CONTRIBUTED BY KARI MARTINDALE
Recently we headed to Therme-Erding, a spa and indoor water park located in Erding, a small town outside of Munich. We stayed at a local hotel, but the spa itself is constructing an on-site hotel due to open this summer. Indoor water oases are a good winter break, or perhaps just the right thing for a last-minute weekend getaway before the local pool opens!
The 5-star water park was awarded a European Star in 2013 for being one of Europe’s best water parks. It claims to include the world’s longest water slide—it certainly took longer to get to the bottom of that slide than any other.
The spa opened at 10:00; there was already a line at the spa entrance at 9:45. People really want to secure a lounge chair! We entered through the waterslide side, starting in the co-ed locker rooms. As is typical, you can use changing rooms or let it all hang out. We shuttled through the showers and into the giant waterslide room. It was huge. Germans can economize on space. About 15 waterslides were intertwined in a giant snake pit, with a few others in its shadow. Even the little kid area located within the “Family Level” was pretty awesome.
Because we arrived at opening time and most people were busy staking out their claim in the larger spa, we had the waterslides practically to ourselves for at least the first half hour. Eventually, it became more and more crowded and we decided to check out the oasis.
We walked through a tunnel, past some food vendors, through additional locker room entrances, and into a spa at least twice the size of the area we’d just left. A giant pool with a tiki bar set in the water led to an outdoor pool, which steamed in February’s cool weather. Lounge chairs—singles and doubles—surrounded the pool, and the whole area was set up for outdoor enjoyment in warmer weather.
Indoors were various types of saunas, including a ladies-only, and other rooms for health and relaxation. Some areas cost extra to enter.
What we did not fully realize: Germans would be practically making out all over the pool. Everywhere. A man in his 60’s was gliding his woman around the pool by squeezing her rear end. Teenagers were seeking each other’s tonsils with their tongues. If you are prudish, this family spa is not the place for you to spend your day. Go back to the water slides. I’m not sure if this was a Valentine’s weekend phenomenon or a “you’re in Germany” phenomenon, but I suspect the latter.
We spent about 8 hours at the spa and waterslides. I enjoyed a massage, checked out the facial masque bar, and partook in a half hour of water aerobics. The massage cost extra, but the facial masques and various water activities were included with admission.
Both the spa and water slide area offered light fare that ranged from fruits to pizzas to bratwurst.
As for visiting Therme-Erding, I personally would recommend it for families with children 7+, but even more so for children who can operate unsupervised while parents relax. The 6-year-old age range is a little frustrating because the kids are too young for the larger slides (with the exception of a few riding accompanied), whereas they feel they are too big for some of the smaller slides. My daughter, age 6 1/2, still had a blast, even in the regular pool, so it was a fun and worthwhile family trip, but older kids could enjoy all the slides while the parents could relax more. It’s a bit pricey for families to visit and not enjoy all of the benefits available to them.
The age breakdown:
A nice area for the young kids included a water play area with a small water wheel where toddlers could stand, as well as more than half a dozen water slides of various heights and lengths. Some slides were recommended up to 6 years, others up to 8. My daughter did enjoy three of them, but found others boring.
In addition to the slides in the “Family Level”, the “Action Level” includes just 1 water slide for 6+. It is touted the longest water slide in the world and you can ride with 1-3 persons on an inner tube.
Also on the “Action Level” are 4 more slides that 7-year-olds can ride alone. I believe at least one allowed younger children to ride accompanied*. One of the 7+ slides is a racing slide that times the two sliders racing in side-by-side slides.
One additional slide “Action Level” allows 8-year-olds; however, I believe this allowed accompanied younger children as well, as I recall taking my daughter down it multiple times.
Another 2 “Action Level” slides allowed 9-year-olds.
There was 1 remaining “Action Level” slide, and it allowed ages 11+.
The remaining 3 slides were on the “X-treme Level” and visitors had to be 15+. This included a Kamikaze 60-degree drop that very few people were lining up to do!
*They allow parents to take responsibility with age appropriateness; in other words, if you want to let your 6-year-old on the 7-year-old slide, no one is likely to stop you. But there were definitely some slides where we felt our daughter was good to ride accompanied, but not unaccompanied.
2-hour ticket: 16 euro
4-hour ticket: 21 euro
1-day ticket: 29 euro
Children up to 3 years: free
Weekend/holiday surcharge: 4 euro
For additional information regarding admission prices, see this page of the Therme-Erding website.
The general hours for Therme-Erding are 1000-2300 Monday – Friday and 0900 – 2300 on weekends and holidays. More specifics about which parts of the complex are open when can be found on the Therme-Erding website.
There were several options for eating in the town of Erding itself if you are around for dinner, including the Erdinger restaurant (also a hotel, Hotel und Gaststätte zum Erdinger Weissbräu). Erdinger is Germany’s—and the world’s—largest exporter of Weissbier. They served typical German fare; we opted for the Nurnberger Bratwurst since we live north of the region and go for that particular Wurst every time we’re in the area.
We also enjoyed a dinner at the Wirtshaus Kreuzeder, a traditional Bavarian restaurant filled with large tables and staff in Bavarian dress. There, I ate every last bite of my venison goulash with cranberry sauce and a side of giant potato ball.
Address: Thermenallee 2, 85435 Erding, Germany
They also have a special train fare + entrance package for those of you who wish to take the train instead of driving.
For information about another indoor water park near the posts in northern Bavaria, check out Wohlfuhlbad Bulmare in Burglengenfeld.