Vorarlberg with Children
Vorarlberg is a little country - which makes it even more ideal for your little ones. Big into tourism as Vorarlberg is, it targets families with children as an important clientele. During the winter season, this is most obvious at the major skiing resorts of the Arlberg area; the town of Pettneu and surroundings has specialised on families to keep up with the "trendier" jet-set destinations such as Lech, Zürs or St. Anton.
Nevertheless, you will find special skiing schools for children in all of the major skiing towns and areas. Just ask at your hotel or the local tourist information centre and you will get a whole bunch of recommendations. A key-attraction for children in Vorarlberg is the "Waldbähnle", a narrow-gauge railway with a steam locomotive in the Bregenzerwald forest. The railway runs through one of Vorarlberg′s most picturesque corners.
Another attraction of the Bregenzerwald is the so-called "Käsestraße" or "Road of the Cheese". This theme-road unites artisans, farmers and inn keepers that are - in one way or another - connected with the manufacturing, trade or sale of traditional, local cheese. Your children might enjoy a practical hands-on lesson in how to transform milk into a piece of solid cheese.
Entertaining Kids on a Vorarlberg Vacation...
There are no noteworthy zoos in Vorarlberg, but have a look at my article on "Deer enclosures and wildlife parks of Austria" for details on furry attractions. For more on flora and fauna of Vorarlberg, see also the "Innatura", a very modern and appealing natural history museum in Bregenz. For nature in real, go to the mountains (hard to miss in Vorarlberg anyway). In the very south of the province, you will find the Silvretta Hochalpenstraße. This panorama road connects Vorarlberg with western Tyrol and leads into high-alpine terrain. It offers some dramatic views that will not fail to impress your children.
Another mountain-related attraction are the historic mining activities of Silbertal. The "Montafoner Bergbaumuseum" presents information on the way silver and other metals were mined in Vorarlberg. Note that the museum has rather limited opening hours, so check in advance to avoid frustrated children.
In Lustenau, there is a museum called "Rheinschauen" (playing with a double-meaning of "to look inside" and "to watch the Rhine"). It is dedicated to the Rhine, Vorarlberg′s most important river, and the way it shaped country, culture and landscape. Something of a specialist topic, but might be of interest to nerdy children (like I was). Otherwise, have a look at my list of castles and palaces of Austria; there are several in Vorarlberg that have museums or guided tours that are suitable for children.
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