January 18, 2014

Wallenborn Geyser and Honey shop

If you are looking for a simple and low key 
little afternoon trip, then this is the one for you.
Kids will especially enjoy this one!
About 30 minutes from Spangdahlem AFB is a little village called Wallenborn.
Within this village are 2 small attractions:  the first is a little honey shop.  Kids can sample about 15 different flavors of honey.  The store is family and locally owned.  It has things like jars of honey, beeswax candles, gift baskets, honey jams, lotions, etc.  All are great gifts to send back home or small gifts for friends.  The address is:  Neue Strasse 3, 54570
Their Website is here.
The village is super small that you drive through.  On the last road of your trip you'll see a little shack on your right and then a couple hundred feet farther you'll see the honey shop.  It is a small shop attached to a warehouse like house on your left and there is some Bee decorations and such in the shop window.
If you have a 'panther paws' book (if you are stationed on Spangdahlem AFB you'll know what this is) then it describes that you can take a tour of the bee grounds and see how honey is made.  This, however, was definitely not true for us.  When we went, no one was available to show us around but they let us go freely on our own to the backyard area where they had bees kept and also a small bee house. 

I checked out the back first before bringing my kids back there and I'm glad I did.  There were bees swarming everywhere!  So, a note to those who go...just visit the awesome bee shop.

As I said before on your way to the bee shop there will be a small shack on the right.  This is where you go to see the geyser.  The is a natural cold water geyser.
This is the view from the bee shop to the geyser.  If you look on the left you can see a few cars and a tiny looking 'log cabin' looking shack where the tickets are sold.
You pay 1 euro per person to an attendant in the little shack/house and they give you a ticket and an information pamphlet on the geyser.  There are benches available to sit while you wait for the geyser's eruption.  The geyser erupts about every 30 minutes. 
There is tree cover around the benches for shade on a hot day and it's fun to sit with anticipation for the eruption.  If you have kids it’s a great little experience.  (however, there are no bathrooms anywhere for little ones-just FYI) 
We watched the geyser erupt 3 times.  In between the eruptions we played at a park down the street.  If you are at the geyser you can see it from the benches and it's about a 1 minutes walk up the street.  It's kind of primitive but they have an awesome swing zip line that makes waiting for the next geyser eruption fly by. 

January 12, 2014

Manderscheid Castle

If you are looking for great site seeing close to Spangdahlem Air Force base, we have found a great castle about 30 minutes from base.  It's called the Manderscheid castle. 
This castle was built in 1427 and is gorgeous!  It's very affordable and children under 6 are free.  Each adult is 2 euro, and children 6 and over are 0,70 euro.  It's family friendly with beverages for purchase at the entrance with a little gift shop and bathrooms.  You may also buy an English brochure on the castle for 0,50 euro. 

This castle sits beside a smaller castle that you can also visit, so it's a 2 for 1!

At the end of August there is supposed to be a huge medieval festival with games, food, and crafts and jousting shows, etc.  Also, there is a huge fireworks display on the Saturday night of the festival. This year it is on august 24th and 25th, 2013.

Here is their website

The castle is great to explore and my 3 year old was able to climb everywhere we wanted to go with some assistance.  It's not great for strollers and is better for older children or infants you can carry during the visit.  It takes at least 2 hours to walk around to every area of the main castle to appreciate the beauty of it all.

It's a great site to see and will be one to take visiting family to as well.  It's cheap, close, and really beautiful!

Type in your GPS Manderscheid (zip- 54531)  Grafenstrasse 23 to find the castle

Here is a link from mapquest from Spangdahlem AFB to the castle


If you have little ones and are looking for something  phenomenal to do indoors, and gets your kids energy out- then Landal is the place to go.

Landal is a resort area that has cabins, camping, restaurants, pools (indoor and outdoor), etc.  BUT, if you just want a 45 minute drive to do something fun for the day or half a day, Landal is a great choice.

Yes, folks-FREE.  Just show your military ID before entering into the play area.
(update Dec. 2016-they now charge a small fee, even with your military ID.  It is 3 euro per child)

This place is really great!  they have a padded play area on the floor that is enclosed by these soft wall blocks for crawlers and babies (you can see it in the bottom of the above picture).
But the great part is the castle like play area.  I have a 6 and 4 year old and they are both able to do all of it. I've even worked up a sweat playing and climbing with my kiddos myself. It's big enough for adults to go in and have a little fun with their kiddos.
They have air hockey and some other games that cost 1-2 euro, but the actual play equipment is free.  there is a trampoline that you can pay for too...it's around 2 euro for 3 minutes or so.
This play area is  massive and so much fun!

There is a little snack shack and really nice seating area for the adults to sit and what I like about it (confession of an overprotective mom) is that from almost anywhere in the seating area you can sip a cappuccino and see your kids almost anywhere they are in the entire play area.  It's clean and nicely open and cutely decorated.  (and the bathrooms are clean and FREE)

My kids and I ate lunch there and it cost about 30 euro...but was really nice.  You cannot bring your own food in, so be prepared to buy something to munch on.
When you drive there it feels like you are not supposed to be there at all...you drive though a resort area and through narrow, curvy roads.  Once at the top, after driving through some of the resort (passing the outdoor water park area) you will find a really nice restaurant...in the back of that restaurant is where you'll find the play area.  I know that sounds crazy, but the back of the restaurant opens up to this huge play area.
Outside the restaurant is a trampoline like 'bubble' on the ground for kids to jump on and a little wooden water splash zone (only operational in the summer-it's just enough for the kids to splash their hands around in and have fun with a bucket and little wooden water bridges and such)

Here is the link:  Landal

If you are at spangdahlem, the playground that is featured is the one in Sonnenberg (it's the closest).  The address is:

Landal Sonneberg 
Sonneberg 1 
54340 Leiwen 
Tel: +49 (0) 6507-936 90 
Email  sonnenberg@landal.de  

GPS coordinates

49 ° 48 '12.5'' N 
6 ° 53 '30.4'' E

Monday to Friday 9:00 - 21.00 clock 
Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10:00 - 15.00 clock

Phone #:  01806 - 700 730
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