Is it worth a weekend trip to the German city of Kassel with kids. Yes indeed! There is enough family entertainment here to keep you entertained for at least two days. From several places in the eastern part of the country, it is about a 3-hour drive to this German city, and from Utrecht you will drive to this city in four hours. Kassel is the capital of the famous fairy tale route through Germany and is located in the state of Hesse. We list the best activities and sights in Kassel with kids for you.
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Kassel with kids #1: Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
Kassel’s most famous landmark is the Bergpark with Wilhelmshöhe Castle. Twice a week a spectacle takes place here that attracts many tourists to the park. In fact, during the summer months (May through September), you can see the famous water games here on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2:30 p.m. onwards.
From the lock the water begins to flow down into the park from 2:30. You can follow this very closely as visitors, since it is very gradual and employees occasionally have to lend a hand to keep the water flowing. Streams of water create waterfalls, rivers and fountains everywhere in the park.
Because the show is only twice a week and only in the peak season, it is very crowded with people, especially at the starting point. The further down the water flows, the more the crowds disperse and the more you have certain waterfalls to yourself.
The park is not quite in the center of Kassel and by car it takes less than ten minutes. You can park your car both at the top of the park (Hercules visitor center) and at the bottom of the park (Wilhemshöhe visitor center). Keep in mind that around the time the water starts to fall, it is very crowded around the parking lot, so there probably won’t be room for your car. The hike up can be tough with young kids, so you can take the bus up and walk down with your kids yourself when the water starts flowing.
The water games starting at 2:30 p.m. and finally, at the bottom of the park around 3:45 p.m., the big fountain will operate. In total, then, you should count on an hour and a half of free spectacle. A fun sight if you are in Kassel with kids on Wednesday or Sunday.
Kassel with kids #2: Museum Grimm Welt
Kassel is the capital of the fairy tale route in Germany and the museum Grimm Welt is dedicated to the Grimm brothers who are known for the many fairy tales such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. The museum is also really all about the brothers and not so much about the fairy tales, despite obviously seeing many elements of this.
For example, there are sections in the museum that are about the dictionary and the German language that you can feel free to skip. The lower floor of the museum is best suited for kids. Here they can interactively learn about familiar fairy tales that they may know from reading books or the fairy tale forest at the Efteling. For example, the museum uses projections on the walls and ground, bringing some fairy tales to life.
Allow one to two hours for a visit to the museum. We highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat or a drink at the museum’s restaurant. In fact, there you have a great view of the city of Kassel. For more information on opening hours, admission prices and exhibits, check out the museum’s website.
Kassel with kids #3: Löwenburg Castle
This beautiful castle is located in the Bergpark, so it is easy to combine with a visit to the park during the water games. They are still busy renovating the castle, so you can only visit a limited part of the castle right now. For more information on opening hours, entrance fees and whether you can visit the castle, check out the castle’s website.
Another castle you can visit which is a 35-minute drive from Kassel is Sleeping Beauty Castle: Sababurg Castle. It is even possible to stay overnight in this castle here. For example, you can combine a visit to this castle with Tierpark Sababurg which is located next to the castle.
Kassel with kids #4: Karlsaue city park
Kassel is a green city and is surrounded by green parks. One of the city’s largest parks is Karlsaue City Park, and from the city center it is a walk of just over 15 minutes to the park. You can take an excellent hike here to the various lakes in the park. In the middle of the park is a huge grassy area, where you can have a great family picnic on a summer day.
You will also find in this park a very large adventure playground (Erlebnisspielplatz Landaustraße) with lots of play equipment in the shape of animals such as an elephant and a whale. At the castle Orangerie in the middle of the park, you can grab a bite to eat or a drink on the terrace. It is also possible to park your car at this restaurant if you don’t feel like walking the stretch to the park.
At this park you also have a large swimming pool sitting, where you have both an indoor and outdoor pool. You have a paddling pool here, several diving boards and a large slide. There is also a fun playground at this pool with several pieces of playground equipment set in beach sand.
Kassel with kids#5: museums in kassel and surroundings
There are not very many museums to visit in Kassel with kids. We list two below that are in Kassel and the surrounding area.
Naturkundemuseum Ottoneum: This museum is located in the center of Kassel near the Karlsaue city park. The museum has three floors and is fairly family-friendly. Kids can learn about animals, humans and dinosaurs in an interactive way. Not all exhibits have information in English in addition to German, but most of the exhibits are fairly self-explanatory. The entrance fee to the museum is a few euros.
Museum Sinnesgäng: this museum is located just outside the city a twenty-minute drive from downtown Kassel. In an old factory building, your senses (especially your eyes and ears) will be stimulated with all kinds of experiments. Some experiments will be demonstrated, but most experiments can be done by the kids themselves. This is also a great museum for parents who like industrial architecture. You should set aside about one to two hours for this museum. Around the corner from the museum is a small cafe where you can have a drink.
Where to sleep in Kassel with kids
Budget hotel: Best Western Hotel Kurfürst Wilhelm I.
Mid-range hotel: Hotel Teatro
Luxury hotel: Renthof Kassel
To search for other hotels in Kassel with kids click here for the whole list of hotels.
Further information Kassel with kids
Fairy Christmas market: you can also combine a city trip to Kassel with kids with the Christmas market, which is built in the last week of November and is there until Christmas. Each year, a different fairy tale takes center stage at this fairy tale Christmas market. So you’ll find the largest fairy pyramid in the world, and the dozens of stalls provide a fun atmosphere at this time of year.
North Hesse card: in the North Hesse region (which includes Kassel) they give away a free card at 170 accommodations where you can use public transportation for free and also dozens of activities for free. So check in advance when booking if the accommodation you want to book is included in the list of accommodations on the card’s website, as this can save you quite a bit of money.