Friday, August 31, 2012

Eight Great Day Trips (with or without the Kids)

My second article entitled Eight Great Day Trips (with or without the Kids) for the new website Military in Germany was just published. The website is affiliated with the local newspaper the Kaiserslautern American and offers information on subjects such as news, things to do, movies, events, life, videos and classifieds. You can read my article below.

My other article, Seven Best Playgrounds in Ramstein and Kaiserslautern is the number one article on the site and has received over 400 hits. If you are living in the Ramstein area take some time to poke around the Military in Germany website. You just may find something new.

There is so much more to Germany than the wonderful churches and castles. Have you ever heard of farm golf or seen a Celtic house? Kids and adults alike will enjoy investigating German houses of the past and whizzing down a hillside in a toboggan. From swimming pools to steel factories, there are so many places to visit.

Potzberg Wild Animal Park

Every day from spring to fall there is a Birds of Prey Show at the Potzberg Wild Animal Park. Even visitors who don’t speak German get a thrill when the hawks swoop past. The spacious zoo has several animals and is a wonderful way to catch a glimpse of the wild boar that dominates the local forests.

Volklingen Steel Factory

The Volklingen Steel Factory closed its doors in 1986 when its equipment and manufacturing processes became obsolete. It is the only preserved plant of its kind and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors are permitted to walk all around the plant for a fascinating self-guided tour. Blast furnaces that look like large canisters dominate the skyline. Cable cars run all over the plant like a chair lift runs up a mountain. Walking around, smelling the dust, noticing the weather feeling the immensity of the factory sparks the imagination into seeing what it would have been like to work there. A tour of the plant takes around 3 hours and is well worth the short drive to the Saarbrucken area.


If you haven’t seen storks in the Ramstein area, you are sure to see them at Luisenpark. This unique and large park in Mannheim contains playgrounds, restaurants, and animals.  Pink pelicans and flamingos play in the water. A butterfly may land on you in the butterfly house. Hidden behind the Chinese Garden are two Terra Cotta Soldiers from an ancient Chinese burial site. From relaxing in the shade, climbing in the playground and viewing snakes in the reptile house this park offers something for everyone.


This Celtic living history museum lets visitors experience life in Germany 2,000 years ago. Children may get the opportunity to cut and sew leather to construct their own coin purse, or pound copper to make a medallion. See how grain was ground and check out the construction of Celtic structures. Plan ahead. This small museum is only open on the weekends.


About 500 years ago, several years after the Celts, and several before modern times, the Freilichtmuseum gives visitors a more recent look into Germany’s past. It turns out that life wasn’t too much different from the American Pioneers. There wasn’t water or electricity inside the houses, cooking was done over open fires, and houses were swept with hand-made brooms. A walking trip through all the buildings can easily last four hours as there are many open
buildings. Rest at the restaurant or pack a picnic. Visit during a special event to see live demonstrations of what life was like.

Natural Swimming Pool

The natural water filtration system gives this swimming pool its name. Hidden behind a building on the edge of Landstuhl its surprising to see a large grassy area, water slide and landscaped swimming pools. Little ones can toddle among the pebbles in the ankle deep water, while big kids enjoy the low platform diving board and inner tubes. If all the play builds up the appetite, brats can be purchased or visitors can enjoy a picnic. A day can easily slip away as
everyone enjoys the afternoon swimming, sunning and relaxing.

Alpine Slide

Although the thought of sliding down a hill in a metal cart on a track may seem frightening, it’s actually quite fun. The cars are towed up and then released at the top for a curvy, fun-filled ride down the hill. Each car has breaks which are easy to use, and parents can ride with their small children. In the winter there is a single poma lift to bring skiers up the hill. It’s not too often we get the opportunity to spend an afternoon like this.

Farm Golf

With wooden shoes attached to a stick visitors try to hit a soccer ball into a bucket recessed into the ground. The course is laid out in a farm field like a golf course. After the round visitors can grab a beer and a bite to eat, and that’s not all. There is also a hay hotel. That’s right, you can spend the night in the barn on the hay.


  1. A lot of the links are not working :( These look really neat! Would love to be able to look into them more with links to their names or websites :)

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I fixed the links, so let me know if you have any more trouble.


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