The Bavarian Forest is not known as a typical destination for baby or toddler holidays. However, less than a 2 hour flight from the UK, warm and sunny summer days and loads of things to do for the whole family means it is great place to take babies and toddlers on holiday. We took our 3 year old toddler and 5 month old baby on holiday to the Bavarian Forest in July 2013 and stayed at Bavarian Forest Holidays. These are 20 reasons why I would recommend the Bavarian Forest for baby friendly holidays
1. Short Flight Time
Munich (the gateway to the Bavarian Forest) is less than 2 hours flight from most UK airports. There are also plenty of airlines flying there meaning the flights are competitively priced. We flew with Lufthansa from Manchester airport and had a hefty 23KG baggage allowance per person and flew at a sociable 11.15am.
2. Baby Friendly Accommodation
If you are looking for baby friendly accommodation in the Bavarian Forest, Bavarian Forest Holidays is the place to stay. With more than 20 pieces of baby equipment available to hire free of charge, plus indoor and outdoor play areas, our baby and toddler had a fantastic time staying here. For the parents there are little extras including coffee beans and a coffee grinder in the kitchen, a good range of beers and wines in the onsite shop and a sauna.
3. Toddler Skiing in Winter
The largest mountain in the Bavarian Forest is called the Arber and stands at 1465m. It is one of Germany’s most famous skiing resorts besides the Bavarian Alps. Ski school is available for 3 year olds plus at a very reasonable 60 Euros pp for 3 mornings tuition. Whilst the terrain isn’t likely to challenge experienced skiers, it is great for little skiers to learn new skills. In the summer there is summer tobogganing for little dare devils to try.
4. Visiting Prague and the Czech Republic
The beautiful city of Prague is only a 2 hour drive from parts of the Bavarian Forest. Toddlers will enjoy climbing towers, going on boat trips, visiting the zoo and seeing puppet and dance shows. have loads of ideas about baby and toddler things to do in Prague.
5. Take your baby or toddler cycling in the Forest
With miles and miles of cycle paths, you can have a great day out cycling in the forest. We rented bikes with a baby seat on the back of the bike for the 3 year old, and a tag along ‘chariot’ for the 5 month old. We cycled to a ‘woodcutters’ cottage in the forest, had a lovely lunch and play in the playground before heading back.
6. Get a Cable Car to the top of the mountain
My 3 year old was so excited about getting a cable car to the top of the Arber mountain. The cable car was stopped so we could clamber on with our pushchair and paraphernalia, and there were fantastic views on the way up and at the top. The 3 year old loved having an ice cream at the top too.
7. Tree Top Walk (Baumwipfelpfad)
The Baumwipfelpfad tree top walk is the longest tree top walk in the world. My toddler loved walking above the trees up to heights of 25m and we were able to push our 5 month old along the wooden walkways in his pushchair. The wooden walkways are 1300 meters long and lead to an impressive tower 44m high where you get stunning views of the Bavarian and Bohemian Forest.
8. Hiring a Pedalo in the Arbersee Lake
The Arbersee Lake is a small mountain lake surrounded by woodland and steep sides. It is beautiful. There is a restaurant with terraces overlooking the lake, and you can hire pedalos to do some exploring. Our toddler loved captaining the pedalo along with Daddy. Take some bread to feed the ducks.
Germany is a really child friendly country. All of the places we went to had adventure playgrounds and most of them had a separate playground for babies and toddlers and then another one for older children. The playgrounds were all well maintained, clean and had plenty of seating for parents to sit on whilst supervising.
10. Free Train and Bus Travel
The GUTI card gives people staying in selected villages in the Bavarian Forest free bus and train travel for the duration of their stay. This is great for bus and train fanatics (like my 3 year old) who love any opportunity to go on a bus or train. You don’t need a car to stay in the Bavarian Forest.
11. Eating Out
Most German restaurants have a Children’s Menu and we found eating out to be quite good value. A lunch for 3 of us (baby is still on milk) cost aprox 25-30 Euros including 3 main meals and 3 drinks. Typical food is sausages, schnitzel and goulash.
Babies and toddlers who love swimming will love the Osserbad leisure complex at Lam. With 4 indoor pools and 3 outdoor pools overlooking the mountains this was a great day out. Our family ticket only costs 14 Euros for the whole day and the cafe served decent food at good prices. There was a little shallow pool which was great for our baby and a couple of slides which the toddler loved.
13. Bayern Park
Bayern Park is a theme park near Munich. We had read a lot of reviews which said it was perfect for children aged 3 – 6 years old and found this to be particularly true. My 3 year old is 95cm high and there was over 20 ‘rides’ he could go on. He loved the trampolines, the road train, the mini roller coaster, the paddle boats on the lake and the playground. If he had been 5cm taller he would have been able to go on the Summer toboggans, log flume and some ‘scarier’ roller coasters. Again, Bayern Park was very reasonably priced – 32 Euros for 2 adults and the children were free.
14. Animal Parks
If your little one loves animals, then he will have a great time visiting all the animal parks in the Bavarian Forest. The National Park centres at Ludwigsthal and Neuschoenau have animal enclosures with indigenous animals (lynxes. Wolves,horses etc) in massive enclosures. The animal parks have fantastic playgrounds too.
15. The Forest Playground at Spiegelau
This is a 50 hectare site in the middle of the forest with playgrounds, a nature trail and a meadow with BBQ facilities. There is a circular path (suitable for pushchairs) which takes about 1 hour to walk round.
The climate in the Bavarian Forest in summer is ideal for babies and toddlers. Warm, sunny days with temperatures in their mid twenties mean that you can be active without worrying about small children getting too hot. The weather can be changeable due to the mountains but there is plenty to do in the event of wet weather.
The German people love young children. We were amazed at the number of people who came up to us to coo over our baby and chat away to the 3 year old. Children are accepted and included in things and most places have playgrounds, baby changing facilities, childrens menus and highchairs.
18. Child Friendly Munich
From the Science Museum to the Zoo to the Sea Life Centre, Munich is a great city for children to explore. It can be visited easily from the Bavarian Forest so why not incorporate a trip to the city into your holiday.
Take your baby or toddler to visit Austria while you are staying in the Forest. The beautiful city of Salzburg is less than 3 hours away and toddlers can explore the Salzburg Castle and Zoo amongst other things.
20. Value for money
We found the Bavarian Forest offers excellent value for money. Eating out was reasonable (25 -30 Euros for lunch) and there are plenty of national parks centre which you can visit for free.