Indoor activities in NRW
Too rainy or cold to go outside? There are plenty of places to get active indoors in NRW.
Kept indoors by a summer thunderstorm, an autumn gale or a winter chill? No worries, there are plenty of indoor activities in NRW, from church wall climbing to black-light minigolf.
Hiking or cycling in the great outdoors is a hard pastime to beat. But what are the options when a summer thunderstorm, an autumn gale or a winter chill puts a stop to outdoor activities? Luckily there are plenty of places in North Rhine-Westphalia offering activities and fun regardless of the weather.
Indoor fun for watersports enthusiasts
In Bestwig, Sauerland, a former mine was opened as a diving attraction in 2013. Slate had been extracted from Nuttlar mine for over a century, leaving behind a 20-kilometre labyrinth of tunnels and large caverns on five levels. Since the pumps that had kept the mine dry were also switched off when the mine was decommissioned in 1985, the water level in the passages has been rising ever since. Today, divers can plunge to a depth of up to 30 metres. Underwater, things are just as the miners left them: from the carts on the tracks to the jackets hanging on the wall of the break room.
Another special place to dive is the old gasometer in Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord (North Duisburg Landscape Park). TauchRevier Gasometer is Europe’s largest indoor diving and training centre. The diving school offers courses for both beginners and trainee diving instructors. Those who already know how to dive can also enjoy the experience on their own.
Heaven for those with a head for heights: a church converted for climbing and skydiving in NRW
Mönchengladbach has a heavenly attraction for climbing fans: a church nave has been converted into climbing walls, allowing those with a head for heights to practise their art. The Kletterkirche is the first attraction of its kind in Germany. With walls up to 13 metres high, it caters for everybody with three different sections: “beginners”, “fun” and “extreme”. A range of courses is also available for climbers with different abilities and prior experience.
The world’s most modern wind tunnel can be found in Bottrop. At 17 metres, its chamber is the highest in Europe. Both beginners and experienced skydivers can practise parachuting here without boarding a plane. Even those who are totally new to skydiving can try the experience with a trainer, since the airflow (up to 286 km/h) is as constant as in freefall on an actual parachute jump.
Escape to the snow – or to the beach?
Directly beside the skydiving hall lies another attraction: Alpincenter Bottrop. This is where wintersports fans can escape to the snow in all weathers, even warm summer downpours. At 640 metres, the alpine ski centre in Bottrop has the longest indoor slope in the world. It offers skiing and snowboarding courses for children and adults.
The allrounder ski slope in Neuss also offers skiing courses and practice for winter sports fans of all levels. It holds the record for the world’s largest indoor ski slope by area.
Those who prefer to keep it summery when the weather is anything but will love the world’s first indoor beach sports centre in Witten. Nobody will get cold feet here: the heated sand draws people in to play beach volleyball, beach soccer or beach handball. The complex also has a gym area with weight training and cardio equipment as well as spinning bikes.
Carting and mini golf without the risk of a downpour
In Kerpen, the home track of Formula One’s Schumacher brothers, daredevil drivers can attempt speed records on a track that is always dry. At the Michael Schumacher Cart & Event-Center, racing fans can practise their skills on a 600-metre indoor carting track. If the sun does emerge, a further 710 metres of track is available outdoors. The carts have the very latest safety features, so drivers can fully focus on beating the record time.
A more leisurely pastime which is all about touch can be enjoyed indoors in Duisburg. What sets the Moonlight Minigolf attraction apart is that it is entirely bathed in black light. There are 18 indoor courses in four different themed areas, and visitors can also try their hand at black-light table football or air hockey.