The Volksprater is Vienna's favourite outdoor gathering place since the emperor opened it to the public in 1766.
It is a big park with miles of greenery and lots of open space to run around and relax in. In the 19th century, the Hauptallee was a long promenade lined with chestnut trees where people dressed up and strolled.
Today there are lots of places to relax, as well as 3 play areas with swings and climbing frames. You can also rent bikes here and cycle through the traffic free paths. Younger children will enjoy the Lilliput Bahn - a miniature train which goes on quite a long ride through the park. For older children there is also mini golf and trampolines.
There are also a few beergardens - we had dinner in one of these, before going back to the funfair.
The funfair has a whole selection of amusement park rides and roller coasters. It is a mix of old and new, with its Miraculum Magic Theatre, traditional carousels, ghost trains, tacky slot machine arcades, Punch and Judy shows and museum plus countless restaurants, cafes and snack stands.
Right at the entrance to the Volksprater is the highlight of the area - the Riesenrad or giant ferris wheel. Looking at this, you think you are stepping back into the 19th century.
The wheel was built for the Universal Exhibition in 1897 by British engineer Walter Bassett. It was built to commemorate the 50th year of Franz Joseph's reign. The giant wheel was supposed to be a temporary exhibit, but like the Eiffel Tower, which had been built for the World Fair in Paris a decade earlier, it never closed.
Heavily damaged in 1945, it was reopened in 1947 as a symbol of Vienna rising from the ashes. At its highest point it is 220 feet high. One revolution in the wheel takes 20 minutes. You stand in roomy, wide windowed cabins where you can move from side to side and enjoy the wonderful views of Vienna.
Our cabin was covered in grafitti inside - a shame - but do be aware if you suffer from vertigo, this would not be a fun thing to do. The cabin does sway a fair bit during the ride, and my stomach flipped a few times along the way!
The Prater is charming at night. Tiny lights are strung in the trees around the open air cafes and beer gardens and the rides are decked out in coloured light bulbs. From the top of the Riesenrad, Vienna's profile sparkles. I would definitely recommend doing this in the dark, as you get a different perspective of this beautiful city.