Fabryka Norblina (Norblin Factory) is the latest prime example of post-industrial revitalisation in Warsaw, with this former 19th-century complex impressively adapted into a thriving entertainment and cultural hub. However, unlike some of its other revitalised siblings that have more of a gastro focus, Fabryka Norblina returned to Warsaw with a food market integrated with a rich offer of entertainment, cultural, and educational spaces, and with young guests kept closely in mind!
Across 2 hectares in the heart of Wola, Warsaw’s historic industrial district, this former plated-metal fabrication plant now hosts offices (a total of 41,000 sqm), retail stores, restaurants and a huge food market, cafes, bars, an eco-bazaar, a boutique cinema, and a number of museums, including an open-air one commemorating the history of the factory (see further down). Contrary to certain past expectations that this incredible offer would be far more adult-oriented, Fabryka Norblin has gone above and beyond to ensure that younger punters can share in this recreational space as well.
The heart of this youth offer is Smart Kids Planet, where children venture into a world of limitless imagination, filling some pretty big shoes as part of its activities – as explorers, adventurers, athletes and scientists. Altogether, 50 inspiring attractions in 9 different zones (such as ecology, sports, ecology, construction, technology to name a few) can be found within a whopping 1,600 sqm of rec space. There is a constructive element to all the fun, however. Smart Kids Planet is designed to develop future competences, learn cooperation, discover the latest technologies, as well as develop green and ecological habits, and all without participants realising! This is a prime example of ‘learning through play’, where your child’s creative thinking and hunger for knowledge will be awakened through active fun. Experiencing Smart Kids Planet isn’t limited to individual guests - this centre invites kindergarten and early-school classes to visit, as the activities are curriculum-compliant and will enhance the kids’ competences and skills in ways that can’t found in a schoolbook.
Slide between floors
Speaking of fun, Fabryka Norblina has even managed to make movement between floors and levels a joyful experience as well. Why take the elevator or the stairs if you can slide all the way down to level -1! This sliding tube is over 13 meters long, 1 meter wide and 5.5 meters high, and runs from the Plater building on level 0 to the lower level of the complex. It’d be safe to assume that your children will choose a thrilling slide down over a regular old walk down the stairs, but guess what? The tube is also open to big kids - Parents, that is! We know that most of you still have an inner child in you. While it’s definitely more fun than walking down the stairs, the panoramic lift sounds just as thrilling! Another everyday attraction for the young ones at Fabryka Norblina is a beautiful, old-school carousel, hand painted with safari motifs. Riding an elephant or a lion is a thrilling experience for the little ones, and as for parents, they can appreciate the nostalgic look of an early-to-mid 20th-century amusement park ride.
Immense yourself in a digital world
Education and gaining knowledge through fun isn’t limited to Smart Kids Planet. The Art Box Experience is a fitting place for the young ones as well. It offers digitised images projected on dozens of integrated screens, surrounding the visitors from all sides. This pioneering 360-degree projection system immerses visitors in the world that is created, and, thanks to this, we can immerse ourselves in the world of immpressionist art, marvelling at the beautiful paintings of Monet and other contemporaries in a way you’ve never experienced. Art Box‘s offer is also tailored for children and students, with a rich and varied education programme that has been developed for different age groups. Currently, on Mondays and Tuesdays, school groups can be immersed in a special exhibition - „Save the Planet”, which not only educates on the importance of ecology, but mesmerises children on an epic journey to the farthest corners of our planet - inside volcanoes, at the bottom of the ocean, way out in the cosmos, as well as getting up close and personal with wild animals!
With today’s children being more engaged with technology than ever before, a visit to the Apple Museum will definitely be a thrill for them. This museum presents the history of the American tech giant and the development of its technology over the last 40+ years. The collection of over 1,700 exhibits includes old Apple computers (There’s a replica of the first ever Apple-1 computer from 1976), the Macintosh product line, various software and hardware, multimedia, and even a few prototypes that never made it to the market. Parents may find it shocking that even iPods and iPhones will be on display – yes, you are that old, and these are definately museum relics to your kids! All of these are presented just how the youth of today likes it - with interactive displays, audio-visual communication, and a sleek, modern design.
A trip back in time
The Norblin Factory Museum has more traditional exhibits, though their display and presentation are much less ‘traditional’. An open space comprising 10 historical buildings an 50 old machines and devices, it tells the intriguing story of the Norblin production plant. The museum transports you back to the mid-18th century and then allows you to take your own unique journey forward to the 21st century. This is done through a brilliant piece of tour layout planning, where visitors have to locate exhibits and tread their own path – definitely a great experience for children. Futhermore, animated tours with the „owner” of the factory, dressed in historical garments, should prove to be an additional novelty!
A real movie theatre
And if you get tired of museums and overloading your children’s senses with all the fun to be had, going to the movies is always an option. That being said, KinoGram is hardly your typical movie experience. This boutique cinema, resembling something out of the golden age of cinema-going, is highlighted by extremely comfortable seating, a whole range of beverage options for young and old, a menu that goes well beyond popcorn, and, of course, all the latest movies! Arranged specifically for the kids, however, is a wide selection of cartoons that screens specially on weekend mornings. Oh, and you can bring your dog to this cinema…if the cinema is their kind of thing!
Children’s Day celebrations
With such a rich offer for children, it should come as no surprise that International Children’s Day 2023 will be celebrated at Fabryka Norblina with great fanfare! On June 3-4, Smart Kids Planet will host ‘Kids’ Weekend’ - From 12:00 to 17:00, a number of attractions, including concerts, animations and plays, will be hosted. Kids can get their faces painted, or even get a temporary glitter tattoo. There’ll be slime-making workshops, where you can pick your own unique colour and scent! There’s a bunch of cool arts and crafts things, like designing and making your own eco bag, and design your own air-powered hovercraft with old CDs! There’ll also be different trivia games, puzzles, and tests from the Norblin Factory Museum, as well as carrying out experiments (including some explosive ones!) with dry ice and bubbles of all sorts. A concert will also take place, with songs from your favourite cartoons, and even an appearance by Princess Elsa from Frozen!