Mikulás or sometimes referred to as Télapó (Father Winter) is the Hungarian version of St Nicholas that’s basically our version of Santa Claus. For the 6th of December every year children polish their boots the night before and place them on their window or in front of the door waiting for Mikulas to arrive at night to fill their boots with treats by the morning. Children who were ‘good’ all year get sweets and fruit, and children who behaved “bad” or been naughty get a wooden spoon or willow twigs (virgács) often painted gold by Mikulas’ somewhat sinister elf companion, Krampusz.
In Hungary children receive presents on Christmas Eve from the Christ Child (Jezuska) whereas in England and other Western cultures gifts are delivered by Santa Claus or Father Christmas on Christmas Day.
Mikulas will visit children in the daycares and schools but of course there are many opportunities to bump into him in the city. Below are the Santa/ Mikulas activities I could find this year:
- Vorosmarty ter Christmas Market – Visit by the real Santa Claus | 6 DecemberChildren and adults alike can visit Joulupukki from Finland in his little cottage on 6 December. FREE event.
Playhouse | booth 33 – Arts and crafts for the smallest ones in a heated house. Children can bake and glaze gingerbread, and prepare gifts for underprivileged children, with the help of a supervising teacher. Free sessions between 2 and 6 pm on weekdays, and on weekends from 10 am to 1 pm, and between 4 and 7 pm.
- Mikulas Train in the Buda Hills Children’s Railway – 6-7-8 December Take a train ride with Mikulas and the elfs. Children get to talk to Santa individually and get a present. 1600 Huf per child. Times and ticket info here.
- Puskin Kucko – Children Advent activities. Puppet show and Mikulas concert on 7th and 8th December. Location: Puskin Cinema, off Astoria metro station in Pest. More info here.
- Santa Claus at the Railway Museum – Télapó Expressz in association with Cartoon Network
Children can take a vintage train hauled by a “Santa Claus” engine to the Railway Museum for an unforgettable day with their parents on 6, 7 and 8 December. Trains go from Nyugati station. ticket 2500 Huf per person.
- Palace Quarter’s first Advent/ Christmas Market – 8th district behind Kalvin ter, Mikszath ter – on 7/8 December Santa will hang out and kids can try his carriage
- Mikulas at the Budakeszi Wildlife Park – Kids can meet with Santa on the 6,7 and 8th December between 10 and 3pm. Normal entrance fees apply.
- Santa and Magic Drums puppet show– Klebelsberg Cultural Centre in Buda. – 6 December 10am, 1028 Budapest, Templom u. 2-10. 900 HUF per ticket
Tour of the museum and Mikulas will make an appearance and give a present to each kid. 4, 5, 6 and 7 December. Tickets: 3690 Huf for the under 12s. Contact: +36 1 401 5000 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 1162 Budapest, Bekecs u.22
Andi Lustak was born in Budapest and is a Freelance Technology PR consultant when she is working and a mom of a beautiful almost 4 years old daughter. Andi studied, worked and lived in London for 9 years before relocating back to Budapest to spend a big chunk of the year in her beloved home city with her British husband. She found Reka’s baby-mommy group when she was only 4 months pregnant in 2009 and met some great friends since through this great community. When she has time, she is one of the editor and content producer of Budapest Moms and is also an active admin of the Bp Moms Facebook page.