The best festivals for kids in Europe, 2012

January 3, 2012

Looking for European destinations, attractions, cultural festivals kids would enjoy. Any suggestions? We are compiling a list for 2012 of unique attractions & festivals throughout Europe that kids would enjoy.
I'm based in Based in NY; always traveling.

January 5, 2012

Bodhisattwa's answer about things to do in Germany, Hamburg, Venice and Waterford
The Best European Festivals for Kids

Greetings! Europe is poised to impress no matter what time of the year, what the genre of travel or country of visit. As far as festivals and events go, there is an absolute plethora of them. Here, I picked some of the most endearing ones for children. Read on and take a pick!

Europe - festivals | Spraoi (Source: Bill Murphy) 

1. Waterford Spraoi Street Festival - Ireland (Recommended)

The Waterford Spraoi Street Festival (Aug 2- 5) is 3 days of unbridled fun - free music, street theater, colorful parades, fireworks and more in what is Ireland's biggest party. There are lots of great things to look forward to; not just for kids but for adults alike. An amazing choice of live music runs all weekend in John Roberts Square.

Waterford Spraoi Street Festival - Ireland

Waterford, Spraoi (Source: Bill Murphy) 

A world of entertainment awaits in the at the Peoples Park. Originally from Afghanistan but now in France, Nasser brings in the wonderful kite-flying traditions.  Twice a day during the festival, unwraps a spectacle - over 100 mesmerizing kites taking off to the air; the likes of the Chinese dragon and more.

Paul Henri Jeannel is a professor as well as a magician. The things he can conjure up if given a piece of paper, are spectacular. Hundreds of spectacular hats, and much more. He conducts workshops as well.

There's more. Here meets many internationally acclaimed artists, creating masterpieces with the help of hundreds of children - poster paints, pavement chalks, you name it -- to form massive works of art with no boundaries.

Waterford Spraoi Street Festival - Ireland - 1

Waterford (Source: Bill Murphy) 

2. Venice Carnival (Recommended)

The Venetian Carnival (Feb 11 – 21) is Italy's answer to the Mardi Grass minus the raunchiness.   Termed a "funny, crazy and colorful event", spanning ten days the city sees hundreds of families, locals and tourists alike, adorn magnificent costumes.

Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival (Source: US Army Africa) 

Of course, there is the lovely food, music, floaters, and much more. However, what really steals the show are the costumes; ranging from elaborate formal Regency outfits, some bizarre designer kit, large family groups dressed as King Penguins, you name it!

Venice Carnival - 1

david-clown-venice (Source: dct) 

3. Int. Short Film Festival Hamburg | Children's Film Festival "Mo&Friese"

In Hamburg, (May 28 - 03), happens one of the most amazing entertainment saga for children world over - the Mo & Friese. Film workshops, seminars, story writing competition, screenings, and a lot more -- all tailor-made just for the kids.

International short-films, essentially made by children up to 13 years old are the centerpiece. This year, there are two special features: the animal and the puppet.

Here's a little more:

In our opening programme Egg Cebtional Sunday, June 5 we show a captivating selection of archival films featuring chicken. After the screening young and old folks are invited to our vibrant play- and tinker-party with lots of games, cakes and lemonade in the Zeise Hallen.

Mo & Friese (Source: Mo & Friese KinderKurz) 

4. Christmas Markets in Germany

Now what's Christmasy and not fun for the kids? I wager, nothing! Christmas markets are certainly a part of everything that are so great about the time of the year. And they do not get any better than the ones in Germany. The ones in Dresden date back to 1434. Today Germany has a Christmas market in nearly every town.

Christmas Markets in Germany

Nuremberg Christmas Market (Source: charley1965) 

However, the best ones are the ones in Dortmund (with the world's biggest Christmas tree and arguably also some of the world's biggest candles), Berlin, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Dresden, Frankfurt and Munich. These visitors by the millions each year.

Must try is the brilliant food - the"Glühwein" (hot spiced wine), hot chocolate, "Lebkuchen" (Gingerbread) and so much more.

There's Dresden's fairytale tent for kids with medieval-style merchants in them to throw in the surprises to the kids.

Christmas Markets in Germany - 1

Schupfnudeln mit Sauerkraut (Source: Silke Blaschek) 

Hope this helps. If you'd like me to pull out a list of the best festival in a specific country or region or perhaps chalk out a month-wise priority list, write back!

Until then,

Happy planning!


 Joy (Source: dsirfy) 

Answered by A photographer, designer, artist but above all a traveller. I have travelled long and far and pride myself as the proverbial vagabond. Bodhisattwa Debnath

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