CONTRIBUTED BY HEATHER LIDOWSKI
When you hear the term “Garden Show” in America, you envision rows of potted plants, salespeople explaining the newest garden tools, and displays illustrating how you can reinvent your backyard. That is not what you should imagine when you hear “Gartenschau” (“garden show” in German). Instead, you should picture a Lego display in the exhibition hall, huge dinosaurs lining a path of playgrounds, and bright flowers dotting open green spaces. In the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) this place is often referred to as the Dinosaur Park.
In the heart of Kaiserslautern, visitors can find the Gartenschau Kaiserslautern. It is open every year from March 28 to October 31. Guided tours and scheduled events like story times, concerts, and outdoor church services are available the entire season, but there is plenty to see and explore any day of the week even when special events aren’t on the schedule.
During the 2015 season, the exhibition hall houses a Lego display. Huge scenes made entirely from Legos fill a room, and there is an area where children can build their own creations (adults are welcome to build to their hearts’ content, too, but please remember to share blocks with the little ones 🙂 ).
While it would be easy to spend the entire day in the Lego room, it would be a shame to miss out on all that Gartenschau has to offer outside. There really is something for everyone. One corner boasts a rose garden with arches and bistro tables that invite you to sit amongst the flowers. Right across from the rose garden is a cactus garden (you might not want to sit down there, but you will want to look at the large variety of cacti on display).
The rose and cactus gardens are close to the event stage and outdoor theater where you can enjoy special events. A schedule of everything the Gartenschau has to offer this season can be found at the Gartenschau Kaiserslautern website or in the printed programs located at the admission counter (English language programs are available). In addition to the gardens already mentioned, you can also explore a rhododendron garden, a grain garden, a sensory garden, and much more.
The gardens open to visitors only represent half of what the Gartenschau has to offer. It has fantastic playgrounds for children, and the young at heart, to explore. You can climb a huge rocket-like structure in order to reach the top of the slides that bring you back down to Earth. Playgrounds with pirate ships and castles invite hours of imaginative play. And, a shallow stream helps swimmers and waders cool off on a hot summer day.
Huge dinosaur sculptures line the paths, and you can skip from one to another to hide under their legs or long tails. As one sign reminds visitors, though, dinosaurs aren’t for climbing on. All the gardens housed at the Gartenschau couldn’t be listed above, and all the play areas ready for exploration can’t be listed here. You really have to plan a visit to appreciate everything that is available to visitors to enjoy.
The Gartenschau Kaiserslautern is open daily from 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM through October 31. After the end of October, people will have to wait until spring to appreciate this gem. Daily tickets are available (children over six EUR 3.00, adults EUR 7.00, and families EUR 17.00) as well as season tickets. Information about special events can be found at the Gartenschau Kaiserslautern website or the Gartenschau Kaiserslautern Facebook Page.
- Gartenschau Kaiserslautern website
- Gartenschau Kaiserslautern Facebook Page.
- More information about fall at the Gartenschau
- Gartenschau Landau
- More to do and where to eat in Kaiserslautern
Open the last weekend in March – the end of October
Children over six: €3.00
Families (2 adults and their children): €17.00
Parent and child (1 adult and his/her children): €10.00
Evening entrance (after 1700): €3.00
There are season passes and combination tickets with the nearby Japanese Garden
There are paid lots near the entrance.