Schloss Orth is the self-styled gateway to the Lobau. Situated just outside Vienna it is a lovely little location for young families to experience a little nature and learn a bit about it. As a break from Vienna it is situated in a nice small town/large village about 20 minutes or so drive away. It is hard to get to Orth/Donau via public transport. Schloss Orth does not have enough to entertain older children but is a refreshing place with enough interest for visitors perhaps up to around 8.
The Schloss itself is an ok building. It is large and grand enough if a little uninspired architecturally. The attraction is not really the Schloss itself but the small grounds behind it. The entrance to the Schloss is fully buggy/wheelchair accessible. The upper levels are also accessible via lift but there isn't actually anything to see up there. The separate exhibition requiring additional payment attracted no visitors unlike the grounds which did have patrons.
The exterior includes a viewing platform which isn't particularly impressive. It doesn't reach above the treeline so the views are not exactly spectacular. The courtyard is served by the cafe and it seems like a nice enough place. The local cat is an additional attraction.
The little castle island is the main part of the attraction though. It contains a set of different local wetland experiences for young visitors to be fascinated by. The bridge over what could be called a moat but is really a stream is a good start. The sheep on the other side are interesting but what makes the first attraction appeal are the little gopher-like things.
There is also some hay for children to play in but it is cut into squares so little feet can get trapped in between the different stacks and it probably wouldn't have passed health and safety in other countries.
The other exhibits include bees, animal trails, some adventurous moat-crossings for brave children to try, and a couple of learning experiences. The central feature is a pond with all sorts of creatures in it. The frogs are the most audible denizens and hold the attention of young ones. The pond also can be seen from within. An underwater viewing platform is a clever piece. The water is murky so there isn't that much to see but it is a good way to see fish at least.
The back of the grounds leads to a forest trail. Those who enjoy a walk in the woods can do so for quite a long time.
Parking is relatively abundant. On a busy day it was easy to find parking in the car park nearly opposite the Schloss and there also seemed to be plenty of spaces in front of the church next door.
The one thing that is lacking is a properly shaded eating area. The courtyard offers that to some extent but the tables on the little island are in the full glare of the sun. There aren't really many grassy areas to have a picnic though the space between the Schloss and the church is the best option.
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