Family & Kids | Travel & Sightseeing

Germany with Kids Part 3 – Animals, Castles & Caves

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In our previous two posts I told of our 2018 an 2017 visits to Germany. If you missed them, you can check them out here: Germany with Kids Part 1 – 90th Birthday, Playgrounds, & Rotenhan Castle and Germany With Kids Part 2 – Escape Room, Rosenberg Fortress, & Nuremberg Trials Memorial. Here is a recap of the trip we took in 2016, our first ever to Germany with kids. We were nervous, but with the research, list making, and preparations we made it went smoothly and easier than expected.

Germany with Kids 2016

This was Klara’s first trip to Germany. We introduced her to all of my German relatives. This was an especially bittersweet visit, bringing my first child to my Mom’s hometown and visiting her grave. I do know that we will see her again in heaven, so we remember the good times together in Germany until then.

We met my cousin’s twin girl and boy for the first time also. We celebrated my Grossmutter’s 88th birthday and stayed for the Pfingstfest. Both occasions brought a lot of family into town. There was lots to see and do. Klara being so small and portable easily came right along!

Wildpark an den Eichen

The Wildpark an den Eichen is located in Schweinfurt. It is more of a wildlife park than a zoo. What always strikes me about this and other similar parks in Germany is how many of the animal enclosures seem to do such a good job of recreating a more normal habitat for the animals. According to the website it contains 43 species and roughly 460 animals.

Deer

At the wildpark in Germany with kids

Storks

Bobcat

There are numerous informative and interactive exhibits, places to picnic or buy food, and several themed play areas including a splash pad. There is a play structure shaped like a castle and another in the form of a moose! I could hardly believe with all of those things that it is free to get in!

Moose playground

Playground structure

Coburg Castle

The Veste Coburg (Coburg Castle) is one of the largest castles in Germany. It is known as the “Franconian Crown.” It is both beautiful and imposing looking in its location above the town. Martin Luther stayed at the castle in 1530 and worked on his translation of the bible from Latin into German while an outlaw to the Holy Roman Empire.

Coburg Castle

Coburg Castle

Coburg Castle

Coburg Castle

Coburg Castle

Coburg Castle

While there definitely pay to visit the Kunst Sammlungen der Veste Coburg (Art Collection). It is well worth it. It includes lots of neat things like the Armory, Tournament Armor, Hunting Weapons, Wagons and Sleighs.

Zabelstein Castle

Another day we went hiking in the woods up to the Zabelstein Castle. Of this castle only ruins remain. The castle dates back to 1136. It has had many uses since then including storing archives and treasures and serving as a prison. Later it burnt down and was used as a quarry. Original restoration efforts were apparently not very successful but were followed by conservation and historical and archaeological research efforts. A historic World War II charcoal furnace is nearby. There is also an outlook tower that provides a great view.

Zabelstein ruins

Next to the Zabelstein ruins

WWII Charcoal Furnace from above

WWII Charcoal Furnace from below

Zabelstein Tower

Teufelshöhle

The Teufelshöhle is a limestone cave located in Pottenstein, Germany. It has been open for tours since 1922. It is 1,500 meters (4921 feet) long. I also just learned while looking up these stats that in the region of the Fränkische Schweiz (Franconian Switzerland) there are over 1000 caves. Wow, that is a lot! Franconian Switzerland is just a part of Oberfranken (Upper Franconia), a region of the state of Bavaria in southern Germany.

Going into a cave is super easy when kids are still small enough to wear in a baby carrier on your front, as long as the cave allows this. We’ve found that most caves do not allow carriers to be worn on the back, for understandable safety reasons. Some allow no carriers so the kids have to be old enough to manage the in-cave terrain which often includes numerous stairs. We are currently in that in-between stage where our kids need to grow a bit so we can do more caving with them. Kevin and I met through caving and used to do a lot of wild caving so it’s something we are eagerly awaiting!

Stalagmite

Stalactites

A couple days before we flew back home, Klara was playing with her cousins and decided it was time to start crawling! What a great way to wrap up a super eventful trip!

This wraps up our 3-part series of the trips we have taken to Germany with kids. We plan to write a few tips and tricks of international travel posts shortly. We also have a few other posts on Germany specific locations we will post here and there. Stay tuned!

What other places do you recommend checking out? We are hoping to return to Germany next year. We would love some more suggestions!

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