fun things to do with kids hunsruck  germany   Travel for Kids
Germany
  | Rhineland
     
   

Hunsruck

The Hunsruck forests and the Erbeskopf (highest peak in the Rhineland at about 2,500 ft) are the defining features. This is a great place for out door sports – hiking, winter sports around the Idarkopf, touring gem mines or the museum at Sobernheim.
  Hunsruck Forests The Saar-Hunsruck Nature Park is a huge area that stretches from Germany to Luxembourg to France.There are over 500 miles of trails, many of them marked for hikes or bikes.
      Explore the Hunsruck Slate, a famous fossil deposit. Preserved in pyrite, fossils are both soft-tissue and hard: the best find ever of the Devorian seas period.
      Ride in a covered wagon along the same paths once trod by the infamous local highwayman, Schinderhannes, whose Robin Hood-like legend was made famous in a play by Carl Zuckmayer. Schinderhannes, was hanged in Mainz, where apparently they took a less romantic view of his actions.
    Erbeskopf Nearby the region's highest peak, you'll find theIdarkopf winter sports center, with its great cross-country ski run system for those who don't want to swoosh down hill but would rather enjoy the beauty of the woods on a self-paced trek or join in on a guided cross-country skiing trip.
    Idar-Oberstein The town of Idar-Oberstein is a German mecca for rock-hounds:
      Tour a gemstone mine You can actually see where some of the precious stones came from by touring the gemstone mines. The Municipal Tourism Office in town is the best place to get information on tours of mines in Steinkaulenberg and the old cutting mill at Weiherschleife.
      Visit the Felsenkirche, a chapel built into the side of the mountain it seems unreal, with only the facade visible from the outside.
      Under the Felsenkirche you'll find the Idar-Oberstein Museum with its collection of precious stones and minerals from around the world, as well as art made with gems: jewelry, engraved gems, and even sculptures. There's a little bit of local history and information about geology as well.
      Had enough of gems? Go horseback riding at one of the family run stables in the area.
Thalfang Thalfang, a state run resort, has marked hiking trails or rent bikes and do some German mountain bike exploring. You can also swim in the indoor pool, rent horses (or ponies for little ones). In the winter, there is skiing and bobsledding as well.
Hermeskeil If your family loves big machines, stop in Hermeskeil where they seem to be completely nutsy over transportation: five museums devoted to collections. The two best are:
      Hermeskeil airplane museum with about 100 planes you can walk around and through, from a Starfighter, Constellation, de Havilland Comet, Vickers Viscount, BAC VC.10, Noratlas, Lightning, F-100to a Concorde.
  Hermeskeil Steam Engine Museum with about 100 different kinds of steam engines, pretty amazing for a private collection.
Tip: Thinking of renting an RV for part of your trip? This is one of the best places in Germany to do it. Take advantage of campgrounds, out-of-the-way villages and sites without thinking about your next night's hotel.
   

Fun food

     

Idar-Oberstein is famous for its Spiessbraten, which has its own curious history. In the 19th century, local gemstone prospectors went in search of fortune in Argentina and got a taste for the traditional "parillada" (BBQ) of the Argentine "gauchos" (cowboys). When they returned to Idar-Oberstein, they created their own version and the town is now famous in Germany for these onion-marinated and flame-grilled steaks.

   

Shopping

     

If you love gemstones, then this is the place to shop. You can buy everything from inexpensive polished stones to incredibly elegant jewelry. This might be the place to find something in a child's birthstone.

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