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English books

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TKMaxx  in Jahnplatz is a useful place to find English cooking and craftbooks. You have to pop in regularly as their stock is always changing but I have found several good books there. For example Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver all at a discounted price too. They currently have several copies of one of my favourite cooks books – Apples for Jam for only 7 euros. In the kids toy section they have English story, activity and sticker books too.

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Bielefeld Wimmelbuch

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Bielefeld has it’s own Wimmelbuch! These are popular German ‘looking at’ books, full of detailed scenes for kids to explore. My kids enjoyed recognising all the places in Bielefeld. I love all the details for example Supertram in Siegfriedplatz below.

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Bielefeld playgrounds map

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This is a useful interactive  map showing not only all the playgrounds in Bielefeld, but also sports & youth centers and other places for interest for kids.

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Board Games from the libary

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We have been staying inside a lot during these cold dark winter evenings. One of the things we like to do as a family is play board games. Did you know the Bielefeld Library has a game room where you borrow games for only 1 euro! It’s on the first floor of the library (see map below) and run by the Spielwiese games club. It’s open on Saurdays from 11 – 13.45. You can borrow up to three games for 1 euro each for  a week (50 cents for Bielefeld university students). They have a huge selection of games from the very youngest (lots of Haba) to grownups. They are serious game experts and love to answer questions.

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Bird Parks

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We visited two great bird parks at the end of October near Detmold (the last weekend before they closed for the winter).

The first was Adlerwarte Berlebeck and is all about eagles. They have a live show twice a day which is great, even if you don’t speak German. They introduced about 5 different types of predators and the birds flew right over our heads and followed the trainer as he walked around us. My sons loved being able to see these giant birds close up. The observation deck is also in a beautiful setting overlooking a valley and hills beyond. The show is the main reason for coming but they also have different types of birds in cages to see, plus a nice playgroup for kids.

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They open again next March but if you want a take a peek earlier, they have a christmas advent fair on November 28 – 30, 12:00 – 20:00 and entrance is free.

Afterward we went to eat at Cafe Haus Hangstein nearby which has lovely view of the woods and a great kids corner with trains, books and toys.

Ten minutes by car is another great bird park – Vogelpark Heiligenkirchen. A much bigger selection of birds and other animals (wallabys, monkeys etc). You can get up close to many of the birds and animals, the parrots love to sit on your shoulders and nibble on your ears and my son had a great time feeding the parakeets. He had 5 eating out of his hand and about 20 around his feet (don’t forget to buy the bird food at the entrance). At 15:00 everyday they have a feeding tour and explain the different animals. There is a big play area with rides, trampolines, a pirate ship and sand to dig in for treasure, plus a water play area.  They will also open again next March.

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I forgot my camera, so all photos are from their websites.

Nature adventures for kids

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Do your kids like to be outside? My kids love exploring in the woods and parks regardless of the weather. Here are two  places who offer nature classes for children from 2 to 13 years. They do wonderfully creative things with the kids, tell stories, dress up as pirates,  build fairy houses, and learn a lot about their nature surroundings. Some classes are ongoing – once a week for six or so weeks, others are workshops or in school holidays. There are also classes for parents to join in with their kids.

Primelgrün

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Naturesinn

 

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Children’s art and culture activities

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Looking for ideas what to do with the kids? This is a great free brochure to look out for ‘art, culture and other events for children‘ (in German) you’ll find it in the tourist office and lots of shops downtown.

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