Schwimmen im See, © Sauerland Tourismus e.V.

Sauer­land for fam­il­ies

Walk­ing and winter sports with kids in mind

Map of NRW

Our tips for fam­ily days out in Sauer­land: Walk­ing and winter sports are geared here to the young­est fam­ily mem­bers. The “Land of 1,000 Moun­tains” has loads to of­fer young fam­il­ies.

Walking and winter sports with kids in mind

The “Land of 1,000 Mountains” is a major draw for hikers in summer and skiers in winter. Bringing the kids along is not always so easy, however. Luckily it is in Sauerland! Several adventure walking trails have lots of things to explore along the way as well as interesting facts about local flora and fauna. The Vosspfad walk in Helmeringhausen, for example, has 22 points of interest, including a tree trunk telephone, a tree swing and an insect hotel, along a route which takes around one hour to complete. The Rüthen forest discovery path follows a similar approach with the added bonus of an adventure playground at the end of the trail. | |

For winter getaways, too, parents can be reassured that their offspring will have a great time in the ski resorts of Sauerland. Wintersport-Arena Winterberg is the largest venue for winter sports north of the Alps. Children are well catered for here with toboggan runs and snow tubing slopes. Winterpark Willingen also offers tobogganing as well as skiing. Like at Wintersport-Arena, there is a special kids’ world with brightly-coloured gates and characters where the youngest family members can have fun while learning to ski. |

Tips for family outings in the summer

It is not just in winter that lightning speeds can be reached on the slopes of Willingen. In the summertime, daredevils young and old can hurtle down the 700-metre dry toboggan run at the resort. For the younger children, there is still great fun to be had on the giant trampolines and in the playground.

When the summer temperatures start to rise in Sauerland, the best place to cool off is at one of the region’s many lakes. The largest and most popular of these are Biggesee, Diemelsee, Hennesee, Möhnesee and Sorpesee. Since all of these lakes are actually reservoirs and used to supply drinking water, parents can be sure that the water is of excellent quality and that it is perfectly ok for kids to swim, dive, paddle, sail or surf.

When the summer heat become too much to bear, many families may feel like escaping from the sun altogether. This is possible in Sauerland with its extensive network of caves! The best-known are Atta Cave and Dechen Cave in Attendorn and Iserlohn. With temperatures remaining constantly below 10 degrees, visitors should remember to put on something warm before they enter any of these underground kingdoms. The fascinating stalactite formations and mysterious atmosphere of the caves will impress adults and children alike.  

Ideas for rainy days

Parents don’t need to worry about rainy days or cold weather putting a dampener on their getaway either. Not when there are attractions like Kletterhalle Sauerland, where kids and teenagers can test their nerve on the high-ropes climbing course and, safely harnessed of course, jump from a height of 9 metres.

Meanwhile, North Rhine-Westphalia’s first science centre puts brain power rather than strength to the test! Phänomenta in Lüdenscheid guides children and adults through the amazing world of physics, with 160 sections offering hands-on activities and experiments. Even technology-phobes cannot fail to be impressed by the powers of science on display!

Science is also the main focus at another popular attraction in Sauerland. The pyramids at Galileo Park contain all kinds of science-related exhibitions and puzzles for visitors of all ages. The park also has some unusual animal mascots in the form of a small group of coatis living in their own enclosure beside the pyramids.

Animal attractions

Wildwald Vosswinkel in Arnsberg has no special mascot, but it does have a very interesting menagerie. Visitors can get especially close to native creatures like the eagle owl, red deer or wild boar at the daily feeding times. Sheep are allowed to roam freely in the park and squirrels can be spotted overhead leaping from branch to branch.

Wild- und Freizeitpark Willingen is home to exotic animals like Barbary macaques and parrots, while Wildpark Bilsteintal in Warstein focuses on local wildlife such as foxes, lynx, racoons and martens. |

Adventure aplenty at amusement parks

The PanoramaPark wildlife and amusement park has animals to admire both from a distance and up close at the petting zoo. The amusement side of the attraction has plenty to offer young visitors, too, from power-paddle boats to slides to a dry toboggan run.

Another adventure park where plenty of action is guaranteed is Fort Fun Abenteuerland. Water flumes and rollercoasters, a hang-glider zip-wire and a gold panning site all have a Wild West theme, so young visitors have a chance to feel like cowboys and cowgirls for a day.

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Unterwegs in der Dechenhöhle, © Dechenhöhle und Deutsches Höhlenmuseum Iserlohn
Kletten im Fort Fun, © Fort Fun Abenteuerland
Postwiesen-Skigebiet im Sauerland, © Sauerland Tourismus e. V.
Schwimmen im See, © Sauerland Tourismus e.V.
Rennen auf der Bobbahn, © Bobbahn Winterberg

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