story and photos by Susan Melnyk
If you live in the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) you have likely driven past the Gartenschau and wondered what was going on. Perhaps you caught sight of a brontosaurus against a rock cliff backdrop, or maybe saw the blooming flowers and skatepark, wondering what this was all about.
The Gartenschau is open from April 1st through October 31st each year and covers a huge area of both flat and hilly terrain in Kaiserslautern, not far from the city center. We don’t have many things like this back in the states and this is a place you should definitely plan to spend some of your days when the weather is warm and nice in Germany!
For the price of admission (or a seasonal pass) the Gartenschau has something for kids of all ages and adults alike.
– Sports areas
A skate park, beach volleyball area, basketball courts, soccer field and playgrounds for the youngest of your group to climb and explore. The water playground is the perfect place to cool off on a hot day!
– Restaurants (family-friendly, of course!)
– Children’s programs are often held during the weekend and on German holidays to keep the kids busy as well so feel free to ask at the admission gate what is going on the day you arrive.
– The far end of the park holds over 80 life-size dinosaur statues nestled into the foliage and right beside the paths.
– Indoor and outdoor attractions
In case the weather isn’t cooperating (or you need a break from the summer sun), there are two permanent indoor flower exhibits and several traveling shows that change throughout the season.
– Miniature golf
Hike up the hill and around the Gartenschau for some extra exercise and some beautiful views of Kaiserslautern and the Palatinate forest. There is even a place to grab a Bratwurst on top of the hill.
– Free classical concerts often take place in the open air theatre on weekends during the warmer months.
4 tips to help you make the most of your visit:
Wear sunscreen! The park is large and once you arrive, the kids won’t want to leave anytime soon. Be sure to apply sunscreen and reapply if the sun is beating down.
Bring your camera. If you don’t, you are seriously going to regret it. Between the flowers, the play structures and the dinosaurs, you’ll be missing out on some fantastic photos!
If you are planning to play soccer, skateboard, or take part in any of the other sports facilities, be sure to bring your own equipment (ie: soccer ball, volleyball, etc).
Leave Fido at home. Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in the park.
Bring cash. As with many things in Germany, cash is king. At time of publication, the Gartenschau does not accept credit cards for admission.
At the Kalause 9
Kaiserslautern, Germany 67659
Monday to Friday: 9am to 7pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10am to 7pm
Visit their website for up to date opening and holiday hours by clicking here.
Children (6-16): €3
Students (16-25): €5
Family tickets available.
For updated admission costs (and seasonal pass prices)
click here for the Gartenschau website (in English).
TIP: If you live off base in the Kaiserslautern area, the local utilities company sometimes has a free or highly discounted pass that you can purchase for the Gartenschau. It’s worth a call to see if one is currently being offered.