Play day (the wearing of curtain play clothes was not necessary for this activity)
After dragging my kids through history and culture in the windy cold on one day, it was only fair to plan a day of fun just for them on another.
So we headed over to the Prater. The Prater is where the Viennese - young and old - go to play. A huge area that was once-upon-a-time used as royal hunting grounds - it is now comprised of a huge amusement park, massive outdoor beer gardens and a gorgeous chestnut tree lined alley exclusive to walkers, bikers and horse riders only.
It is best known for the " Wiener Riesenrad" or " Viennese Giant Ferris Wheel" so we headed there first. Up until London built their own version, it was also the largest ferris wheel in the world. Now it's the oldest, largest ferris wheel in the world. Originally built in 1897, it is over 100 years old - making it probably the scariest, oldest, largest, ferris wheel in the world now too.
Once you get over the fact that you are up really high in something built two centuries ago, the views of Vienna are amazing.
We spent a good half day in the amusement park. In complete contrast to the day before, the weather was gorgeous and even the tourists suddenly seemed to disappear as we practically had the park to ourselves.
What I love about this park is that some of the rides are as ancient as the park itself and other attractions are brand new. The kids tried out this ride where they put them inside of these big air bubbles and let them spin around on water like crazed hamsters on wheels. They loved it.
The kids did some more rides. We did a family round of bumper cars. We ate amusement park junk food at the "Wurstel stands" (hot dog stands). My sister once visited Prater and she still craves something she ate called a "Langos" (a Hungarian food actually pronounced "Langosh"). It is similar to what we call "Elephant Ears" out in the Midwest or "Fried Dough" in the East except that it's served crunchier and dripping with salty garlic oil. That's right - I said garlic oil. And it's yummy. I promised I'd order one for her:
And then the kids convinced me to go down a slide built in the 1800's as well:
After all the junk food and twists and turns down that huge slide I was quite relieved to reach the bottom. Not just because I had made it down the ancient slide but also that the junk food managed to stay inside me too.