Is Bavaria family-friendly?

Jul 1st, 2008, 03:29 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Great post. We just bought our tickets to Germany for spring break next April, and our children (7 and 12) are excited. Please post your travel reports!
fourfortravel is online now  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:00 AM
  #22  
 
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When you say Bavaria where are you thinking of going? Many people seem to equate Bavaria with the area south of Munich, but it is really a much bigger area. How long do you have?

I agree with others that you will find plenty to interest your kids. During our last trip to Germany our younger son was 10 and a very picky eater and we found food for him when we ate out.
On our two trips with kids have stayed most of the time in one location (once using a friend's house, once renting an apartment. )
Vttraveler is online now  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:18 AM
  #23  
 
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We took our kids, ages 7 and 3, to Germany/Austria for Christmas last year. It was incredible!! A pivotal decision for us was in deciding to drive. We deliberated about train/bus travel, but liked the freedom of flexibility with a car. It also opened up some choices in hotels that were not right in town. They seemed to be cheaper and larger to accommodate our family. That being said, many places in Germany are able to sleep 4-5. Sleeping 6 might be more of a challenge.

We spent a few nights in a fantastic place outside Fussen called the Hotel Seespitz. http://www.seespitz.com/seespitzuk/home.html
It was incredible. We rented a 2 bedroom apartment with one double bed and two twins, a living/dining/kitchen area and a balcony overlooking a frozen lake. It had a play ground, indoor pool, sauna and weight room. There were also lots of walking trails around the lake. We bought groceries at the local store and they were patient with our lack of German. We were only here for 3 nights and were truly sad to leave. The only issue: I don't know if they would allow 6 to a room. The 2 bedroom apartment said a max of 5 people, but it would certainly be worth an email since your smallest is only 3.

We loved the castles. We honestly liked looking around at them more than the tours, but they are wonderful. We took the horse drawn carriage up and down from Neuschwanstein and that was a huge hit! Fussen itself was a nice town also. Lots of shops and restaurants to choose from. The hotel was great in offering suggestions, too!

As far as eating, we had no issues. My kids loved the sausages, spatzel, and schnitzel of all sorts. We called them "huge nuggets" and they ate them up! We also ate our weight in pretzels, both salty and sweet, that were "as big as our face". Although most places didn't have kid menus, we frequently would split an adult meal between our two kids and order an extra side of pasta or fries. We never encountered an issue with meal sharing for our kids. It almost seemed the norm.

We did see many people without kids, but we never felt out of place as a family. Most servers in restaurants were quite sweet to our kids, and we never got any nasty looks. We found Germany, as a whole, much easier to tour with kids than in France--even though we speak French, not German.
pgnewby is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:23 AM
  #24  
 
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I forgot to mention a great website for all things Bavaria. . .
http://www.bensbauernhof.com/

Good luck!
pgnewby is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:57 AM
  #25  
 
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For traveling with kids. Our rule is to bring the kid once they are old enough to sleep well, eat well and carry their weight on the road (at least a daypack with some of their stuff). Our oldest camped with us as at 6 mos. but didn't travel with us until six, the others began traveling at five. Up till then our trip was their opportunity to spend some time at Grandma's.

Bavaria is very family friendly. If you are polite and not too noisy, you will get a great reception everywhere you go.

Our boys enjoyed castles, castle ruins, the salt mines, and crime and punishment museums the most. All our kids liked anything to do with animals or water, and enjoyed the hikes we took.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 07:04 AM
  #26  
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I'm booking our flights today for October 3-12. I know that's not very long for such a huge, far trip but that's all I'll be able to take physically and emotionally, I'm sure . We will fly into Frankfurt and our home base will be Kaiserslautern. I checked out Mapquest Europe and find the Salt Mines were a 5+ hour drive, too far. Any suggestions for our itinerary???? Also, thanks for the food info. Sounds like we'll have no problems. The boys are very well behaved, too. People have always commented in restaurants that they behaved exceptionally.
Momof4boys is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 09:32 AM
  #27  
 
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Here are 2 amusements parks for you to try:
Tripdrill Park
Tripdrill, at Claybronn/Tripsdrill, between Stuttgart and Heilbronn, is Germany's oldest amusement park, but moves with the times. It has a number of good rides and also is noted for a wine museum and a petting zoo. It also has a pleasing layout, with plenty of shady places, lawns and gardens.

Legoland® Deutschland
Legoland® Deutschland, at Günzburg, Bavaria will be Germany's own Lego amusement park and the fourth Legoland worldwide. The Park is scheduled to open May 17, 2002, and will feature seven themed sections. The "LEGO Motor School" is undoubtedly one of the biggest highlights and invites children age 6 and up to practice their driving skills. Toddlers can clean windows in the five-meter high Frankfurt skyline or take a Lego Audi TT for a drive. The Park offers a wide selection of rides, attractions, games, food and LEGO displays for everyone.

Hope these ideas will help you.
gregeva1 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 10:14 AM
  #28  
 
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We took my daughter to Germany when she was 5 and we all had a great time. Here is what our itinerary looked like:
Munich - Sheraton.
Guenzburg (to visit Legoland) - Hotel Zettler was very kid-friendly with a huge backyard, play structure, kids menu.
Lindau - Hotel Reutemann/Seegarten was right on the Bodensee. We had a balcony and a pool all right in the middle of the pedestrian area which was great for strolling around the town.
Reutte, Austria - Gastof zum Schluxen is a farm hotel with animals and lots of area to explore. Waking to the sound of cowbells is a favorite memory of ours.
On the way back to Munich we stopped at Maerchenwald (Fairytale Park with rides)and Andechs Brewery/Monastery.
Like gregeva1 mentioned, we tried to balance each day with sightseeing and kids activities so she would not get too bored.
I think you will have a great time!
pommefrites is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 10:54 AM
  #29  
 
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"We will fly into Frankfurt and our home base will be Kaiserslautern."

I'm not clear why you're focusing on Bavaria in that case. It's quite a distance. If you have a place to stay in Kaiserslautern, and only 9 days, it would be terribly easy to fill those days in the immediate area.

Castles: Dozens of them just to the north along the Rhine - just take a ride downstream between Bingen and Koblenz for a look. Kids can climb around on Rheinfels Castle in St. Goar (ruins + museum.) Tour Marksburg Castle in Braubach or the excellent Burg Eltz (near the Mosel River.) In Cochem - on the nearby Mosel River - there's a castle tour AND a falconry show at the castle (as well as a waterpark facility called "Moselbad")

Festivals: Early october is great along the Rhine - huge wine/fireworks festival in Boppard on weekend of 10/3-5 (10/4 fireworks.)

The Rhine, Mosel, and Nahe rivers are great for biking - easy riding, towns every few miles. You'll surely find bike paths near K'lautern as well.

Trier on the Mosel River: great town if your family is interested in Roman/early Christian history - baths, ruins, cathedrals. It's Germany's oldest city.

You are also not far from Alsace and the Black forest - and the Europapark amusement park: www.europapark.de/lang-en/c51/default.html
Russ is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 11:01 AM
  #30  
 
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One thing we always did while on trips when our daughter was growing up was to have a "quiet hour" before dinner. When she was to old to take a nap that was fine but we had her lay down on the bed and relax with a book. Often even though she claimed she wasn't tired she would end up falling asleep and a bit. We found our time at restaurants at the rest of the evening went much better when she had a "quiet hour". We also took advantage of that time to relax or nap too. After having fun all day a rest gives everyone some new energy for dinner etc.

We never worried about whether she had a real healthy meals while on a trip. That cut down on problems. And usually after a couple of days of ordering perhaps not so healthy meals she seemed to revert back to wanting healthier food.

Momof4boys, I imagine you will have a wonderful trip with your children. I have always been so glad we took our daughter with us on trips..she added to the joy of seeing places through her eyes. And the memories will be with all of you forever.
LoveItaly is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:29 PM
  #31  
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Russ: I thank you very much for all the great information. I guess I need to brush up on my geography. 15 years ago when I traveled to Germany without children I went all over the country via train. I guess I need to focus on sticking around home base, where we have a place to stay. I will definitely use some/all of your suggestions and would be open to any others. Thanks again. You obviously know the region.
Momof4boys is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:31 PM
  #32  
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Loveitaly: You brought a question to my mind-- Is the traditional dinner hour in Germany later than my kids are used to? If so, we may have to try the quiet time.
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Jul 1st, 2008, 04:52 PM
  #33  
 
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No meals in Germany aren;t as late as they are in Spain and Italy - in fact we found many restaurants closing early - as in 10 pm. Definitely places seem to be open by 6 for dinner.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 07:18 AM
  #34  
 
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I second looking at bavaria Ben's website. I would consider staying in Bauernhof/fewos. Many have children staying for free or for only a few euro each. The bauernhof have animals and playgrounds for the children.

ggogle "urlaub auf dem bauernhof"

For Bavaria - www.bauernhof-urlaub.com
For Baden Wurtemberg (includes black forest)
www.urlaub-bauernhof.de

For Hessen - www.landurlaub-hessen.de

On individual city/town websites, there will be an accomodation list that will have the local bauernhof/fewos

Individual town websites are usually at www.(town -name).de
bigtyke is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 07:26 AM
  #35  
 
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Lots of schools will be on holiday during this time (fall holiday) so you might be surprised at the amount of families you'll see at many sights.
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Jul 17th, 2008, 02:19 PM
  #36  
 
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LoveItaly, great advice. Grandmother of 8 here and we find most young people totally over stimulate their kids, don't see to it that they get "quiet time" or proper food and then are surprised when they disrupt everything and everyone around them. We had good travelers but they were good travelers because that was our expectation and we helped them achieve that by not expecting more than was reasonable. A family is like a business, it starts at the top and if management is good, you will all be fine. Momof4boys you sound like you run a tight shop, you should have a great time. How lucky to be able to take your four children to beautiful new places far away. Have a great trip! Shirley
LuvToRoam is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 02:41 PM
  #37  
 
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>>>>>>
There's a lot more at our doorstep and we're a bit more "gas" conscious than Americans, which may explain the reason for the difference in thinking.
>>>>>>

germans aren't. if they were, they would lower and/or enact speed limits. how you drive is much more important than what you drive. anyway, germans drive quite large cars. fast driving is a major waste of fuel.

>>>>>>
Our German friends tell us that Americans drag their kids around more than Germans do
>>>>>

the poor americans can't win on this site. now they are being taught that they 'drag their kids around'.

walkinaround is offline  
Jul 17th, 2008, 03:02 PM
  #38  
 
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Hi Mom. We just got back from Germany/Austria and Switzerland last night. I will do a trip report, but am too jet lagged to think very straight right now.

My boys weren't overly thrilled with the castles, but liked them enough. Hellbrunn castle near Salzburg was a hit with the trick fountains.

They loved the alpine slide we did in Austria. There are several of these around the Fussen area.

Munich was a lot of fun to walk around and they enjoyed the Deutsches Museum.

They weren't overly thrilled with the food, but it was easy enough to find pizza. The ice cream is excellent!

GET A GPS. This was a total lifesaver for us - and eliminated a lot of stress. I know we would have gotten lost several times without it. Driving was no problem - Germans are great drivers who drive great cars. Last year we drove in England, which was terribly stressful.

I have read that where we did a 10 day trip through 3 countries, Europeans are much more likely to stay in one city for 1-2 weeks. It's a difference in what we're used to - we are OK with changing hotels several times a trip. It's not totally relaxing, but with an 8 hour flight and the prices what they are, we wanted to maximize what we saw.
karens is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2008, 06:25 AM
  #39  
 
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Momof4boys, we're back and yes, Bavaria was family friendly. I will say that at our hotels (in all but one we were the only Americans there), there were a bunch of German senior citizens and us. But no one appeared to mind.

Lots of attractions have a "family" rate, where parents and kids get in for a set price that is lower than if you bought individual tickets. The kids were free at Ludwig's castles. (If the weather is nice, don't miss the luge very near the castles.)

Do you speak German? You might want to figure out how to ask how large the portions are in restaurants. Few restaurants had kids' menus (I was actually surprised that a few did!) As in restaurants in the US, portion sizes varied widely....in one place, the schnitzel would be the size of a hamburger. In another, you'd get two schnitzels on the plate, each one of them twice that size. Same with wurst. At one place you'd get one sausage; at another, you'd get four of the same size. Your kids would certainly be able to share entrees at many of the places.
missypie is offline  
Jul 28th, 2008, 08:06 AM
  #40  
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Thanks for the info. I saw Samantha Brown on the travel channel recently in Bavaria and she suggested taking a walk around the restaurant and saying, "I'll take that".

I will try to learn some conversational German in the next 2 months but I hear nearly all Germans speak English, lucky for us.

How long was your trip and where did you visit?
Momof4boys is offline  

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