Schönbrunn Easter Market 2014

20140424-145912.jpgThe Easter markets in Vienna are not nearly so plentiful as the Christmas markets.  I only know of 2 — the one near our house at the Freyung, and the bigger one at Schönbrunn.  We try to make it to both every year.  The Freyung market is quieter and very charming, and the focus is on the massive display of decorated eggs.  Schönbrunn is much bigger and has much more of a party feel, plus many, many busloads of tourists.  There’s a lot more food and a lot more to do at Schönbrunn (especially for kids), which makes it an easier place for a longer visit.

We didn’t make it out there this year until the day before Easter, and it was, predictably, a bit of a zoo.  But we had a great time.  The boys played quite a few games (like tabletop hockey . . . with chickens) and participated in some fun activities (walking on stilts), we all ate a little lunch, I visited the shop stall of my favorite Austrian folk artist, Lisl (who remembers me every time) and we all enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at the market.  (By contrast, last year it was rainy and cold the day we went to the Schönbrunn market, but still lots of fun.)


It was fun and festive, and good times were had all around.  It was a fun way to spend part of Easter weekend, and to enjoy a little of early spring in Vienna.





B even took on an adult in chicken hockey





Freyung Easter Market . . . yet again

167The Freyung Easter market holds a very special place in our hearts.  Not only was it our first holiday market experience when we moved to Vienna, but it ended up being literally across the street from our home here, but we had no way of knowing that it would be the first time we visited it.  I love the Easter markets and the Christmas markets in Vienna.  I love how festive and fun they are, the feeling of neighborhood and community, the yummy treats and the sights, sounds and smells.  I’ve been completely won over by the whole experience.

We have learned, however, that for the kids, it’s not always as much fun as it seems like it should be.  There’s a lot 179to see, but so much that they aren’t allowed to touch.  There are lots of snacks and treats, but even though we try to say yes when we can, they end up hearing “no” a lot.  It’s usually pretty crowded, so they can’t run off and be free.  It’s fun for them, but not for as long as it’s fun for us.  We’ve learned that trips with the kids need to be short and sweet, and that if we adults want to go back and browse, we need to do it another time.

We made a quick family trip to the Freyung Easter market the weekend before Easter.  We looked at the amazing displays of painted, carved and beaded eggs (real eggs!), listened to some live 022music, visited the bunnies (Benjamin has decided that the black and white one IS the Easter Bunny) and ate some roasted almonds.  It was a short trip, but a fun one.  Visiting the Freyung Easter market truly feels like a celebration not just of spring and of Easter, but also of our Vienna anniversary.  I made another trip back later in the week to do some more thorough shopping, but we had a great time, all of us, just stopping by for a quick visit.


“Die Osterhasen”

20130316-150923.jpgThe Easter markets opened today in Vienna. Unlike the Christmas markets, which are plentiful and sprinkled throughout the city, there are only two major Easter markets in Vienna each year (that I know of, at least). One of these, the Altwiener Ostermarkt is on the Freyung, which is very close to our house (on the block directly across the street from our house).

We love the Easter markets. Not only are they fun and festive, with yummy treats and intricate, beautifully beaded and hand painted eggs, but their arrival informally marks our Viennese anniversary.

Our first spring here, Easter was later, in April, and one of the first fun, Viennese things we did after our arrival was to visit the very Easter market that is now across the street from our house. (We were living elsewhere at the time, which kind of makes it a fun coincidence that we once visited what would become our neighborhood, back before we knew it would be.)

20130316-150935.jpgI look forward to the markets each spring. We take the kids and wander through, sampling treats and window shopping. The amazing eggs are wonderful to admire (although I constantly worry about knocking over an entire display). And, tucked at the back of this market, there is always a stall where the bunnies live — just two or three, hanging out (usually sleeping or snacking). The kids can stop by and visit with the bunnies, watching them do their bunny thing.

Today, when we visited the bunny stall (the bunnies this year are HUGE), B was entranced. He stood and watched the bunnies — one slept while the other hopped around and had a snack. He turned to me, after a few minutes, and said, “You know, at school, I learned that these are called ‘Osterhasen’ in German.”

20130316-150946.jpgI think that is so cool. (I didn’t know that.) Watching B enjoy the Osterhasen, and remembering back to our first Easter market trip, nearly two years ago, I’m pretty amazed at how far we’ve come. Two years ago, we barely got through a visit like that, and it was far more stressful to do it. Now it feels like a familiar tradition, and we kind of even understand what’s going on.