We’ve been fortunate to travel to Germany three times now since Klara was born four years ago. Our most recent trip to Germany with kids was in the spring of 2018. This was Nathan’s first time there. In this post I will tell you about our most recent visit, and in the next two posts I’ll recap our two previous visits as well to give you some ideas of things to do in Germany with kids. See those posts here: Germany with Kids Part 2 – Escape Room, Rosenberg Fortress, & Nuremberg Trials Memorial and Germany with Kids Part 3 – Animals, Castles & Caves.
The key to international travel with kids, if that is something you desire to do (and any travel really), is not to psych yourself out. Make a list, get prepared, pack the essentials, but then do it! Kids are incredibly versatile and adaptable. You are capable and just as able as anyone else to take your family on a trip to another country!
What about the financial aspect of it? Credit card points for airline travel and having family to stay with are what make it doable for us. We have specifically made some changes to the credit cards we use over the years to maximize our travel benefits. We started off with points for airline travel, but later switched to a percentage cash back which equaled about the same return and rate of accrual for tickets for us but gave us greater flexibility in selecting our own flights and schedule as compared to the limited selection available through the points program. Consider what benefits you could be receiving through various programs to put toward your travels.
Germany with Kids 2018
We launched this visit from my sister’s home in Illinois. See Tante Tori had a Farm EIEIO about our visit there before and after our Germany trip.
The main reason for our visit this year was to be there for my Grossmutter’s 90th birthday. A lot of family came into town and we had a nice birthday breakfast, a birthday lunch up at the Schlossberg castle restaurant, and birthday coffee and cake back at the house. Throughout the day lots of well-wishers came by including the town mayor and church priest. My Grossmutter is an amazing woman and we are fortunate she is doing so well physically and mentally. She stays active especially in her garden and is very fit for 90. We love her so much and I’m glad we were there for this special event.
It was really nice to introduce Nathan to her and the rest of the family also. Klara was old enough now she can play with my cousins’ kids even more so than the last time we visited. It was fun watching them all interact and have a good time together.
I love German playgrounds. I feel they are more imaginative than cookie cutter American playgrounds so often are. When I find a good playground, in any state or country, it makes me super happy. Granted, my kids themselves are happy with just about any kind of play structure, as kids tend to be, but I like to play on a good playground too! Who else is with me?!
We went to the Waldspielplatz (forest playground) up through the woods behind my Grossmutter’s house. One day we hiked up and another day we took a picnic and then went into town for ice cream. This particular playground was recently updated and some of the things from my childhood removed or replaced, but they still did a great job of including a variety of play structures for different ages. They incorporate so much more wood and natural materials rather than prefabricated plastic play structures like you see so often in the U.S.
Germany has many lovely castle ruins that are fun to explore and walk through. The Rotenhahn Castle was built around 1170/80 and what makes it especially interesting is that it is built into the rock itself. On top of the rock there used to be a tower, a square castle keep, a hall, and a gate chapel. I found that particularly interesting as it wasn’t something I knew about before. Chapels were often built over or next to gates to contribute to their protection in a symbolic-religious way. Windows, doorways, and steps carved into the rock also remain.
We spent most of our time this visit catching up with family but did a few other outtings including going to a garden fest on the grounds of Schloss Eyrichshof in Ebrach and taking a trip to Bamberg to the Schlenkerle Rauchbier brewery.
We were also in town for the Pfingstfest and enjoyed being with family, riding rides, playing games, and eating and drinking in the beer tent again this year. I plan to write a separate post on that so stay tuned!
Have you been to Germany with kids? What places do you recommend checking out? Leave a comment below and we’ll add them to our list for next time or as the kids get older! We also went to the Playmobil FunPark Zirndorf, Germany and Baumwipfelpfad Steigerwald and wrote about them separately. For more how-to’s stay tuned for our upcoming post on how we do international travel with kids.