Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023

Family Program

The Family Program of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 welcomes among others family members of athletes and Unified partners.

The goal of the program is to ensure that all families are properly welcomed and assisted before and during the Games and to create a safe and welcoming environment for all.


Family Newsletter

The latest news regarding the Family Program

The photo shows a scene during the family reception of the National Games. Four people are sitting together at a table and a woman is taking a selfie of them all.
Selfies und gute Stimmung bei den Familien Zimmer (links) und Schmieder.
Stefan Holtzem/SOD/Stefan Holtzem

Opening Ceremony tickets

Every registered family member will receive a ticket for the Opening Ceremony on 22 May 2023 by our ticket provider vivenu. 

The ticket will be sent to the email address provided in your family registration. Please check your spam folder if you cannot find it.

Please check if you received your ticket for the Opening Ceremony! 

Please note that you are not be able to enter the Opening Ceremony venue without ticket. If you did not receive the ticket, please contact us under:

Note: For the Closing Ceremony, family members have free admission with their credential. No tickets needed.  

Family Welcome Center

Here you can find a step by step process plan for picking- up your credential in the Family Welcome Center:

  1. Get to the Family Welcome Center at Messe South Entrance. The address is Jafféstraße, 14055 Berlin. You can get there by public transport with the S-Bahn on lines S3 and S9. Get down at the Messe Süd station.
  2. Only one family member goes inside the Welcome Center with a list of all the family members they are picking up the credentials for. The other family members must wait outside.
  3. Once you have picked up all your credentials, you will have access to all the Family Program Benefits!

Please note that we won’t offer onsite registration.

The photo shows young people at the opening ceremony, rejoicing and wearing an accreditation around their necks.
Athleten Eroeffnungsfeier der Special Olympics Nationale Spiele 2022 im Stadion an der Alten Foersterei in Berlin am 19.06.2022
Pressefoto Berlin Juri Reetz +49

Family Welcome Center (Messe Süd) Opening Hours:

  • Thursday, 15 June 2023, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Friday, 16 June 2023, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, 17 June 2023, 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, 18 June 2023, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Monday, 19 June 2023, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday, 20 June 2023, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, 21 June 2023, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, 22 June 2023, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Friday, 23 June 2023, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Saturday, 24 June 2023, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
  • Sunday, 25 June 2023, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm

*this schedule might be subject to change

Honored Guest and Family Lounge

Every venue has an Honored Guest and Family Lounge. The lounge serves as places to rest, come together and network. Light refreshments and information desks are available in the lounge, and our family volunteers will help you if you have questions about the Family Program.

The family members can access to the lounge with the credentials. The lounges opens 30 minutes before the first competition starts and closes after the Award Ceremonies.

Family Reception

The Family Reception is a welcoming evening for participating families #Berlin2023, which offers the platform and the network to exchange ideas with other families and to establish long-term connections.  

All registered families are welcome to participate in the event by presenting their credentials.  

Snacks and drinks will be provided at various market stalls in the zoo, and a music performance and an inclusive street theater performances will be on stage.  

The photo shows a group of people sitting together at a table and smiling joyfully. It is the family of an athlete who has arrived for the National Games.
Special Olympics, Athletendisko vor dem Brandenburger Tor, 22. Juni 2022
Anna Spindelndreier

There will also be a limited book give-away by the Di Pietro Foundation as well as a book signing by Timothy Shriver, son of founder Eunice Kennedy-Shriver and President of Special Olympics International.  

 Join us and spend a nice evening with a variety of animals together with other family members in a cozy atmosphere!  

When: 20 June 2023, 7.00pm – 9.30pm
(admission: 6.30 pm)  

Where: Berlin Zoological Garden (Entrance: “Löwentor” or Entrance “Elefantentor”),  Address: Hardenbergplatz 8, 10787 Berlin  

Family Talks

Family Talks will provide short lectures on family-related topics and helpful information for the Special Olympic Families, followed by an open Q&A session and discussions.  

The talks will be held in English and will not be translated. Let’s meet at the City Cube at Messe Berlin or Family Lounge and share our knowledge! Admission is free.  

The photo shows many people listening to one person. A woman is presenting and standing at a lectern.
20220619, Nationale Sommerspiele 2022, Berlin, Landessportbund, Science 4 All Summit - Wissenschaft fuer Alle, SCHUPPENER, SASKIA Foto: LOC/camera4
LOC/Annegret Hilse/LOC/camera4

Sport and Diabetes  
When: 21 June, 6pm-7pm  
Where: City Cube at Messe Berlin  

Women' Health  
When: 22 June, 6pm-7pm
Where: City Cube at Messe Berlin  

Advocating for Inclusive Employment  
When: 23 June, 1pm-2pm
Where: Family Lounge at Messe Berlin  

Youth engagement in the Special Olympics  
When: 24 June, 1pm-2pm
Where: Family Lounge at Messe Berlin  

Your benefits

Free Tickets

For the Opening and Closing Ceremony as well as for all competitions.

Access to free public transportation

Together with the credentials, families will receive free tickets for public transportation of Berlin.

Designated areas for families at competition venues

Family Program credentials provide access to special areas for families in most competition venues.

Host Family Program

Traveling families from all countries meet with families living in Berlin and Germany to spend time together, exchange about culture and make new friends.

Assistance with accommodation

Family members are offered a list of hotels. Our preferred partner visitBerlin offers a large array of hotel options with easy access to competition venues. Check out all available offers and book your accommodation with visitBerlin.

Access to the Hospitality Areas of the Family Program

The Family Program credential provides access to the Honored Guests and Family Lounges, which serve as places to rest, come together and network. Light refreshments are served in the lounges and information desks are available.
The photo shows a scene of the closing ceremony of the National Games Berlin 2022 right at the famous Brandenburg Gate. In the foreground sit an athlete and her parents, all three are smiling and visibly having fun.
1  of  7
On the photo four athletes are dancing and are happy. In the background further people are celebrating.
2  of  7
The photo shows spectators watching handball, having fun and cheering with their arms raised during the Special Olympics National Games Berlin 2022.
3  of  7
The photo shows a woman and a young man dancing and having fun together. It was taken during the athletes' disco of the National Games Berlin 2022.
4  of  7
The photo shows a group of people sitting together at a table and smiling joyfully. It is the family of an athlete who has arrived for the National Games.
5  of  7
The photo shows the cheering crowd at the opening ceremony of the National Games Berlin 2022. Everyone has their arms raised joyfully.
6  of  7
The photo shows a young athlete with his mother. They are both smiling at the camera and having fun at the opening ceremony of the National Games Berlin 2022.
7  of  7
1  of  7

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Who can register for the Family Program?

Only family members of participants may register to the family program.
A family member is anyone related to a participating athlete in the following manner:

- The husband, wife, partner or child of the participating athlete.

- A relative (e.g. mother, father, sibling, grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece,
cousin and relative by marriage or partner of a relative).

- Legal guardian, care partner or caregiver

Participants may include all family members of:

- Participating Athletes and Unified Partners

- Global Athlete Congress participants

- Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers and Athlete Leaders

- Athletes participating in the Torch Run Final Leg


What is the procedure after I submit the registration?

Once you submit your registration, it will be reviewed by each relevant SO program.
Here you find your relevant SO program:


For the approval process, the list of family registrations will be regularly sent to the Family Coordinators of the SO programs to validate them. In the process, many steps are involved. It usually takes around one week, but due high registration numbers, the process may take longer. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience.

Where can family members pick up their credentials?

The Honored Guest and Family Welcome Center serves as the first point of contact for family members attending Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. This is where registered family members can receive their credentials (a credential is an access cards with name and picture on it), and all other documents.

The Welcome Center will be located at Messe Berlin, South entrance and starts operating on
15 June 2023 until 25 June 2023. Exact opening hours and address will be communicated in the Family Games Handbook published closer to the Games time.

Please keep in mind that the free access to the public transport in Berlin is valid only with family credentials.


I have entered something incorrectly in the registration system. How can I change it?

After submitting the registration, changes are not possible anymore.

In case information needs to be changed, please send a request to


I registered as a family member. Can I also register as a volunteer?

Due to our system, a person can only receive one credential status. You cannot be registered as both a volunteer and a family member. If you are already registered as both a family member and a volunteer, please inform us via e-mail at :

How can I apply for visa?

Please check online on the website of the German Foreign Office whether or not you need a visa to enter Germany. You can get to the information by clicking on the link below and searching for your nationality.  Overview of visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany - Federal Foreign Office (

To receive the Letter of Confirmation for your visa application, please make sure to select
need visa assistance” when completing your online family registration. We will send the Letter of Confirmation once your registration is confirmed. Please make sure to book an appointment at your local German embassy or consulate at least 3 months prior to your scheduled travel to Germany. The Local Organizing Committee, unfortunately, cannot assist you in booking appointments.

How can I receive free tickets for competition venues, and Opening/Closing ceremonies?

The Family Program includes tickets for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Moreover, with their credentials, family members gain access to all competition venues. Please note that families have priority over other guest groups and spectators. However, at no time can the capacity of any venue be exceeded.

Families will automatically receive free tickets to the Opening Ceremony via e-mail one week before the event. please make sure to check your spam folder.

Are there any activities for families to do while they are in Berlin?

Families will have the opportunity to participate in the inclusive program of the SO Festival. It includes,


Highlight events at Brandenburg Tor

Festival at Neptunbrunnen

Festival inside Messe Berlin

Cultural program includes diverse and exciting cultural events in Berlin – all connected to inclusion. There will be something for everyone: you will have the chance to visit various exhibitions, theater plays or enjoy musical performances at special events. Furthermore, you will get a discount on various sights and enjoy Berlin´s fascinating main attractions.

More information will be shared on the family communication channels.

Will you be offering discounted Family Accommodations and reservations assistance for family hotels?

Family members are responsible for their own travel arrangements (to and from Berlin) as well as for booking their stay. Our preferred partner, VisitBerlin, offers a large array of hotel options with easy access to competition venues.

The official family hotel is already sold out. Additional hotel options are open for reservations in other locations throughout the city. We strongly encourage you to start booking your accommodation now! June is the busiest month in Berlin and many hotels are already fully booked.

Are family members permitted to participate in the Host Town Program?

No, the Host Town Program is dedicated to Delegations only. Therefore, families will not be able to participate in the Host Town program. Instead, families can already come to Berlin, explore the city and take advantage of the SO Festival.

Will there be a transportation system available for family members?

After picking up their credentials at the Family Welcome Centre, family members are entitled for the free use of public transport in Berlin. Please keep in mind that the free access to the public transport in Berlin is valid only with family credentials.

For those who have booked accommodation near the golf venue (Bad Saarow), further information will be given in the Family Handbook.


In case of any doubt or questions, please feel free to reach out to us via e-mail: