It's time for a family travel! Places where you can play, discover, learn and experience. Little discoverers are just waiting for adults to take them by the hand and show them a world full of interesting things.
Claudia, Gutė, Ausylė, Betė, Alba. White ones, brown ones, tan ones... all you want to do is hug them, pet them, or run after these soft-haired alpalca. Their breeders claim that these animals trim the grass better than a lawn mower, and their wool is soft, warm and durable. They say that alpalca were one of the first animals that man domesticated. They have clothed and fed the people of South America for thousands of years, and now they are doing the same for Lithuanians. The alpaca breeders are eager to show visitors their animals and the products made from their wool. All you have to do is arrange a visit.
Do you know what is considered to be the largest wild animal in Europe today? The European bison. The bison, which used to roam freely in the forests, stands two metres tall and weighs about 500 kilograms; though the hairy, horned animal looks very threatening, it is actually a peaceful herbivore. Seeing herds of the huge animals nibbling on the grass at the Pašiliai European bison sanctuary is truly an amazing sight to behold. The Pašiliai European bison are inscribed in the International Book of Origin, so the name of each inhabitant of the sanctuary begins with the letters “Gi”. You can spend the entire day at the bison sanctuary and have a picnic at the rest area that has been set up for visitors.
There are already children out there who have never seen how a cow is milked or where a chicken lays its eggs. They think that everything they eat comes from a store, and that farm animals only live in the pages of a schoolbook. Would you like them to jump out of them and calmly nibble the grass in the field or roam in the forest? Meeting animals that are bred by people and the ones that live in the forest is always possible. How about giving it a try?
Who said that dinosaurs are extinct? Come and see for yourself – they are alive and well at dinosaur parks, and will even tell you themselves! There are more than 40 of them living in one picturesque corner of nature. They are life-size, and they hiss and spray water. They even know how to roar! Checking out the creatures you have seen in the cinema is an unexpected experience that is hard to believe. And don’t forget to take pictures! Listen, dinosaurs that became extinct 65 million years ago are thundering into Radailiai, nearby Klaipėda.
Would you like to feel like you’re on the set of a fantasy film? Go to Kuršių Nerija National Park. Not far from Juodkrantė, you can see a fantasy film ever day – pictures from the heron and cormorant colony observation point will take your breath away and remind you of an end-of-the-world movie: as far as the eyes can see, there is a forest of pale, dried-out trees with an infinite number of nests on top and more than 2,000 cormorants taking off from them.
In your search for the most beautiful corners of nature at the national or regional parks, don’t forget to stop by the visitor information centres! The exhibitions will be of interest not only to nature lovers, but also to young travellers, since they offer interactive games just for them.
This is a place with no age limit, where adults can enjoy feeling like children again. At our adventure parks, adrenaline and excitement await behind each tree and on each branch. Grab the rope tight, release your inner child, and jump from tree top to tree top. After escaping the urban jungle and getting some fresh air, you will feel an amazing surge of energy. Go for it! There are courses of varying difficulty for visitors of all ages and abilities.
Adventure can also be found in a cornfield. We can’t wait until the corn gets nice and high in the districts of Vilnius, Anykščiai and Radviliškis and the owners fill them with labyrinths. Finding your way out is just one of the many interesting challenges that the owners come up with. The bravest are invited to roam through the maize mazes at night. Try for yourself and see how well you do!
Even if you’ve never done it – give it a try. And if it’s something you’ve always dreamed about – don’t hold your horses! Once you mount a horse at one of Lithuania’s many equestrian centres, you’ll understand how ancient Lithuanians felt covering the longest distances on horseback, fighting for their country with them, going out for rides and racing their rivals. Horses give you an extraordinary sense of freedom, so try it if you’ve never ridden, and remember what it’s like if you have. Horses love the vastness of nature and the pure forest air, which certainly won’t hurt anyone taking a break from the city. Getting to know these great animals promises an unforgettable experience.
More and more frequently, we set out on our bikes. Trips like these force us to get some fresh air, and also take in more of our surroundings. That pleasant feeling of exhaustion, children’s first lessons on how to achieve a goal, and the constantly changing views are something to remember and are a great way for a family to bond. For those who like cycling, we recommend an unforgettable trip on the Seaside Cycle Route. This route runs along the entire coast of Lithuania and winds through the Curonian Spit – a perfect corner of nature that you just have to show the kids. Žemaitija National Park also offers a bike trip around Lake Plateliai. The forest trails here are full of discoveries.
Vilnius is full of legends – some are funny, some are chilling; some are sweet and some make you want to cry. Nemuziejus – the “Non-museum” – turns legends into reality, and modern technology grabs you and takes you back in time to the old days and the cellars, courtyards, homes and churches of Vilnius. They say that many people come back from these trips totally changed, having understood important things, learned the lessons of time, or at least fallen a bit more in love with their city.
At MO Museum – the modern art museum that opened its doors in Vilnius this autumn – Sunday is for families, featuring both animated film screenings and plays by the Pradžia Theatre. The actors from the theatre delight children with a special programme and games, and keep them busy while their parents take in the exhibition. Of course you can also take in the impressive collection of modern and contemporary works of art, which consists of Lithuania’s Golden Art Fund from the 1950s to this day, together with your kids – MO has a special booklet for children called MOmukas that contains creative tasks and questions, the answers to which lie in the exhibition.
Famous for its mineral water, this resort offers more than just relaxation at one of its many spa centres – you can also splash around with joy at the water park, or look for winter in summer at the indoor skiing complex. Or you can take the aerial lift from one centre to another and take in the impressive bends of the Nemunas River and the green panorama of the surrounding pine forests.
Have you ever seen the rain of stars? It happens in August and September in Lithuania, and the best place to be at such time is the Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology. Molėtai Astronomical Observatory is as if from a fantastic film – at daytime you can watch our great star through the solar telescopes, whereas at night you can count constellations and watch the glowing meteor shower. Experienced educators patiently answer curious questions and persistently invite children to see the world that they are very fond of.
Dolphins and sea lions, fish and penguins, shells, and molluscs – the magical water world is baffling. The Lithuanian Sea Museum invites you to become acquainted with it and learn how to respect and protect it. All you have to do is to take the ferry from Klaipėda to Smiltynė and then walk along the shore or even take a horse-drawn carriage. There you’ll meet Baltic grey seals and penguins, dolphins and California sea lions. The cheerful emotions and the eyes of little ones, filled with joy, explain why the museum has half a million visitors every year.
If you miss tropical heat and summer colours, simply turn to the new Zoopark, the first petting zoo in Vilnius. The creatively arranged space in the Šiaurės Miestelis region of the city has become home to 60 species of animals: from pygmy marmosets and suricates to turtles and capybaras. You can go right into the bat area or feed the parrots nectar. Meanwhile, the lemurs walk free at the zoo – the employees just remind visitors not to come with food in their pockets or bags because the lemurs might smell them and then they won’t leave you alone. They have been known to sit on people’s heads as they wait for their prey!
The Liepkalnis (Vilnius) and Kalita (Anykščiai) alpine coasters invite you to catch the wind. Filled with turns and hills, the coasters are perfect people who love speed – they can get up to 50 km/h. There’s no reason to worry though, since the sleds are easy to control. And impressions are guaranteed! So fasten your seat belts and... go!
If your children think it’s boring walking around Vilnius from one monument to another, tell them to listen to what the sculptures are saying. We assure you – the kids will definitely like this interactive and modern way to get to know Vilnius! The sculptures come to life in your phone, telling their stories and revealing the most interesting facts about the cultural and architectural heritage of the capital.