To tell you frankly, I didn’t appreciate parks & playgrounds until I had a child of my own!
If you have an active toddler like mine, I am so sure that playgrounds have become your best friends. Either indoor play yard or an outdoor sandpit, it always saves your day. It’s one happy place where your kids just let go of their steam and for a moment, you’ve got the chance to inhale and breathe. I know I’m not alone in this,but when your child is happy, you are happy too!
There are play areas for Kids..Everywhere!
As a new Expat, you search for grocery shops or bakeries, but for me, one of my early priorities is to look for playgrounds for my daughter to play. Well, Germany is famous for its abundance of outdoor activities and play areas for kids & toddlers. I must say that being a kid here is awesome and has a lot to offer. I was really surprised to find that in almost every neighborhood, there are Spielplatz or play areas for kids. Isn’t that amazing? In the Bike shop, supermarkets and groceries, in Biergartens and restaurants, they always have a play area where kids can play. There are trampolines & rockers along the busiest shopping streets . Some even have a changing area where you can breastfeed, feed or change the diapers for free!
The one in dm-drogerie is our favorite because you can shop while your kids play. Great thing about dm is it’s absolutely free and very convenient. Did I mention that even in the Rathaus ( or the Town Hall) they have kid toys placed in the walls along the corridor. Very kid-friendly especially during waiting time.
It’s beautiful, natural, safe ,full of creative spaces, and best of all, it’s all FREE!
Life being an Expat is challenging. You’ve got no friends yet,you barely speak the language, you don’t even know your neighbors, but your child is screaming out for tiny humans company. A bored child is a whining child so the best thing to do is take her out! Searching for parks & playground is also a perfect chance to get acquainted with the new neighborhood and making new friends.It is actually easy to make friends when you have a kid,it’s less intimidating. The moment kids starting to play with each other, it’s easy to start a conversation. This works well for me so I’m sure it can work with you too.
So here in Ingolstadt, we have discovered quite a number of parks and playgrounds which has helped us a lot in trying to integrate in this new culture. Here’s our list for our favourites ;
Klenzepark is a huge oasis for kids (and for adults too). This place has a large field and beautiful park I must say, with trees surrounding it and has luscious rose gardens with fountains. It is the site for the 1992 Bavarian Garden Festival and has a unique open air museum of German fortification architecture. It will host the 2020 State Flower Show so that’s something to look forward if you love nature & flowers. Ideally located along the Donau river, it’s a scenic place where you can take your kids for a lazy stroll, cycling or play in the playground.With the view of the historical Neues Schloss and with the love-lock bridge, this is our favorite spot so far.There is a fountain (Wasserspieltplatz) with huge rocks where children can enjoy playing in the water especially in Summer.The whole field is also surrounded with small water canals where children (and adults!) splash their feet in Summer.
Just beside the Wasserspieltplatz is the Natural Playground. It has wooden slides, climbing areas, rockers, swings and fun activities for kids. In the center is a sand pit where toddlers & kids playing in the sand. .It’s very accessible by bike,by walking or by bus. There is an ample underground parking and comfort rooms.Inside the park are Biergartens, cafes, and museums.
Luitpoldpark is ideal for all ages and the entire family as well. There is a forest where you can take your kids to have a short trek, stroll and have quiet walks with all the towering trees above you. This is a secluded place to jog, run and or just taking your dog for a walk. In the center was a playground with slide, rockers, and sand pit where your child can play while parents can have a picnic. I have seen many families having their birthday parties here and meet-ups.Adjacent was a football field where bigger kids can enjoy a football game as well. There is a small hill that is great for toddlers to climb up and run.
Further down Luitpoldpark is the ‘Biotoperlebnisfad and the Nazi victims memorial park. The paths are ideal for skate boarding, cycling plus exploring through the woods can let you learn more about the trees and its history & age. If you like Forestry & Foliage, then this is a great place for you.
Fort Haslang Parks and Playground
We discovered this playground by chance. While we are looking for a Pediatrician for my daughter, we decided to let her play a bit and we found this play ground nearby. It has a scenic field full of short shrubs and flowers, a cycling path with apple trees and forest flowers and in its center is a play ground with sand pit, slides, rockers & plenty of space for children to run around. A bit further is a place for bigger kids where they have ramps for bicycles, ziplines, and table tennis areas. This playground has benches for parents too. Surprisingly, almost all parks & playground in Germany always have an area for parents to sit, drink their coffee and a trash bin. You won’t even need to worry about where to throw the soiled diapers.
Wildpark am Baggersee–Oberschüttweg
This beautiful wildlife escape is just 15 minutes away from our home. Ideally situated near the Dam and you will have scenic views of the River Danube and lush forest, a lake, and a Lakehouse with lots of Biergarten & cafes. Discovering the beauty of Baggersee last Summer was one of the highlights of our first Summer here. This place is best for campers during summer, and ideal for cycling. It has 54km stretch for you to cycle til you drop. If you have a kid’s seat attached to your bike like most Germans does or an Anhänger ( Child chariot), then you can easily explore this place thru cycling while having panoramic views of the Auswaldsee. The Wildpark & Baggersee play area are absolutely free. The wasserspielplatz for kids is one of my daughter’s favorite and I like that it has an active water pumps where parents can do some activity and exercise.
Biergarten Künettegraben– along Jahnstraße
This Playground is adjacent to a Biergarten. Yes, in Germany, there are Biergartens which has a playground beside it. It has lovely views of the winding bridges, old fortifications, and the ponds filled with ducks. Go here early in the morning and you can enjoy the peace & quiet. Perfect for nap times too.The playground itself is frequented by pre- schoolers on their outdoor walks & play times because it is surrounded with trees, and has lots of creative games areas. There is a sand pit, water pipes, slides, swings, turntables, see-saws and table tennis & basket ball courts. They have swings made of old tires.While your kids play, parents can have a happy hour in the Biergarten as well or just feed the ducks!
Zoo Wasserstern–Gerolfinger Str. / Aloisiweg 19
This small Zoo is a one of a kind attraction for kids. It is a non-profit zoo which houses different animals which look more like a private collection. The place is a combination of a Botanical Garden and a zoo. There are reptiles and birds on the ground floor, an Aquarium and sea animals in the basement and wild birds, monkeys, and birds like parrots, owl and other birds located in the garden. It is frequently visited by Kindergarten students, visitors, and people with disabilities. Ideal for a family getaway on weekends. There are tables & chairs for parents to rest and a changing room for babies.
St. Anton play ground & Park-Münchnerstr.
This playground is very close to the Haupbanhof and just across the St.Anton Church . It is in front of a Pet Zoo shop and has a shady park & play area for the little ones. We love to walk going here. It has a huge field where people do yoga, train their dogs, or just have a lazy weekend picnic. It has a pebble & sand pit, rockers, slides, and a wooden climb & maze paths. It is one of our favorite playground because it is shady and quiet. It is surrounded with ample trees as well.
I am so thankful that we live in a place where these playgrounds and parks are accessible. As a parent,there’s a lot more to write about playgrounds here in Bavaria, they are really something to be proud of. We keep on discovering new ones each day. Play areas doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. In Germany, the approach for more green, natural, simple & safe play outweighs farther the confines of an indoor play areas.
How ‘s it been Expat Mamas? How was your move so far?
If you enjoyed this post, Make sure to hit the Follow button for more Expat stories on this Blog, and Hey, if you are an Expat Mama, you might want to be featured in this Blog for our series on Expat Mamas around the World! Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.