The European Fairy Tale Center named after Koziołek Matołek in Pacanów is a unique place on the map of attractions in Poland for families with children. On the one hand, it’s a nostalgic trip for parents who can recall the fairy tales of their childhood, and on the other hand, a journey into the magical world of fairy tales and fables, where the little ones have various tasks to perform.
Pacanów is probably associated by most of you mainly with Matołek the goat, who headed here, because after all, “in Pacanów goats bite…”. However, it should be more correct to say “in Pacanów the Goats are shoeing…”, because the whole famous fuss was about the fact that those who are shoeing are named Goats, not shoeing goats. Well, then, Matołek the Goat had no reason to tread here anyway, yet this character is so associated with Pacanow that you will encounter him more than once during your visit to the city.
Why did we go to Pacanów? To be absolutely frank – we remember the Goat-Mother from our childhood and do not plan to introduce him into our children’s childhood. Reading some parts of the comic up to the hair on the head…. but this is just our opinion ;) Nevertheless, in Pacanów there is a very interesting place for families with children – the European Fairy Tale Center, which was opened in 2010.
And it’s not just about Goat-Mate here, although it is his name that the facility is named after. It is a place centered around the broad theme of fairy tales and fables, and there are several attractions to choose from. Importantly, when going to the European Fairy Tale Center, one does not buy one ticket for all attractions: each is separately ticketed.
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Fairy Tale Center in Pacanów – tour
Being at the European Fairy Tale Center in Pacanów, we looked at each of the possible parts and we could point out which is the most interesting, which is worth seeing and which is worth giving up, but these parts are so different that they will simply interest different people and children of different ages. With a wide range of attractions and themes, there is something for almost everyone.
We will describe the different parts in the order we visited them, but you can look at them in any order.
Fairytale World is a journey to a magical world full of well-known and well-loved characters from fairy tales and fables. The group is guided through this world by an animator or entertainer dressed_as a fairy tale character. This is by no means a simple walk through the various halls – participants, in addition to learning about the various stories and characters, are tasked with solving tasks in order to complete the entire tour.
To begin with, one enters through a mouse hole into a mysterious land. Here, on an interactive map, participants have to guess which countries each character is from, and after completing the task, you can go on a special train. Further rooms include a secret garden, exploring different fairy tales, and even a mini cinema with the fairy tales of our childhood.
Of course, we will not reveal everything, but we must admit that it is an interesting and engaging adventure.
The tour time is about 60 minutes.
The Little Theater is very intimate. Audiences put on special elfin shoes before entering, and once inside, they sit in the middle of the room, settle comfortably on cushions and wait for the performance. Depending on your choice of performance, a different curtain will open and you can watch one of the famous tales (we happened to be at the Nutcracker). After the performance, there is an opportunity to talk to the artists and see the puppets that performed.
The duration of the performance is about 30 minutes.
Land of Soria Moria
The mysterious land of Soria Moria is a part rather for older children, yes from 7. whether 8 years old, although younger children can also manage. Just as in Fairy Tale World, children go with an animator or entertainer and must solve various tasks to save this mysterious land. The tasks the children face include. Puzzles, games, finding passwords, all kept in the atmosphere of various fairy tales and legends from northern Europe.
The tour time is about 50 minutes.
Educational Park “Fairy Tale Academy”
Unlike the above attractions, the Education Park is outdoors and here you don’t buy a ticket for a specific time.
There are four, themed sections (gardens) of the park, referring to different fairy tales in theme. In the Titus, Romek and Atom part, the youngest can play in a geometric maze: climb, jump, slide, and solve logical puzzles (Wannolot and Rozalia are also waiting here). Right next to it is a sandbox that allows not only to create sand buildings, but also there is a special installation that allows to transport sand and build on the countertop.
The park has a playground themed after The Abduction of Balthazar Spong and installations from Mr. Blake’s Academy. A covered section with a large climbing spider, slide and climbing wall also attracts attention.
Your stay in the Park can be enriched with a session in the Salt Grotto and the Rope Park (additional fee), and let’s not forget about the goat, after all, we are in Pacanów ;-) In Zwierzyniec you can meet a variety of animals, and maybe you will meet the Matołek Goat?
In addition to the attractions listed above, it is worth mentioning what else can be done at the European Fairy Tale Center between the entrances. In the main building there is a children’s corner with books, toys, tunnels, you can walk through the gardens surrounding the building or take a look at the atmospheric bookstore.
Practical information about the Fairy Tale Center
Adjacent to the Education Park is Bistro u Koziołka – a place that is also open to outsiders. Here you can eat for both greater and lesser hunger, and there is also a selection of desserts and drinks.
Not far from the European Fairy Tale Center, at the Market Square, is the Forge of Flavors restaurant offering a large selection of tasty dishes.
Prices – how much does a ticket to the European Fairy Tale Center cost?
The issue of tickets to the Fairy Tale Center is not so simple, and we ourselves had to do a bit of digging before we understood how the various attractions are separated, for which you buy separate tickets for specific hours. As we mentioned above, there are no combination tickets, so you should consider what will work best for you (we hope the descriptions above will help you with this).
Prices are as follows:
- Normal ticket – 29 PLN
- Discounted ticket – 24 PLN
- Family ticket (max 2+2) – 85 PLN
- Normal ticket – 17 PLN
- Discounted ticket – 15 PLN
- Family ticket (max 2+2) – 50 PLN
Land of Soria Moria
- Normal ticket – 26 PLN
- Discounted ticket – 21 PLN
- Family ticket (max 2+2) – 75 PLN
Fairy Tale Park
- Normal ticket – 20 PLN /7 PLN (in season/out of season)
- Concessionary ticket – 17 PLN / 5 PLN (in season/out of season)
- Family ticket (max 2+2) – 70 PLN (available only in season)
Children under 3 years of age enter for 1 PLN.
The Large Family Card entitles you to a 10% discount.
Opening hours of the European Tale Centre
The European Fairy Tale Center in Pacanów is an attraction open all year round, but entrances to specific parts are held at specific times (the exception is the Fairy Tale Academy Educational Park).
High season (April-September): from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (park from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm).
Low season (October – March): from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Getting to the European Tale Centre
The European Fairy Tale Center in Pacanów is located in the Świętokrzyskie province between Krakow and Sandomierz, close to the border with the Małopolskie and Podkarpackie provinces. It is about 70 kilometers from Kielce, and the road will take slightly more than an hour.
Where to park your car? We were there first thing in the morning, and we managed to park our car in a parking lot with a few designated spaces at the Education Park, but we saw that cars were simply parked on Makuszyńskiego Street.
The exact address:
European Fairy Tale Center im. Matołek Goat
Street. Kornela Makuszyńskiego 1
Where to stay overnight near the European Fairy Tale Center?
Accommodation is hard to come by in Pacanów itself, but we have found some suggestions for you in nearby towns.
- Solavo Home & Travel
Address: ul. H.Sienkiewicza 4, 28-131 Solec-Zdrój
Prices: from 228 PLN for a double room
Address: Leśna 18A, 28-131 Solec-Zdrój
Prices: from 327 PLN for a double room
- Bulwary Hotel & Business
Address: Rzeczna 8 39-300 Mielec, 39-300 Mielec
Prices: from 320 PLN for a double room
- Castle in Baranow Sandomierski
Address: ul. Zamkowa 22, 39-450 Baranów Sandomierski
Prices: from 370 PLN for a double room
- PIANO CAFE b&b
Address: 2E Dąbrówki, 39-300 Mielec
Prices: from 220 PLN for a double room (breakfast included)
Our opinion about the European Tale Centre in Pacanów
The European Fairy Tale Center is two parts: one in a building with fairy tale walks and puzzles, and the other with an outdoor park. Both parts are interesting and complement each other well by providing visitors with a mass of attractions.
A visit to Pacanów is, on the one hand, an opportunity for children to learn about fairy tales that are already slowly fading into oblivion, and for parents it is a trip back to their childhood days.