Planetarium Bochum von Außen, © Stadt Bochum Presse u. Informationsamt  Planetarium

The Ruhr Area for fam­il­ies

The Ruhr Met­ro­pol­is has a huge choice of at­trac­tions for the whole fam­ily

Our tips for fam­ily days out in the Ruhr Area: This is where fam­il­ies are spoilt for choice with all-weath­er activ­it­ies for chil­dren of all ages!

Map of NRW

For young nature lov­ers

In fine weath­er, kids just want to get out­doors, run around and be close to nature. You might think that this would be tricky in such a densely pop­u­lated re­gion. In ac­tu­al fact, there are many op­por­tun­it­ies to en­joy the great out­doors in the Ruhr Area. As well as nu­mer­ous parks, nature re­serves and forest areas, many of the re­gion?s former in­dus­tri­al sites have been trans­formed in­to fam­ily-friendly at­trac­tions. One out­stand­ing ex­ample is North Duis­burg Land­scape Park. Here, the ex­tens­ive grounds provide op­por­tun­it­ies for cyc­ling, walk­ing, climb­ing the old blast fur­naces, tra­vers­ing the high-wire course or diving in the dis­used gas­o­met­er.

Vis­it­ors can get an over­view of the many nature re­serves to be found in the Ruhr Area at the his­tor­ic­al Haus Rip­shorst es­tate in Ober­hausen. The in­form­a­tion centre de­scribes the at­trac­tions of the Em­scher Land­scape Park and provides the start­ing point for the ?From Wild Forest to Cul­tured Forest? nature dis­cov­ery trail.

Less wild but just as green is the Gruga Park in Es­sen. Here chil­dren can learn lots of in­ter­est­ing facts about plants and an­im­als, ride on the Gruga train, have fun in one of the many play­grounds or en­joy ball games on the ex­pans­ive lawns.

Get­ting close to an­im­als in the Ruhr Area

At the Gruga Park, chil­dren can see nat­ive an­im­al spe­cies like owls and eagles in the avi­ar­ies and roe-deer in the game en­clos­ure. A much wider se­lec­tion of an­im­al friends can be vis­ited in the Ruhr Area?s large num­ber of zoos ? with each one hav­ing their own unique at­trac­tions.

In the 1990s, Duis­burg Zoo be­came the first zoo in Ger­many to show ko­alas to the pub­lic. The Aus­trali­an mar­supi­als are just as pop­u­lar today, es­pe­cially among young vis­it­ors. Dortmund Zoo?s South Amer­ica sec­tion has some tricky-to-re­cog­nise an­im­als such as a taman­dua and an anteat­er. ZOOM Er­leb­n­iswelt in Gelsen­kirchen has four themed areas to ex­plore, in­clud­ing an­im­als from Africa and Alaska.

At Sea Life in Ober­hausen, chil­dren can get a close-up view of fas­cin­at­ing sea creatures, from nat­ive spe­cies like trout to exot­ic piran­has or turtles. As well as see­ing live an­im­als, the Tier­park Bo­chum at­trac­tion al­lows bud­ding ar­chae­olo­gists to learn about fossils and the evol­u­tion of an­im­als and hu­mans.

Mu­seums with a hands-on ap­proach

At the LWL Mu­seum for Ar­chae­ology in Herne, chil­dren from the age of sev­en can ac­tu­ally be­come ar­chae­olo­gists on the first Sunday of every month, us­ing real ex­cav­a­tion tools to un­cov­er arte­facts from the Stone Age, the Ro­man Iron Age or the Middle Ages.

The re­gion?s many in­dus­tri­al her­it­age mu­seums are also full of ex­cit­ing dis­cov­er­ies for kids. The LWL Hen­rich­shütte Iron­works In­dus­tri­al Mu­seum in Hat­tin­gen uses its mas­cot of a blue rat to guide curi­ous young steel­work­ers around the vari­ous sec­tions of the mu­seum where they can try things out and join in. At Dortmund?s Hansa Cok­ing Plant, the cute little mas­cot Karlchen leads young vis­it­ors on guided tours de­signed just for them. Mean­while, at Zollern Col­li­ery in Dortmund, the ap­pren­tice miner Franz provides the ex­plan­a­tions on a spe­cial tour for kids. After vis­it­ing the mu­seum, par­ents can let the kids loose on a play tower.

Es­sen and Duis­burg have mu­seums where chil­dren can join in and try ex­per­i­ments. The Ex­plor­ado in Duis­burg is Ger­many?s largest chil­dren?s mu­seum. Here, chil­dren aged between four and twelve can ex­plore fas­cin­at­ing every­day phe­nom­ena over three floors. Phäno­mania Er­fahrungs­feld on the grounds of Zollver­ein Coal Mine in Es­sen is an in­door and out­door at­trac­tion with plenty of activ­it­ies and ex­per­i­ment­al fun for young­sters.
www.ex­plor­ado-duis­burg.de | www.er­fahrungs­feld.de

Amuse­ment parks: Fun and thrills

While par­ents of a del­ic­ate dis­pos­i­tion may not al­ways be so en­thu­si­ast­ic, there is no es­cap­ing the fact that chil­dren of all ages love amuse­ment parks! So they will be de­lighted to learn that there are sev­er­al to choose from in the Ruhr Area! A vis­it to Schloss Beck Amuse­ment Park will be a treat for young­er chil­dren in par­tic­u­lar. The at­trac­tions in­clude a lady­bird ride, a mini-Fer­ris wheel and gi­ant slides. The Aben­teuer Park ad­ven­ture park at the CentrO com­plex in Ober­hausen is aimed es­pe­cially at young kids, while mums and dads will also love the Leg­o­land Dis­cov­ery Centre, as they re­mem­ber the fun they used to have build­ing things with the col­our­ful bricks.

Movie Park in Bot­trop has thrill­ing rides for older chil­dren and grown-ups, but there is also plenty here for the little ones. In 2015, an ex­cit­ing new at­trac­tion for fam­il­ies with kids from the age of eight was opened in Bot­trop. Thrill-seekers young and old are guar­an­teed to jump out of their skins in Ger­many?s largest hor­ror labyrinth.

Fer­ris wheel and candy-floss

The pop­u­lar fun-fairs of the Ruhr Area are an­oth­er big draw for chil­dren. The Cranger Kir­mes in Herne is the largest folk fest­iv­al in NRW with so much to see and do in ad­di­tion to the ob­lig­at­ory Fer­ris wheel and candy-floss. An­oth­er large street fair is the an­nu­al Ster­krade Cor­pus Christi fair in Ober­hausen.

Valu­able tips for rainy days

When the rain won?t stop and the chil­dren are start­ing to get cab­in fever, it is time to look for some in­ter­est­ing in­door activ­it­ies! Hours of fun are guar­an­teed at AQUApark in Ober­hausen, with its huge activ­ity pool and three slides. Plan­et­ari­um Bo­chum is also a great place to bring the kids, with spe­cial pro­grammes ex­plain­ing the won­ders of space to a young audi­ence.
www.aquapark-ober­hausen.com | www.plan­et­ari­um-bo­chum.de


Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Surfen als Attraktion, © Movie Park Germany GmbH
Familie am Turm, © RuhrtalRadweg
Movie Park am Abend, © Movie Park Germany GmbH
Planetarium Bochum von Außen, © Stadt Bochum Presse u. Informationsamt  Planetarium

More in­form­a­tion

Discover it now!

Fam­ily trips to NRW

Odysseum Themenwelt, © Odysseum Köln

Co­logne for fam­il­ies

Neanderthal Museum, © Neanderthal Museum / H.Neumann

Nean­der­land for fam­il­ies

Heimat-Tierpark Olderissen, © Bielefeld Marketing GmbH

Biele­feld for fam­il­ies

Aussicht auf die Region, © aachen tourist service e.v.

Aachen for fam­il­ies

Radrast auf Eifeler Heuballen, © Archiv Eifel Tourismus GmbH

The Eifel for fam­il­ies

Fahrt auf der Wildwasserbahnim Wunderland Kalkar, © Wunderland Kalkar

The Lower Rhine for fam­il­ies

Fahrspaß auch für kleine Motorsportfreunde, © Michael Schumacher Kart & Event Center

Rhine-Erft-County for fam­il­ies

KulturPur in Hilchenbach-Lützel, © KulturBüro des Kreises Siegen-Wittgenstein

Sieger­land-Wit­tgen­stein for fam­il­ies

Planetarium Bochum von Außen, © Stadt Bochum Presse u. Informationsamt  Planetarium

The Ruhr Area for fam­il­ies

Schwimmen im See, © Sauerland Tourismus e.V.

Sauer­land for fam­il­ies

Freizeitspaß für die ganze Familie im Mitmach Erlebnispark Ketteler Ho, © Münsterland e.V. / Robert Denzer

Mün­ster­land for fam­il­ies