Autumn is the perfect time to take your children for an extended weekend, especially since soon, in November, there will be at least two opportunities to break away from school and duties. There are plenty of fascinating places in Poland that will be perfect destinations for weekend trips. In these locations, both children and their parents will find something for themselves. Plus, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
Where to go with your family after the season? What are the best ideas for a family trip in autumn? What can we do so that our children do not get bored and we – adults – can also take advantage of the charms of our holidays? If we choose an interesting place, we are guaranteed that the youngest family members will be fascinated by the attractions, and parents will find a moment of respite for themselves. Here is a list of interesting places where no one in the family will be bored.
Where to go with children in autumn?
Salty maze in Wieliczka
The Wieliczka Salt Mine is an ideal place for a family trip in autumn. It’s over 700 years of history, 300 km of corridors, 3,000 chambers, a million visitors every year and only one taste: salty. Moreover, the weather does not matter when visiting this facility. The mine was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is one of the most famous monuments not only in Poland, but in all of Europe. It attracts tourists with year-round exhibitions and expositions, and popular excursion routes allow you to delve into underground labyrinths and admire treasures such as: baroque chapel of St. Anthony, the Weimar chamber with a statue of the Treasurer’s mine ghost or the stunning chapel of St. Kingi – the largest underground temple in the world.
Children will certainly enjoy the mysterious nooks and crannies, beautiful salt sculptures and mining simulations based on the example of dwarves. For the more demanding, there is the “Secrets of the Wieliczka Mine” tour – it is one of the most physically difficult routes, and its participants, equipped with helmets, mining lamps and carbon monoxide absorbers, begin their escapade away from the classic tourist route. The journey in search of secrets takes up to several hours.
Back to the past
Discovering history as a family doesn’t have to be boring. Located on the outskirts of Nowy Sącz, the picturesque Galician Town is an attempt to reconstruct 19th-century Galicia. This project was created on the initiative of the Sądecki Ethnographic Park and is a place where you can go back in time with all your senses. In order to preserve the historical realities as much as possible, the buildings were built based on old plans and drawings of towns such as Stary Sącz, Lanckorona and Krościenko. However, it is not only a complex of buildings, but also a place that is still teeming with life – “from the era”, of course. There are such service points as a photographer’s atelier, a watchmaker, a pharmacy and even a dentist’s office. Visitors can look into a typical apartment from that time and visit a gendarmerie station. There is also a colonial shop and an inn. In the first place you can buy souvenirs, in the second place you can eat a hearty meal, also in the overall atmosphere.
An exotic trip without leaving the country
Who among us doesn’t dream of exotic holidays, especially when it’s windy and snowy outside? We can feel their taste by going to the Africarium in the Wrocław zoo. Almost 15 million liters of water, over 7 thousand animals, 19 aquariums and swimming pools. Africarium is one of the most frequently visited ticketed places in the country. Its success was determined primarily by the modern approach to the concept of an oceanarium and the unusual idea of gathering in such a place animals exclusively from one continent – Africa. This is the only place in Poland and one of the few in Europe where you can walk through a glass tunnel under sharks, rays and octopuses swimming above your head, come face to face with an amusing manatee or watch agile penguins drowning underwater. We will also meet many other interesting creatures from the Dark Continent, such as crocodiles, hippos, mongooses and the smallest antelopes in the world – dikdiki, similar in size to cats. Not only the youngest will be enchanted.
Another option for exotic lovers is the Safari Zoo in Borysewo near Łódź. Here you can admire a lot of specimens from all over the world: antelopes, zebras, monkeys, kangaroos, camels, seals, as well as the most dangerous, fascinating predators, such as wolves, white tigers, lions and pumas. All animals have exceptionally spacious enclosures, which provide them with a lot of freedom and give visitors a substitute for contact with wild species in natural conditions. Visiting the complex is more like a walk along the riverside meadows, but these are not honest cows, but their African or Asian cousins. At the mini zoo, the youngest can meet miniature goats, Cameroonian sheep, Vietnamese pigs and donkeys.
Toruń is the perfect place for a family weekend. You can enjoy sweet gingerbread with impunity, and also visit the Space Popularization Center “Planetarium Toruń”. Here you can get away from the Earth for many hours and soar towards the stars. Thanks to special equipment, we will feel exactly as if we were drifting in space. The spatial images consist of animations and slides displayed in two systems: 360-degree panoramas and all-sky. However, looking up is only part of the experience. The shows in the projection room were expanded to include interactive Geodium and Orbitarium exhibitions. The first one is devoted to the Earth as a planet. What immediately catches your eye is a model of a globe with a diameter of 2.15 m. It rotates around its own axis, and thanks to the play of light you can see why we have four seasons of the year and why day follows night. In the Orbitarium, we will find a model of the Cassini probe, which can be controlled using devices placed around. In addition, there are stands that explain processes taking place in the Universe and affecting people, such as signal transmission in space, flattening of planets, atmospheric pressure, gravity and weight.
A weekend of secrets and ghosts
There is no shortage of places shrouded in secrets in Poland. This is a fantastic idea for a trip with a child, during which neither the child nor the parents will be bored. Where is the best place to go in search of legends – especially when Halloween is approaching? Here is a list of the most interesting destinations prepared by the editorial staff of Travelist magazine.
The Świętokrzyskie Mountains are undoubtedly the most mysterious mountain range in Poland. There are many legends about witches visiting this area. Their meeting place was allegedly Łysa Góra – which was probably the center of the cult of ancient Slavs in the Middle Ages. However, this is only one of the reasons to visit this place. When going to this area, you certainly cannot miss the Legend Park in Nowa Słupia – a new addition to the tourist map of Poland.
The state-of-the-art facility, officially opened on September 16 this year, attracts fans of legends and ancient beliefs from all over the country. Here we will learn where the “Madean bed” came from, what witches’ sabbaths looked like and what devils were really afraid of. The ticket includes 11 multimedia rooms dedicated to specific legends, a movie in the 5D cinema, a chance to fly on a broomstick with VR goggles, or have fun in the education and games room. This is unforgettable entertainment for the whole family!
However, when in Karpacz, it is worth visiting the Karkonosze Mysteries with the whole family. This exhibition was created in the place where the ancient staff of the Mountain Spirit was found, which quickly became a local attraction. This underground multimedia exhibition presents the legendary, ancient world of the Karkonosze Mountains and the Spirit of the Mountains who ruled over them. We will discover here, among others: stories about herbalists and mineral seekers living in the Karkonosze Mountains, we will see the largest sculpture of the Mountain Spirit in Poland or visit an exhibition using a multimedia tablet with a guide in five languages. Everyone can create their own image of the Mountain Spirit, brew potions, search for the philosopher’s stone or disperse storm clouds. In other words: it’s impossible to get bored here.
Another place worth visiting is the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. This region, apart from amazing views and the opportunity to spend time actively walking or climbing, also offers many opportunities to discover secrets. Various stories are associated with it: about witches, strigoi and the devil from Góra Dębowa. One of the most famous places in the Jura is Ogrodzieniec, home to a 12th-century castle. According to beliefs, its wealthy but greedy and cruel owner, Stanisław Warszycki, returns to his former home in the form of a black dog. Moreover, like many castles, there is said to be a hidden treasure in Ogrodzieniec. The owner’s daughter’s dowry is waiting for the daredevil who will finally find it.
Those hungry for adventure can go to the House of Legends and Scares adjacent to the castle ruins, where they will be transported to the world of local fairy tales and legends. Here we will meet the mentioned spooky dog, but also, among others, White Lady or we will be surrounded by giant bats. And this is just part of the entertainment complex, which also includes the Miniature Park, the Physical Experiment Park and the Amusement Park. This is a guarantee of great fun for several hours!
Mysterious Solina Park is also perfect for a family outing. Here you can participate in a field game with prizes. There are performances and competitions as well as interactive attractions. Visitors can try their hand at the Fiend’s Labyrinth, reverse the flow of water, face the spells of the Bug by traversing paths in the trees, or outrun Chad on one of the long slides. The expedition is an excellent opportunity to meet local fairy-tale characters: Mountain Chads and Caryńskie Mountains, Rusalki, Giants and Chugaistras, and Fiends. This attraction is closed in winter, so you can only see it during the autumn months.