Poland isn't the easiest of destinations for families with children. Walking with younger children can prove strenuous, and even older kids may not have an appreciation of the historic sites. It doesn't help that most of the museums are of the old-school variety, more static than interactive. However, there are a number of unique spots that are captivating for kids of all ages.
Day 1: Kraków/Warsaw
Krakow is definitely the most kid-friendly of Poland's big cities. The Old Town Square is a natural draw, not to mention the city's zoo, with its big collection of exotic hippos, and the country's largest water park. In recent years, Warsaw, too, has become increasingly aware of the needs of junior travelers. The Chopin Museum has a kid's section that just might spark an interest in classical music. Across the river, the Warsaw Zoo has a collection of European bison (sparing you the journey all the way to Biaowieza National Forest).
Day 2: Torun
The central Polish city of Torun is compact and easy to manage, and is laced with tales about the Teutonic Knights and Copernicus, and rewards such as gingerbread to keep the kids motivated. Be sure to visit the Gingerbread Museum, where you get to not only look at the confections, but make them and eat them, too.
Day 3: Malbork Castle
The massive former Teutonic Knights' castle at Malbork will certainly set the benchmark for children when sizing up other castles in the future. Tales of the knights will likely keep them enthralled longer than other sites, as well. In summer, the castle hosts reenactments of historical battles, where meticulous attention is paid to costumes, hairstyles, weaponry, and horsemanship. "Magic Malbork," held in August, has dazzling acrobats and fireworks.
Day 4: The Mazurian & Suwaki Lake Districts
If the kids are suffering from overexposure to "Old Towns," try a day of kayaking in Mazury and Suwaki. The Krutynia route in Mazury, and the lower section of the Czarna Hancza route, are an easy and enjoyable introduction to rafting.
Day 5: Rafting Down the Dunajec
In the south of the country, take the kids for a great day of rafting down the Dunajec. Several travel agencies in Zakopane book rafting trips down the Dunajec. Each raft holds around a dozen people, and the guides are decked out in mountain garb. The float takes a couple of hours, and you have the option of walking back to the parking lot or renting and riding bikes. It's a great day out and perfect for kids.
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.