If like us you want to escape town with a little one without having to drive around, go up the Zugerberg for a little walk towards the Spielplatz Schattwaldli.
The Spielplatz (playground) is easy to find as all ways are well indicated: - if you take your car up and park next to the farms and wood cooperative, just follow the road straight, you will find the playground on the left.
- from the Zugerberg Bahn (which on its own is worth the excursion from Shönegg) take left if you want to take the regular road (easier to manage with strollers), follow the way towards the farms, then turn right on the main road; follow otherwise the little trail (easy level) which starts in front of you which is well indicated, and have your kids discover the tale of Zugiblubbi and discover all the wooden animal sculptures.
The first time we checked the playground in April last year, snow was melting and it was packed with people in full winter-and-rain gears. Only our son had been geared up while all our winter stuff was on a container boat somewhere on the ocean towards Europe. Fun fact for nature newbies like me: melted icy snow over muddy grass means that you can slide down in the most comic way and head butt first into an icy puddle (yes it was cold, yes it hurt, yes it was fun but pretty shameful, too).
The playground includes a few grilling points and picnic tables (including one which is nicely protected) as well as huts that shelter wood logs and possibly some newspapers to start the fire. With the forest nearby you'll find wood sticks easily to help power your fire and fix some sausages. Amazing point as well - from a French perspective probably - the site has public toilets that are free, clean and safe, which will allow you and your kids to avoid taking a wild one behind the trees (I am saying "amazing" because the place would have been trashed for no reason back home).
We came a few times to grill, but last week was a fun one: we (aka my husband) had to start the fire from scratch, without piggybacking on an existing one, under a pretty humid but nice weather. He did amazing, and as you can see on the pictures we had prepared it all: sausages to grill on sticks, chopped potatoes to cook in our new pan., coffee beans and grinder, a bag of already-made popcorn, and ustensils. To be fair, I think we really got the technique to transport all that efficiently - efficiently enough that a lovely Swiss lady asked us if we were Australians ("because Australians can grill everywhere"- don't ask).
What to keep in mind if you want to go?
- These days, be ready for snow or fog on the Zugerberg, so check the weather conditions before getting there (check for example the Zugerberg webcam) and get the appropriate gears ready.
- Needless to say, playing with fire can be dangerous, especially for the little ones. Be sure you know what you are doing and keep an eye on them.
- Make it a trip with friends! We have seen people organize birthday parties up there with an amazing sense of outdoor decorations and relaxing spirit.
- Usual reminder outdoors: manage your waste responsibly. There is a proper waste bin onsite, and keep the place clean and safe when you depart (especially in terms of fire leftovers).
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