• Danik Bates

Family fun Bavarian style at Freizeitpark Ruhpolding

How to keep two young children entertained whilst in the mountains after days of enjoying the outdoor air, nature and freedom. Now and again children need to be entertained right? We had this problem towards the end of our alpine trip one summer and needed somewhere or something to do so our children have ‘some different sort of fun’. We were staying in a small town called Reit im Winkl in the Bavarian Alps not too far away from the Austrian border at Kössen and found out that there is a childrens theme park nearby.

Freizeitpark Ruhpolding is a childrens theme park for children we would say, up to the age of ten years old possibly. The park has a nursery rhymes and children stories theme to the place and having to admit, half of the stories being told here I didn’t know of or understand (being English, we knew the main themes which are internationally recognised but the lesser known stories, they must be a well kept German secret). However our daughters loved the place and enjoyed the experience of going on rides, seeing displays whilst in the heart of the mountains on a clear blue sky on a summer's day.

Our experience started with a short drive to the village of Ruhpolding from our guesthouse stay at Eschenhof Gästehaus (which we totally recommend) in Reit im Winkl. The drive was beautiful where we were taken through forests, passing lakes en route and then hounded down country lanes to where the village was. The parking was easy as this was just off the main road and well signposted and at the entrance there was somebody there taking a small fee for parking. Looking around I couldn’t quite see where the entrance of the theme park was but everyone was walking down a trail path into the woodland. We followed and then found out we had to walk up a very steep path up the small mountainside. This actually lasted quite a while, about ten minutes from the car park. We had a stroller for our youngest, Isabella who was 1.8 years old at the time and because of the wheels on it, I ended up walking with the stroller backyards all the time to the top. This is totally not suitable if anyone is in a wheelchair (unless there is another path or entrance to the park).

At the top we didn’t have to queue for long and the prices to get in weren't too bad either. Straight away we were into the fun and action. Now the great thing is that the map of the park we were given is in German and English (so that helps) and the picture is very detailed, so we knew what we were going to or going to see without the need for the description on the side.

The first part we walked past was a few small displays and no rides (probably to usher people down the sloop into the heart of the park). Here we saw a sawmill transmission building (one either still in use today or being brought back to life to show visitors what life used to be like in this area), as well as several other displays telling young children stories from a painter, baker, goldsmith and a saw-man.

After crossing a bridge over a stream, the park does get more interesting. More beautiful displays were to be had like the tree house, mushroom house, sandman and even a dolphin (not a real one) in a small pond who likes to squirt the little ones with water. Before our first ride, we even saw the Imp Tree, the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs display (was she from Germany?). We later found out that Snow White was a fairytale from the Eighteenth Century and was made even more famous in the 1930s as being a film produced by the famous Walter Disney in the United States.

Walking around we totally loved how the theme park integrates within nature, the trees, the mountains overlooking the area. The buildings are all Alpine-Bavarian chalet type styles which gives this place charm and even the feel that one is walking in a fairytale.

The first ride we did, well, Daddy and Amélie did was the Dragon Ride, (Siegfried Drachenritt). This rollercoaster of a ride which goes round in circles was actually quite fast for children and we had to hold onto our lives. However it was such a blast that we decided not to go on it again in case some of our food came out of our stomachs. Out of all the rides we did, this was one of the few which definitely gave children and adults a frill.

Something calmer next and Mummy decided to take the girls on a Bavarian train (Bayerische Bockerleisenbahn) where the small powered train takes guests on two laps around a small area of the park which includes a tunnel, displays from fairy tales as well as the amazing Frog School by a pond. The girls loved this ride and we did this a couple of times throughout the day.

More displays were to be had, one which we knew off, Hansel and Gretel. No introduction needed her, however the only problem was if visitors who are not German-speaking, when these displays talk, it is all in German. Totally understandable. However we got a rough idea of what was happening and we knew some of the stories before we came here. Anyway for children, they don’t really care what was being said, they want to see the colourful displays, what was moving in them and to see if any of them was going to squirt water.

We eventually walked through a tunnel which seemed to divide the park into two (that's how we saw it). On the other side to the left we went into the Crystal Mine where Amélie was running around like crazy and then trying to find all the gems possible. It took us forever to get her out of there. This part of the park had adventure playgrounds which Amélie totally loved (Isabella was feeling a little bit left out by this point as she was a baby) but we did love the huge swinging dragons so the whole family could enjoy. Isabella never stopped smiling after this.

One attraction we did quite a few times, mainly Daddy and Amélie, was the Water Hooper and Water Swirl, two large slides where we would jump into a log flume and get thrown down the slide whilst getting wet at the bottom. Thankfully it was a warm sunny day in the mountains. However the views from the top of the surrounding area are truly amazing. I loved looking out towards the mountains straight ahead of me and wishing I was hiking on them at that very moment. But then I came out of la la land and before I knew it, I was soaked with water with Amélie screaming ‘Again! Again!’.


The Mountain Roller Coaster was next. Amélie was just within the height range and was probably our second favourite fast filled fun ride after the Dragon Ride. Whilst on the rollercoaster I was holding onto Amélie all the way throughout just in case she did get flung out of the ride. Again, very enjoyable and it has been years since I felt the full gust of wind on my face.

We needed a rest from the rides so we saw more displays including one simply called ‘Window Scene’ where this young lady in full Bavarian costume was talking out of a second floor window, just talk talk talk before squirting people down below with water. The children again, love getting wet! Nearby was a small park full of dinosaurs, not quite sure why as this was the only oddity of the park, however dinosaurs were probably roaming over the lands around here listening to some yodelling and eating sausages.

And that is what we did next. There is a huge buffet restaurant called Tischlein Deck Dich located in the middle of the park with indoor and outdoor seating which offers WIFI. All I can remember having was sausage with a good litre of a Bavarian beer. The prices here are also very reasonable, actually, they are not a rip-off compared to certain theme parks we have been to back home and across the Atlantic Ocean. God that felt so good and also a great way to chill out before the children wanted to go around the park one more time looking at displays and going on more rides. Apart from sausages, there are a lot of other meaty meals as well as salads and soups as well as a children's menu.

When we left the park, we spent about six hours here which flew by. It had everything that young children want, colourful moving displays which takes one's children's imagination into real life, whilst having fun times by going on rides. Surrounded in nature, this place has a great mixture and is enjoyed by everyone. As parents, we had so much fun here also, recapturing scenes of some of the fairytales from our youth whilst making sure that our daughters were having fun. Having to admit, we were totally shattered at the end of the day but it is totally worth it. Freizeitpark Ruhpolding has to be visited when a family comes to stay in Bavaria.

Looking to visit Freizeitpark Ruhpolding. All their information, prices, location guides etc can be found here.


Check out some clips I took of the day.


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