A day out – it’s what we all need from time to time as a means of deflecting work stress or tension from the weekly job or enjoying a stress-free day with the kids. There are multiple opportunities of fun and adventure at various sites right here in our vicinity, including places to ride roller coasters, see wildlife, enjoy a cone of ice cream, and simply recharge with family or friends.
European theme park offerings merged with nature-focused options make these places appealing to people from all walks of life. There are minimal but obvious safety concerns to observe at these places but they make for a great time on a weekend or during any stretch of the summer period. Be sure to use plenty of sunblock, even on overcast days and prepare for a change in weather. Fill your backpack with small snacks and water bottles, which are permitted at most parks.
Kurpfalz Park in Wachenheim has a highly-acclaimed wildlife area where you can witness wolves, deer, foxes, and other animals as they go about their way in a rustic environment. Falcon and hawk demonstrations take place daily to interest children and adults, as well, and there are hiking trails labeled with signage which teaches about the flora and fauna existent in the area. The park offers a summer luge run, which is huge fun for kids and adults, as well as a fantastic playground area where you can rest and watch the kids play to their heart’s content. For more information, visit www.kurpfalz-park.de
Europa Park is about three hours west of the KMC and has multiple onsite or nearby hotel options. The park takes at least two days to fully experience and features numerous coasters and thrill rides to pique the varied interests. Lines can be long but there are fast-pass options at some of the parks, so research a little before going. Themed lodging and restaurants make for an exciting visit, especially for kids, and each session features stage shows by Disney-style acting troupes. Start out driving east on Autobahn 6 to get there, with a three-hour trip required. For detailed info on how to get there, opening times and prices, visit www.europapark.de
Heide Park is the longest drive away, around five hours by car, but it is lauded publicly because of areas where the youngest of kids can have fun. There are sandboxes, play parks, kinder rides, and water play parks to go with all the usual offerings of thrill rides and stage performances for older kids and adults, too. The Panoramaturm is a tower for seeing the park from an overhead view and taking some good pics. Drive north by northeast on Autobahn 6 through Frankfurt, then further north on Autobahn 5 and Autobahn 7. For more information, visit www.heide-park.de
Legoland is a park based on the popular children’s LEGO toys but it is here that people of all ages can have a blast. Three roller coasters, 13 food venues, continuous options on both land and water, and massive themes taken from pop culture, make this park an extremely prominent destination for people throughout Europe. It is located southeast of Kaiserslautern in Guenzburg and will take about three hours down Autobahn 6. Check out the Find-it Guide 2018 KMC edition on page 271 for a promotion code on Legoland’s entry prices. More information on prices, opening hours and information on the rides, check out www.legoland.de
Erlebnispark Tripsdrill was Germany’s first park of this sort and boasts over 100 attractions depicting pirate life from days of old and constructed with the idea of designing a park that blends with nature. There are wildlife exhibits and interactive opportunities featuring about 40 species, falcon and hawk demonstrations, thrill rides including a highly-acclaimed roller coaster, unique lodging options, and lots of chances to eat a wide variety of foods. It is located east of the KMC near Stuttgart, by the crossings of Autobahns 5 and 6. For detailed information, visit www.tripsdrill.de
Phantasialand calls itself Germany’s Best Themepark and it’s a claim that people will want to decide for themselves after visiting this widely-popular destination. A dinner theater experience is available and the park has tons of high-energy rides, tasty food booths and restaurants or food kiosks scattered throughout its boundaries. There are kids’ areas that allow larger families to put in quality time with kids doing face paintings, mini coasters, train rides, bumper cars, and water play. To get there, drive about two hours, heading toward Frankfurt and getting on A61. For more information, visit www.phantasialand.de
Holiday Park is well-known for its BigFM and Sky Scream roller coasters but there are numerous other ways you can create memories. River-rafting rides and other water-themed rides capture the imagination of those who come and there are camping grounds near the park, allowing visitors to have a different experience than with the standard lodging that’s also available. Drive west on A6 from the KMC and the park is west of Heidelberg. For more information, size restrictions and more, visit www.holidaypark.de