© H. Heger


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.

Low Rope Course

The Low Rope Course with its ingenious rope landscape is directly opposite the “Jungle Fever” playground in the Animal Park.

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Playgrounds - Paradise for children

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Traffic Playground

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.

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Wendy House

The Wendy house near the Main Entrance is 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.

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Rollerblade Track

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.

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Children’s Theatre in the Summer Holidays

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!

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Small Animal Park

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.

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Pony Yard

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.

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House of the Forest

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.

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