A warm and welcoming indoor cafe and playground that caters for parents as well as kids…

Image by Paul Sullivan

One of the myriad ‘first world’ frustrations for the urban parent is finding a place where you can sip a decent latte or herbal tea and know that your child is welcome too. Many inner-city cafés are simply too small for prams or too packed for active toddlers, making the experience such a hassle that you’re not inclined to repeat it too often.

Kiezkind (Kiez is German for neighbourhood; Kind means child) provides a fairly unique sanctuary for child-bound parents looking for somewhere to hang out and keep their little ones amused.

The large, colourful building is located in the center of Helmholtzplatz, a well known family-centric area of Prenzlauer Berg. A large part of it is taken up by a heated L-shaped sandpit, full of all kinds of toys that babies and toddlers can get busy with. You have the option to either help them make sandcastles or pop their sand-pie into the toy oven; or take a pew on one of the surrounding benches, sip your drink and watch them play and interact.

The café serves very good coffees and teas, as well as smoothies, freshly pressed juices and a selection of sandwiches, muffins, cakes and quiches (note: you pay a euro deposit on any glasses so make sure you take them back and get the refund).

There are kiddie treats too, in the shape of ice cream, cookies, jelly beans, as well as baby essentials like jars of pureed food and nappies. On the walls in the café area you’ll also find a selection of locally made clothes for sale. There’s even free wifi should you need it.

The rest of Kiezkind is taken up with more benches and toys. The many books, colouring crayons, cuddly toys and footballs were all donated from the local community. Some have seen better days but the majority are in good shape. A couple of tables offer the chance to sit and draw or play games with your child.

As you can imagine, it’s a wonderful place to socialise for both adults and children. The place tends to attract mums and dads between thirty and forty and kids aged between one and four. There’s a strong local element (hence the kiez) but more often than not you’ll hear some English or other foreign language being spoken.

Kiezkind (Photo by Paul Sullivan)
Image by Paul Sullivan

In the summer there are low benches and tables outside. It’s pleasant to sit under one of the chestnut trees or next to the large stretch of grass in front of the cafe and watch as your kid splashes in the outdoor paddling pool, goes bananas on the bouncy castle or falls slowly off a tricycle.

There are plans to organise some children’s theatre, and a monthly flea market takes place here during the warmer months (usually the last Sunday of the month though it’s best to check).

If you’re new in town, bored of your Kiez, feeling like a place to chill with your child or meet other kids and parents, or simply looking for an indoor playground on a rainy day—Kiezkind provides a warm and welcoming option.

For more information, check Kiezkind’s website.