Exploring Düsseldorf with Kids
Düsseldorf is always worth a trip, either alone, as a couple or with the whole family. The world’s longest bar, seemingly unlimited shopping opportunities on Königsallee, a broad cultural life, and last but not least, it's very own architectural features attract visitors from all over the world, adults in particularly. But for a relaxed family trip, everyone wants to get one’s money worth. Luckily, Düsseldorf has a lot to offer for the kids, too.
On discovery through the city center
A fun way to get to know the sights of the city are the city and harbor rallys, especially designed for kids from the age of 8 to 12. All assignments, hints and points of interest are marked in the brochure available at the visitor center. If all assignments are completed correctly, you get a magic word that can be used to participate in a lottery. There also is a more difficult version for older kids and adults.
Museums and culture
Museums usually don't cause waves of enthusiasm from kids, but Düsseldorf is home to a few museums that did get rid of the somewhat antiquated image and turn a visit into a truly unique experience. The Filmmuseum Düsseldorf offers adventure tours for various ages and, during school holidays, workshops around filmmaking. The Kunstsammlung (art collection) K20 and K21 also offers activities and workshops for kids and a multimedia guide for the younger visitors.
A huge museum with possibilities for touching and participating from the age of 4 is the Explorado Kids Museum in Duisburg. Phenomena of the daily life can be discovered and are shown and playfully explained. Furthermore, the Neanderthal museum in Mettmann offers interesting and child appropriate programs.
Current events for kids can also be found via the events calendar of the city when checking the box "children and young persons". The results show, among others, the performances of the puppet theatre Helmholtzstraße for the younger, and the mainly classic performances of the Marionettentheater (puppet theatre), or those of the Junges Schauspielhaus (young theatre).
After a visit to the museum or the theatre it's now time to get some fresh air. The best places fo that are the three leisure parks (Freizeitparks) in Duesseldorf. Those parks include a huge lawn with facilities for playing, sports and recreation as well as barbecue areas for the whole family. The park at the Ulenbergstraße is home to the city's first skate and cycling park. In the event of rain or bad weather the Freizeitpark Heerdt offers an indoor facility for table games and the park at the Niederheimer Wäldchen includes a children's farm with horse riding lessons. All three parks are worth a visit.
“Show us your feet” is the motto at the barefoot path in the neighboring city Neuss. All year round (but particularly nice with warmer temperatures) you can walk on the nicely laid-out path in the Neusser Hochzeitshain and feel the different undergrounds / totally free! You'll have the most fun if you walk along the path with closed eyes and try to guess what it is that you are standing on. This excursion is great for kids of almost all ages as well as for adults.
If you wish for a relaxed afternoon with kids in Düsseldorf, pay a visit to the Fürstenplatz. The playground there has everything from swings, climbing frames, table tennis, soccer field, a water park, and even a basketball court and is therefore for the younger kids just as exciting as for older ones. In the meantime the parents may enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the surrounding cafes and bars, having the kids in sight.hwuchs im Auge behalten werden kann.
Exciting experiences with marine animals in Düsseldorf are usually provided by the Aquazoo, which unfortunately is closed for renovations until spring 2017.
Instead, a visit to the zoo in Duisburg may be something your family might enjoy. Special highlights there are the family night safaris in the winter months.
Less exotic, but just as exciting animals can be found in the Grafenberger Wildpark. Watch racoons, foxes, wildcats and boars as well as deers up close and feed them with raw fruit that you brought along. There also is a huge playground and picnic tables for breaks between the animal experiences. Curious Kids may learn everything there is to know about the forest and its animals on the forest nature trail.
There is also a petting zoo in the Südpark, south of Düsseldorf, where you can actually pet and feed the animals such as sheep, goats, pigs, goose and ducks.
Day trips around Düsseldorf
The Blaue See (Blue Lake) at the outskirts of Ratingen is the favorite local recreation area of the people of Düsseldorf. After a ride on the miniature train there is time to play a round of miniature golf or a ride with the submarine boat. Furthermore, there are auto scooters, huge trampolines or a bouncy castle for the kids to play. Get back to your strengths at the end of a long day with the meals and snacks offered at the Ratinger Waldcafe.
If your kids are a bit older, consider a trip to the Unterbacher See. When the weather is nice, you'll get the chance to swim, sail or surf to one’s heart.
Snow bunnies and those striving for it will love a visit at the Skihalle Neuss. Sleigh riding, skiing lessons for all levels of experience or just a little time in the snow all year round in the middle of the Ruhr area are always a welcome change to sightseeing in the city.
Eating out with the family
After a long day parents and kids both earned the right for a good dinner or a cosy cup of coffee or hot chocolate in between. For a smooth restaurant visit, a kid friendly atmosphere is essential. Generally speaking, Düsseldorf is very child friendly, but they receive a particularly warm welcome at the following places
The Café Südpark offers great cakes and small meals along with a safe playground outside and a play area inside. The café is part of a workshop for the disabled and also gives impaired people the opportunity to work, another reason, why people here are very easygoing and comfortable.
You'll find a much more sophisticated atmosphere at the Pega in the Intercontinental Hotel. On Sundays and holidays it’s time for a big family brunch with a show kitchen preparing exotic and regional specialties. The kids can be dropped off at childcare, where they can play as much as they want to and make their own biscuits in the kitchen and help prepare the pasta dough. There even is a special kid’s buffet.
Parents with younger kids might enjoy a stay at the Pantakea kids café. There is an indoor Sandkasten, toys for babies and toddlers, and even baby hammocks among other things. The parents are not expected to order food or drinks and may even consume their own stuff, but to pay a small entrance fee.