Spring is a welcomed season in Germany bringing not only color back to the country, but also a whole new variety of festivals and celebrations. After the grey, cold winter the country is reborn again with the blooming of crocuses, longer days of light, and trees budding with colorful blooms. Blühendes Barock Gartenschau in Ludwigsburg, Germany provides a magical backdrop for the start of the season with its Strohwelten (Straw World) taking place on the large lawn area in front of the Märchengarten (Fairy Tale Garden). Gigantic sculptures made of straw, grains, and grasses are mounted on display for park goers to admire and photograph. This event began in 2014 and each year the theme is different allowing the artists to be creative and “wow” patrons year after year.
The Strohwelten opens on March 18 and welcomes visitors with a wide range of events. Within the sculpture area there will be a straw maze, a straw pit for tossing and playing, straw and farm related demonstrations, a petting zoo, hay bale tossing, rolling, and other “Hay Olympics” that are all open to the public. Along with the numerous activities, there is also a shopping area where you can pick up homemade spring décor, local flavored liquors, schnapps, jams, homemade noodles, spices, and much more. Be sure to also visit the Ostereierallee (Easter Avenue) within the park from March 18 – April 3, 2016, which will have over 10,000 decorated eggs on display!
If you haven’t been to this park yet, be advised that gigantic, creative straw sculptures aren’t the only thing to admire. The gardens on display throughout the park are some of the oldest and most beautiful in all of Germany. Each section of the colorful and immaculately groomed gardens is carefully constructed to appeal to all of your senses as you move throughout the park.
Wandering the grounds also allows you to enter and tour the Ludwigsburg Palace and the legendary Märchengarten (Fairy Tale Garden). The Fairy Tale Garden has many opportunities to entertain your children and a biergarten and restaurant to entertain the adults. The Märchengarten includes animatronic figures acting out some of the most famous stories, a petting zoo, a watermill boat ride, Rapunzel’s castle, a water playground and regular playground, and on occasion, a steam train offering rides.
My toddler son and I went to the Strohwelten in 2015 and had a great time playing in the hay, riding the boat, looking at all of the colorful eggs, sculptures, and enjoying as much of the vast park, play areas, and gardens as we could fit in one day. Even if you don’t visit the park with children or straw aficionados, there is definitely something for everyone here from nature inspired art and colorful gardens to fresh, seasonal food. If anything, a visit to the Strohwelten makes for a leisurely day outdoors to catch up on some long over due vitamin D. My suggestion is to go early or on a weekday if you can. The park tends to get crowded in the afternoons, especially on the weekend.
2016 Strohwelten General Information
When: March 18 – April 24, 2016 from 0900-1800
Cost: Adults € 8,50 Children (4-15yrs) € 4,20 (Family discounts and group tickets are available)
2016 Theme: Essen und Erleben (Food and Experience)
The Blühendes Barock is located in the Stuttgart region and easily accessible by public transportation. If driving, the parking is plentiful.
Address: Mömpelgardstraße 28, 71640 Ludwigsburg, Germany
The road towards the city center and the Blühendes Barock is signposted for easy navigation.
Arriving by public transport: From Stuttgart take the S-Bahn S4 (direction Marbach) and S5 (direction Bietigheim) You may also take any rail to Ludwigsburg Train Station which has numerous buses that head to the gardens, or it is only a 10 to 15 minute walk by foot. Utilize the local VVS or DBbahn apps on your smart phone or online prior to departure.
Events: Certain Sundays host fun events where public participation is encouraged and includes egg decorating, the “Straw Olympics” (with prizes!), live demonstrations, straw maze races, and an attempt at the world’s largest bowl of Couscous to be cooked in which proceeds will be donated. For more info about special events times and dates, go to the Strohwelten page by clicking here.
Dogs on leashes are allowed and welcome.
Bikes, scooters, skateboards, etc. are not welcome.
The majority of the park is stroller friendly, but there are some areas with stairs that can be easily avoided.
Since the theme is related to grains, expect many flavorful vegetarian dishes ranging from couscous, pastas, Flammkuchen, wheatgrass and oat milk drinks, and of course, homemade apple strudel!
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