I think I mentioned before that with this particular road trip we weren’t so focused on seeing historical sights as much as we were wanting to do kid-friendly and really just some fun activities. I think with being in Germany it is really tempting to always go see ‘grown up’ stuff since there is just SO much history and major sights to see. However, right now our family includes a 4, 2, and 1 year old who don’t really care too much for that kind of stuff. While balance is important to us, Mr. and I basically are of the frame of mind that us two grown-ups can always come back some day when the girls are grown and see the historical sights. However, our kids are only young once and we want to enjoy some great family-oriented vacations. The historical sites have been around for decades if not centuries. Our sweet girls will only be kids for so long!
So, with all that said, we decided that a trip to Tropical Islands (near Berlin) would be a great addition to our family vacation road trip. Another fun perk of this leg of the trip is that we were getting to camp out. We don’t own any camping gear which is a bummer, but Tropical Islands (along with a lot of amusement parks in Germany) offer an option of camping in a teepee! The teepee came with beds and bedding. We basically just showed up! It was kind of like staying in a hotel room, only we were camping out and had to walk a little bit further to the bathroom. It was a lot of fun. Other than getting eaten alive by mosquitos!
We didn’t end up arriving at the camp grounds until about 6:30. So by the time that we got checked in and changed in our swim suits we didn’t even get into Tropical Islands until about 8pm that night. 8pm normally is bed time for the girls, but we decided to let them stay up a little late in order to be able to check out all the fun stuff inside the dome!
The camp ground is a short distance from the actual dome. I wouldn’t say it is within walking distance, but it is a short drive. There is a lot of parking around Tropical Islands, but they also offer a free shuttle bus that basically runs 24 hours a day to take you to and from the camp ground. Our first night we decided to take the shuttle bus. The only down side was that then we were on a schedule as far as meeting the bus. When we were done swimming we realized we had about 30 minutes to kill before a bus arrived. We realized, too, that we had completely forgotten about dinner earlier in the day. It was now after 9pm! So we got something to eat. Well, by the time we were done with that we had missed the bus and ended up having to wait quite a long time for another bus (after 10p!). All this to say, the next day we opted just to drive over so that we could come and go as we pleased and I definitely recommend that route if you have younger children who aren’t so good at waiting/leaving based on a bus schedule!
By the time we got to bed that night it was after 11p! I couldn’t believe that our girls did so well with being up so late. Thankfully they all slept in the next morning!
We spent the entire day at Tropical Islands. We got there around 9:30 am and it was well after 7p before we left. We had a lot of fun! I didn’t take any pictures that day. Mostly because we were just having so much fun!
The whole park inside the dome had a feeling like you were visiting a tropical islands. They did a nice job really transporting you to another world, so to speak. The ‘rooms’ that are like hotel rooms are actually scattered through out the park. You would see a hut or store front, but really it would lead to someone’s private room. There were also rooms that were more just along the exterior. One of the coolest ones I saw was one that literally was a ‘hut’ on the beach that led right out to the Lagoon pool. I had a couple concerns when I saw them. For one, the park is pretty warm and muggy which was perfect for swimming, but not so much for sleeping. However, I noticed AC units on the rooms so I suspect they stay comfortable. The other issue with staying inside the park is that it is a 24 hour water park. SO it could potentially be kind of noisy depending on where your room is. For that reason I was kind of glad that we stayed at the camp ground. It was nice and quiet out there.
Other ‘important’ things to know about Tropical Islands is that the water slides are awesome. Mr. did them each one time and I think we both wish we had tried them out earlier in the day. We had saved them for last. They even had a smaller water slide that would’ve been fun for the girls as well as a slower one that uses a tube that we could’ve done with the girls too. As well, they have a very large kids’ play area that includes a playground, bumper boats, paddle boats, go-karts, etc. The playground was really well done. The only bummer was that some of the things like go-karts would cost extra money and that could really add up! Also, you are allowed to bring in your own pool/sand toys which I highly recommend! They do have stuff for sale in their gift shop, but it was pretty over priced. Their website states that you are not supposed to bring in food or drink, however, I saw a lot of people bringing it in and eating their own food in there. Another option, since you get an electronic chip wrist band, is that you can just simply leave and go back to your camp site to eat.
Over all I would give Tropical Islands a good review. I think that it would have been a little more had our girls been a tad older. The kids splash area only kept them entertained for so long. The Southern Sea wasn’t really doable for us (other than the kids’ area) because it was deeper and so we had to be able to hold the girls the whole time since the younger two don’t understand how to hold onto their floaties on their own yet. We had more fun at the Lagoon because there were shallower areas. Although or girls didn’t like playing on their own. BUT at least Mr. and I could take turns sitting with them in the shallower water while the other did the water slides located in the lagoon. We spent quite a LOT of time at the playground area, too. It ended up being a pretty good place for our whole family. The girls could play on the play ground and Mr. I rented a ping pong ball and paddles and were able to do that while they played. Also, the information center at the camp ground is really, really nice! They had a large variety of foods for sale (like a grocery store) among other things. They also offered free wifi which even extended to our camp site! The bathroom facility was also SUPER nice. There were restrooms, shower rooms, and kitchen type rooms to wash dishes that were all free to use. As well, they had washers and dryers available and even freezers/fridges that could be used/rented for a small cost.
The biggest dislike of the park was the food situation. Being a rule follower I didn’t bring any food in. I wish we had just taken the energy to go eat PB sandwiches at the car, though. The food at Tropical Islands was very overpriced and honestly some of the worst food I’ve eaten in Europe. It was really disappointing. Even the ice cream! So, my advice to anyone thinking about going is to camp and plan for that. We weren’t really set up for camping since we were staying in hotels before and after. I would have brought things like hot dogs and such to grill (they have a grill there for you to use!) and just gone back and forth between the camp site and water park for meals. It would definitely have been worth it. I also think that it is worth it to stay a night. We paid about 98 euro a night to rent the teepee. Not the cheapest, however, that included our park admission. Park admission alone is 36 euro per adult! If you have a child over 6 that is another 28 euro! So the teepee price basically covers admission plus gives you a place to stay.
All in all, it was a fun trip! The girls loved all the swimming and playing in the sand! Not to mention the camping! It was definitely a fun little part of our vacation!