From the Deutsches Museum to the Münchner Marionettentheater to the Bavaria Film Studio, kids love Munich.
On the third floor of the Münchner Stadtmuseum is an array of puppets from around the world, with star billing going to the puppeteer's art. The comical and grotesque figures include both marionettes and hand puppets. The collection also includes detailed puppet theaters and miniature scenery, a Lilliputian version of the world of the stage. A special department is devoted to fairground art, including carousel animals, shooting galleries, roller-coaster models, and wax and museum figures. The main exhibit contains the oldest-known carousel horses, dating from 1820.
If children have a favorite museum in Munich, it's the Deutsches Museum, which has many interactive exhibits.
Spielzeugmuseum, in the Altes Rathaus, Marienplatz 15 (tel. 089/29-40-01; www.spielzeugmuseum-muenchen.de; U-Bahn or S-Bahn: Marienplatz), is a historical toy collection. It's open daily 10am to 5:30pm. Admission is 3.50€ for adults, 1.50€ for children, and 6€ for a family.
At the Münchner Marionettentheater, Blumenstrasse 32 (tel. 089/26-57-12; www.muenchner-marionettentheater.de; U-Bahn: Marienplatz), puppet shows delight adults as well as children; many productions are of Mozart operas. Performances are on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3pm, and every Saturday at 8pm. At evening shows, tickets for adults cost 18€ and children 4 to 12 10€; not suitable for children 3 and under. Matinees tend to be more animated and crowded than evening shows and are particularly well suited for children 4 and up.
At the Bavaria Film Studios, Europe's largest filmmaking center and Munich's version of Hollywood, children enjoy the film presentations and the Bavaria Action Show, which features a stunt team demonstrating fistfights and fire stunts, tumbling down staircases, and even taking a 28m-high (92-ft.) plunge. Guided 1 1/2-hour tours (book 4 weeks in advance for a tour in English) are given March to October daily 9am to 4pm (off season 10am-3pm). Admission is 11€ for adults, 10€ for students and seniors, 8€ for children ages 4 to 14, and free for children 3 and under.
Hellabrunn Zoo has a large children's zoo where children can pet the animals.
Not to be ignored is the Circus Krone, Marsstrasse 43 (tel. 089/55-81-66; U-Bahn: Hackerbrüke). It might be compared to London's Albert Hall, because its productions are so varied. All performances begin at 8pm. Tickets are 18€ to 87€ adults, and 10€ to 40€ seniors and children.