• ©Sammlung Verkehrsmuseum Dresden
  • ©Petra Ruggiero, München Tourismus
  • ©Düsseldorf Marketing & Tourismus GmbH (Heike Fähndrich)
  • ©Mediaserver Hamburg Marketing GmbH
  • ©BELANTIS Vergnügungspark Leipzig
  • ©Stuttgart Marketing GmbH
  • ©Kölner Zoo
  • ©Steffen Oliver Riese
  • ©Martin Kirchner

Magic Cities

for families

From the world's biggest model railway to the most bio-diverse zoo on the planet, there's plenty on offer in Germany's cities that will turn even the youngest visitors into city-break enthusiasts.

On top of all that, families can explore city centres by boat, learn by doing at the hands-on museums, and enjoy all the wide open spaces in the huge parks.

Parents can look forward to low-cost, centrally located accommodation options that cater specially to children of all ages and that offer a family-friendly service.

Discover and experience Germany as a family

Frankfurt - Palmengarten - Plants. Life. Culture.

With its array of exotic plants and spectacular blooms, the Palmengarten Botanical Gardens are a peaceful oasis of calm in the heart of the financial district. Here, kids and grown-ups can explore a world of flora from different climate zones, and the palm house is particularly popular too.

If you think this description sounds too boring for kids, then a trip to Frankfurt's Palmengarten Botanical Gardens will make you think again. Inside the glasshouses there are cactus landscapes and tropical forests to explore, and even animals to discover. Some bird species are indigenous here and younger visitors will be richly rewarded after an exciting discovery tour. A number of adventure playgrounds are available to keep kids busy. There's a sandpit with climbing frames, and a water playground with pumps, fountains and splashing good fun. A little sightseeing train transports visitors from one side of the gardens to the other. Down by a small lake, you can hire a rowing boat at pocket-money prices, and let dad row you across the water – or have a go yourself!

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Frankfurt Zoo – animal adventures

Creatures great and small spanning 500 different species can be found at Frankfurt Zoo – a leafy haven in the heart of the bustling city.

There are over 4,000 animals from every region of the world for families to discover at Frankfurt Zoo. Venture into the 'jungle' for the chance to see the big cats up close, with often only a glass panel or a moat between you and the lions and tigers. A popular feature here is the tropical storm that strikes twice daily, giving a taste of life and the atmosphere in the tropics. Equally impressive is the aviary, where visitors can watch birds in free flight. Feeding time at the zoo is always a hit with young families – an interesting way to see the great apes or crocodiles, for example. Ukumari Land opened in 2013 and is home to spectacled bears and howler monkeys. Closely resembling their habitat in the Andes, the new enclosure enables visitors to view the animals from up close. Then, especially for kids, there's a playground and a fun maze. Over in the petting zoo, there are pygmy goats waiting to be stroked and the zoo also offers pony rides and camel rides. And with so many indoor animal enclosures to explore, Frankfurt Zoo is great fun on rainy days too.

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Frankfurt's Senckenberg Museum - a journey through time

The main exhibition at Senckenberg Natural History Museum explores the diversity and development of living things, and reveals how our planet has transformed over millions of years. One of the most popular attractions here is the dinosaur exhibit. Grown-ups and children alike will be awestruck by the skeletons of Tyrannosaurus rex, pterodactyls and other 'terrible lizards'.

It is a place of wonder, the stuff of every child's dreams: T-rex, dinosaur eggs and an enormous killer whale. There's no chance of getting bored at this museum. The breathtaking displays reveal the answer to that eternal question asked by children: what was the world like before I came along?

Young visitors can learn how the plant world has evolved, marvel at how tall a tree can grow and retrace an Ancient Egyptian's journey into the afterlife. The finback whale skeleton is amazing for its sheer size, and there is a jaw-dropping exhibit of an anaconda devouring a huge water hog. Anyone brave enough can even encounter the museum's prehistoric giants in the dark! Glimpsed by torchlight inside the pitch black exhibition hall, the dinosaurs seemingly come to life when the shadows of prehistoric giants and smaller creatures move along the wall. At the end of the exhibition, guests can expect to witness some very special lighting effects.

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Experience the tropics – in Leipzig

Visitors can spend a wonderful day out at Leipzig Zoo, which is close to the city centre and leafy Rosental park. Gondwanaland, opened here in July 2011, is Europe's largest tropical discovery centre at 16,500 square metres.

The super-continent that once linked Asia, Africa and South America has been brought back to life in Leipzig. Visitors to this multi-sensory exhibition can discover 300 exotic animals as well as approx. 17,000 tropical plants, visit the Asian village and take a boat trip through a mysterious volcano tunnel. The treetop trail offers an adventure with wonderful views from twelve metres up in the air.

Leipzig Zoo is not only one of Germany's oldest and most traditional zoos, for years it has been making waves as one of the most innovative. Since 2001 it has been implementing an ambitious concept via the Zoo of the Future masterplan, its key points being species-appropriate husbandry of zoo animals, a commitment to the worldwide conservation of endangered species and a varied education programme.


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Active adventures for all the family

In summer 2011 plans were approved for the first continuous stretch of navigable water between Leipzig city harbour and Lake Cospuden. The stunning eleven-kilometre Route 1 takes in Leipzig's extensive parklands and late 19th-century townhouses.

Experienced canoeists and kayakers will be able to navigate the new water trail through Leipzig's Auwald forest in two to three hours, negotiating two locks en route. If that's too much to manage in one go, there are plenty of cafés and restaurants along the water's edge, where you can recharge with a refreshing cold drink and good food.

Lake Cospuden, where the city's people often go to swim, is situated nearly 10km south of central Leipzig. It is one of 18 lakes that have been created – or are still being created – by flooding open-cast mines close to the city. The fantastic lake region of Leipziger Neuseenland offers not only plenty of recreational water sports and other activities but also a variety of historical and cultural sightseeing tours – both on land and out on the water.


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Leipzig - eastern Germany's biggest theme park

BELANTIS is one of the most popular destinations for families visiting Leipzig. Every year the theme park attracts over half a million children, young people, parents and grandparents, making BELANTIS number one in Germany's new federal states.

Exhilarating rides, mesmerising shows and unrivalled scenery make a day at BELANTIS an unforgettable adventure – for all the family! Like a gigantic world map, it brings continents, historic cultures and bygone eras to life. Signature attractions include a white-water ride through Europe's biggest pyramid, the HURACAN rollercoaster and a huge swinging galleon. Over the last few years, BELANTIS has been expanding its facilities to include lots of new attractions designed especially for little ones. With a nostalgic funfair featuring a traditional carousel and a children's train, a host of adventure playgrounds and even a petting zoo, younger visitors are guaranteed to have a fantastic time. BELANTIS has its own dedicated junction on the A38, just 15 minutes from Leipzig city centre.


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Dresden - Transport Museum & Erich Kästner Museum

Dresden is home to many fascinating museums. A discovery tour of the Transport Museum and the Erich Kästner Museum is recommended for families.

Dresden has a wide range of activities on offer for families with children. There are museums, family-friendly restaurants and cafés, excursions in and around the city and plenty of space to keep active outdoors. A discovery tour of the Transport Museum and the Erich Kästner Museum comes highly recommended. Inside the Transport Museum you'll find everything that drives, flies, sails and steams along – locomotives, cars, two-wheelers, aeroplanes, ships, trams and buses – either in original or model form. There are plenty of hands-on exhibits at the Micromuseum inside Kästner's uncle's former mansion on Alberplatz square. The Erich Kästner Museum is described as a 'walk-in treasure chest'. Visitors are invited to rummage through the tall chests of drawers containing different exhibits and to discover Kästner's works using innovative media technology.

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Dresden - Grosser Garten park, zoo and railway

Every family loves spending time together outdoors in the fresh air. Occupying roughly two square kilometres, Grosser Garten park is home to the city's zoo and a miniature railway.

Situated to the south-east of the city centre, the Grosser Garten is the city's largest and most beautiful park. In 1676 Johann Georg, who later became Elector Johann Georg III, commissioned a prestigious garden to be built outside the city gates. The early-baroque palace was built in 1683, and to this day the park is one of Dresden's most popular recreational spots. There's the park theatre, the open-air stage and the boating lake to keep visitors busy, as well as restaurants and beer gardens. Occupying roughly two square kilometres, the park is home to the city's zoo and botanical gardens. The park railway, a miniature sightseeing train in operation since 1950, takes visitors on a round trip that extends for several kilometres. Traditionally, the park railwaymen are helped by a team of children working as controllers, dispatchers and train guards.

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Dresden - Children's section at the German Hygiene Museum

'Our Five Senses' is an exciting interactive exhibition in Dresden designed for visitors aged between four and twelve years old. The exhibits are focused on the human body and health.

The museum, the only one of its kind in Europe, puts the spotlight on humans. In the permanent exhibition, visitors can find out about the human body and human health through a variety of displays, multimedia exhibits and interactive stations. The exhibition also features lots of pieces from the museum's extensive collection, including the famous 'transparent human'. 'Our Five Senses' is the must-see interactive exhibition in Dresden and is designed for visitors aged between four and twelve years old. The museum's programme is complemented by special exhibitions on scientific, cultural and social themes.

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Worlds of discovery in Hamburg

For families visiting Hamburg there's never a dull moment, with the exotic residents of Hagenbeck Zoo to discover and incredible interactive exhibitions to visit, such as Miniatur Wunderland (the world's biggest model railway) or BallinStadt Emigration Museum.

Hamburg is bursting with visitor attractions that will appeal to adults and children too! At the Miniatur Wunderland model railway in the Speicherstadt historical warehouse district, more than 930 tiny trains rattle their way through miniature versions of places like Las Vegas and Switzerland.

For the five million or so emigrants who left Europe between 1850 and 1939, Hamburg was 'the gateway to the world'. The three faithfully restored shelter halls at the BallinStadt museum shed light on the fascinating subject of emigration.

The Hamburg Planetarium is arguably the most innovative of its kind anywhere on earth. Beneath the starry domed ceiling, riveting 3D images and a compelling soundtrack tell the story of outer space and our planet.

At Hagenbeck you can feed giraffes and watch in awe as baby elephants play! The zoo became the world's first cageless animal park when it opened in 1907, and is now home to a total of 1,850 creatures in sections such as the new 'polar sea' and the tropical aquarium.

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Hamburg family packages

With so much to see and do in Hamburg, it's the perfect family holiday destination. The HamburgCARD and packages from Hamburg Tourismus GmbH make a holiday here not only exciting but great value as well.

The practical solution for families: the HamburgCARD gives the whole family unlimited travel on local bus and train services and river ferries, plus over 150 money-saving offers for Hamburg attractions. These include discounts of up to 40% on admission to sights and museums, such as the International Maritime Museum and the BallinStadt Emigration Museum, and up to 25% off tours of the port, Alster lake and city.

The Hamburg experts also offer family package deals so you can enjoy a stress-free holiday. The Family Package, from €129 per adult, provides accommodation for the whole family in spacious rooms with connecting doors. From €239 per adult, families can enjoy a fun-packed stay in Hamburg with a package that includes entry to the Miniatur Wunderland model railway. Every family package includes kids' city maps and the HamburgCARD.

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Family days out on Neckar-Käpt'n boats

Admire the vineyards from the water when you discover Stuttgart and the surrounding region by boat with Neckar-Käpt'n. The Neckar riverboat cruise company offers captivating sightseeing tours and reduced prices for families.

The whole family will enjoy exploring the magnificent countryside of the Neckar valley and Stuttgart by boat. What's more it's a convenient way to get around the region's best attractions. Directly opposite the landing stage in the Bad-Cannstatt district of Stuttgart you'll find the acclaimed Wilhelma zoological and botanical gardens, and the Rosenstein Museum of Natural History. There's plenty to see and do along the route including the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Untertürkheim, Tripsdrill Adventure Park, Ludwigsburg Palace and the Schiller National Museum in Marbach.

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Leafy Stuttgart

Stuttgart's many parks and green spaces make it a great destination for a family trip. Each park is separated from the next by no more than one and a half kilometres. Six interconnected parks, collectively known as the 'green U', snake their way through the heart of the city.

If you're travelling with children in the Stuttgart area, then a trip to Wilhelma Gardens is an absolute must. Situated in beautiful Rosenstein Park in the heart of the city centre, Wilhelma is Europe's biggest zoological and botanical garden, and with over 1,000 different animal species, it is also one of the most bio-diverse zoos in the world. The blend of plants, animals, historical surroundings and Moorish architecture makes it a memorable destination for all the family.

Killesberg Park promises action and relaxation. All year round the 50 hectare park captivates visitors of every age with its fountains and its seas of flowers. Never more so than during the summer months, when Killesberg is transformed into an adventure park with a huge playground, a petting zoo, a family funfair and the fantastic outdoor pool. For a more leisurely pace, you can also explore the park on the miniature railway.

There are great family days out to be had in the surrounding region too. The fairytale garden at Ludwigsburg Palace's Baroque in Bloom, for example, is fun for kids and grown-ups alike. A family guided tour of the palace whisks you back to 1800 and even reveals a few royal secrets.

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Family fun at the Cannstatter Wasen

The Cannstatter Wasen with its many fairground rides is now one of the biggest festivals in the world. It is very family-oriented with lots of stalls catering for children of every age, plus special family days with brilliant visitor attractions.

Wednesdays are children and family days at the Cannstatter Wasen. Fairground stalls and festival tents offering reduced prices promise a fun day out. The little ones can also look forward to balloon artists, free face-painting and many more surprises. Lots of places, including the big festival tents, serve children's menus. Also, parents can accompany their children on many of the rides at no extra charge. A real treat for families is the procession held on the first Sunday of the festival. Watch in amazement as up to 3,500 participants, tractors, traditional craftsman guilds and even livestock parade past.

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Düsseldorf - a destination for the whole family

Düsseldorf is a city with a high quality of life (ranked fifth in the world, Mercer 2011), renowned for its fantastic infrastructure, modern architecture, tradition and cultural attractions of international standing. Altogether, these qualities make this city on the Rhine an immensely popular destination for families.

Düsseldorf has numerous playgrounds in every district as well as extensive parks offering space for recreation. The city's shops cater for family members large and small with a wide selection of fashion, toy and technology stores to suit every budget. Aquazoo boasts 6,800m² of exhibition rooms, aquariums and terrariums that are always popular with visitors. The puppet theatre in the old quarter has something for all age groups and the Rhine Tower will leave a lasting impression on everyone. Families can enjoy the great outdoors at Lake Unterbach, in Grafenberg Forest wildlife park or on a stroll along the Rhine.

There are lots of exciting things to see and do just outside the city as well. For example, Neuss is the place to go in Germany for indoor winter sports facilities, enabling active families to ski and snowboard all year round. The ski hall's 300-metre-long, 60-metre-wide piste has two ski tows and a chair lift to take you back up to the 'mountaintop' in comfort. Meanwhile, the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann brings the prehistoric era back to life in extraordinary fashion. Also within easy reach of Düsseldorf are the theme parks Phantasialand and Warner Brothers Movie Park.

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Hannover: a feast for the whole family

The Hannover region is known for its warm hospitality and its restaurants and cafés are particularly child- and family-friendly. Places to play, toys, brightly coloured interiors, proper children's meals: and Hannover's hotels offer a wide choice of low-cost family rooms.

In the List district of Hannover, the Rockzipfel café is a family favourite with its homely 70s décor, playroom and toddler space. It serves coffee & cake and hosts games afternoons, the little ones can play with toys and paint-sets, and there are bouncy mats and a climbing wall. The menu caters for kids too with mashed potato and little sausages or vegetable soup with alphabetti spaghetti, all served in small portions. For those with an appetite for adventure, the legendary pirate ship Black Pearl dishes up hearty, swashbuckling feasts. Every child will love the rural idyll of Meyers Hof farm at Hannover Zoo. Stop by the quaint and cosy Meyer inn while the kids tackle the Brodelburg – probably the best adventure playground north of the equator. For details of family-friendly hotels visit www.hannover.de/hotels.

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Hannover: animal adventures for all the family

Hannover Adventure Zoo, the magical winter zoo, SEA LIFE and the wildlife park are just some of the biggest family attractions. There are plenty of opportunities to see animals in the surrounding region too, for example at the Wisentgehege bison conservation centre in Springe or at the butterfly farm in Steinhude.

With more than 3,000 animals, seven themed zones and daily animal shows, Hannover Adventure Zoo is one of the most exciting in Europe. You can float through the savannah in a Zambezi riverboat and see baby elephants in the jungle palace. Every December the zoo is transformed into a winter wonderland featuring a toboggan run and ice rink. More than 3,500 aquatic creatures at SEA LIFE give visitors a fascinating glimpse into life underwater. Fallow deer and wild boar can be spotted roaming around Hannover wildlife park, which is free for visitors to explore. At Sahlkamp urban farm, children can feed the animals and help to look after them. The region surrounding Hannover also boasts excellent opportunities to see animals. You can observe wolves, bison and otters at the long-established Wisentgehege conservation centre in Springe. And it's a tropical explosion of colour at the butterfly farm where there are more than 600 of these exotic creatures to behold.

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Hannover: fun outdoors with all the family

Climb, run and let off steam at a host of fantastic adventure playgrounds. Whether at Kinderwald forest, WAKITU adventure farm, Park of the Senses, the zoo's Mullewapp and Brodelburg playgrounds, or one of the high ropes courses, Hannover has exceptional facilities to keep children entertained.

At Kinderwald children's forest, kids can splish and splash, learn about nature and build shelters out of willow. Park of the Senses in Laatzen has lots to see and do including the Echohof sound station, the barefoot trail and the scented garden. There's also a forest to play in and a stream in the park where kids can splash around and build dams. Fun and frolics are guaranteed at Mullewapp and Brodelburg, the incredible worlds of adventure at Hannover Adventure Zoo. Situated in the idyllic Eilenriede woodland park, WAKITU forest playground keeps children out of mischief with its native American village, treehouse and water features. Children and teens can test their nerve at the nearby treetop adventure course. One of Germany's best high rope courses is the SeaTree at Lake Steinhude. Besides fantastic playgrounds and obstacle courses, there are lots of other ways to enjoy the great outdoors in the region, from hiking and horse riding to water sports.

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Cologne for families with children

The people of Cologne welcome the little ones with open arms. With attractions such as the zoo, the children's opera and the nearby Phantasialand theme park, Cologne is a child-friendly city that is great for families at any time of year.

Cologne Zoo is the third oldest in Germany and is famed for its 20,000m² elephant park and resident elephant calves Marlar, Ming Jung, Maha Kumari and Khin Yadanar Min. In 2010 Cologne Zoo celebrated its 150th anniversary by opening a brand new attraction: the Hippodom. This unique recreation of an African riverscape gives visitors the chance to get close to hippos, crocodiles, antelopes and other natives of the African flood plains. The sweetest offering of Cologne's museum scene has to be the chocolate museum, where you can learn all about the production of everyone's favourite confection. Once you've explored the museum, you're invited to sample the finest chocolate straight from the chocolate fountain. Just next door at the German Sport & Olympics Museum there's an extensive exhibition of sporting history. Another must-see attraction is Odysseum, a huge interactive discovery centre with more than 5,500m² of hands-on experiments for the whole family.

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Cologne Family Experience Package

The Family Experience Package is a journey of discovery for visitors large and small. It includes one night's bed and breakfast in a hostel for two adults and up to two children, one meal in a brewpub and Cologne WelcomeCards.

The Family Experience Package is a journey of discovery for visitors large and small. It includes one night's bed and breakfast at DJH City Hostel for two adults and up to two children aged 14 or under, one Cologne WelcomeCard per adult, a family meal in a brewpub, one Cologne surprise per guest and one voucher per child for admission to SEA LIFE Königswinter and Cologne Odysseum (valid for children aged 14 or under).


Thrills, spills and adventure for the whole family – guaranteed.


Package includes:

  • One night's bed and breakfast in a family room at DJH City Hostel Riehl for two adults and up to two children aged 14 or under
  • One Cologne WelcomeCard per adult, valid for 24 hours
  • One family meal in a traditional Cologne brewpub
  • One Cologne surprise per guest
  • One voucher per child for admission to SEA LIFE Königswinter and Cologne Odysseum (ages 14 or under, accompanied by an adult paying full price)
  • Total price: €149.00                

Extra night
incl. Cologne WelcomeCard for the adults
: €105.00

For more information or to make a booking please contact
Cologne Tourist Office on: +49 (0)221 2213 0400

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Guided group tours for children

There is so much to discover in Cologne, a city with lots of interesting, funny, adventurous tales to tell.

Watch dwarves telling the story of The Emperors' New Clothes.Find out the answers to the questions 'who ruled Cologne in Roman times?' 'how did knights live 500 years ago and how much did their armour weigh?' and 'what did people used to do with their rubbish?'. Discover beautiful angels, terrifying skeletons or even a mobile phone gravestone.

  • Cologne in Roman times
  • The underground palace. Join us as we discover Roman Cologne.
  • An extraordinary voyage of discovery
  • I spy with my little eye... A very different insight into the city.
  • Join us as we discover medieval Cologne.

Knights, courtly love, noblewomen.Join us as we discover medieval Cologne.

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Munich for families

From the zoo to the palaces, from experiments to circus tricks – Munich's biggest attractions create a world of fun for young visitors. Run and jump, discover, get involved, marvel and make the city your very own adventure playground – it's all possible in Munich.

Munich has everything a child could possibly wish for. For aspiring young scientists the Deutsches Museum is a treasure trove of exciting discoveries. The planetarium, transport exhibition and aviation centre at Germany's most visited science museum provide an entertaining insight into the fascinating world of technology and research, in exhibition spaces both large and nano-small. If that leaves you with a thirst for scientific and natural discoveries, why not visit the Museum of Man & Nature or the BMW Museum, with its magnificent cars, engines and motorbikes from across the decades?

At Hellabrunn Zoo, you can see animals from all over the world. This 'geo zoo' invites visitors on a world tour exploring the habitats of animal species from every continent. Circus Krone is also a hit with audiences of all ages. Or, if you'd like to see behind the scenes of a film set, head to Bavaria's film studios. Football fans have the chance to cheer on their heroes at the Allianz Arena, where they can also visit the Bayern Munich interactive exhibition. Explore the city's castles, palaces and stately gardens and you'll feel like a prince or princess. Parks, lakes, playgrounds, skate parks and the Isar beaches provide plenty of opportunity to keep active and go swimming or cycling. And in winter, it's all about ice skating, ice hockey and sledding.

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Nuremberg for children

Nuremberg loves children, and children adore the many places where they can play, explore and join in on their own terms. Dull museums? Boring guided tours? Tedious opera or theatre? Nuremberg's specific attractions for kids prove that it doesn't have to be like that.

Outdoors is best: in one of Germany's most beautiful zoos, at the sensory experience centre, on the high ropes course, at the PLAYMOBIL Funpark, in exciting playgrounds or on a skating track. And even culture in Nuremberg comes in child-friendly packages. From the Children's Museum and the Toy Museum to the School Museum and the Germanic National Museum, getting involved and touching the exhibits are positively encouraged in many places. At the Deutsche Bahn Museum, little train drivers are in their element, and the Museum for Communication teaches children how to relate to each other in a playful way. Children and young people who would like to find out more about the history of Nuremberg can take advantage of lively and entertaining guided tours. Even adults might be interested in finding out how Albrecht Dürer was able to draw a rhinoceros without ever having seen one? Nuremberg's children's map is the perfect companion for our younger visitors as they explore the city.

Few other cities can boast such a varied range of children's theatres, culminating in the Panoptikum festival which specialises in offerings for kids and is held every two years. The 'Nürnberg spielt' (Nuremberg at play) event sees children's facilities across the city open their doors and stage special events where kids can explore, join in and have fun.

As the festive season approaches, the Children's Christmas on Hans Sachs Platz offers a little fairly-tale world – ideal for families with children. Located right next door to the main Christmas market, it comes complete with magnificent old-fashioned carousels and a whistling steam train, as well as stalls piled high with sweet treats and yuletide products. Young visitors also get the chance to have a go for themselves at the many lovingly decorated interactive stalls, where they can try out baking and various crafts to their hearts' content. A real Christmas event for the entire family. And there are even some 'heavenly' visitors, as the Christmas Angel invites all children to a free ride on the steam carousel at 2.30pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

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Discover the Stars of Germany

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