Family fun - Sights for the whole family
Seasonal opening hours (26th March - 31st October 2022):
Discover the variety of Thuringian sights as accurate built miniatures in the park “mini-a-thür”. More than 130 models of well-known Thuringian sights can be seen during a stroll through the beautiful park, which is 18,900 m² in seize and located in a quiet side valley of Ruhla. With its little ponds, a small waterfall, green meadows and surrounded by dense woods, the park invites to sit on one of the benches and relax, while looking at the miniature houses. All models are in scale 1/25 and displayed with information boards about the original buildings. In addition, the park offers many activities for children, like a playground, a small open-air enclosure, model railways and model boats. Take a stop at the small restaurant and enjoy local foods and drinks.
Right next to the park “mini-a-thür” the steepest summer toboggan slide of Germany provides a thrilling fun. The park is also a great starting point for a hike to the viewing tower “Carl-Alexander-Turm” on top of Ringberg Mountain or the Rennsteig trail.
Kittelsthal Dripstone Cave
- +49 (0) 160 94450973 (cave)
- +49 (0) 36929 89013 (tourist information)
Explore the fascination of the Kittelsthal Dripstone Cave during a guided tour. The cave was discovered by mining in 1888 and opened to the public in 1896. You can visit stalagmites and stalactites and explore the great grotto with the 3.5 metres high pyramid. Further attractions in the cave are massive, coarse crystalline sintering surfaces and numerous small sinter formations hidden in wall niches.
- Depth of the cave: 48 metres
- several thousand-year-old stalactite formations
- overcoming 228 steps within a 45 minute long guided tour
- The air temperature in the cave is about 11° C
- Please wear sturdy footwear and a jacket.
- Minimum age for visitors: 3 years
- guided tours for groups of visitors from 2 people to 30 people possible
Public swimming pool Ruhla
- +49 (0) 36929 63402
Opening hours: June 1st until August 31st
Responsibility: Association ‘Förderverein Ruhlaer Schwimmbad e.V.’
Public swimming pool Thal
- +49 (0) 36929 63097
Opening hours: June 1st until August 31st
Responsibility: Municipality of Ruhla
Do you want to get a first-hand look at different birds of prey and watch them fly through the air? Are you brave enough to let them land on your arm? Let’s find it out during the daily air show in the Falconry “Falknerei am Rennsteig” next to Ruhla.
You will learn interesting facts about the fascinating world of birds, about the oldest way to hunt and the 4,000 year old tradition of falconry. Get the chance to become a bit of a falconer yourself! The falconry is located near the hotel “Rennsteighof” and the tourist restaurant “Ruhlaer Skihütte” between Ruhla and the village Winterstein.
About the air show:
Duration: 1 hour
There is no air show possible during heavy rain, severe storm or high snow. Please consider wearing warm clothes, because the falconry is located at an altitude of 640 m above sea level.
Take a 360 degree virtual tour through the Falconry "Greifenwarte am Rennsteig". For a full-screen view of the tour please click here. (Opens a new window)
"Viewing tower Carl-Alexander Turm"
- +49 (0) 36929 89013
A good starting point for a hike to the viewing tower “Carl-Alexander-Turm” is the parking lot of the park “mini-a-thür”. The circular hiking trail is about 4.5 km. Please follow the yellow circle on a white square. The tower is 21 metres high with 111 steps to overcome. If you reach the top you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view over the Thuringian Forest. In good weather it’s possible to view Rhön Mountains and even the Brocken, highest peak of the Harz National Park. The entrance to the viewing tower is free. Enter at your own risk. There are no opening hours.
Tip: If you would like to go more than 4.5 kilometres, you can combine the tour with a hike to the viewing point Wachstein or to the famous Rennsteig hiking trail. You can visit the park “mini-a-thür” after your hike as well.
Opening hours of the keep:
The former fortress is located on a towering mountain and was first mentioned in 1137. Over many centuries was it a place of exchange and dispute for various noble families. Today the keep of the castle ruins is open for visitors. The top of the keep is a viewing platform from where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the Thuringian Forest, surrounding towns, the Wartburg castle and the Hörselberg Mountains. In the entrance of the keep are information boards displayed, with details about the history of the fortress. Ruins of the former castle walls, parts of the gate system and the moats are worth seeing as well. The castle ruins Scharfenburg can be reached by easy hiking trails or the “Scharfenberg Promenade”.
Leisure activities for families in the vicinity of Ruhla
The former brewery site of the “Wartburg Brewery Eisenach” has been transformed to a modern indoor climbing park with adjoining Café and rooftop terrace. There are 6 different courses with more than 30 individual elements up to 7 metres high. Regardless of the weather, Kids, Teens and Adults can enjoy the fun of climbing in the old brewery hall.
Großer Inselsberg Mountain with its altitude of 916 metres above sea level is one of the best known excursion destinations in Thuringia. Along the mountains peak run the European long-distance hiking trail E3, the long distance mountain hiking trail Eisenach-Budapest (EB) and the long-distance hiking trail Rennsteig. Enjoy the beautiful 360 degree view from the tower on top of Großer Inselsberg Mountain or try the local cuisine in one of the restaurants.
More family activities are located on the nearby smaller Kleiner Inselsberg Mountain: the high ropes course “Rennsteig-Fox”, the fun ride “Wie-Flyer”, a summer toboggan run, an Adventure Playground with trampolines and many other rides.
This outdoor climbing park is located in the middle of an old wood at the outskirts of Bad Tabarz. The family friendly activity offers 7 different courses in various difficulties. The “Kids-Course” is for the youngest little monkeys, before they can master the more difficult “Beginner-Course”. The “Fun-Course” lives up to its name: Here you have to use a bobby car, a sled, a snowboard or different zip lines to make your way through the treetops. Along the “Panorama-Course” you can experience unique views from a height of 22 metres before sliding on a rapid zip line back to the ground.
- +49 (0) 36840 81578
The artificially created waterfall was built in 1865 by redirecting a part of River Truse to fall down 58 meters and over three cascades. 228 steps right next to the waterfall lead up to a circular hiking trail. The leisure park “Trusetaler Zwergenpark”, which features Garden Gnomes, is located in the near distance to the waterfall.
- +49 (0) 3691 79230
The Dragon Gorge is a fascinating nature sight, located in the southern outskirts of Eisenach, at the foot of the Wartburg Castle. Over millions of years the Marienbach, which flows through the Dragon Gorge, has carved out a narrow valley. Highlight is a 200 metres long gorge, which is in some places only 70 cm wide. You can walk through the gorge on a plank path over a river surrounded by rock walls, which are up to 10 metres high. Starting in the valley Mariental, the path leads up to the Rennsteig hiking trail. The gorge can be entered freely and in each direction. Depending on the weather conditions, the gorge may be closed in the wintertime.
In the late 18th century the mine was discovered during a search for minable ores. From 1778 to 1903 the deposits of gypsum were mined. After this, the Marienglas Mine was open for public. In 1967/68 the Marienglas Show Mine was restored. During a guided tour through the mine visitors can experience the fascinating underground world with beautiful deposits of gypsum crystals, called Marienglas.
With a length of 540 metres the path guides though the treetops of Hainich National Park to the top of 44 metre high observation tower. Enjoy the magnificent panoramic view over the Hainich National Park.
The unique and adventurous playground “Rumpelburg” is located in an old half-timbered house in Bad Langensalza. There are plenty of slides, climbing areas and activities hiding behind every corner from floor to the roof. The outdoor playground in the backyard offers even more fun for Kids and Adults.
How to turn nuts into nougat? The answer to this and many more questions can be found in Viba “Nougat-Welt” in Schmalkalden. Since its founding in 1893, Viba has become a well-known nougat company in Germany. While visiting the nougat exhibition, it is possible to watch the confectionists creating their hand-made pralines. Or you take part in a confectionary workshop, where you can create you very own chocolate sweets.
Dive right into the astonishing underwater world in Thuringia’s biggest marine aquarium. You can discover almost 2,500 animals in over 60 different aquariums and terrariums. Highlight is the shark tank with a capacity of 1 Million Litres of water. In the separated crocodile house, you can see 19 reptiles at close range. The outdoor area offers a playground and benches near koi ponds to relax.