Medieval Festival for Children in Donauwörth, Germany

We planned to interrail through Germany this summer but changed the plan when my husband was sent for further training to Germany for a month. Halfway through his month in Bavaria I flew with our children over there to say hi.

As it happened, on the long weekend we were there, Donauwörth, a little town close to Augsberg and about 1,5 hours north of Munich by train, happened to host Medieval festival for children (19-20.7.2014). The festival had a lot to offer for various ages. For us it was exciting to see a knight getting dressed in gear, my daughter really loved this fairytale told with riders on horses, but the real highlight was the parade the whole festival ended in: There were knights, soldiers, towns people, kings and queens etc from the Middle Ages dressed up. Before the parade they had some performance on a field but after waiting 30 minutes for the show to start but still only hearing speech after speech (in a children’s festival?!) on the burning hot day (where was the shade?! Poor performing kids had to stand in the sun for hours! Maybe it’s not so typical for the region to have 34-35 degrees with high humidity?) we decided it wasn’t worth it.

The whole event gave a great opportunity to introduce talk about different times and cultures with the children. It also engaged our kids to make their own swords of paper towel rolls later on.

Overall it was a nice free annual event for children that I’d visit next year too if I’d happen to be around. It fit perfectly in the tidy and cute small town with old gates and walls, and castles in the surroundings. However, the quick glance we had of Donauwörth didn’t reveal to many other things to do there, so I wouldn’t make it a main destination of a trip.

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Ps Now we want to interrail through Germany more than ever. Good trains and loads to see and to do. This trip also showed our kids can travel very well, and we found out that at least in Bavaria children under 6 don’t pay on the train. Good to know as the interrail tickets are free only for under 4 year old children. Something to check out before we actually go!

Ps #2 I was very surprised by the lack of ramps and lifts in Bavaria, they were almost non existing even on the Munich main train station (isn’t it weird that the last time I was there, on a girls weekend trip in May, I didn’t notice a thing? 😉 ). How do people in wheelchair get around? It wasn’t a problem for me, my kids are old enough to walk and every time I was about to make a transition with my two children, a travel stroller, a suitcase and a backpack, I had 3-4 people offering to help me out. People were very friendly and considerate!

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33 comments

  1. […] a prison during the revolution. And then she asked if these buildings were built before or after the medieval stuff we experienced last summer in Bavaria. It is amazing what they pick up on the […]

  2. Nice that it was free! You were so close to where the other festival was that we went to at Schloss Kaltenberg. http://thriftytravelmama.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/jousting-at-the-kaltenberg-knights-tournament-ritterturnier/ Definitely wasn’t free, but no long speeches 🙂

    1. I wonder if that was the one my husband “ran into” with his course mates? The name rings a bell… It does seem bigger anyway!

      1. Possibly! It’s very close to Augsburg.

  3. Now I’ve got medieval festival fever thanks to the two of you 🙂

    1. You’ll have perfect change for that after your relocation!

      1. Can’t wait! 🙂

  4. It certainly gets inconvenient with young children without ramps around. Do your kids help you out with the stroller when your husband’s not around to tour with you? Your husband went to Germany for a month and that means you are handling the kids alone for a month? It must be pretty exhausting but I am sure you managed well 🙂

    1. Our kids are actually in my opinion very good walkers. At home I rarely use a stroller anymore (even less the sibling one), only on daytrips or long walks and even then the kids usually take their scooters or bikes. So on the trip I only had a very light travel stroller and both kids could walk up the steps when needed. Mostly I had the suitcase riding in the stroller… but then the younger one still naps during most days, so carring a sleeping toddler would have been a bit too much with the luggage 🙂

      Yes, doing it solo for a month, one more week to go. It has mostly been loads of fun now since I am on holidays (6 week holiday is a lot of fun 😉 ) and have been able to do all kind of fun stuff and still have time at home too. Kids are so big already that the days are much less intensive than when I was home fulltime. But next week it is back to work and daycare. But then my husband should also get a couple of more weeks of holidays in August so we should have a soft landing before this solo parenting becomes a regular occurance: my husband is starting to work 6 days on and 6 days off in September, as in 6 days fully away from home. I think we’ll need to find new routines!

      1. 6 days on and 6 days off is kind of awesome schedule I would love to have. You get to enjoy full-time at home and work full-time at work. But the downside is away from home. 6 weeks of holiday sure is luxurious to me. Other than the next maternity leave which is unlikely, over here, employers are not keen to approve sabbatical leave.

        1. Yes, he was thinking hard on that being away part. But then career wise it made sense for him to have a change, learn more and to get more training to stay motivated. And since my work is close and flexible, it’s easy for me to be supportive of him.

          I was looking for a work place that would be good for a mother with two small children, I think I got overly lucky :). I mainly work with students and in my developmental project I had already in May exceeded the results expected for the rest of the year, so they were not too worried when I said I’d like to have more leave than usual. Unpaid though 😉

          The city daycares close for 6 weeks in the summer (schools are 10 weeks on holidays). There is one daycare open but the staff and children from 3 daycares are put in the one, and the people may change everyday. My son needs often a bit more time to get used to new people to feel comfortable, so I was happy to give our kids a proper summer break. Now they are already asking to go to daycare, so I think the break has been good 🙂

          1. Your work is almost perfect! I wish your husband luck in his new endeavour! This can only be achieved with supportive wife like you 🙂

            1. Thanks, I’ll pass on you good luck wishes. It does feel lucky to be in a position where it is easy to support your husband in something that will be good for him. He is enjoying the new knowledge he gets at the course he is on at the moment.

  5. Looks like a nice little town (definitely little, though!).

    Hefting that dress onto the back of that horse would be something…

    1. Wonder how long it took for them to prepare for the show, there were several ladies with similar dresses…

  6. Hello, I nominated you as a Very Inspiring Blogger in my post at http://declutterbuguk.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/very-inspiring-blogger-award-2014/ 🙂

    1. Wow, thank you! I’m honored.

  7. I’m so impressed at how much traveling you are doing with kids – when Mr. T was little, I was lucky to make a 6 hours drive, I never would have attempted a plane or train ride!!

    1. …and I find every other means of travelling easier than driving (but then my daughter did get sick every time we drove more than 15-20 minutes until she was about 2 years…) as at least you can entertain them, see them well and play with them. The trip to Bavaria for pretty exciting, as we got to take a 30 minute bus drive, a 2,5 hour flight, a 40 minute tram ride and an almost 2 hour train ride. Enough change to keep it exciting 😉 I was happy to see how well they did, it was my first such a complex trip solo with them. Happy to do more with the, (but first some work and daycare, as now when I ask them what they’d like to do the only answer I get is to “stay home”. Good timing, this is our last week of holiday)

  8. I want to be that girl in the dress on that horse! Super fun!!

    1. Haha, it would be! Maybe you can sign up as a volunteer next year? 😉

      1. Tell me where to send the info! I’m totally in!

        1. hmm, since we just happened to stumble on the event for children you may want to take a look at other options too? My husband tels me there are plenty of them. Lady of the Cakes tells about another one here: http://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/a-marvellous-medieval-bash/

          She is orignally from the region, so she might be able to give you more information! (And you might be interested in her blog anyway, as she resides in Spain nowadays too)

          1. Haha, it’s a small WordPress world! I do follow her, and met her while in Madrid. She took me on the loveliest tour of Toledo while I was there. 🙂

  9. Seeing the kids all dressed up is so cute. 🙂 and the ladies dresses on the horse, beautiful! Looks like a great time!

    1. I thought it was lovely to see so many kids dressed up and participating in running all the events! And my daughter was enthrilled by the ladies on the horses; “like a princess”. She s very into princesses at the moment…

  10. Looks like it was a lot of fun. Love Bavaria – I studied there for a year in Augsburg so your post brings back good memories.

    1. I studied in the north of Germany, and after a few quick stops I’d really like to get to know Bavaria more! Anything you can recommend in Augsburg? I suppose my husband will be more often there in the future.. 😉

      1. Ooh long time ago now (or so it seems) but I used to love cycling to the woods outside Augsburg – can’t remember the name, also the Fuggerei and the Puppenkiste. The smaller places along the Romantic Road are also gorgeous especially Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bamberg and Regensburg are nice towns close by and I remember lots of great day trips to the Bavarian Alps and a little place called Mittenwald which (in my memory) was small but stunning.

        1. I was thinking that when the kids are older, a bike tour along Donau would be quite interesting and enjoyable! Since we left Germany my husband has actually been biking around a bit and also visited Rothenburg and some other places, and it sounds pretty good to me. I’ll pass on the place names to him for now and let’s see if/when we make it there (with or without children).

  11. Cool! I’ve got a post going up today or tomorrow about a big medieval bash 🙂

    1. Cool, looking forward to reading about it. Bavaria is such a perfect milieu for medieval stuff!

      1. It is 🙂 I’m faffing with the pics now, post should be up in ten mins…

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