Playground / Park in Dragodan

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There is a beautiful new park in the Dragodan / KFOR base area, quite close to the German embassy.  There are paths in a little green wood, benches, picnic tables, work-out equipment, a life-size chess board, two play areas for kids with swings and slides and more.  Bring a picnic and enjoy a perfect afternoon.  This park area is great for all ages.

Directions: (Walking)  Starting at U.S. Embassy Bravo gate to your back, turn left up the hill toward USAID.  As the road splits, bear left up the hill.  You will see the road is barricaded in front of you. Turn left and walk up the steps built into the USAID white wall.  At the top of the steps, take a right.  Walk past the guard booth / road blockade.  Continue on this road until you see the German embassy on your right.  The playground is directly to your left, through a few trees.  It will take 15 minutes to walk to.  Since there are steps, strollers are not a good idea.  Most young kids (3-4) can make the walk without trouble, if they are in a good mood!

Coordinates:  (You can paste into Google Maps) @42.669097,21.152426

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Te Ariu Restaurant & Mini Zoo

What a great place to take the kids on a rainy day or a nice day!  There are bears in a big cage outside.  Other enclosures include ostriches and a few other critters.  There is a big duck pond where kids will happily stand for a long time, tossing in bits of bread.  There is an outdoor playground for nice days and a large indoor playground as well.  Parents can sit at a table in eyesight of the playgrounds and enjoy standard Kosovar fare like shop salads, pizzas, pastas, soups, meats, etc.  There is also a full bar.  Prices are good, very reasonable.  The menu is not translated to English, but it is easy enough to figure out.  Some waiters speak some English, but as always around Pristina, they seem just fine with communicating through pointing and gesturing and you will get your food.  Seems to get very busy on weekend evenings, but a trip during a weekday will reveal plenty of space.

Price:  $$ of $$$

Driving Directions:  (~10 minutes)  Starting at U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, take a right to go down the hill and take a right onto the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  At the first circle, go around and take the last option, toward Ferizaj/Viva Fresh/Maxi/Albi Mall.  At the next circle, take the second option to continue straight through the circle (M2/E65).  Stay straight until you pass Albi Mall on the left hand side.  Take the next exit onto the M25-2, toward Gjilian.  Take a left (you will see a sign that says “Te Ariu” and has a bear on it).  Then take a quick right and pull all the way back into their parking lot.

Viva Fresh

Viva Fresh has more than just groceries; it is also a department store.  There is jewelry, cosmetics, clothes, some toys, dishes, cleaning supplies, and housewares.  The meat counter is one of the best in Pristina, with fresh beef and fresh chicken breasts (amazing!).  The produce section is also very good.

There is a little indoor play area for the kids as well with a trampoline, rockers, and a slide.  There is also a coffee shop in the building.

Added plus — it is very easy to use a VAT form here as well as credit cards.

Web site:  http://www.vivafresh-rks.com

Driving Directions:  (~10 minutes)  Starting at U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, take a right to go down the hill and take a right onto the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  At the first circle, go around and take the last option, toward Ferizaj/Viva Fresh/Maxi/Albi Mall.  At the next circle, take the second option to continue straight through the circle (M2/E65).  Stay straight until you pass Albi Mall on the left hand side.  Take the next exit onto the M25-2, toward Gjilian.  Take a right to go under the highway and then continue straight.  Viva Fresh has a big parking lot on your right.

Kolonat

Kolonat is Mediterranean fast food, as it says on its sign.  The golden arches of the K and the candy apple red color scheme may remind you of McDonald’s, but it is not the same.  The set up of the restaurant and menu is quite similar, but the food tastes unique to Kolonat.  Here is the menu (click to enlarge):

There is indoor and outdoor seating, and there is an indoor play place for the kids.  They have kids meals with little toys as well.  The drive through is open!  There is one window.  If you don’t see anyone around when you drive up, try honking your horn and someone will come to the window and take your order.

Price:  $ of $$$

Location:  Right before Albi Mall, next to the gas station

Map:  Click here

Funland: Kids’ Indoor Playground at Albi Mall

On the top floor of Albi Mall, right next to the food court, there is Funland!  This indoor playground for kids is the best one of its kind in Pristina.  There are ball pits, slides, trampolines, rocking chairs, and other fun things.  There are two sides, one for kids above three and one for the little guys.  The equipment is new-looking, clean, and well maintained.  There are some coin-operated ride on machines around as well, though many bear the out of order sign (“nuk punon.”)  You can leave the kids there with the Funland babysitter, or you can kick off your shoes and play with your children.  It can get crowded on the weekends, but during the week, it is a fun and easy trip.  Very good fun for a rainy or too-hot day!

Price: 1.50 euro per hour

Driving Directions:  (~10 minutes)  Starting at U.S. Embassy Bravo gate, take a right to go down the hill and take a right onto the main road (Ahmet Krasniqi).  At the first circle, go around and take the last option, toward Viva Fresh/Maxi/Albi Mall.  At the next circle, take the second option to continue straight through the circle (M2/E65).  Stay straight until you pass Albi Mall on the left hand side.  Take the next exit onto the M25-2.  You are going to have to loop around and get on the highway going in the opposite direction.  At the end of the exit ramp, take a right to go under the highway.  Take a left onto the ramp getting back on the highway.  Keep your eyes peeled as you pass the gas station on your right.  As soon as you are able, take the right hand turn and then another right into the Albi Mall parking lot.  Go to the top floor for Funland.

Or:  Hail a cab.  Prices are about 3 euro one way from Pristina.