Are you planning to travel Germany with your kids? If so then go for it! If you have never been in Germany yet, then now is the time, since there are lots of activities that you can do with your kids in Germany. Germany is a country with lovely nature, amazing castles, nice theme parks and not to forget the German lovely christmas markets that you should not miss. And after all, Germany is the home of the Brothers Grimm and their famous fairy tales.
1. Famous Castles in Germany
Did you know that Germany has got over 20.000 castles? Wow what a number don’t you think? Most of them are at least over 100 years old. Where ever you go, we are sure that you will have the chance to visit at least one of them. Here we have an overview of the loveliest ones you can visit with your kids:
Charlottenburg Castle (Berlin)
Sanssouci Palace (Brandenburg)
Schwerin Castle (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
Moritzburg Castle (Saxony)
Lion Castle (Hesse)
Reichsburg Cochem (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Hohenzollern Castle (Baden-Württemberg)
Lichtenstein Castle (Baden-Württemberg)
Heidelberg Castle (Baden-Württemberg)
Neuschwanstein Castle (Bavaria)
and many more…
Due to this huge amount of worth-seeing castles in Germany we would like to recommend three very special and kids-friendly castles in Germany that are worth to visit :
Neuschwanstein castle is the most popular castle in Germany and all the palaces and castles in Europe. Neuschwanstein Castle is located in the south of Germany, in Hohenschwangau which is not far away from Munich (which is also worth to visit with your kids).
Not only the amazing building makes fairytale dreams of every child (and grown-up) come true, also the nature that is surrounding the most popular castle in Europe is just stunning. We can guarantee you that it is worth a visit in every season of the year, whether the nature around the castle shines in beautiful colors like in autumn or the forests and mountains around are covered with a thick snow layer in winter.
The guided tour gives you a lot of important and interesting information about the history of Neuschwanstein Castle and King Ludwig II.. The pompous designed rooms and the fabulous and magical atmosphere that surrounds the castle will enchant you and your kids soon while exploring this very special cultural heritage together.
Sanssouci Palace is a beautiful rococo-style castle in Potsdam near Berlin. It was built in the 18th century for the Prussian king Friedrich II. and is surrounded by its own very nice big park. In the park you can take long walks along flower-lined paths, listen to the bird’s songs and enjoy a little break with your kids sitting at a rippling fountain. Probably this lovely surrounding is one of the reasons why the palace got the name “Sanssouci” which means “without sorrows” :-).
After taking a lovely walk through the lovely park, let’s have a look into the magnificent Sanssouci Palace. The originally preserved room equipment lets you and your family dive into a magical royal world while walking around the palace. It depends on you, if you want to join a guided tour or prefer to explore this amazing castle with your children on your own. What about using the audio guide to learn more about this beautiful piece of German culture?
In Northern Germany, not too far away from Hamburg and the Baltic Sea, you will find one of the most important buildings of romantic historicism in Europe – the Castle of Schwerin. The castle was built on a small island in middle age. Its completion lasted around thousand years and nowadays it shines in its complete beauty.
The diverse educational program for tourists, art and history lovers and especially for children makes the visit of the Castle of Schwerin an enriching and lasting experience for the whole family. A walk through the castle garden is also worthwhile. Your kids are allowed to romp and play, whether in good or bad weather.
Furthermore the beautiful Castle of Schwerin is not only an historical monument, no, it is truly a living political place. Since 1990 the Parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is located in Schwerin Castle and many members have their offices somewhere in this impressive royal building. Did you know that?
2. Family-Friendly Museums In Germany
Germany has got many museums and cultural institutions that are dedicated to children. One of our recommendations is the Natural History Museum in Berlin. This museum offers you the opportunity to dive deep into the world of dinosaurs and million years of natural history. Inspect giant skeletons of whales, marvel at the life-sized polar bear “Knut” who lived in the zoo of Berlin and follow the development of wildlife on our planet together with your kids.
Further interesting museums for kids in Germany are the Berlin Youth Museum where your little ones explore the German history in a playful way and the Science Center Spectrum in Berlin where children learn something about diverse phenomena of science in an interactive way. Moreover the German Museum which is located in Munich is one of the oldest and largest museums of science and technology. Its interactive exhibits are a great way for children to learn and explore unknown things in a playful way. The Toy Museum of Trier and the German Football Museum of Dortmund might also be a good choice for your cultural family trip.
3. Theme Parks in Germany
Germany has got many theme parks that you can visit with your family. Let us give you an overview of German amusement parks that are definitely worth a visit even though it is hard to decide for one of them :
Karl’s Adventure Village (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
Tropical Islands (Brandenburg)
Filmpark Babelsberg (Brandenburg)
Heide Park (Lower Saxony)
Phantasialand (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Holiday Park (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Europa Park (Baden-Württemberg)
Playmobil FunPark (Bavaria)
and many more…
Due to this huge amount of worth-visiting theme parks in Germany we would like to make it easier for you and share with you our three favourite ones:
Driving the roller coaster, exploring the world of fairytales, rafting through the jungle or enjoying a magical film event in 4D. All these exciting things and much more want to be experienced by you and your kids in the Europa Park, Europe’s second popular theme park after the Disney Land of Paris and the largest theme park in Germany. In this popular theme park you and your family are going on a journey through a selection of European countries exploring many activities and attractions. And we have some good news for you: In the Europa Park the admission for toddlers until the age of three is free and even birthday children until the age of 12 don’t pay anything.
The Europa Park is located in Rust which is in the south-west of Germany, close to the German – French border. Due to its central location at the border triangle it is possible to arrive by car (highway A5), train or plane. Bus shuttles from the closest train stations and airports will bring you and your family directly to the park.
Really good about the Europa Park is, that it offers attractions for nearly every age. So don’t worry about your kids are too young or you are too old for this kind of leisure time activity. There are lots of attractions with a minimum size of only 0,95m – 1m. In this theme park everyone completely got his money worth. For the smallest ones the Europa Park offers a lot of playgrounds, such as the “Casa Da Aventura” which is an indoor soft play adventure area that is suitable from ages 0 – 12. Furthermore the attraction “Elf Ride” which is an enchanting boat trip through the elfin realms is a cozy experience for all family members. In addition to that many carousels and a Bobby Car parcours can already be used by kids with a minimum age of one year. Moreover Europa Park offers a child-friendly train called “EP Express” that brings you from one attraction to another, for example to the “Enchanted Forest Cinema in Grimms Library” which is already fun for very young kids (0 years). Furthermore, also adrenaline junkies will find diverse amazing attractions like the huge amount of roller coasters, the haunted house and many more.
Should you and your kids get hungry, you can visit one of the many restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the Europa Park. There you will find a large selection of different food from all over the world. We guess there is something for everyone’s taste.
On the main page of Europa Park you can get an overview of all kinds of attractions, shows and events that will be expecting you and your family so you can start to plan your day in Europa Park already at home. The attractions can be filtered by age so it is possible to discuss with your kids what they would like to see and try out in advance.
Another worth-seeing theme park in Germany is called Phantasialand. In Phantasialand kids are kings. Face painters create free face paintings for your kids and your little ones get the opportunity to collect stamps at any attraction exit when they have completed an adventure. They can put these stamps in their own adventure booklet and do a challenge: Who has collected the most stamps?
Phantasialand is located in Brühl near Cologne in Western Germany. It is easy to reach it by car (A553), train, Flixbus or plane (Cologne- Bonn airport). Also Phantasialand offers shuttle services that bring you directly to the park. If you want to surprise your kids with a whole weekend stay at Phantasialand, even this is not a problem at all. You have the possibility to stay in a theme park hotel. You have the choice between two child-friendly theme hotels, one in Chinese design, the other one makes Africa lovers happy.
But what else is going on in amazing Phantasialand? In six thematic areas the theme park provides a great offer of attractions and shows for a perfect trip with your family. The amusement park, opened in 1967, is one of the oldest ones in Europe and belongs to the three most visited theme parks in Germany today. Beside roller coasters and water rides you and your kids are welcomed to experience shows, mazes, adventure playgrounds and funny theme rides through fabulous scenery. And we have big news: The “Crazy Bats- Virtual Coaster” is the newest attraction of Phantasialand. It is the world’s best VR-Coaster which represents an unforgettable experience for the whole family. Another attraction, called “Hack & Buddl”, is a kids theatre which guarantees fun for kids of every age.
Most of the attractions presume a minimum body height of 1,20m. But also for our little ones with a minimum height of 0,95m – 1m you will find some funny things to do. You do not want to queue twice or more just because you have more than one child? Phantasialand’s solution calls “Baby Switch”. Just tell the employees you want to switch the child when getting off your ride ;-).
Moreover Phantasialand offers an important service. You’ve lost your child somewhere in the spacious theme park? This might be the biggest fear of every parent – but don’t worry. In advance you can write down your telephone number on the free kids-armbands. Should you get separated from your child, somebody from the staff will call you soon.
After all the fun you and the kids are probably hungry. What about visiting one of Phantasialand’s many restaurants that offer breakfast and snacks, as well as lunch, dinner and special cooking shows? Here you can enjoy a little break to experience more attractions afterwards. Isn’t that a reason to visit Phantasialand?
Heide Park Resort
For families traveling the northern regions of Germany we highly recommend the Heide Park Resort. This popular and famous amusement park is located in Soltau, just a stone’s throw away from beautiful Hamburg City which is also worth a stay. You can reach the park either by car (A7), bus (Soltau station, line 150), Flixbus (from Hamburg) or train (Soltau station/ Wolterdingen station).
You and your kids are adrenaline junkies? Then off to the world’s highest wooden roller coaster “Colossos” and have some fun together. And for the ones who prefer enjoying the more “harmless” things, of course there are many further attractions, shows, events and exhibitions you can visit. Without the accompaniment of an adult most of the attractions are released from an minimum age of 8 years or a height of 1,20m. A few attractions can be visited by accompanied kids with a minimum age of 0-3 years or a body height of 1m.
Let us introduce you to the pirate’s arena: Here you and your kids (min. age 3) marvel at the exciting adventures of captain Morgan and his crew. A mix of comedy, artistic performances, beautiful songs and special effects are making the pirate’s arena a highlight of Phantasialand.
Another special attraction for very young kids is the sand painting show which takes place in a cozy tent. Here your children are welcomed to go on a fantastic journey with the artist who create beautiful artwork and telling exciting stories.
Moreover the Heide Park Resort offers a great gastronomic service. You have the choice between Italian meals, American fast food, Spanish dishes and many more culinary specials. Furthermore, ice cream parlors and a donut factory will make especially your kids happy.
We all know that it can be hard to try out all these exciting attractions within one day – especially when every child has its own opinion ;-). A plus point for the Heide Park Resort is, that it offers overnight stays in diverse accommodations. A wooden cottage, a cozy hotel room or better a camping van? It’s up to you to create an unforgettable time with your loved ones :-).
4. Water Parks In Germany
There are many ways to cool down during German summer. One of them is to visit a water park with your kids, where they can play, slide and splash to their heart’s content. In the following the most popular water parks are listed for you:
- Tropical Islands (Brandenburg)
- GALAXY Erding (Bavaria)
- Badeparadies Schwarzwald (Baden-Württemberg)
- Aqualand Cologne (Northrhine-Westphalia)
- Ostsee Therme (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
Probably the most special water park is Europe’s largest tropical holiday world called “Tropical islands”, just outside the gates of Germany’s capital city Berlin. The admission to the 24/7 opened Tropical Islands Resort is free for children until the age of five and if you prospect for special family discounts you will save a lot of money.
The water park offers a large number of inside and outside attractions and can be visited in every season of the year. Taking a walk through a tropical rain forest, watching turtles, butterflies and colorful birds is only one option to spend the day in Tropical Islands. Maybe you and your kids need a refreshment after this amazing jungle experience, so what about jumping into one of the large pools, surrounded by rocks and waterfalls? Furthermore, the Tropical Islands water park is known for its diverse kinds of kids animation and entertainment. The “Tropino Club” is truly a children’s paradise where your loved ones can play, climb, jump around and do anything else that makes them happy. Moreover, Tropical Islands offers special pools for toddlers, slides, a mini golf parcours and many restaurants where you can enjoy different kinds of food.
If you would like to spend more than an afternoon in this amazing tropical water world, it is possible to stay there overnight. You can choose between rooms, lodges, tents or the camping area and make your family stay at Tropical Islands an unforgettable experience.
5. German Fairy Tale Road
Many famous fairy tales, that are probably known by your kids too, have their origin in Germany. A very special way to explore these fairy tales, is to walk along the German Fairy Tale Road or Deutsche Märchenstraße, that connects important locations where the Grimm’s stories took place. It starts from Frankfurt, in the middle of Germany, and goes all the way up to Bremen which is located in the north of the country.
The gorgeous Fairy Tale Road is perfect for a road trip with your kids who will definitely love the enchanted surrounding, characterized by castles, palaces, forests and villages that they maybe know from the famous fairy tales. If you want to, guided city tours will introduce you to the world of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Mother Hulda and Rapunzel, just to name a few examples. Exploring the 600 km long German Fairy Tale Road will be certainly a memorable experience for young and old.
6. Exploring Nature In Germany
When you travel to Germany you travel to a country of diverse nature. Exploring nature with children is an amazing way to spend your family holidays because it is an enriching experience for everyone. Germany has got a large number of national parks. Some of them we named for you in the following list:
- Jasmund (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
- Müritz (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
- Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft(Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
- Lower Saxony Wadden Sea (Lower Saxony)
- Harz (Lower Saxony / Saxony-Anhalt)
- Saxon Switzerland (Saxony)
- Eifel (North Rhine-Westphalia / Rhineland-Palatinate)
- Black Forest (Baden-Württemberg)
- Bavarian Forest (Bavaria)
- Berchtesgaden (Bavaria)
and many more…
Hereinafter we would like to introduce you to the most child-friendly national parks you can visit during your holidays in Germany.
National Park Eifel
In the National Park Eifel your children are given the possibility to explore nature in their own way with all their senses. It is located in Western Germany, close to well-known cities as Cologne, Bonn or Aachen and even the Belgian border is not far away.
The nature of the Eifel, which is of volcanic origin, has got many different faces. You can walk through forests, visit deep gorges or marvel at giant rock formations. Blue lakes and the sound of rushing brooks make your day in the National Park Eifel an unforgettable experience.
Every first Sunday of the month it is family day in the national park. On these days your kids are the focus of the free guided tour through the park, that you are welcomed to join. Here the children can experience diverse natural phenomena in a playful, interactive way and become one with their environment.
Of course, it is also possible to explore the Eifel on your own. Hike up to trails with a total length of 240 km or enjoy a horseback ride through the amazing nature. There are so many ways to have fun with kids on this beautiful patch of earth.
Saxon Switzerland - Sächsische Schweiz
This worth-visiting national park is located in Eastern Germany, close to the City of Dresden and the Czech border. The Saxon Switzerland is with its rich landscape, bizarre rocks and gorges a home for a variety of plants and animals, which absolutely must be protected. Hiking through the idyllic forests and enjoying the views high up from the characteristic rocks is an incredible experience for the whole family.
The Saxon Switzerland offers some especially entertaining activities for kids too. Something very special is the natural rock labyrinth with caves and columns, that you can cross together. Furthermore, you and your kids can learn all about the forest as a habitat while exploring numbered adventure paths. Even for cold and rainy days, there are many things to do with your kids in the national park Saxon Switzerland. What about visiting the Stolpen Castle or watching a puppet show in the Max-Jacob-Theatre? We are sure, you will make the most of your family holiday in the area of Saxon Switzerland :-).
National Park Jasmund
This beautiful piece of nature you maybe know from Caspar David Friedrich’s famous painting “Chalk cliffs on Rügen”. The national park Jasmund is located on the holiday island Rügen at the Baltic Sea in the Northeast of Germany. Germany’s smallest national park impresses its visitors with spectacular chalk cliffs, lapped by the waves of the Baltic Sea, and hiking trails through a large beech forest. No less exciting are the echanted moor landscapes which spread along the walking paths. Have a look, can you spot some animals?
In the National Park-Center “Königsstuhl” visitors travel through a multi-medial adventure world and explore long gone ages of natural development. A child-friendly audio guide gives your kids the possibility to learn interesting facts about the formation of the National Park Jasmund, its native wildlife and flora. Another highlight for families with children is the big natural playground. Logs, ropes and platforms are creating an adventure parcours, where your kids can climb and play to their heart’s content.
7. Sports in Germany
If you are an active and action-loving family, you can spend your Germany trip in a sporty way. The country offers many sports activities for young and old. Have a look at our listing of sports you can do in Germany with kids:
- horseback riding
- winter sports
- water sports
In this article we will concentrate on winter sports and diverse water sports you can do in summer.
Water Sports In Germany
With its 2.389km of coastal length, Germany offers a lot of water activities for you. Whether the North Sea or the Baltic Sea – both of the seas have their own special charm. The North Sea is rougher than the Baltic Sea, which mostly seems to be quiet and peaceful.
Due to wind, waves and climate, the North Sea offers optimal conditions for a variety of sporty activities. Many surf- and sailing schools offer different kinds of lessons for every age. Here you get the opportunity to learn kite surfing, windsurfing, surf-riding or the Stand Up Paddling (SUP). You can find popular and child-friendly surf schools for example in Cuxhaven, Norddeich, St. Peter-Ording or on the many little islands in front of the German coast.
Furthermore diverse sailing schools, like some on the island Sylt, offer special lessons for children from the age of 7. Here your kids learn how to sail in tiny sailing boats called “Optimisten”. For those who prefer having safe ground under their feet, watching boats and the surfers, who are riding the waves and flying through the air, is an impressive spectacle as well.
Although the conditions for windsurfing, surf-riding and kite surfing are mostly better at the North Sea coast, it does not mean that you can not do it at the Baltic Sea. Due to the weaker wind and less waves, certain types of surfing may not be possible everyday. Therefore the sailing and Stand Up Paddling are less difficult, especially for beginners and children. Popular places for vacation at the Baltic Sea are for example Timmendorfer Strand, Rostock or Wustrow.
Winter Sports In Germany
The German alpine region is known for its spacious and well-developed ski resorts, but also the highlands (such as Bavarian Forest, Black Forest, Erzgebirge, Harz and Sauerland) offer great conditions, especially for cross-country skiers.
Let’s focus on some ski regions, that have specialized in families with children, providing playful ski lessons and special family discounts. “Großer Arber” is called a child-friendly ski region, located in the Bavarian Forest. In addition to a family chairlift, the resort has got an extra child area where already the smallest of all get their opportunity to have fun in the snow and learn the basics about skiing. In this beautiful region of Germany, a total of 14 ski- and snowboard schools lead people of every age to winter sports.
Another advisable hot spot, which guarantees winter fun for your whole family, is the region Söllereck, located in the Allgäu Alps near Oberstdorf. It provides many slopes with different degrees of difficulty for every age. The free exercise terrain for the kids offers a conveyor, a ski carousel, a magic carpet and much more. Furthermore, the all year-playground guarantees fun and joy for every child.
The ski region of Brauneck in Upper Bavaria is suitable for beginners, as well as for experienced skiers. The child-friendly flat slopes are perfect for children without or with little skiing experience and for adult experts there are steep slopes as well. As we all know, a day in the snow can be exhausting, not only for the kids. Therefore the region of Brauneck provides the largest number of guesthouses, cozy alp cottages and restaurants that invite you to rest and relax.
8. Family Friendly Christmas Markets In Germany
Traveling Germany with kids is also during Christmas time a great idea. You can find many beautiful Christmas markets anywhere in Germany and some of them are especially awesome to visit with children. They have dedicated their attractions to the needs of families with kids, so your stay will be relaxed and enjoyable without any stress. Parents are given the opportunity to stroll around the market and buy Christmas presents for their loved ones, while their children do handicrafts, create self-made candles or bake cookies.
Our first example for a child-friendly Christmas market is the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt in Bavaria. With its impressive magical scenery the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt is the most famous one in Germany. Something very special for the kids is the opening event of this beautiful Christmas market. Every year the Christ Child itself comes around to celebrate the ceremonial opening and to be admired by all the curious bright children’s eyes. Furthermore, kids can go for a ride with an old stagecoach and try out historical fun rides.
Another worth-visiting Christmas market for children is the Middle Age Christmas Market of Essligen, close to Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg. Here you can go with your family on a journey through time, which will surely elate your kids. The “dwarf country” offers a lot of activities and entertainment for kids, such as historical face painting, a knights test or carving soap stones. Candle makers, broom makers and jugglers will not only enthuse the little ones.
A really unique kind of Christmas market you will find in Munich. The area, where also the Oktoberfest takes place, is converted into a festival called “Tollwood” during Christmas time. For the children there are many attractions like a Christmas market, nice concerts and theater shows. The kids can listen to Christmassy stories and doing handcraft for free. It is suitable for children from age 4 -12.
Other German Christmas markets, that are worth a visit with kids, are for example the Christmas market of Dresden, the Christmas market of Charlottenburg Castle (Berlin), the Mid Age Christmas Market of Cologne, the child-friendly Christmas market of Hanover and many more.