“There is nothing to do here. It’s so rainy,” my son complains.

And he is partially right. It’s tough to get outside and burn energy when the cold rain is coming down sideways and the sun sets at 4:15 p.m.

“How about swimming?” I ask. That suggestion gets a resounding “Yes!”

Winter in Germany has been a tough time for my family. We moved from a sunny place, so adjusting to the darkness and cold took effort. This is especially true in the months of the new year when holiday excitement is gone.

One of our solutions has been to visit indoor water parks. In German, a water park is usually called an Erlebnisbad, while a simple indoor pool is called a Hallenbad or a Schwimhalle. The water parks can range from small indoor pools with a kid area to large complexes full of slides, and there are quite a few options near Ramstein and Kaiserslautern.

Indoor Water Parks

  • Monte Mare in Kaiserslautern is a medium-sized indoor water park with two large slides, a wave pool, a small heated outdoor area, a baby zone, hot tubs and a relaxation pool with jets. There is also an attached Hallenbad with a lap pool, diving boards and (often) an inflatable obstacle course.

  • Azur in Ramstein is another small indoor water park. Azur has one large slide, a hot tub, a relaxation pool with jets and waterfalls, a toddler pool with its own little slide, a small heated outdoor section and a pool for swimming laps.

  • Ramstein Aquatic Center is primarily a lap pool with a small water park section. There is one medium-sized slide and a children’s splash and play area.

  • Miramar is a large indoor water park about an hour east of the KMC near Mannheim. There are 10 large slides, a big wave pool, an extensive baby zone, a big relaxation pool with jets and massagers, hot tubs, and a heated outdoor section. Note that it gets extremely crowded on weekends; it is an ideal destination on an American holiday.

  • Erlebnisbad Schaumberg is a small indoor water park about an hour west of the KMC. It features a big slide, a relaxation pool with jets, a large splash and play area, a hot tub, a baby pool and a lap pool.

  • Aqua Mundo is a medium-sized indoor water park located in the Centerparcs resort on the Bostalsee roughly 45 minutes northwest of the KMC. It has three large slides, hot tubs, a big kids splash zone, a wave pool, a heated outdoor pool and a relaxation pool with jets. To enter Aqua Mundo you must buy a day ticket (Tageskarte or Tagesausflug) for Centerparcs; it’s best to do this via the website. The day ticket also gets you access to other things at the resort like the petting zoo and playgrounds.

Good to know

All the German indoor water parks listed above have cafeteria or restaurant facilities, so you can visit for an entire day or choose to go in the evening without skipping dinner. You can also bring your own snacks. The Ramstein Aquatic Center, however, does not allow food.

Most German water parks also have an attached sauna or Therme (thermal bath). This requires an additional entry fee and is separate from the water park. These textile-free zones require you to be nude to enter the pools and rooms while wearing a robe to walk around.

When going as a family and staying all day, ask for the family rate. This discount is typically cheaper than paying by the hour.

Make it a habit

If you’d like to make swimming a habit to get you through the winter, there are also some great options. Azur, Monte Mare and Erlebnesbad Schaumberg offer discounted multi-day stamp cards.

My family took advantage of the Monte Mare yearly family pass which gives us daily access on weekdays and a small upcharge to entry on weekends. We tend to go once a week, meaning we will have paid for our pass by our 12th visit.

Take advantage of the indoor water parks in the Ramstein and Kaiserslautern area. They are a sure way to get your kids active even when the outside weather won’t allow it.

“Mom, come down the slide with me!” My son tried to pry me from the hot tub, and I gave in because water slides are super fun.

“Let’s do it, buddy!”

author picture
Kat is a travel and lifestyle writer based in Kaiserslautern, Germany with a special interest in anything outdoorsy or ancient. She has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Penn State University and has been a travel writer for about 10 years. Currently, she is in the depths of dissertation research for an archaeology degree at the University of the Highlands and Islands. 

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