Out into the fresh air
In or above the city
Travel with the Drachenfelsbahn railway, Königswinter
Enjoy a trip with a spectacular view with the oldest cog railway in Germany, to what is probably the most famous viewpoint in the Siebengebirge region, the Drachenfels (“dragon rock”) high above the Rhine valley near Königswinter. The journey covers around one-and-a-half kilometres up to the hilltop station on the Drachenfels plateau, with a height difference of 220 metres with inclines of up to 20 percent. From a stop halfway along the route, you can visit the Schloss Drachenburg castle and the Museum für die Geschichte Naturschutzes (“nature conservation history museum”) in the outer castle bailey.
Bielefeld from above
High up on the Sparrenburg tower: Enjoy the view and the fresh spring air From April, the symbol of Bielefeld will be re-opened. The visitor information centre offers information about the Sparrenburg castle, the excavation work in the nearly 800-year-old fortress complex and hiking opportunities in the surrounding area. On 7 April 2018, a family day offers additional activities, such as face painting for children and free guided tours through the underground casemates and over the excavation site.
Experience the city away from the mainstream
Get lost on purpose with the “Guide for Getting Lost” app, discover underground art or explore a major city in a consciously random way. Anyone wanting to discover their favourite city on the Rhine and Ruhr in a new way can wander through the city jungle of NRW and have different adventures along the way. Themed quiz tours, for example, take visitors through Cologne, Bonn and Aachen using text messages. How it works: Visitors go to a certain start address at an agreed time and start a rally via text message.
High up on the slag heaps in the Ruhr area
Whether you’re travelling on foot, by bike or by segway, a visit to the more than 20 walk-on slag heaps in the Ruhr area opens up new perspectives on the city region. As well as great views, many of the heaps offer art up on their tops, some of which can even be walked through. For example, a tetrahedron visible from far and wide decorates the Beckstrasse heap in Bottrop, while on the Rheinpreussen heap, a historical pit lamp is lit up in XXL size, and on the Heinrich-Hildebrand-Höhe heap to the south of Duisburg, the Tiger & Turtle landmark serves as a viewing platform and photo motif in one. Hikers can hop from one heap and hill to the next, and experience several high points in the region.
Leisurely country outings
Cuddle with cows, Nümbrecht
Cow cuddling and cow trekking is a great experience, especially for families On the farm of the Eschmann family in Nümbrecht, visitors can cuddle the ox Valentino and cow Mila – and find out everything about cows, their lives on the farm, how their feed is made and ways of keeping them. 2-hour cuddling courses will be offered at the weekends in March and April.
Visiting rare birds, Münster
The irrigation fields (“Rieselfelder”) in Münster are a habitat for a large number of rare animals and plants, and offer a nature experience not far from the city. Many threatened species of birds have found a protected area in the wetlands, where they breed and have enough food. The nature reserve can be explored on foot or by bike on one of the circular routes. During the Easter holidays, there are extra events for families, such as nest box building or an irrigation field safari. Simply book a place by phone.
Palace spring at the Schloss Dyck palace, Jüchen
On 1 and 2 April 2018, the Schloss Dyck palace in Jüchen will host a spring and Easter market. During the palace spring (“Schlossfrühling”) and over the Easter public holidays, the large park surrounding the historic water palace will be filled with colourful flowers. Keen gardeners will particularly appreciate the rare plants sold here. Decorations, furniture, garden accessories, jewellery, clothing, wines and other delicacies are also on offer. Easter surprises are hidden in the gardens for the children.
Easter brunch on the Sauerland lakes
Over the Easter weekend, the Möhnesee and Biggesee lakes are a good place to relax. An Easter brunch will be offered on board the MS Möhnesee on 1 April. On board the Biggesee boat, an Easter bunny will also join guests on 1 and 2 April, who will create colourful eggs with the children
www.moehneseeschifffahrt.de | https://biggesee.de
Westfalian garden festival among thoroughbred horses, Warendorf
In the middle of the historical buildings, stalls and park grounds of the federal state stud in Warendorf, gardeners, traders and designers will present exclusive offers for home and garden from 6 to 8 April 2018. Under the old oaks in the park and in the stylish stalls, there are plants and shrubs, antique and modern furniture and delicacies made from natural products. On the parade ground, the stallions demonstrate their skills in a horse show.
Tulip festival on the Gertrudenhof farm, Hürth
The tulip fields around the open farm in Hürth are lit up with colour around Easter time. On 1 and 2 April 2018, the spring flowers will be celebrated with a family party, with a puppet theatre, live music and guided tours to the tulip fields. On 25 March a big tulip festival will be celebrated.
Medieval festival at the Wasserburg Geretzhoven castle, Bergheim
Knights, craftsmen and Medieval performing artists will bring the historic castle walls of the Wasserburg Geretzhoven to life on 7 and 8 April 2018. The focus of the colourful event will be a stage in the inner courtyard, a knight’s camp, and “sutlers”, or camp followers, offering food and drink.
Easter market at Burg Satzvey castle, Mechernich
With jesters and magicians, Easter crafts and an Easter egg hunt, huge bubble blowing and a barrel organ, the spring will be welcomed in on 1 and 2 April 2018 in the historic water castle grounds near Mechernich. At a Medieval craft market, a group of jesters will provide entertainment with variety acts. Children can enjoy a ride on old-style carousel in the castle courtyard, and there is an Easter egg hunt with the Easter bunny on both market days.
Active in the country
Climbing next to the Hermannsdenkmal monument, Detmold
Even if the six tours with their 80 or so climbing stations always have plenty of fun to offer, taking a break between climbs in the Teuto-Kletterpark climbing park in Detmold is a must. The Hermannsdenkmal monument can be seen from the park, and is a real attraction. Here, a nature experience in huge trees, the thrill of climbing and a cultural highlight combine to create a varied day trip experience. Three “bambini” courses also offer children aged 4 and upwards the opportunity for obtaining their first climbing experience with a helmet and belt.
Knight’s castle and slide tower, Grevenbroich
Pirates and other adventurers can board the huge Bobbolandia outdoor playground in Grevenbroich from 24 March 2018. Over an area of 60,000 square meters, there are 30 attractions on offer, including a knight’s castle, a witch’s treehouse and a pirate ship. The latest addition will be a super-high slide tower.
Cycling with the borderland handcar, Lower Rhine
Some of the passengers can make themselves comfortable, while the others have to sweat. On a handcar tour, the roles are not evenly distributed. Some of the passengers tread the pedals, while others enjoy watching the landscape passing by. On 21 March 2018, the season will open for this unusual mode of transport on the Lower Rhine. The tracks on the Kleve – Kranenburg – Groesbeek route will be re-opened daily.
Hopping between three countries on the German-Belgian-Dutch border
A truly international destination: at the point where three countries meet, in Vaals near Aachen, children can hop between German, Belgium and the Netherlands. Catering, viewing towers, a labyrinth and a large playground are also on offer. Visitors wanting to get to know the area in greater detail can take short walks along marked routes.
Experience nature in the wisent wilderness, Bad Berleburg
Lay water routes, built huts or cut a pipe: in the nature experience area in the wisent world in Bad Berleburg, children can work with soil, sand, water, stones and sticks, and also climb, slide and balance. Tools and materials are provided. In the meantime, parents can explore the wisent wilderness, where the impressive animals live over an area of 20 hectares, or enjoy the cosy wisent hut.
www.wisenthuette.de | www.wisent-welt.de
Anno Dazumal fair in the Kommern open-air museum, Mechernich
Around 90 performers, stalls and carousels at this very special fair invite visitors to travel in time through the history of popular pastimes. To mark the 60th anniversary of the LVR open-air museum, the traditional fair will be open for a particularly long period. From 26 March to 8 April 2018, curiosities such as the “peep box panopticum”, Europe’s biggest high-wire troupe and old-style carousels will create a nostalgic fair experience. In two show booths, visitors can either watch the illusion trick “execution of a member of the bowed audience” or see a knife-thrower practice their art.
Day trip destinations with a roof
Easter egg hunt in the cave, Iserlohn
In the Dechenhöhle cave in Iserlohn, the Easter bunny needs some help. He has left three baskets full of Easter eggs somewhere in the dark cave and can’t find them any more. On 1 and 2 April 2018, all children are asked to bring a basket to the cave to take the eggs they find back home.
Discover the art of chocolate making, Cologne
Home-made is in fashion! Together with the Maître Chocolatier in the Schokoladenmuseum (chocolate museum) in Cologne, children can take part in a chocolate course on 5 April 2018 and make items such as colourful chocolate lollies or chocolate figures. At the weekends, the guided tour, “From the cocoa bean to chocolate” (in German) explains the background to chocolate production.
Bouldering in the industrial monument, Wuppertal
In the former Gold-Zack works, an old industrial monument and a relic of Wuppertal’s textile industry, visitors can clamber up the walls. The boulder hall at the Bahnhof Blo station offers 600 square meters of climbing area behind the cast-iron windows. Sporty travel to and from the site is also possible, since the old factory is located directly on the Nordbahntrasse pedestrian, cycle and inline skater path. There’s also a café with a beer garden.
Mountain peaks in the gasometer, Oberhausen
Once again, there is a huge attraction worth seeing at the highest exhibition hall in Europe. In the approximately 100-meter high gasometer in Oberhausen, visitors can experience the fascination of the mountains from 16 March 2018. The high point of the exhibition, “The Call of the Mountains”, is a recreation of the Matterhorn. The huge sculpture appears to float in the room in mirror image, and is reflected in the floor of the highest gasometer platform, so that from here, the mountain can be seen from its summit. Moving images are projected onto its surface, which show the legendary mountain at different times of the day and in different seasons. As part of the show, which is initially planned to run until December 2018, visitors can participate in legendary first ascents of the most famous summit in the world, and experience the reverence in which humans have held the mountains for thousands of years.
Pina Bausch in the camera obscura, Mülheim an der Ruhr
The world’s largest camera obscura in the former Wasserturm Broich water tower in Mülheim offers a wonderful view and also the “Museum zur Vorgeschichte des Films” (“Museum on the prehistory of film”) which is unique of its kind in Germany. There is also a special exhibition, “Pina Bausch – Der Zauber des Anfangs. Photographien von KH.W. Steckelings” (“Pina Bausch – the magic of the beginning. Photographs by KH.W. Steckeling”) until 29 April 2018, which offers an unusual, authentic view of the beginnings of the world-famous “Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch” dance theatre.
1,700 years of monastery history, Lichtenau
The award-winning permanent exhibition, “Eingetreten! 1.700 Jahre Klostergeschichte” (“Enter! 1,700 years of monastery history”) presents the historical development of European monastic orders and monasteries, from the beginnings to the first monastic communities to present-day monastic life. The exhibition will re-open with new exhibitions from the LWL Landesmuseum für Klosterkultur (“LWL state museum for monastery culture) collection, as well as loans from well-known museums. On 24 and 25 March, entry is free.
Climbing for tiny tots, Viersen
In the new Clip ‘n’ Climb climbing hall in Viersen, children can already start climbing the walls aged 4 and above. The special feature is a fully automated safety system, which automatically rolls out the rope while climbing and brings the climber gently back down to the floor. No second person to secure the rope is needed. Climbers can try out around 30 walls, including climbing against the stopwatch on the speedclimb, balancing on the stairway to Heaven, or testing their courage on a freefall slide and a jump tower.
Free guided tours of the all-weather zoo, Münster
How does a zoo work? Which animals lay eggs? The all-weather zoo in Münster offers free children’s tours on different themes during the Easter holidays. Thanks to the covered paths between the cages and enclosures, visitors can also walk through the zoo in the rain without getting wet.
Tracing and testing inventions, Lennestadt
The Galileo Park in Lennestadt-Meggen presents three new exhibitions to start off the season in March. The “Hieb und Stich” (“cut and thrust”) exhibition looks at following, interpreting and analysing traces in criminology. The exhibition “Leonardo da Vinci – Bewegende Erfindungen” (“Leonardo da Vinci – moving inventions”) allows visitors to experience and learn about the technical sophistication of this genius. “Die Kammer des Wissens” (“The chamber of knowledge” takes a not entirely serious look at the discoveries made in alchemy and astronomy, mathematics, magic and medicine.
Delicious and informative Museums for gourmet enthusiasts, Nieheim
In the middle of the historic centre of Nieheim, there are five museums for one entrance price available. In the “Westfalen Culinarium”, visitors will find four museums specialising in food and drink, which explain what makes a good beer, how holes are created in cheese, where the “Pumpernickel” dark bread made in Westfalen gets its name from, and what makes Westfalian ham. From 25 March 2018, the season for gourmets begins. Not far away, the Sackmuseum offers information over two floors about the oldest means of transport in human history.‘
Skiing, tobogganing, climbing, kicking around in Neuss
The ski hall in Neuss offers indoor winter sports, where tobogganing and curling are also on offer. From March, all the outdoor facilities, including the high rope garden, Alpine slope golf course and the new fun football area, will also open. There, the aim is to complete 14 football challenges, including the players’ tunnel, direct pickup or goal shooting training, with as few goal shots as possible. Over an area of 15,000 square meters, children and adults can have a go at scoring from a free kick, positioning a goal kick at the goalkeeper or lobbing the ball.