finally finished. The server VirtualTourist called the tower the second ugliest building in the world! (Guess what building won first prize? The Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, in Maryland, USA.)
The artist David Černý (pronounced chair-knee) tried to make the tower look friendlier with his Babies – sculptures of black toddlers climbing up and down its sides. And because people liked them, they’ve been installed permanently since 2001. You won’t see them unless you get closer to the tower. Or you can do something what most Prague visitors don’t know about – touch them! The exact same three babies that crawl up and down the TV tower can be found in Kampa Park in Lesser Town, right next to the Kampa Museum. This way you can see them up close (their faces look pretty scary actually), take pictures with them, and even climb up on their backs. Children will have a lot of fun with them!
5. Touch the Jan Nepomuk Statue and learn the Legends of the Charles Bridge for kids
Of course, you’re going to cross the Charles Bridge at least once during your stay in Prague. Nevertheless during the peak season it gets so crowded that locals won’t come anywhere near it. But if your children are early birds, you should come to the Charles Bridge first thing in the morning and see how the city wakes up without the crowds. Or if your children don’t mind staying up late, come to the Bridge at night and enjoy it lit up.
No matter when you come to the Bridge, you’ll notice people lining up to touch one of the statues on the Bridge. It’s the statue of St. John of Nepomuk. The reason, of course, is the story behind it.
Find out why people touch the statue of St. John of Nepomuk in my Free printable Legend of Charles Bridge. I put in pictures to make it more fun for the children!
6. Feed the peacocks in a hidden garden under the Prague Castle
You might want to – or maybe it’s better to say, need to – relax in a garden right in the center of Lesser Town with your children. The park called Vojanovy Sady in Lesser Town is perfect for that. There is a playground in the park, and most importantly, there are peacocks moving around freely. If you happen to have a piece of bread with you, your children can be easily surrounded by a dozen of them!
This garden is considered the oldest partially preserved garden in Prague. Its melancholy seems to have survived from the Middle Ages, when it was founded in the 13th century as a monastery garden. Vojanovy Sady is easy to miss since there’s only one entrance from the street. Surprisingly, the garden actually extends quite far back from the street. Check out the map to locate the entrance – it’s well worth it!
I have 101 more wonderful spots to explore in the Lesser Town area with children but… I don’t want to exhaust your children! If you’re interested in more tips or have tips of your own, please share them in comment!