Is it worth visiting the city of Bielefeld with kids on a weekend? Basically, there is enough entertainment to keep you entertained for two days, but you have to visit the city in the summer. It also just depends on what your kids like to visit and do during a city break.
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The city of Bielefeld is a 2.5-hour drive from the city of Utrecht, so for most Dutch families the city can be visited in a weekend. The city is famous for its castle, but that is certainly not the only thing you can do here with your family. We list the best activities and attractions in Bielefeld with kids for you.
Bielefeld with kids #1: Heimat-Tierpark Olderdissen
The Bielefeld Zoo is located in the southwestern part of the city, and by streetcar you can reach the zoo in just over 20 minutes from the city center (by car it’s only a 7-minute drive and parking is only a few euros for an entire day). The animal park is free to enter and is located in a large forest area.
Do not expect the large African animals here as you are used to in a zoo, but you can admire animals like the familiar petting animals, supplemented by animals like the brown bear, wolf, otter and beaver. For small kids, there is the opportunity to feed the animals by purchasing food packets from the animal park.
You can enjoy hiking with your kids in the large area here and there is a restaurant where you can get something to eat and drink. The animal park is built against a hill, so there are some stairs and steep inclines to consider. The restaurant also has a nice large playground, making this an ideal place for lunch as well. In that regard, this is a very fun inexpensive activity of about three hours with the family in Bielefeld.
Bielefeld with kids #2: Sparrenburg Castle
The most famous landmark of the city of Bielefeld is Sparrenburg Castle. The castle itself is not super spectacular from the outside and is located on a hill. From the center, it’s a stiff half-hour climb to the castle, but by car or streetcar you can shorten this walk quite a bit. The view from the castle is beautiful over the city of Bielefeld and is already a good reason to visit the castle.
Access to the area around the castle is free and only to climb the tower you pay a few euros for the whole family. There is also a restaurant at the castle, where you can have lunch with a nice view. There is also a kiosk where you can buy something and you can eat the food on the picnic benches that are located around the castle. In the park a four-minute walk from the castle is another excellent playground (Spielplatz Nahe Sparrenburg), with some climbing equipment, slides and swings for the kids.
From the castle you can walk to the animal park in half an hour, and on half of this route you will also encounter a Botanical Garden. Especially in the summer months, you will find lots of colorful flowers and plants here. This botanical garden then is really a very photogenic place.
Bielefeld with kids #3: Park around Lake Obersee
Another fun place to visit in Bielefeld with kids is the park around Lake Obersee. It takes about 25 minutes by streetcar to reach this park from the center. Around this lake are several fun playgrounds for the kids and there is an opportunity to play miniature golf with the family.
Near the lake is also a nice Beachbar (Düne13), where you can have a nice cocktail in summer in a relaxing beach chair on the beach (there is fine beach sand all over the terrace). You can also play a game of beach volleyball here with your kids. In summer, the park and around the lake can be crowded.
Bielefeld with kids #4: Kletterpark bielefeld
If your kids love climbing and scrambling, then the Kletterpark in Bielefeld can be a fun family activity to spend a few hours having fun in the city. The Kletterpark is located fairly centrally in the city and by streetcar you can get there in just over twenty minutes. The climbing park has more than 90 climbing stations at 10 different heights and four practice courses in the woods.
First, you will test with your kids at 1 meter with a guide and he will explain how everything works with the whole fuse system you are wearing around you. Then, depending on the age of the children, you can walk different color courses, where for kids 12 years and older there is the black course, where you are climbing between the trees at a height of 14 meters.
Near the climbing park is a small kiosk where you can eat and drink on picnic benches. You can purchase a card for three hours or for an entire day. They also sell discounted tickets for the whole family. For more information on prices, opening hours and courses at this climbing park, visit the park’s German-language website.
Bielefeld with kids #5: activities with less weather
The four activities described above are especially fun when the weather is dry, but what should you go do in Bielefeld with kids when the weather is less. It kind of depends on what exactly your kids like. Here we list three options for you when the weather is less than perfect in the city.
Natural history museum: near Sparrenhof Castle sits the natural history museum. If you and your kids love museums then this may be an option. The museum is not too big, but admission is only a few euros. There are a number of interactive exhibits for kids at this museum. Please note that the museum is closed on Mondays.
Loom Bielefeld: for kids who love shopping, you have a large four-story shopping center in the center of Bielefeld, where you can do some great shopping. There are as many as 110 stores in this mall, as well as plenty of restaurants and cafes for something to eat and drink.
Funtasia: If you have young kids who love climbing and scrambling, this indoor play paradise is a good option when the weather is not so good in Bielefeld.
Another option to go to when the weather is less clement is the Heinz Nixdorf Museumsforum, which is just over a half-hour drive from Bielefeld near the town of Paderborn. By the way, there is also plenty to see in Paderborn, as you can read in this blog about Paderborn.
Where to sleep in Bielefeld with kids
Budget hotel: B&B Hotel Bielefeld City
Mid-range hotel: Comfort Garni Stadtzentrum Hotel
Mid-range hotel: Aappartel
To search for other hotels in Bielefeld with kids click here for the complete list of hotels.
Further information Bielefeld with kids
Bielefeld card: the city of Bielefeld has a card, which gives you free access to various museums in the city, public transportation, the tower of the castle and allows you to tour the city. Check in advance what all you want to visit in Bielefeld with the family and then see if the card is advantageous for you to purchase.
Christmas market: Bielefeld’s Christmas market is not the biggest, but in the center of town in the weeks before Christmas there are still 100 different stalls, where you can buy food, drinks and Christmas items.