The name “Fun Forests” are a perfect description of what they are, forests where you get to go have fun. In German, they are known by other names, so if you are going to other areas in Germany or Austria, you can look them up under Seil Garten, Kletter Wald, or just plain Fun Forest. They are popular all over Europe, so if you have teens, this is the absolute perfect day activity when they have had their fill of museums and sightseeing. I know the Netherlands and France also have similar fun forests.
The concept is basic. Pay your money, usually 15-18 euro for 3 hours, kids are less. Trainers show you how to put on your equipment, which consists of a body harness, 3 different cables with carabiners, and a helmet and then they show you how to use everything. It is all pretty easy and the 3 different places I have visited, all offered the training in English for those who didn’t speak German. They start you on very simple, very low elements (1 meter above the ground) that go between the trees. Everyone has to do this while the trainer keeps watch and assists or answers questions. Most importantly, they emphasize that one always has to have one cable attached to the overhead cables at all times. You work with 2 cables, hook both, unhook one and move it, then unhook the 2nd one and move it. This way you are always connected and safe. After successfully completing the learner course, you are on your own!
All of the Forests have varied courses, from simple and low, just 1 meter above ground for young children (8-11)and very easy elements, graduating to ever higher and ever more difficult things to do. You might have to walk across a log, or a tightrope, or a net, or swinging tires, and all kinds of creative methods to go from place to place. Everyone’s favorite seems to be the elements where you get to hook your rolling carabiner to the cable and, whoosh, you are whizzing down a Zip Line. It is amazing to watch people on the really high (17 meter) courses.
Different Forests have different rules about children, so it is wise to check the websites. A certain height will be needed and under a certain age, they will need to have an adult with them. Many of the Forests have birthday parties and group discounts available. Some of them have gloves for you to use or to purchase cheaply, but if you have your own bike gloves, bring them, you will be glad you did. I can’t imagine doing this course without the gloves. Decent shoes. comfortable clothes and a touch of confidence are all you need then for a day of exciting fun.
Kletterwald is very easy to get to by public transportation and is near Bad Homburg
The Fun Forest in Offenbach is also fairly easy to get to with the S-Bahn and bus.
Neroberg in Wiesbaden and a 2nd location near Darmstadt.
Last but not least, a link to the Netherlands too.