If you’re planning a stylish shopping pilgrimage to Kolonaki, there’s no need to leave the kids behind, or even have to dread bringing them along.
There are plenty of ways to combine adult interests (from shopping to the essential prosecco pit-stop) with things that will entertain your young ones too.
There are two playgrounds you can visit, both under the foothills of Lycabettus, and surrounded by greenery. The first is more ideally suited for children between baby and toddler ages, and is located in what is known as Deinokratous park, on the street of the same name. The large park is lovingly tended by the municipal gardeners as well as the parents who take their kids there, and includes a roundabout in one corner, several benches, and a marble drinking fountain. The playground itself is not very well shaded so it’s best to visit in ealy morning hours or late afternoon. It’s strewn with toys brought by residents so that besides the classic rides (swins, slide, climbing frame) young kids can find oodles of other entertainment.
The other playground is located in Dexameni square, right under the St George Lycabettus hotel. The steep downhill that leads to it is lined with little tables where you can have anything from cake and lemonade to fried calamari and lentil salad with ouzo. The square by the playground is ideal for scootering, football and hide and seek and during pre-Covid times it’s a great place for lingering until dark and then going to the open air Dexameni cinema.
Lycabettus hill itself is a lovely place to take kids of any age for a scenic nature walk, again, ideally during the cooler hours of the day. You can either take the teleferique cable car – an adventure in itself for younger kids (on Aristippou 3) or simply enjoy a leisurely uphill walk, stopping to look at the lovely panoramic views of the city, and even down to Piraeus harbour. Head up to the Church of St George for the best view of all.
The most exciting museum to visit with kids in Kolonaki is by far the Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology (Pindarou 16), where you can see models (many real-size and all very artfully crafted) of inventions that you wouldn’t believe came from millennia ago. From the Antikithera Mechanism, to a door alarm and the first robot – which served guests wine – this museum is not to be missed.
Children also love The War Museum (Rizari 2) next to Evangelismos metro. Apart from the many artefacts, pohotographs, weapons and uniforms housed inside, visitors are allowed to climb steps and peek into a great variety of historical war planes, cannons and more.
Mum, I’m hungry!
Kolonaki is full of cafes and restaurants, but there are a few places that are especially great for kids, and more budget-friendly too.
Kalamaki Kolonaki (Ploutarchou 32) Meat on a stick (beef, pork, chicken) and delicious hand-cut fresh fries to various salads and dips. Relaxed, comfortable setting and tolerance for kids who like to get up and play.
Yoleni’s (Solonos 9) A big variety of homemade-style fresh savoury pies, sandwiches and pies.
Filippou (Xenokratous 19) A classic Greek taverna-restaurant with homemade-style stews, fish and meat dishes, pies and other Greek classics. Don’t miss out on the prawn salad.
Mailo’s The Pasta Project (Patriarchou Ioakim 39) Freshly-made, quick, delicious and affordable. There are a few tables to sit at or just grap it in a tub on the go.
Cover image @kidslovegreece