Hello, I’m Elizabeth. A travel blogger at In Search Of and freelance editor currently based in Vilnius, Lithuania. I’ve been living in Vilnius for nearly three years now and recently had my first baby, who I call Baby ISO on the blog. As a new mother, I’ve become even more enamoured with Vilnius, as it is so kid (and mother) friendly. Below I share my five reasons why Vilnius is great city to visit with children.
1) Playground and Parks. Outdoor spaces are scattered throughout the city and almost always have a playground or two. Taking children to the park to play or for a walk is a daily activity here.
2) Safety. My number one reason for loving Vilnius as a parent is the safety of the city. Though Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, you will frequently see young children walking home from school or playing in parks alone, sleeping babies in carriages left outside of shops, and children riding the bus alone. I’ve never once seen anyone bother any children.
3) Child Cafes. Yes! The Kuku Muku Cafe is specifically created for children. The staff are dressed up (often as princesses or ballerinas), they have babyfood on the menu, and there are toys and activities specifically for young children. For the adults, they serve coffee, tea, and solid food.
4) Kid-oriented theater. I know of three theaters in Vilnius that have special showtimes and performances for children. The Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater has earlier start times for kid-friendly performances, such a Snow White and Cinderella, and children under 5 who sit on your lap are free of charge. The Arts Printing House (Menu Spaustuve) has shows that are created specifically for children 0-3 years old. They also have puppet shows and other performances for older children. The Lele Theater (Vilniaus Teatras Lele) shows puppet shows of famous fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood and Thumbelinia. They also have puppet performances of Lithuanian-specific fairy tales.
5) Mom-friendly. A happy mom = a happy baby? Not only is the maternity leave in Lithuanian appropriately long (up to 3 years paid), you’ll find mothers frequently walking their babies through the parks or taking advantage of the activities listed above (particularly 3 and 4). For nursing moms, nursing in public is not a problem here – I’ve nursed in public many times here and never had an issue. Nursing moms can also find beautiful nursing clothes from the Etsy shop, MiLKsense (also sold at Pop Up shops in Vilnius).
If you are visiting Vilnius with children please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me via social media @insearchofs if you have questions!