Thurn: Bavarian castle adventure park entertains the young ones
By DAN BLOTTENBERGER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 11, 2009
Are you looking to wear out your children with a good day of entertainment and fun? Then, have I got the place for you.
The Adventure Park Castle Thurn, or Erlebnispark Schloss Thurn in German, is designed to captivate your children’s imaginations while keeping them on the move.
Castle Thurn offers a day of amusement rides, knight and cowboy shows, kids games, zoo animals, train rides and plenty of concession stands hawking ample amounts of sugar.
Don’t be discouraged when you don’t see tons of rides and amusements right off the bat. At Castle Thurn, you have to do some walking to get to the good stuff.
At the front gate, you have the choice to go right or left. Going left just brings you to a restaurant far from the fun. So I recommend going right, where visitors are greeted by a beautiful lake with fountains and, of course, a gift shop. If you’ve chosen to go right, you’ll cross a bridge and enter a dense wood with a coffee shop and some minor attractions before you reach a train station. You can jump on the train here or continue a bit farther on foot, because the fun starts just around the corner.
The first ride you come to will be kiddie-size slot cars. The next attraction is the "Old West," which features arcades, bumper cars and museums hidden in an Old West-style village.
Then it’s game on for the kids with rides and games galore as you continue through the park. For an above-ground view of most of the park, jump on the Schwebebahn. The Schwebebahn station is hidden behind the first building on the left when you enter the "Old West."
If you continue on foot, the walking path will lead you to the Renaissance-style water castle. If you’re looking for back-burning water slides, you won’t find them here, however, there are plenty of smaller water rides to entertain young children that shouldn’t get them wet. The park features paddle boats, bumper boats, a log ride and a dragon-shaped tour boat.
The park zoo offers mostly domestic animals, but there also are camels, lamas and some rare birds.
I recommend the park for kids ages 10 and younger, but children in the early teens may enjoy the shows and one or two of the rides. There is a knights show at the park’s main arena, the Turnierplatz, featuring jousting and sword fighting. The cowboy show in the afternoon features a humorous rendition of an age-old cowboys-vs.-bandits story.
At the end of the day, your children will get a good night’s sleep, and if you failed to wear your walking shoes, so will you.
On the QT
Erlebnispark Schloss Thurn, or Adventure Park Castle Thurn, is less than a 30-minute drive from Bamberg. Take Autobahn 73 toward Nuremberg and take the Forchheim-Sud exit. Turn left at the traffic light. At the T-junction, turn left again. When you come to the traffic circle, take the first exit. Pass through the town of Hausen and stay on the main road to the town of Heroldsbach. When you see an OMV gas station on the right, you will make a left turn (there will be a small sign for the park).
During early summer, the park is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. From August until Sept. 13, the park stays open until 6 p.m. For out-of-season times, check the Web site.
Admission costs 16 euros for adults and children 12 years old and older; 14 euros for children ages 3-11 and adults 55 years old and older. In a group of 15 people or more, adults pay 14.50 euros and the charge for children is 12.50 euros. Parking is free.
Offerings range from normal German cafe items to spare ribs at the Western Saloon. The Romantiksaal restaurant features more expensive meals. There are also several beer gardens.
The park’s Web site, in German only, is www.schloss-thurn.de. Everything in the park is in German as well. Shows are presented in German also, but this shouldn’t deter those who don’t know the language. The shows are still very entertaining.