When traveling through Germany, it’s easy for children to tire of visiting yet another cathedral or art museum. If you are looking for wholesome and active fun for the under 12 crowd, Ravensburger Spieleland Amusement Park will fill the need. This family friendly amusement park, located between Lake Constance Germany and Ravensburg Germany, puts a unique spin on traditional rides and attractions found at other parks.
So Much to Choose From
It’s probably un-American to say that our family usually avoids major theme parks found in the US. However, after visiting Ravensburger Spieleland Amusement park, I emailed several travel-loving friends and told them this was a not-to-be-missed attraction on their next trip to Germany.
The park, sponsored mostly by the company that produces the ever-popular Ravensburg puzzles and books, keeps with a high quality, low-tech theme. We arrived late in the day and observed families leaving with smiles after a full day of fun. Yes, fun.
The layout and atmosphere of the park lends itself to families interacting together, rather than waiting in long lines for a 90 second ride. With more than 70 attractions on 25 acres, opportunities for relaxed fun show up at every corner.
Back to the Basics
Someone described the park to me as “The way Germany entertained children 50 years ago.”
While I don’t think amusement parksback then had high speed Alpine Rafting rides that catapult you up in the air before shooting you downhill over rapids, there is a certain nostalgic feel to the park.
Interspersed between mechanical rides are basic yet popular activities. We watched preschoolers spend 30 minutes simply pedaling tractors around an enclosed area, moving “logs” from one location to another. In a nearby area, kids had a set amount of time to sit next to a life sized, animated, mooing cow and measure how much milk the cow produced. A few adults even tried their hand at milking old Bessie.
Toddlers were having fun playing with shovels and toys in a giant sand box.
The atmosphere at the park lent itself to parents relaxing on a bench while children basically entertained themselves. There wasn’t a rush to race from one attraction, to a stage show, to a parade. Families are even encouraged to bring their own food to enjoy a picnic at the numerous grassy areas.
Everybody Joins In!
Ravensburger Spieleland’s theme stands for adventure, play and action for the entire family:
- Families good naturedly competed with each other to race their boats across a body of water and pump water to put out a “fire.”
- A giant labyrinth encourages families to work together figuring out how to get to the exit.
- One roller coaster let parents and children control the speed of their toboggan…and it went fast! I know because I was plugging along at my safe speed and heard my husband behind me in his toboggan yelling, “Speed up! Speed up! I’m going to crash into you!” (Obviously safety factors are in place to stop speed-happy husbands crashing into their wives’ toboggan.)
- In another part of the park, parents and children joined in a loosely structured game of soccer at the sports complex.
- An Adventure Land playground had kids and a few adults climbing up wooden towers and crossing swinging bridges.
A Few Extras
In addition to offering a day filled with fun at the park, several programs let children experience Ravensburger Spieleland on a different level. Soccer camps, a Berlitz Language camp and even a chance to spend the night at the park, let children learn and have fun.
The gift stores sell Ravensburg puzzles and books at a very reasonable price. That’s right. Instead of upping the price, the amusement park sells products at a discount price that encourages adults to buy!
Instead of enticing kids with cotton candy and ice cream snacks throughout the park, attractive apple displays are in plain view. It was a common sight to see kids happily munching on an apple as they went from one attraction to the next.
Need a Break?
Sometimes children, (and parents!) need a break from energetic paddle boating around the lake or screaming along with a 4-D movie. Several areas of the Ravensburger Spieleland have designated areas where families can work on puzzles and games together. Large, shaded spots with tables and benches provide a nice break when kids seem to be getting overstimulated. Some
puzzles are “regular” sized and others are much larger than you’d want to put on your kitchen table. Everything is designed to be calming and low-tech, so families can regroup and head back out to the activity areas. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy an amusement park on a relaxed scale.
The Back Hoes are the Best!
It’s obvious I’m now a big fan of Ravensburger Spieleland. I just wish my daughters were younger so I could take them!
The most creative and unusual activity at the park involved actual back hoes. Nothing plastic coated or miniaturized about these machines. Kids and adults got to sit in a back hoe located in the middle of a gravel pit. After a few basic instructions, everyone could use the real levers and turn the bucket from side to side, up and down, and then scoop up giant bucketful’s of gravel. You should have seen the smiles on some of the dads’ faces!
The park is open from end of March until early November.
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