“Come on, we’re going to the Gruga!
Children have loved the Grugapark for generations. A “ride” on the tiger, enjoyable trips on the Gruga Rail and of course summer afternoons in the great playgrounds are unforgettable childhood memories for almost everyone in Essen. This tradition continues today with their children and grandchildren.
The Low Rope Course with its ingenious rope landscape is directly opposite the “Jungle Fever” playground in the Animal Park.
Locate the Low Rope Course on the interactive map (in German) ...
The extensive Play Oasis near the entrance to the Grugabad (Gruga Pool) is suitable for children of all ages, as is the Traffic Playground, with its large climbing hill and a wooden structure with a rope bridge and large tunnel slides. Trails go along a grassy hill and tubes and tree trunk stairways go downwards. Indian tepees and stakes create a Wild West atmosphere. Smaller children love the play area with its coloured wooden huts and a small water landscape, sand pits and swings. When enjoying a family picnic in the shade of the trees you can feel yourself been watched by the goats in the neighbouring Small Animal Park.
The Playground behind the Playing Field offers small children above all lots of space for digging, climbing and sliding. There are colourful wooden huts and an extra low climbing frame with slides in the generously proportioned sand pit.
Locate the Playgrounds near the Grugabad on the interactive map (in German) ...
A Playground with South Sea island flair can be found in the Tierhof. Fine white sand spreads out under large pines and children can play on rustic tree trunk structures with swings, slides and bridges between the trees.
The “Jungle Fever” Playground near the Tierhof offers a rain forest atmosphere with lianas and colourful wooden animal heads. Crocodiles and hippos rest in the sand pits and a wooden snake stretches its head and tail out of the sand. The big giraffe can carry several children at once in its swing.
Locate the Playgrounds near the Tierhof on the interactive map (in German) ...
One of the favourites for bigger children is the Vogeldelle Adventure Playground near the Main Entrance. A breathtakingly steep tube slide is one of the attractions of this generously designed playground, set in a valley.
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The really little ones definitely get their money’s worth in the Wendy house and in the Water Playground with its water pumps, and wooden channels in the Playhouse’s garden. The area is fenced and easy to keep an eye on.
Locate the Wendy house on the interactive map (in German) ...
Beside the large playgrounds the Grugapark also offers smaller play corners. Sometimes with a slide and sandpits, sometime with a giant tyre swing. And the large lawns of the Tummelwiese draw children to run around, play or lie around. “Please go on the grass” – this is most definitely allowed in the Grugapark.
From Easter until the autumn school holidays children can practice how to conduct themselves on the roads under the eyes of trained experts in the Traffic Playground. The miniature streets have traffic lights, turn off lanes, pedestrian crossings and road signs. Using the bicycles and go karts made available the little drivers learn how to make progress safely and according to the rules of the road. The Traffic Playground is open every day from the start of the Easter holidays until the end of the autumn school holidays.
Locate the Traffic Playground on the interactive map (in German) ...
Pictures of Winnie the Pooh decorate the external walls of the Wendy house near the Main Entrance, an attraction for children, particularly when the weather is bad. Inside, a slide leads into a pool full of colourful balls. There is a separate area for small children, a room for changing nappies and also children’s toilets. The upper floor is there for taking a break and relaxation. The garden, with its numerous opportunities for playing and with its water games, can be reached via the large, covered terrace.
The Children’s Party Room, a small building on the other side of the Playhouse garden, can be hired for children’s parties. A kitchen, furniture and some opportunities for play are available.
The Children’s Party room can be reserved in the Info-Centre Orangerie on Tel. +49 (0)201 / 88 83 106.
Locate the Wendy house on the interactive map (in German) ...
From Easter to autumn the Grugapark is a popular meeting place for rollerbladers, both large and small. The Roll- und Eissportverein GRUGA e.V. Essen (Essen Roller and Ice Sport Association) looks after their own rollerblade track here. Anyone interested can practice every day on an area reserved for visitors.
Locate the Rollerblade Track on the interactive map (in German) ...
Every Saturday and Sunday in the summer holidays there is a free children’s theatre at 3 pm near the entrance to the rollerblade track. Puppets, clowns, and marionettes cavort here and actors perform much loved fairy tales and stories. For children under six entry to the Park is free!
Locate the Children’s Theatre on the interactive map (in German) ...
Goats, Cameroon sheep, rabbits, Guinea pigs, a pot bellied pig and a pair of geese live peacefully together in the 3,000 square metre Small Animal Park, which is particularly loved by small children. Visitors can experience the approximately 35 animals up close, stroke them and give them the correct feed. Children love it here because it allows them such relaxed contact with animals.
Locate the Small Animal Park on the interactive map (in German) ...
Six good natured Haflingers and Shetland ponies live not far from the Small Animal Park in generously proportioned stables. The Pony Yard offers children and young people the possibility to learn the correct approach to dealing with horses and to ride a couple of laps. Young people with good experience of horses lead the animals around a specially prepared course. The direct contact with the animals can be experienced in a completely uncomplicated manner.
The rides are open for visitors from Tuesdays to Sundays from 2 pm to 6 pm. Exceptions to this may occur in the event of bad weather and in winter.
Price: 50 cents per lap.
Locate the Pony Yard on the interactive map (in German) ...
Visitors to the Grugapark’s House of the Forest receive a deep insight into the natural life of the forest, its history, the lives of its wild animals and of hunting, which is maintained by the Kreisjägerschaft Essen (Essen Region Hunting Association) as its own educational facility. Impressive dioramas – miniaturised depictions of nature with animals and plants – show the development from the forests of the Secondary and Tertiary eras up to the forest of today. As part of the courses offered by the Schule Natur (Nature School) the hunting association also provides its own lessons for primary and secondary levels. Pupils from the Essen BMV School turned the west side of the building into an imaginative artwork with animal and plant themes in summer 2006.
The House of the Forest is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and at weekends and public holidays from 10 am to 5 pm.
Locate the House of the Forest on the interactive map (in German) ...
Groups of children can experience an exciting birthday in the Grugapark, looked after by a course leader from the Schule Natur (Nature School). A selection can be made from the course content of the Schule Natur for organising the day. At the end of an eventful tour through the park the birthday ends with barbequing sausages on one of the barbeque stands or comes to an end in the Children’s Party Room in the Wendy House.
The Schule Natur (Nature School) offers its much loved courses in the Easter, summer and autumn school holidays for children from six to ten. The activities are orientated on the season. The nature researchers of the future can visit the animals in the Park and can take a look behind the scenes. Pond excursions, paper chases, nature experience games, building small rafts and boats, a visit to the Garden of the Senses and many other activities bring the children closer to nature.
Information and registration on Tel. +49 (0)201 88 83 106 in the Info-Centre in the Orangerie.
Conserving our natural environment is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Understanding and appreciating nature and the environment can be encouraged by raising awareness in a targeted manner. Awakening interest in the living environment and its connections with nature can only be done outdoors “on site”.
In order to use the Grugapark’s outstanding resources for knowledge and education the environmental information centre “Schule Natur” (Nature School) was set up. In this “green classroom” fun in discovering and joining in is just as important as learning. The Schule Natur offers experience orientated courses for school classes in the subjects of biology, ecology and the environment in the Grugapark and in the Essen forest, according to the motto “Living and understanding nature.”
Water scorpions in the Grugapark? Plants that smell of ambrosia? And why hasn’t the cactus got leaves? These and thousands of other questions will be answered in various subject ranges, differentiated according to age groups. More than 45,000 school children make use of these opportunities every year – with an upwards trend. Birthday children can also spend informative days here having fun and seminars and tours are offered for adults.
You will find the current courses offered by the Nature School here:
(only available in German)
Courses offered ...