Excursion tips with kids in the Black Forest

Outdoor activities with kids

Especially now in Corona times it is nice if the activities (still) can take place outside. Therefore, there are only excursion tips with children in the Black Forest, which take place open air and are sometimes without entrance fee. (Zum deutschen Blog.)

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During the autumn holidays we have our two grandchildren as guests. They are 9 and 4 years old and it is not so easy to make it right for both of them. Although the weather is not optimal, we want to let the excursions and activities take place in the open air.

Our destinations are Tatzmania, a visit to the beavers, the ThyssenKrupp test tower, the  Mundenhof, the squirrel forest and the Europapark.

Tatzmania

Tatzmania  is a wildlife park in Löffingen. The main attraction in my eyes are the  tigers. They have a very spacious enclosure right at the entrance of the park, so that the tigers are able to hide if they want to be undisturbed.  There is also an indoor area if it gets too cool outside. We have seen at least 6 animals, but there may well be more. However, they are not all on the outside at the same time, as they are more of a loner.

Tiger-in-Loeffingen
one of the tigers in Tatzmania

In front of the inside area of the tigers there are quite different predators, namely meerkats! They swirl around in their outdoor area in a very possy and lively way. If it gets too cool for them, they can also go into an interior with a warming red light lamp. Visitors can also see them there, because the area is glazed. Of course, they also have areas that are incomprehensible if they want to be undisturbed.

predator-in-Tatzmania
one of the meerkats in Tatzmania

A large area for lions comes next and next to it is the terrain for a completely different predator, the wolves.

Here, about in the middle of the whole park, there are also some rides for the visitors. These are also suitable for small children. Our  4-years-old  is absolutely thrilled that she can ride on a roller coaster!

fairy attraction
one of the attractions in Tatzmania for the bigger kids

If you continue along the way, you will now come to the less dangerous but equally interesting animals, such as  ostriches  and emus, kudus, llamas and deer. Camels and  wallabies can be found and zebras and Berber monkeys. A particularly  witty one has “broken out” from his area and visits the emus before retreating to one of the toilet houses  to watch what we’re doing.

one of the less dangerous animals in Tatzmania, a llama

There are a lot of other species, but I don’t want to reveal all! Despite the rain showers  we felt very comfortable and stayed there for a good 2 hours. There are many picnic spots and also kiosks  and a restaurant to  satisfy your hunger and thirst. The paths are also easily passable with a stroller. Here comes the link to the website.

Beaver castles at the Windgfällweiher

Today we try to encounter an incredibly special rodent, who gets native again after eradication all over Germany and is strictly protected.

Our approx. 5.5 km long circular trail starts  at the railway station in Altglashütten. We go down the way towards the railway underpass, but go on to the left, always along the creek. The well-maintained path even is illuminated at dark. After a short time we reach a small bridge and already there we come across the first traces of a beaver. It has almost brought down a tree, the trunk is almost gnawed down.

As we continue, we see more and more traces, trees that have been gnawed or already felled, dams that  it has built into the creek  in order to create a beautiful pond a little further. Here we also see its beaver castle.  The children and we are thrilled about this animal has already built and designed its surroundings according to its desire. The  lowlands here are moorish, as is the creek. Its water is brown, but quite clear.

mushrooms in beaver country

At the next bridge we turn right, up the mountain. We go uphill over mossy paths until we arrive again on a wide forest path. On the way we see many mushrooms, unfortunately probably rather not edible for humans.

The children always see interesting tree and  rock formations. As soon as we can see the railway line again,  we can look down on another beaver eldorado from above. Here the beaver seems to have built its territory some time ago.

Windgfäll Weiher (Pond)

Then we reach the Raitenbucher  Straße. If you are hungry, you should stop at the restaurant  “Schlehdorns Seehof“. We can recommend the cake and with fine weather the large outdoor terrace invites you to linger.

We cross the road here and walk left, around the  Windgfällweiher, a big pond. Here, a sign is also used to draw attention to the beaver area. Especially dog owners should pay attention to their animals.

Behind the small swimming area , which is open during summer, we see more and more nailed or already felled trees. Many are encased in wire mesh to protect at least some from the hard-working animals.

Pretty much at the other end of the pond we can almost approach this imposing beaver castle.

rodents doing
the beaver´s castle at Windgfällweiher

Now the path continues over footbridges, or piled-up paths, as the subsoil becomes increasingly moorish. When crossing the weir at the top of the pond, we can see that the beaver was very diligent. Here he wants to cut down a particularly large tree.

On our circular trail we still see some tree-lined trees, but the hard-working builders themselves we do not spot. Nevertheless, the children are thrilled. They have never seen beaver trails in the wild!

After crossing the road again, we now go back to Altglashütten on the other side of the tracks. The last part of the track, in front of the railway tunnel, goes over a large pasture. But this path is official, albeit at the moment quite slippery from the rain.

beaver-cuts-tree
a piece of wood art, made by a beaver

On the way back we all treat ourselves to a nice piece of cake in the café “Schwarzwaldmaidle”  in Feldberg,  which  you can’t miss with its huge red bollen on the roof.

An acquaintance I asked for further excursion tips with children in the Black Forest and therefore we go to the

Squirrel forest – Eichhörnchenwald

Today we drive to Königsfeld in the Black Forest. Excursions with children are  great! For this one we have already taken precautions and not only packed cakes and drinks for all of us into the backpack, but also a large pack of peanuts.

We park the car directly at the Doniswald, which starts at the tourist information office in Königsfeld. A large sign is not to be overlooked. We haven’t even completely left the parking lot yet, when  the first squirrel climbs up on a tree. That’s a good  start!

wooden-buildings-in-the-forest
adventure in the squirrel forest

We immediately take out our peanuts and find that the most eager “squirrel” in cracking nuts is our little granddaughter…

We walk slowly through the forest. Being quiet is a bit difficult for both of our grand kids, but when the next little squirrel romps through the undergrowth, our two become quiet. These lively little fellows actually seem to have little fear of people. Some are supposed to come by, but we are not lucky today.

rodent
one of the squirrels

Nevertheless, we see many of the cheerful animals. However, it is not the red squirrels, but almost black ones. They are busy stockpiling their winter supplies. Our presented nuts seem to be very welcome.

The forest is not big and so we will soon be back at the parking lot. A bit down the Rathausstrasse, we stand in front of a beautifully landscaped playground. Here we let the two of them romp a little before we start the journey back home.

kids fun
playground at Königsfeld

Our grandchildren can’t get enough of animals, so one afternoon we’ll go to the

Mundenhof

The Mundenhof  is located at the gates of the city of Freiburg  and is an animal enclosure for international pet breeds and various monkey species. About 2 hours should be planned for the visit, as there are also several playgrounds there. It is well suited for strollers or wheel chairs, as the paths are wide and well maintained.

asian kettle
Yaks at Mundenhof

It does not cost admission, only the parking ticket must be purchased in advance online.  It costs € 5,- and these are used for the preservation of the animal enclosure. Thus, the flow of visitors can be adapted a little to the Corona rules.

gibbons
monkeys at Mundenhof

Here they show interesting domesticated animals, like camels, Watussi cattle, water buffalos, donkeys, ostriches, llamas and so on.

If you are hungry, a nice open air café is situated at the other end of the Mundenhof. Ice cream and cakes are very tasty!

The ThyssenKrupp Test Tower

Another nice excursion tip for kids in the Black Forest, but even more interesting for adults. Our car drive is a bit further. But since it leads us through beautiful and very quiet areas of the Black Forest, we gladly accept it. The tower is located at Rottweil.

On certain days, the ThyssenKrupp test tower is open to visitors. Online we buy the tickets for a certain time window, so that only a small number of people can be on the visitor platform at 232 m at the same time.

elevator-test-tower
the ThyssenKrupp test tower

The tower was built for testing elevators. There are 9 test shafts, which have a total length of 1.5 km. The visitor’s elevator takes us up in 30 seconds. Through the panoramic window  you can see how fast the journey goes up. The whole tower is 246 m high.

If you were to walk, you would have to take 1617 steps. The fastest stair runner made it in under 7 minutes, a firefighter in full outfit in 16 minutes. My absolute respect!

view-ver-Rottweil
view from ThyssenKrupp test tower

In any case, our grandchildren are thrilled, also by the wonderful all-round view when we arrive on the platform. We are lucky, because the fog has just dissipated and we have a wonderful view. Although not quite up to the Alps, which is possible on particularly clear days,but e.g. the TV tower of Stuttgart is easy to see. The view of the Neckar, which winds through Rottweil, is also beautiful.

We also take a look at this pretty town and we go time enough for an ice cream and a stroll through the city center.

Rottweil

is the oldest city in Baden-Württemberg. Already the Romans built a settlement here in 73 A.D. I like the beautifully  painted houses in the pedestrian zone and from the Neckar Bridge you have a fantastic view of the test tower..

old-town-of-Rottweil
beautiful old houses in Rottweil

If you like to get some more information about Rottweil, just go this way.

A highlight for almost every child is of course a visit to the

Europapark in Rust

I have already published a post describing the visit under Corona conditions.

Tickets must be purchased online in advance,  as the ticket offices are not open, ensuring  that only a certain number of visitors are in the park at the same time.

pirates-decoration-in-Europapark
one of the many new decorations in Europapark

Especially now in autumn, just before Halloween,, the park is designed a little creepy and especially decorated with thousands of pumpkins and autumn plants. You can see how much love and sense of proportion is placed in the design. Again and again I find small details that make me smile.

Halloween-decoration
Halloween 2020 in Europapark

Do you also have some great  excursion tips with kids in the Black Forest? Then post them in the comments, I am waiting for your  clues.

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ivy-in-autumn
townhall of Königsfeld

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