The sun and water

Dear Parent and/or Carer! We are well aware that for more than a year now you have been spending more time with your children than you ever expected and, frankly, probably ever even signed up for. What made things worse is that, for most of this time, you have been cooped up in your home. Schools and cultural institutions did their best to provide respite. However, the best they could do under the circumstances was to offer your kids activities that involved even more computer screen time. This severely tested the limits of your children's attention spans. Luckily, the spring has come and it is time to head for the great outdoors! Where exactly should I go?, you might ask. Here are a few ideas we have been able to pull together.

Playground in the pirate ship shape situated on a sandy area. In te background some trees. - grafika artykułu
The "Family Harbour" Pirate Ship playground, photograph courtesy of the organisers (POSiR)

As soon as the weather gets warmer, dust off your bikes (unless hiking is your preference) and take a ride down Poznan's favourite walking and cycling riverfront trail called Wartostrada. Make a stop at the Szeląg Garden café, a marvellous spot to relax and enjoy a beverage and a bite. You might want to rent a rowboat or a kayak at a nearby rental place and go on a trip on the Warta River. Adjacent to a whole different section of the Wartostrada is the Old Riverbed Park featuring one of Poznan's best-designed playgrounds. Alternatively, you can cycle (or hike) over to the Szachty neighbourhood. Its biggest attraction by far is its observation tower. You can scale this architectural gem and take in a panorama of the city of Poznan, the town of Luboń and the surrounding landscape. Or else, choose the educational path in the Morasko Meteorite nature reserve. Marked with informative display boards, the path crosses an area dotted with craters left behind by a meteor shower thousands of years ago. A fascinating place to see, especially for a young astronomy buff!

Being the season when nature emerges from hibernation, spring is a perfect time to explore plants and animals. One of the best venues to do this is the Botanical Garden of Adam Mickiewicz University. While there, you are well advised to follow its many well-marked educational paths. Every time you revisit, you can learn something new. Having made it to the Botanical Garden, you may well choose to stroll along the shore of the nearby Lake Rusałka. As Covid lingers, it is difficult to predict when and which parts of the lakefront infrastructure you will find open. It is nevertheless good to remember the options and appreciate this stunning area, albeit marked by tragic history.

Another amazing destination for a spring walk is, of course, the area around Poznan's other city lake: Lake Malta. Don't miss the Malta Ski complex and, while there, take a ride on a chain carousel, a roller coaster or a summer toboggan. Here too Covid restrictions make it hard to foresee which attractions, if any, will be available. It is best to inquire before visiting. One must-do attraction is the Pirate Ship, possibly Poznan's most impressive playground, located on the Malta lakefront right between the Thermal Baths and the Regatta Course scoreboard. Be on the lookout for the reopening of the Pyrland Aerial Adventure Ropes Course, which was closed as of the time of this writing.

Speaking of nature watching and the Malta area, check out the treetop path, weather permitting. Keep in mind that while the pandemic lasts, its footbridge keeps one-way traffic with entrance on the Krańcowa Street end only. Once you have reached the path, you have almost made it to the zoo which never fails to offer an exciting and edifying tour. Other than animals, you can enjoy its playground and mini aerial ropes course. A great alternative for people with a little less time and no inclination to venture outside the city centre is to visit the Old Zoo on Zwierzyniecka street and check out its collection of fascinating and cute animals.

Don't snub city parks, many of which feature great playgrounds. The largest of them, the Citadel, will satisfy all desires. You can explore its fortification ruins, savour the landscaping, admire the works of art, and have your children enjoy a great playground. The Citadel's generous open spaces are perfect for outdoor sports. Consider a family game of badminton or simply toss some frisbee.

If your charges are slightly older, you might want to check out the poznań.travel website with city games for tourists. Some may well strike their fancy.

This spring, follow the advice of 5-year-old Gucio Wawszczyk, whose song went viral in late 2019. In it, Gucio said: "The sun and water protect you from dying". In that spirit, get as much fresh air as you can without breaching social distancing rules and other precautions. Whether it's good health, education or just plain old kicks, any reason to "go for a walk and absorb some sunshine" is a good one!

Katarzyna Misiura

translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski

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