The Center for Contemporary Art – Ujazdowski Castle
Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej (CSW) – Zamek Ujazdowski
Are you asking yourself again what to do with kids on a rainy day in Warsaw? Or is it summertime and it’s too hot to play outside (yes! it happens in Poland, usually in July or August)? Or is it December afternoon, 4 pm and already dark outside – you have still too many hours before your kids get wasted and fall asleep, and you would like to offer them something else than TV screen or tablet? Do you need a break from playgrounds and want to spend some quality time with your family? Would you like “to do something for yourself” but at the same time be with your precious little ones and not make them bored?
I have a perfect destination for you in the heart of Warsaw – modern art gallery where you, adults, can indulge in some inspiring art while your kids have lots of fun exploring the spacious interior and fascinating artworks: the Ujazdowski Castle and its Centre for Contemporary Art.
About the Castle
The Ujazdowski Castle hosts two institutions: The Museum of the Castle and Military Hospital with its own exhibition, as well as the Centre for Contemporary Art which holds each month few interdisciplinary and interactive exhibitions or projects.
The Ujazdowski Castle was the seat of the Dukes of Mazovia, the residence of Polish kings, and since 1792 the hospital. The Castle survived the Nazi occupation and the Second World War, but it was in a very poor condition. The present building is a reconstruction dating from the 1980s.
Kids love contemporary art
The interesting thing about this place is that the modern art meets traditional exhibition space of the monumental Ujazdowski Castle. Which is perfect for kids: the exhibition rooms are spacious, so parents don’t need to worry all the time that their kids would collide with the art exhibit. With modern art, it is possible that children (and sometimes parents) will be confused what is the exhibit and what isn’t. I believe contemporary art with all its installations and crazy projects is ideal for children – this art really gets their attention and is not boring. However, with the contemporary art and kids, you have to be double alert – be ready to answer difficult questions when your kids comment the art.
Visiting the Center for Contemporary Art with kids is not only about art – they love the building with its huge staircase and spacious rooms. On the ground floor, there is a bookstore (some books are available in English) that offers also Warsaw souvenirs and (kind of artistic) toys.
Perfect place for lunch, coffee or dinner and then a walk
In the Gallery building, there are two restaurants. Instalacje Art Bistro is more casual, it’s open every day from 9 am and serves also breakfast, if the weather permits, you can seat outside (https://www.facebook.com/InstalacjeArtBistro/).
From the back of the building, there is a fancy restaurant – Qchnia Artystyczna (Artistic Cuisine, English website: http://qchnia.pl/blog_eng/). The menu is seasonal and changes very often, it’s modern cooking but definitely inspired by traditional Polish cuisine. The restaurant has the beautiful summer terrace, probably the best in Warsaw.
If the weather permits, before or after your visit to the Ujazdowski Castle, you can have a really nice walk in the Agricola park (park Agrykola). From the back of the castle you take stairs to the Agricola park, if you walk to the right, you will reach the Lazienki Royal Park.