Weekends with kids: Amusement parks you can drive to from Berlin

Movie Park

(Editor’s note: See more about amusement parks and theme parks in Germany here.)

As parents of a preschooler, we have this never-ending problem: how to keep the child occupied and entertained during the weekends? When we only thought about having a child, I was all for doing the stuff we were always doing, just … with the child.

I hated playgrounds and thought them boring (as I am sure many parents do), and I read books like “French Children Don’t Throw Food” that pushes this idea on you that children don’t control your life, and instead, it should be the other way around.

I was a big fan of this approach, and I still am, in theory. But alas, this theory has never worked for our child, who loves playgrounds, play centers, amusement parks, fast food, and everything else that society invented specifically to keep the children running around like crazy and make parents buy and consume more and more stuff.

Anyway. Where was I?

Amusement parks.

While Berlin has its fair share of what’s called “Erlebnispark” within one-hour drive around the city — check out Holland Park to the north-west, Karls Erlebnis-Dorf to the west, Irrlandia to the south-east of Berlin, Freizeitpark Germendorf to the north-west (the dinosaurs park) and the aquapark Tropical Islands again to the south-east, — those aren’t exactly classic amusement parks with lots of rides and carousels.

For those, one needs to take a longer trip. We visited three of them – MajalandMovie Park, and Phantasialand.

View of the indoor part. © Photo from the author’s archive


Kownaty, Poland

Majaland Kownaty is the closest amusement park we’ve visited, and it is located in Poland, not Germany. From the center of Berlin, it’s a 2-hour drive; from our house, it’s around 1 hour and 40 minutes, because we live on the outskirts and are closer to the highway. It’s a theme park dedicated to Maya the Bee and Vicke Viking — quite popular books and cartoon series in Europe — and it’s pretty compact, — perfect for a one-day trip without an overnight stay. It has an indoor part with several rides and a larger outside part with a big playground and bigger rides.

Majaland has 19 rides including two roller coasters.

Indoor boat ride. © Photo from the author’s archive

The child’s height marks all the rides, so some weren’t accessible to our 4-year-old, but there was still a lot to go around.

View overlooking some of the rides outside. © Photo from the author’s archive

We visited the park at the beginning of May, so the season was just beginning. The rides weren’t overcrowded but still, there were lines for the rides, and of course in the cafeteria. The cafes outside weren’t yet open for the summer, so I expect the park has more eating places normally, but also more people.

Still, the lines were manageable, the weather pleasant, and the park left a good impression overall. Apart from the standard fast-food options like hot dogs and burgers, it also offers some German food (Schnitzel) and some Polish food (pierogi and a couple of soup options), so the food selection is quite nice for a small park.

Movie Park Germany — near the entrance. © Photo from the author’s archive

Ticket prices:

The ticket price is 31.50 euros for the full-price ticket (they go buy height, so you pay full price if you’re taller than 1 meter) and 15.76 euro for the kids below 1 meter, but it may vary during the season.

Movie Park

Bottrop, Germany

Movie Park Germany is a large and cool movie-themed park, but this one is a minimum 5-hour ride from Berlin. It’s close to the border with the Netherlands, so definitely not something for one day, and maybe not with smaller kids who will suffer in the car. The park is way bigger than Majaland but the prices are also significantly higher, and depend on the season and the day of the week, with Saturday as the most expensive day.

The Paw Patrol ride — good for smaller kids. © Photo from the author’s archive

This amusement park has areas that are interesting for adults as well as kids — the Hollywood Studio Set, the Wild West area, the Federation Plaza (where the Star Trek Academy is), and the Santa Monica Pier. The attraction themes vary from Paw Patrol and Ninja Turtles to Avatar the Last Airbender and Star Trek, with enough other movies, cartoons, and characters thrown in the mix.

The park has 40 rides.

Alas, there’s neither Harry Potter nor any Disney characters, — I suppose it’s because they have theme parks of their own and don’t allow using their characters anywhere else.

The food options are quite numerous because there are cafes and restaurants all over the place. Chinese, Indian, German, Italian, — it’s like a small town with real streets lined with eateries.

Tickets prices:

Right now an adult ticket for a day costs 47.90 euros online, and a child ticket (years 4 to 11) is 39.90 euros. This is for 8 June 2024, which happens to be a Saturday. It’s advisable to buy tickets online here because they’re more expensive in the ticket offices.


With the long ride from Berlin, it makes sense to book a package with an overnight stay, which we did. The park doesn’t have any hotels on the territory, but it does offer some options nearby. The hotel we stayed at was called Gladbeck van der Valk — the accommodations there were pretty basic, however, it had a nice inflated trampoline set outside where the kids spent the rest of their energy and parents, who had none left after a long day of rides, ice creams, and meltdowns, could relax on the lawn.

Phantasieland. © Photo from the author’s archive


Brühl, Germany

Phantasialand is probably the coolest of these there amusement parks even though Movie Park feels a little larger, but it is also the longest ride from Berlin — more than 6 hours from the center. So Phantasialand also requires at least an overnight stay. 

Phantasialand has 32 rides including eight roller coasters and four water rides.

There are also several experience hotels right on the territory where one can stay — they are themed, an African one (Matamba), a Chinese one, and one with an aeronautical theme.

The street and a square with cafes and people chilling. © Photo from the author’s archive

We stayed in the Matamba one and it was pretty cool — our windows looked directly at the silent rides, rising into the sunset. (I’d prefer a Chinese one, but my husband thought the African theme would appeal better to our 4-year-old son. Oh well, perhaps next time).

The food options are just as numerous as in the Movie Park, with cafes and restaurants along the streets. No one will go hungry, though your pockets will become considerably less lined.

Phantasieland. © Photo from the author’s archive

Ticket prices:

Prices vary a lot for different days and seasons, with the current price for next Saturday being 41 euros for the adult (12+ years) and 39 euros for the child (ages 4 to 11), so even lower than the Movie Park.

Movie Park and Phantasialand are close to the western border of Germany, so they are also quite accessible from the Netherlands or Belgium.

Majaland is located in Poland, close to the eastern border of Germany, so it is a good ride from both countries. If you have some extra money and infinite patience with overexcited and over-sugared kids, pick a weekend, select a park, and take a drive.

Who knows, maybe you will also have a bit of fun yourself.


Read more from Maryna here.

Maryna Kryvko
+ posts

Maryna Kryvko is a software developer in Germany. Maryna also writes a programming blog to share her knowledge. She sometimes speaks at conferences, though being an introvert, writing comes more naturally. Maryna says she’s not a professional writer but writing is something she likes, “and I think I can do it pretty well.”

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