Summer in Europe is the most beautiful time of the year with bright sunny days. Saad and I love to travel and since Abdullah is around 4 now, we wanted to plan a kid-friendly vacation. We came across an amazing offer and decided to visit Centre Parcs in Germany.
Centre Parcs is a network of vacation homes and there are around 22 such parks all around the world. They not only provide lodging facilities but also many recreational activities within a single complex. Some activities are free while others have to be paid for separately, Centre Parcs offers different vacation packages depending upon your budget and the number of people staying. As we planned to go with 3 other families and preferred separate bathrooms for each family, we booked a 6-bedroom house. Our vacation package included a 5-day stay for 298 euros per family which is highly reasonable.
I shared pictures and videos on my Instagram stories during the trip and received a lot of DM’s inquiring about the place. So, I decided to share the itinerary from this trip with you all.
Most part of this day was spent driving to Hochsauerland. It was a 5-6 hour journey since we had to make few stops to freshen up. We left early in the morning and reached Centre Parcs around 2 pm. The check-in starts at 3 pm. We checked in at the entrance and got arm-bands for each person. These arm-bands were used as keys for unlocking doors of the vacation home (I found it really cool cz none of us had to worry about sharing a single key). At the time of check-in, we are allowed to drive up to our house to unload luggage. Once unloaded, cars had to be parked in a large parking area at the main entrance.
The house was quite spacious with 6 rooms, 4 bathrooms, a large dining area and living room, kitchen, outdoor patio and garden. Basic facilities like dishwasher, microwave, stove, refrigerator, cutlery, pots etc were available. A care-package (containing dishwasher tablets, cleaning cloths, garbage bags, sponge etc) awaiting for us in the kitchen was a sign of good hospitality on part of the administration.
After settling down and unpacking, we enjoyed tea and snacks on the patio and did gupshup. We were too tired to go out so stayed at home for the rest of the day. Later, we had delicious haleem and naan brought by a friend.
We went to the petting zoo where kids can play and feed animals. It was a good activity and was enjoyed not only by kids but also adults. We played with animals and took lots of pictures. Close to the petting zoo, there are also small parks and sand pits for kids and a large trampoline. Abdullah really wanted to try the trampoline so we took him there as well. It is not free though and you have to buy a ticket for it (7 euro/person)
Then we decided to visit Adventura-the longest outdoor playground in Europe. It was 10-15 minutes away from our apartment. The best thing is that it was free of cost and your family could spend an entire day there. Various rides like climbing towers with slides, swings, water play area etc are part of this park. Toddlers as well as older children and teens can enjoy these rides. I personally enjoyed some slides a lot 😁 To reach the top, there is a stroller-friendly path as well.
There is a nice cafe/restaurant near this park overlooking the beautiful view of mountains and greenery. We had apple cake, waffles & cappuccino. Everything was fresh and delicious and very reasonable.
After the snack, we went back to our apartment as Abdullah was quite tired and so were we. We had dinner afterwards and went to bed to get the much-needed rest.
This day has been the most exciting and fun-filled day of our entire vacation and the highlight of our stay. We went to an indoor park Aquamondo. There are different water slides, indoor pools, an outdoor pool along with an outdoor seating area. It is included within the package and there is no extra cost. We had to book a time slot in advance though since only a limited number of people were allowed inside at one time (cz of corona).
You would have to take swim suits for kids and yourself. It is allowed to wear a burkini inside the indoor water park (except sauna). Life jackets for kids are available but you have to take other swimming aids (arm bands, tubes etc) with you. Also keep bath towels and water slippers.
We were so tired after spending 3 hours here so came back to the apartment for lunch. After lunch, we took a nap and in the evening went to explore another indoor activity center. It has many activities for kids as well as adults but aren’t free. We tried bowling, the game-town and bumper cars. Not only Abdullah but even Saad and I played many games and had a lot of fun. This concluded day 3 of our trip!
The previous day had been so happening that we decided to relax this day. The guys took kids to the petting zoo again and then to an outdoor play area. There are many small parks all around Centre Parcs where kids can play in the sand or simply enjoy the different types of rides, swings, slides etc.
I along with the other mommies decided to take a stroll. We saw some massage chairs and decided to try them out. You won’t believe how relaxing those 10 minutes were 😂. Then we had a reservation for Laser Tag in the afternoon. It costed 12 euro/person for an hour. It has fun as it was my first experience playing. But honestly speaking, it was a bit overpriced. After 30 minutes, we were so tired and invited our husbands to play for the remaining half.
Day 4 was a relatively relaxed and we banked some energy for the long journey back home the following day. Next morning, we had to check out at 10 am. We packed our bags, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen and took out the trash. A cleaning fee is included within the total cost of the vacation home so you don’t have to be very thorough with the cleaning, The cars were again allowed to drive to the house to load all luggage and the arm band keys had to be returned at the entrance of the park.
- Offers/discounts are available every now and then so keep checking the official website of Centre Parcs
- Cars are not allowed within Centre Parcs, so you would have to walk. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. For elderly people, a golf-cart can also be rented (for additional price/day). Make sure to keep stroller/bicycle etc for babies and toddlers
- Restaurants are available as well a grocery store (it’s reasonable & one can find almost everything there)
- The fridge and freezer are quite spacious so if you want to bring cooked food along, you can
Tips for Journey
- Leave as early as possible so you reach before dark
- Keep lots of games, toys, book or a playlist of your kids fav rhymes to keep them busy
- Pack easy food (like sandwiches etc) and a thermos of tea/coffee so you don’t have to stop for long. Plus it’s economical too.