Germany offers some wonderfully unique attractions for families; particularly those travelling with babies and kids
Visitors of all ages will love going to theme parks, water parks, castles, museums and getting close to nature in the national parks located throughout the region. There is also a wide variety of accommodation on offer from holiday homes, farm stays, apartments and campsites to family hotels and baby-friendly hotels and cots are generally available on request.
Activities for Families
Germany has a host of family friendly theme parks such as Europa-Park and Phantasialand with their white-knuckle rollercoasters and fairy-tale themed lands. For toddlers, visit Playmobil-Fun Park, Legoland® and Ravensburger Spieleland. There are also a number of medieval castles and fairy-tale palaces – from famous Schloss Neuschwanstein to the longest castle in Europe at Burghausen.
There are also a multitude of museums with interactive exhibitions such as science museums where older toddlers can learn about the world. Many are geared specifically to a younger audience. There are also 800 zoos and wildlife parks in Germany, probably the most famous being, Leipzig Zoo and Berlin’s zoo. Families can experience even more of the natural world at close quarters in Germany’s nature reserves and national parks. Kids will also love the water-based activities – just part of the fantastic entertainment on offer along the North Sea and Baltic coasts and by Germany’s multitude of lakes. Should the weather prove unsuitable for outdoor activities, swimming pools offer a genuine alternative as they are geared towards families.
There are plenty of playgrounds in German cities and towns and many areas will also have ‘Kinder Cafes’, cafes specially designed with baby and toddler play areas where kids can entertain themselves while parents enjoy a coffee, lunch or delicious German pastry. Many cafes, restaurants and hotels will have play areas or sand pits also even if they do not come within the category of ‘Kinder Cafe’.
Autobahn Rest Stops
Many of the rest stops on the autobahn (motorways) will also have play areas complete with indoor slides and toys or an outdoor playground. This example of German efficiency allows older babies and toddlers to stretch their legs and have a bite to eat on longer car journeys. Almost all restaurants will have high chairs and you will be able to find your baby and toddler essentials in supermarkets and pharmacies throughout the country.
In the winter, Germany’s Christmas markets create an additional draw for families. The markets are fantastic places for kids and sell gingerbread men, candycanes, pretzels and all manner of hot foods. For parents the mulled wine is a must try. There are often slides and play areas set up at these markets also, making them even more toddler friendly!
When to Go
Germany is a year round destination. It can be very hot in the summer with temperatures rising to over 30 degrees Celsius and the winters can be bitterly cold with snow. The country is well organised and equipped to deal with such temperatures with air conditioning during the summer months and outdoor heaters in parts of the Christmas markets during winter.
Make sure you bring sun protection (see our tips on sun protection for advice on protecting babies and toddlers from the sun) for little ones in the summer and wrap up well if you are travelling during winter. For an annual temperature chart of Germany’s weather click here.
German cuisine consists primarily of meat, salad and potato.
There are plenty of options and you will be spoiled for choice in the larger cities which offer a mix of local and international restaurants. Cafés and standard restaurants are relaxed about kids and menus offer few challenges. High-end restaurants are a different matter, particularly in cities, and especially at dinner. High-end places in the country tend to be more relaxed but double-check. Discreet breast-feeding is acceptable in public. Most restaurants will offer high chairs and many will have baby changing facilities also. Many restaurants will have healthy kids options or half portions and some also have small kids play areas. Many areas will also have ‘Kinder Cafes’, cafes specially designed with baby and toddler play areas where kids can entertain themselves while parents enjoy a coffee, lunch or delicious German pastry. Many cafes, restaurants and hotels will have play areas or sand pits also even if they do not come within the category of ‘Kinder Cafe’. A lot of rest stops on the autobahn (motorways) will also have play areas complete with indoor slides and toys or an outdoor playground. This example of German efficiency allows older babies and toddlers to stretch their legs and have a bite to eat on longer car journeys.