Kinderland The Children’s Island
Mainau Island is a captivating green island carpeted with flowers emerging from the blue waters of Lake Constance, just an hour and a half away from Stuttgart. Standout features include a 45-hectare Mediterranean-style garden commissioned by Count Lennart Bernadotte who was related to the Swedish royal family. This gardening artwork is now managed by his children.
Mainau Children’s Land
Mainau Island (also known as the Island of Flowers) has some admirable features and not only those in its lush botanical gardens, with plants from all over the world. Mainau-Kinderland (Mainau Children’s Land) and Germany’s largest Butterfly House draw families from across the globe. Over two million people a year are estimated to visit here. The best thing about this huge children’s park is that it is suitable for children from the age of two years on, and it opens from spring to autumn.
But, what most rivets the little ones’ attention – and grown ups, too, we have to admit – is the Dwarf Village. This attraction is aimed at children between the ages of two and four. It has cave-shaped huts, a wooden train and an area for water games, which operates permanently. The Village is located between the Farm and the Lake and also features a stable for pony riding. There are also dwarf donkeys and dogs – loads of dogs, as virtually all the breeds are represented here. The Farm, which also has a garden, is full of rabbits running about, while cows and goats graze to their heart’s content. And, needless to say, there has to be a chicken run, too, with both roosters and hens crowing away. What child doesn’t like a farm?
One of the major attractions is the Zoo, where children are allowed to pet lots of animals. Perhaps the best part, though, is the Butterfly House, which is open all year around. Stretching across an area of 1,000 m², it is landscaped to resemble a tropical paradise. Strolling among the gurgling waterfalls, pond-straddling bridges and a grotto, visitors can luxuriate in the sight of hundreds of colours and rare butterflies from about 80 species flying freely and feeding, carrying out their mating dances and laying eggs. If you keep still for a while, you might be lucky enough to have one settle on you. Another highlight is the new Insect Garden where you can glean interesting facts about wild bees, honey bees and apiculture in general.
Caution! A Water World
The area which has been most successful of late is the Wasserwelt (Water World). It is an ideal precinct for children to play to their heart’s content in a safe environment. It is actually a game-show-like circuit with a set of small, attached or interconnected houses and towers where children are challenged to overcome hurdles and move from one house to the next without touching the ground. To this end, they avail themselves of ropes and climbing walkways. This water world also has large areas with sand built in the form of mud pools. Here, children can play unfettered – they can build, bake, discover and investigate. Alongside this area is a pathway where you can walk barefoot, made of materials which are pleasant to the touch, purposely devised for adults who are loathe to get splashed while accompanying their kids.
Lake Constance, nicknamed the Schwäbische Meer (Swabian Sea), is the third largest lake in Europe and straddles three countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Be sure to take advantage of your trip to Mainau Kinderland to tour this marvellous landscape. Formed by the Rhine glacier during the last Ice Age and currently fed by the river itself, this enormous lake is 63 km long by 14 km wide and has a maximum depth of 250 metres. The region is characterised by meadows and vineyards, market gardens and dams, beaches and Alpine foothills. A motley region which blossoms into its full beauty in summer, just when the tourists flock here. Some of the most popular activities here are swimming in the lake and camping on some of its shores. In spring it is carpeted with flowers and in autumn there is new wine, fewer people and magnificent visibility when the warm Föhn blows.
Don’t pass up the chance to treat your children to this cultural extravaganza. The area also features countless Baroque churches, Benedictine abbeys, Stone Age dwellings, Roman forts, medieval castles and even zeppelins. You just can’t get bored. Come on – prepare your children for the grand surprise. Check out our flights here.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Images by Germany Travelmore info