Let me start this post by telling you that Bochum Tierpark, Aquarium, and Fossilium is a modest and a happy place. It is one place in Bochum where families can spend a quality time and enjoy the clean and comfortable environment. It might be right if I say that Bochum zoo is far from being called as a big and beautiful. BUT, it is safe, not far from the center of the city, has a fairly economical entry fee and is in close proximity to one of the large city parks of Bochum.
What to expect at Bochum Tierpark, and how can kids and families make the most of it?
When we went to the zoo, I was expecting a big land with a large collection of wild animals and numerous species of birds. To our surprise, Bochum zoo had nothing of that. You may wonder and keep looking around you for more segments and cages but you will not find animals beyond a certain set of flamingos, penguins, seals, rabbits, and a handful of other cute species. The zoos of nearby cities of Gelsenkirchen or Duisburg in the Ruhr area are probably bigger and more spectacular (as I have heard, not been there yet). But this one in particular has other important advantages. The one that parents like us generally look for... very child-friendly, the information about the animals is interesting and detailed (mostly in German so Google Traslator can be your saviour if German language is alien to you), and as I said earlier, the entrance fee is comparatively low, less than even half of its neighbouring city zoo prices.
So, what makes this zoo special?
According to us, these are our top four things that makes Bochum Tierpark worth visiting with kids:
Bochum zoo has a beautiful adventure play ground for kids. It is made in a way that brings kids close to nature. All the swings are designed in a way that kids can literaly crawl like a reptile, glide like a snake, swing like a monkey, or hide like a bear. It is fun to be around for parents too. Not just kids enjoy playing there, the swings are designed in a way that enhances their motor, social as well as cognitive skills. A wrecked Jeep is not to be missed. For babies and toddlers, parents can sit alongside cafe and let them play in the nearby sand play sections. Spread across 1000 m2, this place is colourful, accessible and innovative that delights older and younger children alike.
Petting and Feeding options
Children can pet goats and also enjoy pony riding on weekends. In the afternoon, feeding the animals happen especially at the seal section.
Aquarium, Terrarium and fossilium
Within the zoo premise, is a remarkable indoor aquarium, and a fossilium (a fossil museum). Very well maintained and with a beautiful collection of fishes, snakes, coral reef along with a Fossilium, this place is one of its kind in the entire Ruhr area. Rare fossils, beautiful fishes, and amazing other creatures makes this place very special. Toddlers, and young kids love being here. Do not miss going here if you are visiting the zoo. Just enter the zoo and look to your left and you will find this beautiful place. Its entry is included in the zoo entry tickets.
Maginficient Stadtpark, just next to the zoo
Back gates of the zoo shares proximities with one of the largest city parks of Bochum. Stadtpark (stadt = city) is vast, clean and green as far as your vision goes. With a mini pond that allows a short boat ride, this city park is appromitaly 300,000 m² and is one of the largest of its kind in NRW. It is always best to visit this park on a sunny day to enjoy the lush green grass, gaze the clear blue sky and hear the sweet birds chirping. A special attraction in summer is the large water playground, although we are yet to experience that. (eagerly waiting for summers now!). There is also a mini golf area that kids love. This park is harmonious balance of a beautiful design that comprises everything from modeled slopes, plain land, a pond, a fountain, greenery, and easy access to the restrooms. It is easy to take a stroller here and leave the kids to run and explore the vast land, while keeping a watch, just in case they run too far.
Not much options to eat. But whatever they serve, it will surely be liked by your little ones. Waffles and hot coffee is a must try. This zoo is more of an outdoor family get together than about animals. Located right next to the adventure playground, is a small restaurant that serves, coke, coffee, chicken nuggets and pommes (french fries) among other options.
Bochum Tierpark and Aquarium opening hours
Winters: Everyday from 9 AM until 4:30 PM. Summers: Everyday from 9 AM until 5 PM. In March and October, the opening times are from 9 AM until 6 PM.
Entrance fees for adults is € 7.00, children in the age bracket 3 - 17 years is € 3.50 and students can enjoy a discount of € 4.00.
How to get there?
Situated in the centre of the city makes reaching here very easy. From Hauptbhanhof, take bus #354 until Planetarium. After that its just a short 5 min walk. If you do plan to walk all the way from Haptbhanhof, it will take only 20-30 minutes on foot. For more information on the routes from your start location, visit VRR.