Best of Summer! (Locally)

Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and if you’re not flying “home,” you will need to fill your days or the kids will get stir crazy and so will you.

So here’s my little list of favorites.  Feel free to add to it in the comments area.  :)

Favorite “Swimming Holes:”

  • OUTDOOR:  Gangelt’s Freibad at Haus Hammacher.  The swimming pools are amazing and have slides as well, so all ages will have a blast.  There’s a large grassy area to lay out near the pools and if you get hungry there’s a snack bar there or you can leave the pool area and enjoy a nice meal at Haus Hammacher.  You can also row a boat in the little lake across the parking lot and play a round of mini-golf.  Prices are reasonable.
  • INDOOR:  My kids LOVED Aquana and still talk about it.  Just 30 minutes from GK, it’s easy to get to and a lot of fun.  Spend the whole day and go any time of year.  Yeah, it’s summer now, but a German summer has it’s share of rain.

My Favorite Summer Cafe:

  • On a recent whirlwind visit to GK I made time to go to Immendorf.  On a nice day, this is just about as good as it gets if you want to sip a coffee or a beer and visit with friends.  The beauty of this place goes well beyond the delicious German breakfasts and the amazing array of cakes and breads.  This place has a lake with turtles and a playground.  Between those two, young children will be kept busy enough for you to enjoy a bit of adult conversation.  Add in the delicious and super inexpensive ice cream and you may never leave.

My Favorite Outdoor Restaurant:

  • Pannekoeken, an 18th century windmill that is still in use, a beautiful city, walking trails, and a playground… oh, and really good food.  That’s what you’ll find at the Pannekoeken Molen in Gulpen, NL.  It’s only a pretty 40 minute drive from GK and totally worth it.  Great combined with some time at Drielandenpunt

Summer = Ice Cream:

  • Tuddern’s Eis Paradies is a classic summer getaway with generous servings of home made ice creams in a beautiful setting.  This family run business also has a playground to play on and mini-ponies for the kids to talk to.
  • Birgden:  Have Spaghetti Eis at the ice cream place in Birgden just on the back side of the big triangular green space.  The ice cream is amazing and there’s plenty of place to run and stroll in the park across the street.  My favorite:  chocolate spaghetti eis with berries on top.

A Rainy Summer:

Favorite Day Trip:

  • There’s a really pretty hike between Burg Eltz and Burg Pyrmont.  The latter is just above a really nice B&B that serves an amazing dinner and is very kid friendly.  The hike itself is a couple hours and nice on a not-too-hot day.  Cochem isn’t too far away.  From here you can catch a boat and take a leisurely river boat cruise.

Favorite Easy Weekend:

  • The beach is the first thing I think of in summer and just a couple hours can bring  you to a number of pretty beaches.  My favorite is in Callantsoog, NL near Schagen.  It’s busy enough, but not as touristy as some and has a nice nature preserve with trails and beautiful dunes in addition to the wide expanse of beach.  Schagen is just 10 minutes away and has interesting historical markets once a week.  Need a place to stay?  Try Tjallewal, a great B&B nearby.  

    One Response to “Best of Summer! (Locally)”

    1. WM June 30, 2011 3:53 pm #

      the cafe AlteZeigelei in Kreuzrath is quickly becoming a new favorite. It’s not as pretty a setting as Immendorf, but has a nice play area for the kids plus a pond with turtles and coi in the courtyard. They have great Eis and coffee and a really nice champagne Sunday brunch. I’ve been told they have excellent enchiladas, burgers, and Gambas on their dinner menu (really, enchiladas and burgers). The only thing I don’t like is that breakfast is buffet only, every day, and they don’t serve lunch. So if you want just a bite for breakfast or something other than Eis at noon, it’s not the place for you.

    Leave a Reply

    %d bloggers like this: