Just because this section is geared toward children, you don't have to have children to visit the places mentioned here. Everyone has a child inside waiting for the chance to escape. When you are in a foreign country where no one knows you, it is a liberating opportunity to be playful, so let loose.
Directly behind the Mammut Shopping Mall in Buda's Széna tér is the Millenáris Park Zöld Péter playground where all the toys are based on a fairy tale. Besides the large wooden house to climb in, there are wooden toys, a giant fish, a smaller house, and a cable glider. Within the Millenáris Park is a fishpond and food court next to the Place of Miracles . Parents can sit and watch their kids playing in this safe and creative playground from the shade of trees.
Three attractions mentioned below are the zoo, the amusement park, and the circus. They are located in City Park (Városliget), along the famed Animal Garden Boulevard (Állatkerti körút). You could easily spend a whole child-oriented day here. In addition to the information below, see the information on the Palatinus Strand outdoor swimming-pool complex and horse and pony riding in the Buda Hills.
City Guide for Children -- A family from the Netherlands who moved to Budapest has created an outstanding children's guidebook with the cooperation of children from 12 schools adding their drawings to bring it alive. Benjamin in Budapest is a phenomenal book for family outings; kids will love the chance to help plan the trip. It is available at most bookstores in the city including the children's bookstore Agony, the Alexandra bookstore chain, and Tourinform offices. It will make a memorable souvenir.
The Buda Triangle -- Are you ready to head for the hills? No matter your age, you can enjoy the triple-transport triangular trip on the slopes of the Buda Hills. From Moszkva ter, hop on tram no. 61 for two stops to the Cogwheel Railway (Fogaskereku), which clicks its way up a steep grade to the Children's Train on Szechenyi-hegy (hill). Uniformed children, true to the original model of the Soviet Pioneer Scouts, assist in ticketing and boarding the open-air cars. Enjoy the short ride across the wooded ridge. Get off at the fourth stop, János-hegy, where you will find the path to a terrace bufe (cafe) for refreshments, a playground, and toilet facilities. Nearby, the Erzsebet Lookout Tower, four stories high and on the highest point of Budapest (529m/1,736 ft), is worth the climb. There is no fee. When ready to return to the Danube area, take your seats on the gently descending Chair Lift (Libego), and marvel at the spectacular views of the city. Just outside the exit, bus no. 22 will take you to Moszkva tér. The whole triangle can be done in reverse too. For those who may want more outdoor action, check with Tourinform for hiking trails atop the Buda Hills.
Bábszínházak (Puppet Theaters) -- Kids from around the world love Hungarian puppet theater. The shows are all in Hungarian, but with such standard fare as Hungarian versions of Cinderella, Peter and the Wolf, and local favorites Misi Mókus, Marcipán cica, and János Vitéz, no one seems to have trouble following the plot. The audience is an important part of the show: For instance, Hungarian children shriek "Rossz farkas!" ("Bad wolf!") at every appearance of the villain in Peter and the Wolf.
Budapest has two puppet theaters, with the season running from October to mid-June. Tickets are extremely cheap, usually in the 800-Ft-to-1,600-Ft range. The Budapest Puppet Theater (Budapesti Bábszínház) is at VI. Andrássy út 69 (tel. 1/321-5200; www.budapest-babszinhaz.hu); the nearest metro station is Oktogon (Yellow line). The Kolibri Puppet Theater (Kolibri Bábszínház) is at VI. Jókai tér 10 (tel. 1/353-4633; www.kolibriszinhaz.hu); Jókai tér is halfway between the Oktogon and Opera stations of the Yellow metro line. Shows start at various times throughout the day (days vary, so check in advance) with the first show usually at 10am and the last at 5pm, and tickets are available all day at the box offices.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.