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 the German word for neighbourhood; Kind means child) provides a fairly unique sanctuary for child-bound parents looking for somewhere to hang out and keep the little ones amused.

Housed inside a former transformer station on Helmholtzplatz, a well-known family-centric area of Prenzlauer Berg, the large space includes an L-shaped sandpit, full of all kinds of toys that babies and toddlers can get busy with, as well as a café area and seating; you have the option to either help with the sandcastles or pop their sand-pie into the toy oven, or take a pew on one of the surrounding benches, sip your drink and just watch.

The café serves very good coffees and teas, as well as smoothies, freshly pressed juices and a selection of sandwiches, muffins, cakes and quiches. There are kid treats too, in the shape of ice cream, cookies, and 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 many books, colouring crayons, cuddly toys and footballs are mostly 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.

The place tends to attract parents aged between thirty and forty and younger 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.

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