5 Great Kids’ Outings in the City
Who said Athens isn’t a great city for small people! The capital is packed with plenty of fun-filled family action – for tots to teens – right on its doorstep, writes Amanda Dardanis.
Hello Yellow Brick Road
Kick boredom to the curb for the under 10s at the enchanting Playmobil FunPark in Kifissia where happy hours will whizz past. Watch them become consumed with turning their favourite building blocks into epic creations! The entire world of Playmobil unfolds in front of your children’s eyes in specific themed areas where they can engage with exciting assembled structures such as Pirates, Princesses, Firefighters and Vikings – and then construct their own fantastical kingdoms, under the supervision of Playmobil staff.
Mum and Dad can take some time-out in the smart on-site café. Good luck though trying to resist your wee one’s pester power on the way out at the well-stocked Playmobil shop! Playmobil is open Monday-Thursday from 10am-8pm (entrance €8) and Friday to Sunday 10am-9pm (entrance €9).
Amaliados 4 & Kalavryta, Kifissia. Tel: +30 210.800.0018, www.playmobil.gr
Like Home – Only Better
Balux House Project
Right in the heart of the Athenian Riviera is the Balux House Project, an absolute gem of a place that resembles something Richard Branson might have built to entertain his famous pals. Older kids can lounge about on super-sized bean bags, play on gaming stations, shoot pool or watch wide-screen movies (just like they do at home really!), while you get to relax with a glass of wine, a coffee or a meal, right on the pretty Glyfada beachfront. Meanwhile, younger ones can burn off their excess energy in the outdoor kids’ play park or toddler enclosure.
The sprawling Balux leisure complex (open from 9am-3am daily) is cleverly designed as a chilled-out private residence, divided into lounge, library, study, games and conservatory areas, to encourage the “all-day hang”. In summer, there’s also an aqua park of inflatibles ideal for teens and pre-teens. They’ll never want to leave – and nor will you!
58 Posidonos Ave, Asteras Glyfadas complex, Athens. Tel: +30 210.894.1620, www.baluxcafe.com
No Nanny Required!
Sunday Brunch at St George Lycabettus
Remember what Sundays used to be all about? Before the little people came along? Long lazy brunches over the weekend supplements. Uninterrupted conversations with good friends. Well, now you can relive those halcyon days each Sunday. Those clever folk at St George Lycabettus Hotel in Kolonaki have started serving a killer Sunday brunch spread, with a side order of free childcare. Load them up with goodies such as pancakes, mini-burgers, fruity puddings, and an irresistible chocolate fountain.
Then, while you tuck into your second plate of canapé-sized eggs benedict, smoked salmon, and gooey pastries, the qualified staff of Nannuka.com will whisk your little darlings off to a separate activities and crafts station, or a supervised children’s movie screening elsewhere in the hotel. Leaving you utterly free to relax and enjoy the giddy views from the top-floor La Suite Lounge (and that chocolate fountain!). The Buffet runs from noon until 4pm and costs €20 for adults and €10 for kids.
Kleomenous 2, Kolonaki. Tel: +30 210.741.6000, www.sglycabettus.gr
As Good as Gold
Village Cinema Gold Class
Your treasures will relish the chance to play VIPs for the day at their own private screening of their favourite flick at Village Cinema Gold Class, surrounded by friends (and armed with popcorn).
Athens’ 2 Gold Class cinema venues, (at Village Faliro and The Mall), each house two 36-seater luxury auditoriums furnished with super-sized la-z-boy loungers where you can have movie snacks, refreshments, and even meals, delivered by a waiter while the movie screens. Select their most-loved superheroes or animated feature films from a back catalogue of movies – it’s just like Netflix – then choose your preferred screening time. Admission price is €20 per child (for between 12-19 children); and €13 per child (20+ children). Parents can either accompany their charges inside – or relax outside in the private VIP Gold Class Lounge with some movie treats of their own!
To enquire into a private Gold Class screening, contact Nikoleta_Patsollari@village.com.gr (sales department) or phone +30 210.270.4854.
Mind The Trap
Tick tock, you’re on the clock. Will one hour be long enough to retrieve the petrified dragon eggs given to Daenerys Targaryen as a wedding present and escape from the far away shadowlands of Asshai? Hell no. Or just possibly yes, if you all work together. This Game of Thrones-inspired Dragon Quest is just one of the sticky situations your teens could find themselves in at Athens Clue – an adrenalin-charged live escape experience that’s fast gaining popularity across the capital.
How do you play? A group of players (usually between 2-4 or 3-6) is locked in a room with a unique mission to escape from the mysterious space by using all the hidden clues scattered around them. Riddles, puzzles, keys and a countdown time all add up to a thrilling and intellectually-stimulating adventure, that’s perfectly-pitched for restless teens – and fun-loving adults.
Athens Clue is open Monday-Friday (14.30-23.00) and Saturday-Sunday (11.00-23.00). A new Glyfada branch (Ksanthou 3) has just joined 2 city locations in Syntagma and the Hilton area. Other imaginative escape room scenarios include: CSI, Illuminati, Cabin in the Woods, Prison Break, Taken, Monster, Mission Impossible and Zombie; while tickets range from €12-15 per player. Laughter is guaranteed. Escape is not.