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Suggestions for family with two children (ages 7 and 9)

Central California
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Suggestions for family with two children (ages 7 and 9)

Hi,

My husband is German and I'm American, and the funny thing is that we lived in Stuttgart Degerloch from 1987 till 1989 (we got married there, too!). We've lived in the States since 1989 and we've been back to visit my husband's family a number of times, but this is the first time that we've gone back to Stuttgart with our daughters. Stuttgart is one of my favorite places, and I'm looking forward to going there with our kids to share with them so many of the special places there.

Can anyone make a suggestion for a good place to stay with kids, and any special places to go with kids? Obviously I'll have a much different perspective now than when we lived there (and things have obviously changed as well). We're planning on taking them to the zoo, we might go to the Mercedes Benz museum, wander around downtown (the Altes Schloß, the Neues Schloß, etc.). But I'm just curious whether there are any "must do" things for kids! I'd love any suggestions. Also, are there day or multi-day passes for families on public transportation?

Thanks so much in advance!

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
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1. Re: Suggestions for family with two children (ages 7 and 9)

I don't think that many of the hotels have family rooms. Alex 30 Hostel (www.alex30-hostel.de) is centrally located and has family rooms. The youth hostel's (www.jugendherberge-stuttgart.de) standard room is for four. The bathrooms in both are en suite. The hotels at the SI Centrum large entertainment complex on the south side of Stuttgart probably also have family rooms. You can make reservations for many Stuttgart hotels through the tourist office www.stuttgart-tourist.de . Also look there for further Stuttgart information.

Some good things to do with children: you've already mentioned the Mercedes Benz Museum, and the new one is much larger and should be loved by the whole family; go to one of the three large mineral baths, in the Leuze one you can swim in bubbly carbonated water; if you splurge several hundred euros your daughters can ride an elephant at the zoo, Wilhelma, for an hour; it's fun to ride the pater noster in the Rathaus; go to the observation platform of the world's first modern TV tower in Degerloch; Hoehenpark Killesberg is nice for the lovely gardens, architecturally interesting double helix tower which can be climbed for what I consider are the best views of Stuttgart, flamingoes, some animals children might like, and a pleasant long miniature train ride through the park which is strangely filled with many adults without children; the rams on the clock in the lovely Renaissance courtyard butt heads to mark the hour (e.g. ten times for 10 o'clock; you can make a trip on the Neckar River by boat (www.neckar-kaeptn.de) to Marbach, visit the nice Altstadt with the poet Schiller's birthplace, and return by S-bahn; or head out the short S-bahn ride to Esslingen and wander the medieval streets and climb the town wall to the "fat" tower or the S-bahn to Ludwigsburg for Germany's largest perfectly preserved (all original, not a 1950s rebuild) Baroque palace with its enjoyable tour of the royal chambers, four excellent museums including an interesting porcellan museum which also includes one of the duke's rooms and the fashion museum with lots of interesting clothes from the 1700s, extensive gardens including a fairytale one, and two smaller associated palaces in a deer park (actually several days to see it all) see www.schloesser-und-gaerten.de and is an excellent website for other excellent places to visit. Visit any city at the ends of the S-bahn lines except Plochingen unless you are into modern architecture, the already mentioned Marbach and Weil der Stadt being good choices.

A little further afield, the old college town of Tuebingen is lovely to visit with its hilly cobblestone streets, and you can either take a punt ride on the Neckar River or row your own boat; Hohenzollern Castle-Hechingen (www.burg-hohenzollern.com) and Lichtenstein Castle (www.schloss-lichtenstein.de) are both wonderful to visit and are fairytale-like. I consider Germany's oldest state stables at Marbach (Gomadingen) a "must see", especially with two young girls (www.gestuet-marbach.de). You can visit the magnificent stallions in their stalls, and with pre-arrangement take a wagon or sleigh ride; the largest castle ruin of the Schwaebische Alb, Hohenneuffen (also in www.schloesser-und-gaerten.de), is also great to visit. You can canoe on the idyllic Grosse Lauter River which has one of the highest concentrations of castle ruins in Germany (www.kanutouren.com). Within easy traveling distance of Stuttgart for a day trip are at least eight amusement parks, Europa Park being one of the world's best (www.europapark.de). A visit to the chocolate factory in nearby Waldenbuch is nice, there's a lovely aroma over the town, there's a small museum on chocolate manufacture and another excellent art museum of art in the shape of squares (the shape of the Ritter SPORT candy bars), some of which moves which should be liked by all, and also a sales room at discounted prices. There are also at least 19 museum or historic train rides in Baden-Wuerttemberg.

You don't mention when you are visiting. The world's largest funfests (also large beerfests) are at the Cannstatter Wasen, Fruehlingsfest 12Apr to 4May (www.stuttgarter-fruehlingsfest.de) and the Cannstatter Volksfest 26Sept to 12Oct (www.cannstatter-volksfest.de). Many of the rides are more like that of amusement parks, some are diabolical, and the two large ferris wheels and the two flying swings are nice. Then there's Europe's largest Christmas Market 26Nov to 23Dec, and the World Christmas Circus 11Dec to 11Jan.

I'm sure that I've left out a lot of things to see and do. Just walking up the Staeffele (stairways) on Stuttgart's steep hillsides can be fun.

For public transport, it is the VVS, and there are all kinds of ticket options for multiple days and multiple travellers, some of which are only available to viasitors staying in hotels.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Suggestions for family with two children (ages 7 and 9)

I'll add one thing, if you and the girls want to do some shopping, nearby Metzingen has Germany's most factory outlets (www.metzingen.de).

Central California
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3. Re: Suggestions for family with two children (ages 7 and 9)

Marcopolko, thanks so much for the terrific suggestions, especially regarding hotels. It's nice to know where to look for a "Familienzimmer," so I'll check out the places you suggested.

We'll be visiting my husband's family outside of Nürnberg starting in mid-March, and we're thinking of coming to Stuttgart on the last weekend in March, around the 28th. We're just keeping our fingers crossed that the weather is fairly decent. I know what it can be like since we lived there...

Thanks a million!

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Suggestions for family with two children (ages 7 and 9)

Hi MamaLion88, my family were in Stuttgart for Christmas and stayed in a wonderful hotel called the Hotel Astoria. We have 2 children aged 10 and 12 and had 2 double rooms because the family room was booked the first 2 nights of our stay. But the lovely receptionist showed us the family room when it became free and offered to move us (we were too lazy lol).

The family suite was really quite spacious and we would have been very happy there. The breakfast is quite nice too. It is quite central in Stuttgart - not far from the main shopping area and also from the main train station. The trains were wonderful.

We went to the zoo which the kids really enjoyed as it was so different from our zoo here in Melbourne.

Best wishes for a lovely trip!

Central California
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5. Re: Suggestions for family with two children (ages 7 and 9)

Hi Holiday Needed,

Thanks so much for the suggestions! I appreciate the information about Hotel Astoria. Right now it looks like we've found a nice vacation rental in Stuttgart that we'll be able to stay in for those three nights, but it'll be great to have a back-up plan. Thanks for the info!

Heather

6. Re: Suggestions for family with two children (ages 7 and 9)

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