By Georgia Chapman
Summer in Munich, especially with kids, can be hot and long. It’s great to head to the open air pools or a lake on the really hot days, although this isn’t always practical or possible. And it’s so much effort. The tedious lugging of swimming costumes, towels, hat, change of clothing, sun block, blow up boats and toys, snacks — as well as getting your kids into their buggy, queuing to get in, and then fighting for a small space of water in the overcrowded pool can be too much sometimes, especially in the summer holidays.
What to do instead? Find yourself a Wasserspielplatz! There are an estimated 35 in Munich, and one is bound to be close to you. They are a great alternative for the kids to keep cool and still have a great time. But before you head out, here is a checklist of items to remember (not quite as much as heading to a pool):
- Swimming costume and/or change of clothing, possibly also for yourself
- Small towel
- Sun block
A lot of smaller playgrounds have small water features, which are great for the smaller kids. If you have a playground nearby and haven’t been since the weather got hotter, then you may be surprised what it offers in warmer weather. But if your kids are bigger and need more excitement, then here some great water playgrounds in the city, and even a couple of smaller ones.
There are actually two in Westpark. The first is a huge and very popular water playground, ideal for bigger kids. It is in the east of the park, closest U-Bahn (U6) stop is Partnachplatz. It’s an Abendteuerspielplatz (adventure playground) with a pirate ship, small stream and all sorts of things for kids. It can get a little hot in bright sunshine, but there are trees around the edges that provide some shade.
There is also a small area for parents to sit and buy drinks and snacks – and most importantly they also have toilets. This is a hugely popular playground.
The second one is smaller and between the Rosengarten in the west of the park and the amphitheatre. Tram 18 stop Stegener Weg is the closest to this. They have a very small paddling area and big slides. So ideal for smaller and bigger kids. There is also a small beer garden very close by – so food and drinks for everyone sorted as well as toilets.
This playground can be found just north of the new bus/tram station at Münchner Freiheit, next to Café Münchner Freiheit. It has shade and seating for the parents (sip a coffee whilst the kids play, and here we also have a toilet for the little ones), if the kids are old enough to go off on their own. The water pump/feature is very popular with the kids, mud pies galore, and the whole playground can get a little crowded – nevertheless the central location makes it a great place to come for a quick play (is there ever a quick stop at a playground?) if you are passing through or live close by.
Ok, this isn’t strictly speaking a playground, but the fountain in summer is brilliant. My daughter loves running through the water on hot days to cool down. It’s a perfect alternative if you are in town with hot kids and they need to cool down. Watch your belongings though, and don’t leave anything unattended.
Also, McDonald’s has facilities you can use in an emergency. (It appears that I am obsessed with available toilets)
An oldie but a goodie. The Hirschgarten itself is a lovely small park with deer to feed (don’t forget the carrots!), ducks in the duck pond, several playgrounds, an area to BBQ and a beer garden (cue toilet facilities).
Not far from the deer there is a climbing frame/small playground where water squirts out in summer. Beware if you have little ones, as they can be shocked if they are climbing the ladder and get hit by a stream of cold water (I speak from experience), but otherwise it’s great to cool down and get wet and slide down the watery slide.
This is definitely a change-of-clothes water playground. Once they are cool they can head to one of the other playgrounds where there is a plankety bridge, swings and slides – or the merry go round by the beer garden, which is only open in summer (from about 1pm onwards).
As the Germans would say: Klein aber fein. This is a small playground at Gollierplatz (bus stop Gollierplatz, a short walk from Trappentreustrasse tram or a 10-minute walk from Donnersbergerbrücke S-Bahn). It is a lovely little playground with all the basics, and a little water pump that is pretty inconspicuous, but great to make mud pies with in the sand or generally pour everywhere. The sand pit/water area is also mostly in the shade, which is a bonus.
The whole playground has a fence around it, which makes it ideal for smaller kids – but keep an eye on them as the bigger kids don’t always play nice.
There is a Tapas bar on the corner (toilet facilities), but they aren’t that kid friendly – better go to the other side of the (very small) park to the Bürgerheim, where the food is great and the staff very friendly.
This is close to the Haus der Kunst in the English Garden, closest U-Bahn Universität (U3 and U6). There is plenty of choice what to do, but on hot days the pump and subsequent muddy, squishy ground is the best for kids. Used to be a hidden gem, might get a little busy nowadays.
For those in the east of the city, the Kinder- und Jugendfarm (child and youth farm) Ramersdorf is not only a small petting zoo/open farm for kids, but has plenty on offer playground-wise, including a small water feature. Great for older kids to run wild and cool down, and also plenty for the little ones to do with parental supervision. Closest S-Bahn/U-Bahn is Giesing or Fasanengarten. And plenty of toilet facilities!