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Small children and Christmas markets - a bad idea?

(13 Posts)
monkeysavingexpertdotcom Mon 21-Sep-09 23:33:49

Have persuaded DH that we should have a short break in Germany and go to the Christmas markets (probably Cologne). Don't know whether to take DCs (5 and 9) or leave them with grandparents. Has anyone taken their children to these sorts of things and is it a bad idea? Just don't know if they'll get bored. Is there enough going on to last them a couple of days?

LadyOfTheFlowers Mon 21-Sep-09 23:36:35

DH and I went when I was preg with DS1 so had no kids in tow, but I found the whole thing totally enchanting.
I would take mine if they were your DCs ages, but that's me.

There was a lot of standing around drinking Gluhvine (sp?) being done, but for me who was preg, or for kids, lots of hotchoc to drink and footlongs to eat.

annh Mon 21-Sep-09 23:47:33

Have been to Cologne which is actually four separate markets. One of them is in fact supposed to be the children's market, although I can't actually remember it being very different to the others. I think there was some entertainment at different times of the day. I think your dc would probably like it for a while but would then get fed up so you would need some additional activities. Cathedral is right in the middle of one of the markets but not sure that would be much more interesting for them. There must be river cruises though?

monkeysavingexpertdotcom Tue 22-Sep-09 00:00:21

Thanks. Currently trying to find Eurostar fares and have been quoted nearly £500 for one way for four of us hmm. Why is it "from £79" only ever means if you travel on a Wednesday and you've booked ten years in advance?

Portofino Tue 22-Sep-09 10:25:31

haven't been to one's in Germany, but we go every years to the Brussels one. It is gorgeous and dd loves the roundabouts, big wheel and ice rink. The downside with dcs is that it gets absolutely packed! It was fine when she was in the buggy, but nowadays I have a big fear of losing her in the crowd.

HeadFairy Tue 22-Sep-09 10:27:40

I've been to the one in Vienna, admittedly without children, but I think children would absolutely love it, in small doses perhaps, and maybe with lots of sticky treats thrown in! I thought when you said small children in your title you meant toddler. I think a 5 year old will be so excited by it all.. are they boys or girls? Don't know if that makes any difference, are girls more excited by things like that or am I just being silly?

pofacedandproud Tue 22-Sep-09 10:29:58

We took our ds when he was 3. We went to Heidelberg. It was lovely, and loads of little rides for him to go on. I would say though that we stopped in Cologne on the way home, and it was much bigger and more crowded and more touristy.

monkeysavingexpertdotcom Tue 22-Sep-09 17:07:51

Thanks, this is really helpful. Given the prices on Eurostar I may go for Brussels or Paris instead - with a wrist strap for the five year old! I love trains, but £480 one-way to Cologne? I think not.

Portofino Wed 23-Sep-09 08:45:59

If you stay in Brussels it is easy to get to Bruges and Ghent or Leuven to see those markets too - half an hour or so on the train. They are all very pretty towns too.

Kiwinyc Sat 26-Sep-09 14:42:49

YOu can get to Cologne/Bonn airport for less than £400 return via Lufthansa, they do a £49 fare each way from London to Europe.

However unless you want to spend most of your time watching them on fairground rides i wouldn't bother, because mine find it far too cold and boring to line up for food/drink or to browse the stalls.

cat64 Sat 26-Sep-09 15:14:18

Message withdrawn

Claire2301 Sun 27-Sep-09 21:48:52

I've taken kids to Xmas markets in France and Belgium and they loved it. Three children under 8yrs. We went to Angers, Lille and Brugges.

monkeysavingexpertdotcom Sun 27-Sep-09 23:53:38

Been to the one in Birmingham without children, Cat, loved it. I want to go further afield. Still thinking about it. Didn't know about the air fares being so cheap though, thanks Kiwinyc.

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