When traveling, sometimes it’s difficult to find things to do that are just for kids. After dragging the little ones from cathedral to museum to restaurant, you really should insert a day that is just for them. It will make everyone happier, believe me!
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We did this when we had visitors come to Germany. We’d integrated some great spots for kids already, like the Polish city of Wroclaw, but this day we wanted to do something just for the kids. Playmobil FunPark, with “fun” right there in the name was just the place to go!
Giving kids things to look forward to is only one family hack of many, and only a hop and a skip from the center of Nuremberg, Playmobil is close and easy to get to. We entered the park and were surprised by how large it was with plenty of choice activities for kids of all ages. We were amazed at the different parts of the park, each with its own theme, problem-solving activities, teamwork activities, explorations, puzzles, and places for building, exploring, getting some exercise. The creators of the park really kept the idea that such a huge play space should engage the entire child both physically and mentally. It was fascinating to see which activities the children would choose at each area.
We spent the entire day at the park, and the weather – typically German – was partly cloudy, with a few showers, and it wasn’t the warmest temperatures. That didn’t stop anyone from doing any of the activities. With rain threatening, we changed the kids into their bathing suits and headed straight to the water park area where there are water wheels, cascades, movable doors, valves and all kinds of mechanical parts that the children can manipulate to move or stop the water.
In order to dam one of the pools, the children had to work together to keep the valves closed. As a teacher, I was pleasantly surprised that the creators built in such innovative and intellectual play. I wasn’t in the park 30 minutes and already was a raving fan. German technology and innovation in the kids’ park had won me over.
Each station had completely different types of activities than the one before, but there were a few themes. Children could run, jump, and climb. They could build, break down, and build again. They could be alone and do a puzzle or they could race a new friend with one of the many tractors, cars, boats, and other movable toys. Here are some of the activities that we tried out and why I loved them.
As we visited in the summer, we wanted to spend as much time outside as possible, but by the end of the day it was pouring so we did go indoors for the last hour. I’m glad we did. We got to see how Playmobil FunPark brought the same innovation to both the indoor and outdoor areas.
Outdoors at Playmobil FunPark
Western City with a gold mine – The children could find small gems in the sand and take them home or they could ride a stagecoach, go deep inside a gold mine tunnel and again play with sand and water. Buckets on chains encouraged the kids to fill up a chute and watch the results.
Farm animals and tractors – This might have been one of my favorites. You know how much I love cows, and at the barn, you could milk a cow. Now they are Playmobil cows made out of plastic, but they had metal udders the kids would push and water would flow. Buckets were filled up which then you could grab a brush and wash the cows or horses. Who thinks of these things. Yes, I did try it!
Police Station with gokarts – This was one of the activities that had an age minimum (6 years) and since Em was six, she bravely got on one of the gokarts, barely reaching the pedals, and pumped her way around the course. She veered off the track a couple of times and the attendant got her back on the trail in no time. While she was riding, the rest of us explored the jail and puzzles of some criminals we were supposed to be searching for.
Castle – What park would be complete without a full on castle that you can assault by scaling the walls on climbing nets? Once inside, there are thrones to try out and a dungeon. One young boy was capturing all the adults who happened by and locking them in. He was having the time of his life!
Pirate Ship – Down in the lagoon, kids can climb aboard the pirate ship, or try to escape from them by pulling a raft across the water by rope and landing on a deserted island. This is one of those adventures that every child wants to have. I think the “older” children (read moms and dads) were especially excited to try this one out.
There were plenty more outdoor areas, but it was surprising how involved you would get at each place. It was hard to tear the kids away to go try out something else!
Indoors at the Playmobil FunPark
Like I said, luckily it rained so we could go indoors at the end of the day, and once again Playmobil FunPark went all out with really fun things to keep the kids, and adults, busy. The HOB Center, as it is called, is gigantic with an indoor cinema, play areas, cafe, and lots of room for both kids and adults to have a good time. So it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what the weather is outside, it is tons of fun. It even includes a theater where concerts and special events are held throughout the year.
Viking Ship and Castles
Just like outside, there were huge toys to climb on and around. Kids can act out their own stories and play make believe with life-sized toys.
A jungle gym climbing area with plenty of ropes, tunnels, arches, and walkways high above mom and dad still give the kids plenty of opportunities to expend some physical energy.
Huge building areas, divided into sections where the children could build an ambulance and go pick up a patient, take them back to the hospital and take care of them, or they could load the police horses into the trailer, take them downtown and police the neighborhood, or they could even build a snowmobile and ride around an icy town There were houses, gardens, airports, fire stations, shopping malls, all made from Playmobil pieces that kids could take apart and put back together again in their own way. It was really fun to see all the different things they could play and pretend to be.
Eating at Playmobil FunPark
Not surprising was the many places to re-charge within the park. There was a very German Beer Garden and an indoor restaurant that serves food like pasta, as well as plenty of stands sprinkled around the various areas where you can pick up a snack. We had a crepe at the Creperie stand near the Pirate Ship. This was one of the moments that the weather took a turn for the worse and it was great fun watching the die-hard families pulling their plastic rafts across the lake by rope. And the cinnamon and sugar crepe was just the right bite to enjoy it all.
We ate lunch at the pasta place, and the little ones each ordered a kid’s meal which of course comes with their very own mystery character toy along with a special cup and food they wanted to eat. All of the food options we enjoyed were priced at about the same point as they would have been in a typical restaurant outside an amusement park.
Honestly, I couldn’t have been more impressed with the Playmobil FunPark. As a teacher, mother, and child at heart, I was super impressed by the thoughtfulness that went into each and every area from indoors to outdoors. I found the price to be reasonable for families with small children, and really worth a stop even if you are only in Germany for a short visit, like a couple of weeks.
Playmobile Funpark is located on the outskirts of Nuremberg, easily reached by car. If you do rent, you’ll want to make sure to click here to read “How to Travel with Car Seats.”
D – 90513 Zirndorf
We went in high season and it was only 11 Euros per person for the entire day, which for the amount of choices and things to do, I felt was a great bargain. I don’t have little children anymore, but if I lived close enough I would even probably invest in the family pass. You can find out more about ticket prices here: Playmobil FunPark.
Have you been to Playmobil FunPark? Any tips or suggestions?
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
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