At Last, fun and culture on vaca: our kids loved music class at Hungary’s Four Seasons Budapest

At Last, fun and culture on vaca: our kids loved music class at Hungary’s Four Seasons Budapest

By on March 9th, 2013

It is always a balance planning a travel itinerary for children. The kids want to play; my husband and I want them to experience some of the great culture Europe has to offer. The kids can also quickly grow tired of sightseeing, and their memory of being dragged through one art museum after another becomes a hazy blur. They want to be engaged and have fun participating in child-appropriate fare. This is exactly why were thrilled to participate in Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest’s latest offering: a children’s music program (for kids five to 12).


Hungary is the birthplace of Franz Lizst and Bela Bartok, among others. The place has a great musical heritage of folk and classical music, as well as opera.

On a recent Saturday morning, after a delicious breakfast at Gresham Restaurant, we gathered in one of the event rooms at the hotel to attend a children’s music class taught by local Hungarian musicians/music teachers. It was a small and intimate exploration of sound.

Family Travel Budapest

The kids learned about rhythm and percussion. They drew, assembled their own shakers out of “Kinder Eggs,” made music, and then listened to some local Hungarian musicians play. The program lasted an hour, the perfect amount of time, and then we had some snacks (and by snacks, I mean Four Seasons chef exquisitely prepared, kid-friendly sweets and hot chocolate) before Part II of our musical extravaganza.

Music Class

After class, we climbed into a taxi, which took us to the Hungarian State Opera House, where we attended a children’s music concert. The opera house is an ornate Baroque masterpiece, built in 1884 by Miklós Ybl, a prominent 19th century Hungarian architect. We sat with our kids on the marble steps of a gallery filled with instruments, musicians and an audience of mostly local families. The spoken part of the program was in Hungarian, which my kids found fun/funny to listen to. But of course, when pieces were played, the lovely sound echoing through the great hall was universal.

Hungarian State Opera House,

My children particularly enjoyed the last section of the concert where they were encouraged to become the players themselves. It was a cacophony of sound, with kids of all ages banging gongs and bashing symbols, pounding drums and pinging xylophones. Being surrounded by such rich musical history in such an extraordinary space—gilded with gold, embellished with painted ceiling murals, and filled with the excitement and joy of children creating music—was an experience we all will always remember. (That, and, of course, the cookies!)

Read more about Budapest in Four Seasons Magazine.
Read our “Concierge Recommendations” for Budapest in Four Seasons Magazine. 

Family Travel Budapest

Post Author
Lee Rose Emery

Lee Rose Emery is an actress, writer and editor-in-chief of the award-winning blog, LA City Mom, “tips from the carpool lane…”, based in Los Angeles, California. Lee is currently living in Prague, the Czech Republic, with her husband, eight-year-old son and daughter, 11. Stay tuned for more chronicles of her European family adventures.

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1 Response(s) to "At Last, fun and culture on vaca: our kids loved music class at Hungary’s Four Seasons Budapest"
Meryl says:
March 11, 2013 at 3:32 pm

What a beautiful story and a fabulous destination to take the kids. So much history and culture to explore together. And that in-room amenity looks truly decadent. Nothing better than treats Four Seasons-style!

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