Berlin's Covid-19 restrictions are closing in, but last week we made the most of being able to get the boys out into fresh air and sunshine while we could. Grünewald, Berlin’s best-loved forest, is usually our place of choice, but with public transport not really an option at the moment, it’s just that little bit too far on a bike, so we turned our attention to the small, but perfectly formed Plänterwald in the east of the city, a more manageable trip for young ones.
Considering the summer we had, it’s not easy facing the cold miserable descent into winter, especially as the clocks are about to go back and it'll be dark at four. Luckily Autumn has been mostly on our side, with blue skies and leaves that seem to glow with the sun. The most natural thing for me is to get the boys outside and eek out those last rays as long as possible and force the poor blighters to appreciate the glorious yellows, oranges and reds that Berlin trees do so well. One of the best places to do this is Grünewald, a short S-bahn ride out west. Some friends had recently told me about a vast sand dune deep in the forest… I was a little dubious, but a couple of weekends ago we set off nonetheless, armed with a picnic, various dinosaurs, a frisbee and faith in the unknown.
A cold, overcast day in January may not be the best day for a picnic, but whether they liked it or not, that's what we did with the boys last weekend. It was so late by the time we actually managed to get out of the house, we just stuck some sandwiches and a thermos in a bag and headed out the door, to Treptower Park and the Soviet Memorial.
There’s nothing that makes me feel more like a proper mum than baking a cake. Never mind the pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding, endless sleepless nights and other assorted life-changing stuff, it’s the putting on a pinny and providing the offspring with a cake that convinces me I’m actually doing ok at this mumming business. Unfortunately, I’m no star baker. I literally have one biscuit recipe (saved from the back of a box of cookie cutters and stuck on the fridge for evermore), so for this year’s round of birthdays I decided to step it up a notch and get a professional involved.
Uncle Marc was in town over the weekend, so we'd planned a trip to Tropical Islands, but as the boys felt slightly under the weather, we decided to postpone and take a trip to the cinema instead. "The Grinch", a film adaptation of Dr Seuss's brilliant book "How the Grinch stole Christmas", has been released again, this time as a beautiful 3D animation by Illumination. We went to the Sony Centre CineStar as it was showing the film in English (original version when booking). We adults sneaked in a glass of glühwein from the market outside, while the boys boldly managed to force down some popcorn, despite being a bit poorly (brave souls), and we hunkered down for the main attraction.
Theatre o.N, a 40 year old institution re-opened in September this year, after a year's hiatus, in Kollwitzstrasse. Founded in the late 70's, it was the first independent theatre in the former GDR and now focuses on the exploration of theatre for audiences 2 years and up. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited, along with my partner and sons, to watch Schnürchen, or ‘Tiny Twine’, a magical laboratory of sound, so we donned our experimental music hats and ventured up to Prenzlauer Berg.
Each year, the Berlin Family Pass (Berliner Familien Pass) offers families a wide selection of discounts on activities across the city that you can enjoy with your children. The 2018 Berliner Familien Pass is no different.
Since late 2012 a popular Saturday food market (Wochenmarkt) has been taking place right outside Südstern U Bahn station and since our move to Kreuzberg, we have become regular visitors, often enjoying lunch there and buying flowers and food from their stalls.
With the temperatures still high and the summer holidays upon us, we decided to head over to Mitte this morning to check out the water playground at Nordbahnhof. I didn't take many photographs as there were lots of other children around but here's my review of this Mitte water playground.
As you may have noticed already, Berlin can get hot, hot, HOT! Many locals and visitors head to the edges of the city when the heat hits, getting out to the many lakes, however, these do get crowded and aren't easily accessible for everyone. With that in mind, here are my tips on where you can splash in the water across the city other than the lakes...