Regardless of where we arrive, one of the first things I do is research child friendly activities in the surrounding area. The area around Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Tyrolean Alps are full of hiking and mountain climbing opportunities, but the majority of these are too difficult or dangerous for young children.
Any tourist staying in Garmisch-Partenkirchen or the village of Grainau is required to pay a tourist tax, and in return you get a tourist card that includes free entry to the local pool, discounts on various activities, as well as free access to some local transportation. Free transit includes a tour bus with stops in the Tyrolean villages of Ehrwald and Lermoos - a perfect reason to explore that area further!
As I started reading about Lermoos it became clear that this community identified itself as a family friendly tourist destinations. Many of the hotels have playgrounds and indoor pools with slides. There are also a couple of hiking trails aimed at families with kids, and the playground in Lermoos is one of the best we’ve encountered in all of Europe!
Moosle, a green goblin, is the town mascot of Lermoos. He lives in the forests as the guardian of the plants and animals, and there are a couple of family hikes built around this character. One of these is Moosle’s Forscherpfad (Moosle’s Exploration Path), which involves taking a cable car half-way up the Grubigstein mountain and then walking back down.
The path slopes down gently, there are no sudden drops, and best of all, there are seven stations to learn and play at along the way. These include a treehouse, a sand pit to practice jumping as far as various forest animals, a water playground and an observation tower (with an impressive view!). The entire path took us about 1.5 - 2 hours.
My kids loved running from one activity to the next, and they weren’t far enough apart for anyone to get bored. In the meantime, the adults could enjoy the truly spectacular views. It really doesn’t get any better than these impressive mountain vistas.
In the same area there’s another family hike called Moosle’s Zauberwald (Moosle’s Magic Forest). Rather thank hiking downhill, this is a more level hike which mostly runs through a coniferous forest. Like the Exploration Path, Moosle’s Zauberwald has nine stations which provide the opportunity to learn, play and make some noise. There’s a water exploration station built on top of a creek that’s running down the mountain. These stations are well maintained, thoughtful and creative. Both kids loved this hike, and were busy running from one activity to the next. This hike requires about 2 - 2.5 hours.
Before you head home, make sure you check out the new park and massive playground that was recently finished. It’s right in the center of town, and includes large open spaces, a water play area, a challenging climbing structure for the big kids (Moosle’s Kletterwald), and lots of space for the little ones as well. Adults also have access to a large open space and various exercise equipment - this is really a space meant to invite the entire family.
Behind the playground equipment is a large paved course meant for kids with scooters, bikes or skates. My kids loved this area so much, they easily spent 3 hours on this course alone. Best of all, the adults along for the ride could relax and enjoy the truly awesome mountain vistas all around us. You can’t go wrong here - this playground truly checks all the boxes.