The place to start for families is the same place everybody else starts: on the Altstadt’s picturesque Marienplatz, where you can catch a performance of the Glockenspiel’s mechanical jousting knights. Inside the nearby Altes Rathaus you’ll also find the Spielzeugmuseum, a historical toy collection (tel. 089/294-001; 4€ adults, 1€ children; daily 10am–5:30pm).
Among Munich’s major museums, the one that appeals most to kids is the Deutsches Museum, especially with the hands-on activities of the Kids Kingdom section, designed for children ages 3 to 8. Even kids who aren’t particularly science-minded can enjoy the galleries displaying historical toys, musical instruments, and clocks (the Sundial Garden is a fun place to hang out, literally watching the time pass as the sun moves in the sky). A smaller branch of the Deutsches Museum, the Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum, is even more kid-friendly, with three soaring halls full of cars, trains, bikes, and motorbikes. The Münchner Stadtmuseum also has lots of appeal for youngsters, with its exhibits of marionettes, hand puppets, and carousel horses.
When it’s time to let the young ones blow off some steam outdoors, head for the huge Englischer Garten, where you can rent a pedal boat to go out on the lake; there’s also a vintage carousel near the Chinesischer Turm. And if the weather’s good, a trip out to Tierpark Hellabrunn zoo is definitely in order to watch polar bears, giraffes, Siberian tigers, and silvery gibbons sport themselves in their native environments.
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.