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Budapest

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Boulevards, libraries, et cetera

November is the beginning of the months-long period, when moms spend almost as much time in the hallway of their homes dressing the kid as they do outside.

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Playgrounds empty out, slides are wet, the handles on monkey bars are freezing cold. The end-of-year season, however, is closing in with holidays and whatnot. It’s the time when I peek into catalogues before finally getting rid of them and ponder upon where, when and what to look for or buy, and for whom. Bearing these in mind, me and the little girl set out into the city, specifically the area of -Kiskörút-Ráday utca-Nagykörút. We go during the workday, of course, to avoid the peak hours making it a pleasant experience for the both of us.

Though we don’t usually walk past Nagykörút (Great Boulevard), here, close to , is where you can find one of our favorite squares in the city, Hunyadi Square. While in its wholeness it is a bit far from being a welcome sight, its closed-off playground is something you won’t complain about. The specialty of the place is the red fortress of monkey bars meant for bigger children. Smaller ones can devote their time to the slides and climbing wall in the sandbox.

The biggest advantage of the place is that the market starts almost right at the fence of the playground, so you can practically pick which seller you’d like to buy pumpkin from. You might want to visit the market hall, too. The variety of goods is not stunning but you can get everything at reasonable prices from kind sellers. And those, who wish for something more, different or special, can pay a visit to , right next to the market hall. Should you be occupied with lists of items to buy for your loved ones instead of cooking, why don’t you visit the Paco Modell store? It’s advisable to check their supply of great plane and ship models on the internet beforehand not to be surprised by their non-discount price range (they don’t sell toys but real models), and to make up for the lack of information you’ll be able to get out of the laconic assistant. No matter how simple it would be to wrap up shopping in the Lidl on the corner, you’d better off not doing that. The crowd is unbearable, not to mention the interior of the place. Cheap as it may be, it’s a no-go for when you’re with children. Instead, I recommend the Albanian bakery in Király Street.

Proceeding further in Király Street, let’s take a little break in . You might have noticed it before that there are not only restaurants here but a library, as well, which, by the way, is free of charge for children. There are colored baby reader’s tickets, there is a playing corner, and there are child-loving librarians. Those, who’d rather buy and not borrow, should try Írók Boltja. There might be bigger or cheaper book stores but more attentive and personal doubtfully. I always get the impression that the assistants here don’t only know all the authors and volumes, but are also in an intimate, close relationship with them. In line with this the selection of children’s books is also commendable. Though there are stools for the kids this place is not an ideal one for yelling and running around. It’s recommended to go with either little ones who are asleep, or curious bigger children.

As long as I’m drawing the reader’s attention to shops, Kare in Király Street is a place to visit. Why am I writing about a interior design store? Because it’s packed with shiny, vivid strange-looking objects that are bound to be fascinating for children. And since I’m writing to recommend places to adults, too, I must mention Kadarka Bar on the other side of the street, which we visit ever more often in the evenings, if Granny can look after the kid

Although I criticized the playground on the corner of in one of our earlier articles, I have to make amends. We’ve been coming here more often since, and the kids are very nice, the place is kept clean, and the playground equipments are good. A downside is, however, that the mobile toilet in the corner is not only used by the playground visitors. You can hear the tolling of the bell of the Terézváros Parish Church, and you can show your kid the Synagogue, if you take a walk along the renovated Kazinczy Street.

This part of the 7th district is so bustling and vibrating that we often decide to take a stroll here “just because” watching the buildings, the people, and the happenings. And if you get tired of not letting go of your kid’s hand make your way to Astoria, past (Little Boulevard), or the garden of the National Museum. None of them is suitable for crazy shouting and running about, but at least you don’t have to apply “man-to-man defense”.

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