Holidays with children mean you need to think and organise ahead. If you’re travelling with babies and toddlers, you not only need to think about all the equipment you will need to take, you’ll also need to think about the type of holiday your children might enjoy. In this blog, I’d like to introduce you to some entertainment parks in Germany, which may be worth including at some point on your holiday.
How much do young children really benefit from a faraway trip?
Young children (up to the age of five) are usually very easily pleased. A short walk through a forest collecting sticks and stones, a playground in the grounds of your hotel, a playroom or a small wildlife park close by are usually enough to keep them amused.
In my view, we over-think when it comes to planning the perfect trip away with the kids. We want to present the world to our little ones all at once. Whereas it’s the little experiences and precious moments that they will remember, and not the luxurious holidays in faraway places. And in all honesty, do they really know that they are on the other side of the world? In their little world, they’re happy if they have a nice play area and other children to play with.
Don’t get me wrong, we have taken our son to St Lucia and Trinidad in the Caribbean when he was a year old. He loved the beautiful sandy beaches but Majorca is only a two-hour flight from the UK, and he wouldn’t have known the difference. To be fair, we combined this trip with visiting friends in Trinidad, so it was all worth it. And now looking back at the pictures, I can remember how beautiful the Caribbean is and how we enjoyed the relaxing way of life – although my son wouldn’t have remembered a thing!
Going on holiday with older children
Package holiday or a self-organised trip as a family?
When the children get older and become much more aware of the idea of travelling, it starts to become more challenging to organise a trip that will suit everyone. From around the age of six, they start to understand and ask questions about other places in the world and what type of holiday they could have. Although it’s on a small scale, they seem to enjoy learning from the trips they make to other countries. They want to experience new things like everyone else.
For a summer holiday, you have the choice of either going on a package holiday, where the entertainment and kids’ clubs are all organised for you, or opting to plan the whole thing yourself. Most of the time, we plan our own holiday to Germany – particularly as we travel there frequently to visit family and friends close to Düsseldorf. However, this does mean that we need to think about what we’d like to do in advance so that our son enjoys his holiday too.
Are you a rollercoaster fan?
I wrote a blog about our holiday to the Black Forest and Lake Constance in the summer of 2017. I talked about our trip to the Europa-Park Rust theme park, which is located in the Black Forest region, close to the French border. It is Europe’s second most visited theme park after Disneyland Paris, and Germany’s largest entertainment park.
We were based in Glottertal, which is only half an hour’s drive from Europa-Park Rust. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling well that day, so it was far from being the ideal time to test out some of the rollercoasters. On top of which, both my husband and I aren’t keen on rollercoasters, but wanted to introduce our son (who was seven at the time) to some of the smaller ones in the park. I wasn’t brave enough to go on Europa Park’s biggest rollercoasters, like the Wodan (wooden rollercoaster) or the Silver Star (steel rollercoaster), but we did try out the Pegasus rollercoaster. I have to say that I came off feeling even more dizzy than I had done before I went on it, and our son didn’t particularly enjoy it either. So, it looks we’re not a family that goes wild for rides!
Some facts about the Wodan rollercoaster:
First opened: 2012
Speed: top speed of 100km/h
Time: 2,30 minutes
Minimum age: 6 years old
Minimum height: 120cm
Some facts about Silver Star rollercoaster:
First opened: 2002
Speed: top speed of 130km/h
Minimum age: 11 years old
Minimum height: 140cm
Some facts about Pegasus rollercoaster:
First opened: 2006
Speed: top speed of 65km/h
Time: 2,11 minutes
Minimum age: 4 years old
Minimum height: 100cm
You can add to the thrill by wearing virtual reality glasses.
Opening times (6th April – 3rd November 2019): 9am – 6pm
The 5D attraction was our favourite
Europa-Park Rust was a great experience
Apart from the ride experience, we all enjoyed Europa-Park Rust. There were lots of things to do for our son, including smaller rides, which weren’t scary, 4D cinemas, shows, little boat trips and train rides through the park. Our son loved the Elf-ride, the EP-express, the African Queen boat trip, and one of our favourite attractions was the Voletarium. On this attraction, visitors experience a flight over the landmarks of eleven European countries with a 5D experience. It only opened 2017, so not long before we visited the Europa-Park Rust – I can highly recommend it.
Europa-Park Rust’s future plans
If you can’t get enough – you can stay in the park
In the second half of 2019, Europa-Park Rust will open a large water world called Rulantica. Visitors will be able to enjoy rides through a themed area in the water, plus lots of fun water activities.
Families who would like to stay in the park, can also book accommodation onsite. There are various hotel options, a campsite, where you can stay in a tipi kind of tent, or you can bring your own camper van or caravan.
Europa-Park Rust summer prices as of 2019:
Children under 4: Free
Children 4-11 years: 44.50€
Adult (12+): 52€
Senior visitors (60+): 44.50€
You can find more information on the Europa-Park Rust’s website.
Here you can read some TripAdvisor reviews
Being King in the Playmobil Knight’s Castle
Our visit to Playmobil FunPark, close to Nuremberg
Another park we took our son to when he was four, was the Playmobil FunPark, close to Nuremberg. On our way back from the Bavarian Forest, we decided to stay in Nuremberg for a couple of nights and discovered the Playmobil FunPark in Zirndorf. It’s only a twenty-minute drive from Nuremberg, and perfect if you want to combine a city break to Nuremberg with this picturesque, historical old town and castle that has some great activities for children.
Being massive Playmobil lovers ourselves, my husband and I had just as much fun there as our son did. He’s still into Playmobil toys, and at the time had lots of WOW moments when he saw the giant knights castle, pirate ships and all the Playmobil figures. The park’s layout is well-designed with various themed play areas, as well as entertainment and discovery areas. We were really impressed by the cleanliness of the park, and the well-equipped and well-looked after attractions. In our view, you get good value for money.
The weather was also on our side, being not too hot but warm enough that our son could have lots of fun in the splash area. Don’t forget to take spare clothes when you go there, as you can get wet on some of the attractions.
Playmobil FunPark summer prices (as of 2019):
11,90€ per person
Opening times (1st May – 9th September 2019): 9am – 7pm
You can find more information on the Playmobil FunPark’s website.
Here you can read some TripAdvisor reviews.
Ravensburger Spieleland – perfect for children under ten
On the same holiday when we went to Europa-Park Rust, we spent a week in the Lake Constance region in Lindau. Lindau belongs to the Bavarian Allgäu region, which is a fantastic area to visit as a family. There are plenty of walking and cycling routes that take you through this stunning area with the Alps as a backdrop, as well as plenty of other attractions to do on a trip around Bavaria that will keep the children entertained.
A highlight for younger children is Ravensburger Spieleland in Meckenbeuren. It’s ideal for children up to the age of ten, and the park isn’t too big, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming. It is pristine and safe for children to play. Our son’s favourites were the digger land play area and the Mercedes Benz driving school, with its little electric Mercedes cars.
Some of the attractions are:
- A barefoot trail
- VFB Stuttgart Football play area with speed tracking machine
- Bosch car service tyre change
- Lufthansa kids’ airport
- Splash park area (don’t forget to take spare clothes!)
- Railway through the park
- Open air stage
- Climbing frames
- Adventure boat trips
- Basketball area
- Rides suitable for children
Ravensburger Spieleland summer prices (as of 2019):
Children (3-14 years): 33.50€
Adults (15+): 35.50€
Seniors (60+): 33.50€
You’ll find more information on the Ravensburger Spieleland’s website.
Here you can read some TripAdvisor reviews
I hope this blog has given you some inspiration and a little overview about these three entertainment parks in Germany. However, I’m going to update this blog very soon with even more information. In my next blog I’d like to introduce you to another great entertainment park in the North Rhine-Westphalian region, where I originally come from. This park is much more hands on for children, and encourages them to be active.