Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, Germany
When we first visited this park I wasn’t sure what to expect from brother’s description of the site. And, when we pulled up to the old factory, a large imposing structure of tall buildings, pipes, and smoke stacks, I have to admit I was unsure of how what we were visiting was actually a “park.” You have to get out and do a proper walk around the area to see how a former factory has been transformed for yourself.
Landschaftspark (Landscape Park in English) used to be an ironworks factory that was in operation from the 1900’s until 1985. Four years after it was closed, it became redeveloped as a modern, urban park which means that nature has been allowed in and encouraged to reclaim the area. But it's not only nature that has stepped in, but also the local community which run part of the activities on the park. It's a great place to spend the day with the family.
The actually factory has guided walkways where you can explore the old factory and there is an information video where you can see footage of the factory in action. This is quite interesting, but what your kids will most enjoy are the huge long tube slide in the play area. Our girls couldn’t get enough of this slide! There is also a traditional playground with sandpit next to the tube slide.
Nearby the playground, the old iron ore and coke storage structures have been converted into a climbing garden by the German Alpine Association. This is a great experience if your kids love climbing and it’s run by professional climbers. Adults and kids are completely strapped and roped up which makes it a safe way to have older kids develop their climbing skills and get a great view.
The park is a great place for a bicycle ride and you rent one at the park. You can book in advance (optional) and pick up and return bicycles at the park. If your children are a little older, there are trails that can lead out of the park and into Duisburg itself. There are bike paths all around Landschaftspark where you can witness first hand the changes to the site. You can also book a bike tour through the tourist office.
This organic farm is where the original farm for the factory was located. You can pet the farm animals and wander through the kitchen gardens. You can even enjoy the local produce in a tiny two-hour window when the farm cafe is open from 3-5 Friday to Sunday.
I’m always about food and there is a great restaurant on site- the Main Switching House Restaurant. They have normal hours and great food.The tourist information centre is in this building as well.
What’s great about this park is that you can witness the redevelopment and the community use of this former industrial site. I have only listed parts of park that families would be most interested in; however, you can get your diving certificate here or explore a Christmas market. At night, they have a light show. Our visit to Landschaftspark was quite inspirational and hopeful of what we can do with former industrial sites- all while having a great day out with the kids.
A Few Interesting places in Duisburg
Tiger and Turtle- Massive staircase that looks like a roller coaster.
Duisburg Zoo-It's one of the bigger zoos in Germany and the only European zoo to have Amazon River dolphins.
Explorado Children's Museum- Great place for 4-12 years old (there is a toddler area as well). Has a variety of hands on exhibits including a Lego Bricklive Force.