Get hands-on on a farm, explore the mysterious moor, visit the "Small Five" in the Wadden Sea and immerse themselves in imaginative fairy tale worlds - on a family vacation in Lower Saxony, children are guaranteed never to get bored. Here are a few things that the offspring can do:


The "Small Five" search the Wadden Sea

Allow me, my name is lugworm. Together with my four buddies, the cockle, the shore crab, the North Sea shrimp and the wadden snail, we form the "Small Five" on Lower Saxony's beautiful North Sea coast. You can find us easily when you visit the Wadden Sea. Twice a day, the water here miraculously recedes (scientists blame this on the influence of the sun and moon), leaving the mudflats behind. This may not look very appetizing, but it pleases millions of migratory birds - for whom we are an important source of food.

And especially for children, the phenomena of high and low tide are fascinating - where else can they walk on the seabed? Here in the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes the seven East Frisian Islands, there is a lot to experience and learn. For example, on a bike tour over the dikes, while crab-pulling, in the visitor centers of Wilhelmshaven and Cuxhaven or during a visit to the seal station in the National Park House Norden-Norddeich. Of course, the most exciting is a guided mudflat hike, in search of the Small Five. So put on your rubber boots and go! You can find more information about the Wadden Sea here.

This is how you get to Norden-Norddeich by train: Plan arrival.

Gotcha - have fun searching for little mudflats © Christian Bierwagen
Gotcha - have fun searching for little mudflats © Christian Bierwagen

Marvel at wolves, otters & co in the zoo

Children usually only know wolves from storybooks - in the Wolfcenter Dörverden near Walsrode, however, not far from the Weser River, you can get very close to the fascinating predators. In the wooded outdoor area, the packs can be admired in secured enclosures during daily feedings. There are also special events such as wolf nights, and the little ones can get rid of all their questions during special children's tours on Sundays. Afterwards, they might enjoy a little romp in the water playground or persuade their parents to spend a night in the facility's teepees or treehouse hotel.

This is how you get to Dörverden by train: Plan arrival.

Wolf Center Dörverden

Otter Center Hankensbüttel

Wisent enclosure Springe

Bird of prey enclosure Bispingen

Hannover Adventure Zoo

Black Mountains Game Park

Game Park Lüneburg Heath

Osnabrück Zoo

Lower Saxony offers a large number of places where young people can come into contact with native animals. For example in the Otter Center in Hankensbüttel on the southern edge of the Lüneburg Heathwhere, in addition to playful otters, cheeky badgers can also be seen and a ropes course beckons. Marvel at mighty bison in the bison enclosure in Springe, cuddle with eagle owls in the bird of prey enclosure in Bispingen, watch penguins dive in Hannover's adventure zoo or celebrate children's birthdays in the Schwarze Berge wildlife park or in the Game Park Lüneburg Heath, all that is possible here and much more. Unique in Germany: Osnabrück Zoo, which is intensively committed to species conservation, also offers an underground area - with earthworms and shy moles.

How to get to Hankensbüttel by train and bus: Plan arrival.

Hey you there! - in the zoo and animal park children make new acquaintances © famveldman - Fotolia
Hey you there! - in the zoo and animal park children make new acquaintances © famveldman - Fotolia

Explore life on the farm

Who says children don't like getting up in the morning? Here on the farm, they dash like lightning out of bed and into the henhouse to see how many fresh eggs are lying in the nests. That's much more exciting than putting them in the shopping cart at the supermarket - and you learn along the way where our food actually comes from, on a ride on the tractor to harvest potatoes, for example, or to sow wheat, barley and rapeseed. There is so much for children to discover and learn that a vacation is not nearly enough.

On the farms, the youngsters get to know all kinds of animals, such as horses and pigs, goats and sheep, cats and rabbits. If they like, the kids can help muck out the stalls, watch the cows being milked and feed the calves. On horse farms, horses and ponies are happy about many grooming sessions, and the offspring can take riding lessons and go on exciting rides. In the evening you might sit together with the whole family around the campfire to roast bread and then fall dead tired into bed - tomorrow you have to get up early to hunt for eggs. Farms where you can spend your vacation, you will find here.


Walk through the moor on bare soles

With bare feet they walk over rosemary heath, turf rushes and sphagnum moss, and of course children have especially much fun walking through the mud typical of the moors. But they also feel a certain reverence for this landscape, especially when the family is out and about early in the morning, when there is still a light mist over the scene, giving it a mystical look. But then the sun breaks through the haze with all its power and shows a natural region that has grown over centuries in all its beauty.

No other federal state has as many marshland areas as Lower Saxony, which are formed when rain or groundwater keeps the subsoil permanently wet. In large nature parks such as Dümmer, Wildeshauser Geest and Lake Steinhude you can explore a very special flora and fauna, peat mosses, sundew and cotton grass, for example, or birds such as cranes that rest here in spring and fall. Peatlands are also important for climate protection, as they store large amounts of carbon. To the delight of children, by the way, cuddly moorland sheep and moorland sheep can often be seen here - they prevent the growth of large plants that would take too much water from the moor. You can find all information about the moor here.


Immerse yourself in the world of fairy tales

From Till Eulenspiegel to the Pied Piper of Hamelin: Lower Saxony is fairy tale land. Traces of famous German stories for small and big children, often with a regional reference, can be found everywhere in the state. The most beautiful area for immersing yourself in the dream worlds of youth is the WeserberglandThe famous German Fairy Tale Route runs along the river. In pretty villages with their historic half-timbered houses, one encounters at every turn the traces of legends, sagas and fairy tales that were once collected primarily by the Brothers Grimm. 

The Pied Piper of Hamelin still roams the streets of the old mill town to chase away evil rodents, but also to kidnap all the children of the town - kids today listen with wide eyes to the tales of the imaginatively dressed actor. In Bodenwerder, the famous Liar Baron Münchhausen, who once allegedly whizzed through the air on a cannonball, is celebrated with many events. But traces of famous fairy tales can also be found elsewhere - ranging from the Till Eulenspiegel Museum near Wolfenbüttel to the Hare and Hedgehog sculptures in Buxtehude. So read the fairy tale book again and then let's go. You can find more info here.

This is how you get to Hameln by train: Plan arrival.

Fascinates children even today - the Pied Piper of Hamelin © HMT
Fascinates children even today - the Pied Piper of Hamelin © HMT

Cover photo: Boredom, no thanks - children like to go exploring © Ikan Leonid