January 2021 in Warsaw: ideas and recommendations for making the most of your wintertime in Warsaw

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Winter illuminations in Warsaw in January 2021

Winter illuminations in Łazienki Royal Garden

Winter illuminations in Łazienki Królewskie are located in the part of the park called Aleja Chińska/Chinese Avenue (from the gate at Agrykola Street to the gate at Gagarina Street).

The illumination includes several meters high, luminous figures in period costumes, located along the Aleja Chińska. Colorful lights also illuminate the gates at Agrykola Street and Gagarina Street.

The festive lights in Łazienki Park are on every day from dusk until 8 pm (the gates at Agrykola Street and Gagarina Street close at 8.15 pm), free entrance. The winter illuminations in Łazienki are on until February 28, 2021Click here to read more about visiting the Łazienki Park in our post.

“The Royal Garden of Light” – illuminations festival in Wilanów Park

“The Royal Garden of Light” is Warsaw’s must-see sight during the wintertime and both adults and children will love it. It’s located in the gardens of a baroque royal palace called the “Polish Versailles”, in the Wilanów district of Warsaw. The Wilanów festival is a unique open-air exhibition with thousands of diodes forming tunnels, trees, installations, and sculptures. The illuminations are accompanied by classical music and mappings on the palace façade (3D shows featuring sounds, images, and lights).

The winter festival runs until February 28, 2021Read our tips in English about the Festival in Wilanów (ticket info, opening hours, etc.).

Winter illuminations at Multimedia Fountain Park

Multimedia Fountain Park is a free fountain complex located in between the Old Town/New Town area and the Vistula river. The festive illuminations this year include a special installation: thanks to the employees of medical services. In the 2020/2021 season, there will be NO multimedia shows with music and lights. More in English about the fountain park.

Holiday illuminations, a Christmas tree, and lights on Warsaw’s streets

This year, due to savings, illuminations light up fewer streets in Warsaw than in previous years. This year’s new illuminations are to reflect the spirit of pre-war Warsaw.

The largest Christmas tree in Warsaw is lit on Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy) in Warsaw’s Old Town. The main attractions on Warsaw streets focus on the “The Royal Route”, from the Castle Square/Plac Zamkowy (including the Christmas tree), Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, Nowy Świat Street to the de Gaulle roundabout (Rondo de Gaulle’a). 

The Old Town is also be decorated (including Piwna Street, Świętojańska Street, Old Town Square, Nowomiejska Street, Freta Street, New Town Square, Kościelna Street to Podzamcze).

The Christmas illuminations on Warsaw’s streets will stay on until mid-February 2021.

More about the winter illuminations in Warsaw in 2021 in our post.

Ideas for things to do in Warsaw in January (what’s still open)

Museum of Life under Communism
Location: Piękna 28/34 Street, next to Plac (Square) Konstytucji (city center). Opening hours: Monday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday 10 am – 6 pm, Friday 12 pm – 8 pm. The Museum presents how people used to live during communist times in Poland. There are few different sections where you can experience propaganda, lifestyle, politics or ordinary day from the times.  Museums in Poland are closed but this private museum offers to rent their space exclusively for a group up to 4 people for 1 hour for 50 PLN. The exhibition has descriptions in Polish and English. There is also an audio guide available in English (to be downloaded on the phone). Reservations can be made by phone: +48 515 114 469 or via email: biuro@mzprl.plMore in English about the Museum.

The Viewing Platform of the Palace of Culture and Science
Location: Plac Defilad 1 (city center). The platform is located on the 30th floor (114 m high) of the Palace of Culture and Science. Opening hours: 10 am – 8 pm. Online ticketsOur tips about visiting the platform.

Warsaw Zoo
Location: Ratuszowa 1/3 Street (Praga), opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm (weekends and holidays), 9 am – 3.30 pm (Monday-Friday). Last admission one hour before the Zoo closes. Online ticketsThe Zoo is open every day, including all public holidays! Two entrances/exits are open: from Ratuszowa Street and from the Gdański Bridge. The ticket office on the side of Gdańsk Bridge is open only on Fridays and weekends. Website in English.

Mini zoo/petting zoo  
Location: Mini Zoo, Kolorowa 19 lok. 156 Street, poziom/level -1 (Ursus), Monday – Friday 11 am – 7 pm, Saturday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm. At the Mini Zoo, you can feed and stroke the animals. The visits take place in the company of a Mini ZOO employee who will show and teach how to deal with animals. The Mini Zoo is located in the indoor heated room; tickets available for purchase on-site, no reservation is required. Facebook page. Website in Polish.

The Garden of the Royal Castle
Location: the Garden is located at the back of the Castle. You can enter the lower garden from Wisłostrada Street / the Vistula Boulevard side. Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm. Free entrance. More about the Gardens of the Royal Castle in our post.

Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Powsin
Location: Prawdziwka 2 Street, 02-973 Powsin. The Garden is located in Powsin, in the suburbs of Warsaw – between Wilanów and Konstancin. Opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm (weekends), 10 am – 4 pm (Monday-Friday). The orangery opening hours: 10 am – 3 pm. In winter, only the main entrance is open, from Prawdziwka 2 Street (the entrance from the Culture Park in Powsin/Park Kultury w Powsinie is closed). Our tips on visiting the Garden (ticket info, location, photos).

The Łazienki Royal Garden
Location: Agrykola 1 Street (city center). The museums are closed, the park is open every day: 6 am – 8 pm, free entrance. More about the Łazienki Park in our post.

The Foreign Languages Library
Location: Meissnera 5 Street (Praga). The Library is reopened from December 1. All are welcome! Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1 pm – 7 pm; Tuesday, Thursday 11 am – 4 pm. It’s the biggest library in Warsaw offering books in different foreign languages Library. It has over 50,000 books, audiobooks, and films, including books for children and teenagers. Most of their collection is in English but there are also books in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Croatian. Facebook page in Polish & English. Website in Polish and English.

Park of the King Jan III’s Palace in Wilanów
Location: Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Street (Wilanów). The park is a part of the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace – a baroque summer residence of King Jan III Sobieski and his wife, Queen Maria Kazimiera (the museum building is closed). It’s a vast park (45 hectares!) with gardens of different styles (Baroque, English landscape garden, rose garden, Anglo-Chinese garden) as well as Wilanowskie Lake, and lots of beautiful nature. The park’s opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm (last entry 3 pm). Regular ticket 7 PLN, reduced ticket 4 PLN (children up to 7 years old – free entrance), tickets for children from the European Union – 1 PLN. The ticket area begins in the courtyard (it used to be free). On Thursdays free admission based on tickets to be collected at the ticket office and ticket machines. It’s recommended to buy tickets online. More about the park and beautiful photos in our post.

“The Royal Garden of Light” – the illuminations festival in the Wilanów Palace Park
Location: Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Street (Wilanów). Opening hours: 4 pm – 9 pm (last entry at 8 pm). Although the exhibition is located in the park (where masks are not mandatory in Poland), you must wear a mask in the exhibition area. Click here to read Kids in the City tips in English about the illuminations festival (mappings hours, tickets, parking lots, etc.). The festival runs until February 28, 2021.

Winter illuminations in the Łazienki Royal Garden
Location: Agrykola 1 Street (city center). Winter illuminations in Łazienki Królewskie are located in the part of the park called Aleja Chińska/Chinese Avenue (from the gate at Agrykola Street to the gate at Gagarina Street). The festive lights in Łazienki Park are on every day from the dusk until 8 pm (the gates at Agrykola Street and Gagarina Street close at 8.15 pm), free entrance. The winter illuminations in Łazienki are on until February 28, 2021More about the Łazienki Park in our post.

A Christmas tree, festive illuminations, and decorations along Warsaw’s streets 
The lights are switched starting from dusk, from around 3.30 pm. The main attractions focus on the “The Royal Route”, from the Castle Square/Plac Zamkowy (including the Christmas tree), Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, Nowy Świat Street to the de Gaulle roundabout (Rondo de Gaulle’a). The Old Town is also decorated (including Piwna Street, Świętojańska Street, Old Town Square, Nowomiejska Street, Freta Street, New Town Square, Kościelna Street to Podzamcze). Find out more in our post on Warsaw’s illuminations in 2021.

Winter illuminations at Warsaw Multimedia Fountain Park
Multimedia Fountain Park (Multimedialny Park Fontann) is a free fountain complex located in between the Old Town/New Town area and the Vistula river. The festive illuminations include a special installation: thanks to the employees of medical services. In the 2020/2021 season, there will be NO multimedia shows with music and lights. More in English about the fountain parkOur post on Warsaw’s illuminations in 2021.

Attractions closed until January 31 based on new covid regulations.

Artificial skiing slope in Ochota – Górka Szczęśliwicka
Location: Górka Szczęśliwicka, Park Szczęśliwicki, Drawska 22 Street (Ochota). Opening hours: 10 am – 8 pm (open every day). Website and Facebook page in Polish.

Torwar indoor ice skating rink 
Location: Torwar, Łazienkowska 6A Street (city center). Opening hours: Tuesday 8 pm – 9.30 pm, Thursday 8 pm – 9.30 pm, Saturday 6.30 pm – 8 pm, Sunday 11 am – 12.30 pm (including a separated area for kids) and 6.30 pm – 8 pm. Website, info about tickets, online tickets, and Facebook page.

An outdoor ice skating rink in Wilanów
Location: Royal Wilanów, Klimczaka 1 Street. Opening hours Monday-Friday: 1 pm – 9 pm, weekend: 12 pm – 9 pm.  More in Polish.

An indoor ice skating rink ‘Figlowisko’ in Ursynów
Location: Aleja Komisji Edukacji Narodowej 60 Street (Ursynów). Opening hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including bank holidays. Ice skates can be rented on site. Website, info about tickets, and Facebook page.

An indoor ice skating rink in Targówek/Bródno
Location: Łabiszyńska 20 Street (Targówek). Opening hours: Monday-Friday 2 pm – 9 pm, Saturday-Sunday 9 am – 9 pm. Technical breaks: Monday – Friday 6.30 pm – 7 pm, Saturday-Sunday 12 pm – 12.30 pm, 3 pm – 3.30 pm, 6 pm – 6.30 pm. Website, info about tickets, and Facebook page.

Outdoor ice rink in Praga, at Plac Konesera
Location: Plac (square) Konesera, Centrum Praskie Koneser (Praga). Opening hours: 10 am – 2.30 pm (75 min-sessions and 15-min breaks). More in Polish.

Changes in the paid parking zone in Warsaw from January 4

New fee rates
From January 4, new paid parking rates apply: 3.90 PLN for the first hour of parking (the fee for the second and third hour will be respectively 20% higher). This is the first change since 2008.

New hours for the paid parking zone
The zone is valid on weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm (previously fees were charged to 6 pm).
This is to additionally discourage the car from being left in a public parking place for the whole day – thanks to which more drivers will be able to use any place, and residents – returning to the zone in the evening – will find it easier to find a free space near their home.

New districts in the paid parking zone?
Analyzes and consultations on the inclusion of further districts of Warsaw in the paid parking zone are underway. Pre-decision analyzes for Ochota and Żoliborz are ongoing.

Weather in Poland in January

January is the coldest month in Poland. The average temperature in January in Poland is -1,5°C / 30,2°F. The average rainfall level in Poland in January is 37 mm. The Polish name for January – styczeń – comes from the word stykać meaning to connect old and new year. Sunset on January 1: 3.33 pm, January 31: 4.20 pm.

Winter in Poland is cold and usually snowy. To stay cozy in cold weather in Poland, you will need a hat, coat, scarf, gloves, and winter boots. The weather during the winter in Poland differs. Usually, the temperature is around freezing or a few degrees below, but it happens that the temperature drops below -20 °C (-4 °F). Recent years have seen an increase in average winter temperatures compared to previous years. Trends also indicate that we can start getting used to relatively warmer December in Poland and winter shifting for the period from January to March.

Read more about the weather and winter in Poland.

Shopping Sunday and trade ban Sundays in Poland in January 2021

In January 2021, there is one shopping Sunday in Poland: January 31. January 3, 10, 17, and 24 are trade ban Sundays in Poland. Click here to read our post about shopping Sundays in Poland in 2021.

Public holidays and dates to remember in Poland in January 2021

  • January 1

New Year’s Day (Nowy Rok)
A bank holiday in Poland – stores, malls, shopping centers are closed, only some smaller local convenience stores can be open (eg. Żabka). You can do basic shopping at gas stations.

  • January 6

Epiphany / The Three Wise Kings (Trzech Króli)
A bank holiday in Poland, stores are closed. Christian holiday commemorating the three wise kings’ visit to infant Jesus. In Warsaw and other big cities, there are street parades. There is a tradition in Poland to write with chalk brought from the church above the entrance of your home: K+M+B (or C+M+B). The letters have two meanings: they represent the initials of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar (Kacper, Melchior, Baltazar); it’s also the abbreviation of the Latin phrase Christus mansionem benedicat (May Christ bless this house).

  • January 21 & January 22

Grandmother’s Day & Grandfather’s Day (Dzień Babci & Dzień Dziadka)
People visit or call their grandparents to honor them. In kindergartens, there are usually events for grandparents.

  • January 31

Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity, 29th Grand Finale (Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy)
The biggest charity event in Poland. 2021 winter fundraiser will be held to raise funds to support pediatric laryngology, otorhinolaryngology, and head diagnostics. Many concerts, shows and other events all over Poland. Volunteers (including many children) collect money on the streets giving away to all donors red stickers in the shape of a heart. The Foundation’s website in English. Due to the new coronavirus restrictions in Poland, the event has been moved from January 10 to January 31.

Read more about public holidays and dates to remember in Poland in winter 2021.

Things to do in Warsaw on 2 public holidays: January 1 and January 6

  • January 6

Epiphany / The Three Wise Kings (Trzech Króli)
A public holiday in Poland – stores, malls, shopping centers are closed, only some smaller local convenience stores can be open (eg. Żabka). You can do basic shopping at gas stations. Christian holiday commemorating the three wise kings’ visit to infant Jesus.

The Viewing Platform of the Palace of Culture and Science
Location: Plac Defilad 1 (city center). The platform is located on the 30th floor (114 m high) of the Palace of Culture and Science. Opening hours: 10 am – 8 pm. Online ticketsOur tips about visiting the platform.

Park of the King Jan III’s Palace in Wilanów
Location: Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Street (Wilanó). The park is a part of the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace – a baroque summer residence of King Jan III Sobieski and his wife, Queen Maria Kazimiera (the museum building is closed). It’s a vast park (45 hectares!) with gardens of different styles (Baroque, English landscape garden, rose garden, Anglo-Chinese garden) as well as Wilanowskie Lake, and lots of beautiful nature. The park’s opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm (last entry 3 pm). Regular ticket 7 PLN, reduced ticket 4 PLN (children up to 7 years old – free entrance), tickets for children from the European Union – 1 PLN. The ticket area begins in the courtyard (it used to be free). It’s recommended to buy tickets onlineMore about the park and beautiful photos in our post.

“The Royal Garden of Light” – the illuminations festival in the Wilanów Palace Park
Location: Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Street (Wilanów). Opening hours: 4 pm – 9 pm (last entry at 8 pm). Mappings (illumination, picture, and sound) on the Palace façade at 4.30 pm, 5.30 pm, 6.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 8.30 pm. One show lasts approx. 15 minutes. Although the exhibition is located in the park (where masks are not mandatory in Poland), you must wear a mask in the exhibition area. Click here to read Kids in the City tips in English about the illuminations festival (mappings hours, tickets, parking lots, etc.). The festival runs until February 28.

Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Powsin
Location: Prawdziwka 2 Street, 02-973 Powsin. The Garden is located in Powsin, in the suburbs of Warsaw – between Wilanów and Konstancin. Opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm. The orangery opening hours: 9 am – 3 pm. In winter, only the main entrance is open, from Prawdziwka 2 Street (the entrance from the Culture Park in Powsin/Park Kultury w Powsinie is closed). Our tips on visiting the Garden (ticket info, location, photos).

Warsaw Zoo
Location: Ratuszowa 1/3 Street (Praga), opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm (weekends and holidays), 9 am – 3.30 pm (Monday-Friday). Last admission one hour before the Zoo closes. Online tickets. Two entrances/exits are open: from Ratuszowa Street and from the Gdański Bridge. The ticket office on the side of Gdańsk Bridge is open only on Fridays and weekends. Website in English.

Mini zoo/petting zoo  
Location: Mini Zoo, Kolorowa 19 lok. 156 Street, poziom/level -1 (Ursus). January 1: 12 pm – 7 pm; January 6: 10 am – 6 pm. At the Mini Zoo, you can feed and stroke the animals. The visits take place in the company of a Mini ZOO employee who will show and teach how to deal with animals. The Mini Zoo is located in the indoor heated room; tickets available for purchase on-site, no reservation is required. Facebook pageWebsite in Polish.

Winter illuminations at Warsaw Multimedia Fountain Park
Multimedia Fountain Park (Multimedialny Park Fontann) is a free fountain complex located in between the Old Town/New Town area and the Vistula river. The festive illuminations includie a special installation: thanks to the employees of medical services. In the 2020/2021 season, there will be NO multimedia shows with music and lights. More in English about the fountain parkOur post on Warsaw’s illuminations in the 2020/2021 season.

The Garden of the Royal Castle
Location: the Garden is located at the back of the Castle. You can enter the lower garden from Wisłostrada Street / the Vistula Boulevard side. Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm. Free entrance. More about the Gardens of the Royal Castle in our post.

The Łazienki Royal Garden
Location: Agrykola 1 Street (city center). The museums are closed, the park is open every day: 6 am – 8 pm, free entrance. More about the Łazienki Park in our post.

Winter illuminations in the Łazienki Royal Garden
Location: Agrykola 1 Street (city center). Winter illuminations in Łazienki Królewskie are located in the part of the park called Aleja Chińska/Chinese Avenue (from the gate at Agrykola Street to the gate at Gagarina Street). The festive lights in Łazienki Park are on every day from dusk until 8 pm (the gates at Agrykola Street and Gagarina Street close at 8.15 pm), free entrance. The winter illuminations in Łazienki are on until February 28, 2021More about the Łazienki Park in our post.

A Christmas tree, festive illuminations, and decorations along Warsaw’s streets 
The lights are switched starting from dusk. The main attractions focus on the “The Royal Route”, from the Castle Square/Plac Zamkowy (including the Christmas tree), Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, Nowy Świat Street to the de Gaulle roundabout (Rondo de Gaulle’a). The Old Town is also decorated (including Piwna Street, Świętojańska Street, Old Town Square, Nowomiejska Street, Freta Street, New Town Square, Kościelna Street to Podzamcze). Find out more in our post on Warsaw’s illuminations in the 2020/2021 season.

  • January 1

New Year’s Day (Nowy Rok)
A public holiday in Poland – stores, malls, shopping centers are closed, only some smaller local convenience stores can be open (eg. Żabka). You can do basic shopping at gas stations.

The Viewing Platform of the Palace of Culture and Science
Location: Plac Defilad 1 (city center). The platform is located on the 30th floor (114 m high) of the Palace of Culture and Science. Opening hours: 12 pm – 8 pm. Online ticketsOur tips about visiting the platform.

Park of the King Jan III’s Palace in Wilanów
Location: Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Street (Wilanó). The park is a part of the Museum of King Jan III’s Palace – a baroque summer residence of King Jan III Sobieski and his wife, Queen Maria Kazimiera (the museum building is closed). It’s a vast park (45 hectares!) with gardens of different styles (Baroque, English landscape garden, rose garden, Anglo-Chinese garden) as well as Wilanowskie Lake, and lots of beautiful nature. The park’s opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm (last entry 3 pm). Regular ticket 7 PLN, reduced ticket 4 PLN (children up to 7 years old – free entrance), tickets for children from the European Union – 1 PLN. The ticket area begins in the courtyard (it used to be free). It’s recommended to buy tickets onlineMore about the park and beautiful photos in our post.

“The Royal Garden of Light” – the illuminations festival in the Wilanów Palace Park
Location: Stanisława Kostki Potockiego 10/16 Street (Wilanów). Opening hours: 4 pm – 9 pm (last entry at 8 pm). Mappings (illumination, picture, and sound) on the Palace façade at 4.30 pm, 5.30 pm, 6.30 pm, 7.30 pm, 8.30 pm. One show lasts approx. 15 minutes. Although the exhibition is located in the park (where masks are not mandatory in Poland), you must wear a mask in the exhibition area. Click here to read Kids in the City tips in English about the illuminations festival (mappings hours, tickets, parking lots, etc.). The festival runs until February 28.

Warsaw Zoo
Location: Ratuszowa 1/3 Street (Praga), opening hours: 9 am – 4 pm (weekends and holidays), 9 am – 3.30 pm (Monday-Friday). Last admission one hour before the Zoo closes. Online tickets. Two entrances/exits are open: from Ratuszowa Street and from the Gdański Bridge. The ticket office on the side of Gdańsk Bridge is open only on Fridays and weekends. Website in English.

Mini zoo/petting zoo  
Location: Mini Zoo, Kolorowa 19 lok. 156 Street, poziom/level -1 (Ursus). January 1: 12 pm – 7 pm; January 6: 10 am – 6 pm. At the Mini Zoo, you can feed and stroke the animals. The visits take place in the company of a Mini ZOO employee who will show and teach how to deal with animals. The Mini Zoo is located in the indoor heated room; tickets available for purchase on-site, no reservation is required. Facebook pageWebsite in Polish.

Winter illuminations at Warsaw Multimedia Fountain Park
Multimedia Fountain Park (Multimedialny Park Fontann) is a free fountain complex located in between the Old Town/New Town area and the Vistula river. The festive illuminations include a special installation: thanks to the employees of medical services. In the 2020/2021 season, there will be NO multimedia shows with music and lights. More in English about the fountain parkOur post on Warsaw’s illuminations in the 2020/2021 season.

The Garden of the Royal Castle
Location: the Garden is located at the back of the Castle. You can enter the lower garden from Wisłostrada Street / the Vistula Boulevard side. Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm. Free entrance. More about the Gardens of the Royal Castle in our post.

The Łazienki Royal Garden
Location: Agrykola 1 Street (city center). The museums are closed, the park is open every day: 6 am – 8 pm, free entrance. More about the Łazienki Park in our post.

Winter illuminations in the Łazienki Royal Garden
Location: Agrykola 1 Street (city center). Winter illuminations in Łazienki Królewskie are located in the part of the park called Aleja Chińska/Chinese Avenue (from the gate at Agrykola Street to the gate at Gagarina Street). The festive lights in Łazienki Park are on every day from dusk until 8 pm (the gates at Agrykola Street and Gagarina Street close at 8.15 pm), free entrance. The winter illuminations in Łazienki are on until February 28, 2021More about the Łazienki Park in our post.

A Christmas tree, festive illuminations, and decorations along Warsaw’s streets 
The lights are switched starting from dusk, from around 3.30 pm. The main attractions focus on the “The Royal Route”, from the Castle Square/Plac Zamkowy (including the Christmas tree), Krakowskie Przedmieście Street, Nowy Świat Street to the de Gaulle roundabout (Rondo de Gaulle’a). The Old Town is also decorated (including Piwna Street, Świętojańska Street, Old Town Square, Nowomiejska Street, Freta Street, New Town Square, Kościelna Street to Podzamcze). Find out more in our post on Warsaw’s illuminations in the 2020/2021 season.

Subscribe to Kids in the City’s weekly newsletter in English. The newsletter called What’s on in Warsaw for Kids & Families / Family life in Warsaw during the pandemic is emailed every Thursday and covers things to do in Warsaw with children and all kinds of family matters – information, tips, resources in English:


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Subscribe to Kids in the City weekly Newsletter in English – each Thursday you will receive an email with the list of things to do in Warsaw with children and tips and information about family life in Warsaw: