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Six Reasons to Visit Prague during the Christmas Season. Prague is a medieval city wrapped in festive Czech traditions and experiencing the real spirit of a Czech Christmas is perhaps best done with children because the magic of the city is intensified by their reactions.Prague City View in WEinter

In an effort to provide our readers with authentic, uncommon family vacation ideas we are collaborating with like-minded parents who share our passion for travel with kids. Because my daughter and I loved every minute of our trip to Prague, I can honestly say it is a city made for families of all age combinations. At every turn there is innovative art, enthralling history and memorable architecture. It is a city with spunk and attitude where creative energy abounds. It's the city that invented Paint-A-Brick! Yup, a great place to share with 20-something kids, teens, or tykes. Five days does not make me an expert hence I was intrigued by a new family travel resource founded by two sisters based in Prague. MyTraveLove.com is the best source for a family vacation in Prague. Snowy Roof Tops of Prague

Veronika from MyTraveLove has provided us with inspiration and advice about her home town. 

Prague is a remarkable vacation destination any time of year, although granted, it’s perhaps a little more difficult to appreciate its charms in the freezing rain. However, one season above others is guaranteed to leave you awestruck – the Christmas season. So why visit Prague for Christmas? 

1. Christmas markets. Prague’s Christmas markets are relatively small compared to their counterparts in Berlin or Vienna but they add to the festive atmosphere of the city. You’ll find the bigger markets in the main squares – the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square. However, some smaller-scale, often even more charming markets are set up in squares a little further from the city center. Take, for example, Náměstí Míru or Jiřího z Poděbrad – just a quick tram ride away nestled in the picturesque neighborhood of Vinohrady.

For your market adventure do not forget your shopping bags, the merchants will appreciate it and you will feel more like a local. For the parents or grandparents tasting svařák (mulled wine) at the market is a must just like the locals do. Oftentimes it’s made a bit sour so it is the custom to sugar to taste. For all ages the best treat is a hot trdelník or trdlo (a.k.a. Czech cinnamon roll). 

If you find your family in Prague on the night of the December fifth, a meeting with Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) is a possibility. A word of caution, young children might be a bit afraid of devils accompanying Mikuláš, but the angels, who are also a part of the ‘gang’, will soothe any distressed minds. You might see several Mikuláš‘s walking in the streets because there are many groups who dress up for the night. To receive a proper audience by Mikuláš and receive a little gift, you need to attend one of the special events of the evening. Head to the Old Town Square Christmas market and look for the stage. The show usually starts at around 5 p.m. If your child is brave enough, he/she can sing a song or tell a poem and will be rewarded with a small package from Mikuláš himself. If your kids are too shy, Travelove will arrange a package from Mikuláš for them.Toy Shopping Made Easy in Prague

2.  Shopping time. Prague has a marvelous collection of shops to energize those who enjoy unique items, one-of a-kind art, tasty Chez delicacies, designer clothing, beautiful knitwear and toys, toys, toys. Prague’s reputation for handcrafted wooden toys and marionettes, and puppets makes the city a child’s dream. Toys from Prague will last a lifetime. 

3. Czech Holiday Traditions. If you’d like to learn a bit more about Czech Christmas traditions, your best bet is a city farm called Toulcův dvůr (website in Czech only). It’s open every day from approximately December 20 till January 1, and features traditional markets, Christmas exhibitions, and creative workshops for kids. There’s an option for children to pet some domestic animals too. 
You can also find Nativity Scenes set up all around Prague  - a live scene is staged, for example, in Prague Castle usually on December 25-26th and is definitely worth checking out. Christmas Cookie Making with Bara in Prague

One tradition that all families follow is baking Christmas cookies called cukroví. If you have friends in Prague and get invited to their home to bake, you’ll have a completely authentic experience.  Your only other good option is to find a local who’d do that with you – I recommend hooking up with the highly rated Travelove chef, Bára. Bara is a chef and restaurateur in Prague who offers unique cooking experiences for families. Guests join in the meal preparation, the meal, and children will have the chance to make and decorate their own cookies or gingerbread.

4. Winter activities. According to a local saying, snow comes on Martin’s name day, falling on November 11th. While you can never be sure whether snow will actually make it to Prague, there’s quite a high chance it’ll be snowy in December. Just look at how gorgeous Prague looks when it’s sprinkled with snow. Even the often stone-faced locals are more inclined to pause for a moment on our way to work and admire its quiet beauty. During the winter months skating is popular at several places across Prague. While there may be a free ice rink put up in the Ovocný trh just off the Wenceslas Square, your safer bet is a public ice rink right under the Zizkov TV tower in Prague 3.

5. Cozy cafés. In winter you have even more reason to hang out in warm cozy cafés. There are plenty of options and it’s not a problem if you have kids with you.  Among some of the nicest children-friendly cafés are:• Café Mistral, Valentinská 11, Prague 1• Mamma Coffee, Vodičkova 6, Prague 1• Kafé Kakao, Americká 2, Praha 2• Le Caveau, Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad 9, Prague 3

6. Special programs at the Prague Zoo. Not only has Prague Zoo been voted the 4th best in the world, but it also has a special Christmas program for kids. The zoo is located on the river, and the easiest and most entertaining way to get there is by boat. Feeding animals, giving them Christmas ‘gifts’ and more happens during the holiday season. For up-to-date info, check out Prague Zoo’s official website or for news in English try their Facebook page.Paint A Brick in Prague

Family trips to Prague may be arranged at any time of the year through Travelove, a new travel startup based in Prague, which focuses on authentic trips for families inside and outside Europe. Just choose the experiences you want to try in Prague and  Travelove organizes it all into a custom guidebook made just for your family and creates a travel itinerary full of adventure for your kids. You save time, get to know Prague like a local and have fun together as a family

MyTravelove.com has taken on the mission to enable families travel together with no extensive planning or stress. The idea is to let both parents and kids enjoy the moments spent together by discovering a new place. For each trip, parents receive a custom made guidebook, while children get their own journal full of tasks and little things to do. Trips are designed by locals, so you're always sure to have the best recommendation on what to see and do. Travelove was started by two sisters Lada Kičmerová a Katka Mikulková, founders who want to enable parents to keep travelling in an authentic way despite having careers and children.  

Make it happen. (US) 1-800-279-5563, (UK) 0800 530 0015, (CZ) 800 604 605 or check their offering on www.mytravelove.com

Feature written by Veronika Hradilikova, Prague native and travel blogger for MyTraveLove.com with images courtesy MyTraveLove. Additional comments and images by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files.  Copyright updatd 2017. 

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