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In The Women’s Web ‘Travel The World With Kids’ series, we talk to mums from all over the globe who are interested in exploring their backyard attractions with their tiny tots! We hope you find them useful, if someday you choose to visit their part of the world. Presented in Q&A format, this one is with Tiffany from Frankfurt, who blogs at No Ordinary Homestead about a whole range of things from food and books to travel and expat life in Germany.
The financial and business centre of Germany, Tiffany tells us that Frankfurt has more to it than just being the industrial hub of Europe. This is a city which gives much importance to arts and history as well as to nature and wildlife. Let’s hear Tiffany talk about kid-friendly activities in Frankfurt.
Guten Tag Tiffany! We’d love to know more about you. Do tell us!
Hi! I’m originally from Texas, in my early-30’s and I’ve been blogging for over 5 years. About 10 years ago, my husband and I (recent college graduates) decided to move to Germany from Miami, Florida. My husband was offered a job in Frankfurt and what we thought would be a quick 2-3 year “experience” quickly transitioned into us buying an old farmhouse, learning how to renovate it ourselves, adding a daughter and a dog to our family and quite a few adventures along the way.
What are your suggestions for parents visiting Frankfurt with young kids?
Frankfurt has a lot of museums and art galleries located downtown, and there are often festivals and events going on along the river, most of which are very kid friendly. If you are in Frankfurt shortly before Christmas, the Christmas market is not to be missed. But go earlier in the day if you prefer to avoid the crowds because it can get very full after dark.
What have been some of your favourite outings in Frankfurt with your kids?
On my daughter’s 3rd birthday, we went on an outing to the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History, which we all absolutely loved. They have a great collection of dinosaur fossils, amazing real stuffed animals and fascinating displays. Plus it’s all housed in a lovely old villa in Frankfurt. The only downside is that there is no parking on the premises but you can get there fairly easily with a tram.
Frankfurt is also home to two zoos. The Frankfurt Zoo (within the city limits) is always a fun outing which can easily be reached by public transport. There is also a parking garage down the block. There you will find a varied array of wildlife from bears to wild cats to seals (our daughter’s favorite) to monkeys. And if the kids need to power down a bit, they also have a great playground in the middle of the zoo.
Frankfurt’s second zoo, The Opel Zoo (in pic) is located further outside the city and is built on a slope, so you’ll get some exercise at the same time! Most of the zoo is outdoors with very few animal houses to tour, giving it a much more natural feeling. You can also feed nearly all of the animals there, which tends to make them very animated, and there’s a separate petting zoo as well.
Our family also enjoys going to the Palmengarten which is a large botanical garden located in the middle of Frankfurt. There is a beautiful waterfall in one of the buildings and often special exhibits with all sorts of exotic plants as well as other events going on. You can even bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy throughout the gardens.
For tourists visiting Frankfurt for the first time, do you have any particular tips?
Frankfurt has a great public transportation system and one of the best ways to get around in the city is via the subway. You can buy day tickets for groups which are really economical and allow you to travel by subway, tram or bus all over Frankfurt. And the ticket machines can be switched to English so you know what you’re buying. The main train station does have its sketchy areas, but nothing you need to be overly concerned with.
Frankfurt is a very international city, so a large portion of the population speaks English well. If you are a photographer, all of the places I’ve mentioned are very photo friendly and it’s not uncommon to run into people with tripods and backpacks of photo equipment at Frankfurt Zoo or Palmengarten.
Are there any particular restaurants in Frankfurt that you think kids will enjoy?
The Gerbermühle is a nice hotel and restaurant that has a great summer garden by the river. As the name suggests, it’s only open during warmer weather but it’s a nice beer garden where the kids can run around a bit or play nearby while you grab a bite to eat.
What is a vacation without picking up souvenirs to carry back home! Are there any particular shopping areas in Frankfurt that you would recommend?
The largest mall in Germany, Main Taunus Zentrum, is located just on the edge of Frankfurt. All of the stores are covered so it can be fun regardless of the weather. There is a bus stop right at the mall if you’re relying on public transportation to get around. There is also a movie theatre, Kinopolis, which usually has an English language film playing (look for OV on the movie listings). There are several really great farmers’ markets around Frankfurt too, and one of our favorites is in Höchst on Saturday mornings.
Any kid-friendly day trips out from Frankfurt?
Those looking to reflect on a bit of historical architecture will enjoy the Hessenpark. They have moved and reassembled a rather large collection of old houses and other buildings to create a living history museum. Most days there are people there performing tasks as they did in the old days, and they even have a kid’s center where young ones can do arts & crafts while you grab a coffee or a beer at the café across from it.
If you are looking to do some walking, Rüdesheim located on the Rhine River can be a fun excursion. It’s about an hour away by car or train. You can take a gondola up the mountain, overlooking the gently rolling fields below or a little river cruise to see the sights from the valley. There are even combination tickets that allow you to do both and throw in a ski-lift ride down the mountain. The ski-lift is not well suited for small kids, but on a nice day you can also walk down. Because it’s wine country, there is plenty of wine to be enjoyed for the adults. Both of these places can be reached using public transport at an additional fee.
Thanks for your helpful answers Tiffany!
*Photo credit: Tiffany
Previous Interviews In The ‘Travel With Kids’ Series:
Subha from Zurich
Shalini from Norway
Nora from Morocco
Laylah from Riyadh
Lisa from Dubai
Sarah from New Zealand
Toni from Manila
Uma from Chennai
The Mad Momma from Delhi
Maid In Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur
Lakshmi from Hyderabad
Sunayana from Kolkata
Sunita from Pune
Anuradha from Mumbai
Artnavy from Bengaluru
Leonny from Singapore
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