This article is based on an interview with Cosima Lüdeke. Ciao Bambino was compensated for this article by City Strollers.
Did the hamburger originate from Hamburg, the city at the mouth of northern Germany? Nobody really knows for sure. But as one story has it, at the turn of the twentieth century, thousands of Germans emigrated to America from Hamburg, the country’s largest maritime port, bringing the Hamburg steak with them and from this developed the hamburger.
Whether this ditty is true or not, it’s a good tale to tell and grab your children’s interest en route to this magical German city. Don’t worry, there is no shortage of hamburger restaurants there, so you can weave a quest to find Hamburg’s best hamburger into your trip plan. But there is so much to do in this city for children, that they soon may forget about this mission.
Hamburg is a natural children’s city, says Cosima Lüdeke, who is a true Hamburger, although not in the beef patty sense! She is also a mother of four little Hamburgers aged between three and nine and runs City Strollers, a baby and child equipment rental company based in the city. If anyone knows where to point your pushchair in Hamburg, it’s Cosima.
You may not think of Hamburg as a beach resort and it’s not in the traditional seaside sense of the word, but it has a lovely riverbank beach and this big natural attraction provides hours of fun, as long as the sun is out.
‘Hamburg is one of Europe’s busiest container and cruise-liner ports. Ships arrive here from all over the world and my kids are always begging me to take them to the beach along the River Elbe to play in the sand and watch the boats sail into the harbour. There is something thrilling about watching all these people and goods arrive from across the ocean,’ says Cosima.
More and more beach clubs modeling themselves on ones you’d find in St Tropez, are springing up here too, so the grown-ups can enjoy a beer whilst their children are busy building castles.
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Hamburg boasts the world’s largest miniature railway at its Miniatur Wonderland. ‘If it’s too cold for the beach, this is where we head to,’ says Cosima. ‘In fact, I think my seven-year-old son would go every day if he could!
‘It’s a vast scaled down model of large chunks of the world, with miles of railway track, a sports stadium, a theme-park, even a working airport and space station. Plus, there are lots of buttons to press so that children can interact with the exhibit. They can help to put out fires, chop down trees or to operate the chocolate factory, for example.’
They even simulate day and night at different time periods across the different continents. The realism is what makes this such a popular attraction and if you want to avoid the long lines for tickets, book in advance.
Hamburg is awash with art galleries and museums and most are very child focused, says Cosima. ‘You will find that children’s programmes run in most of the museums here and most have guided tours specifically geared towards children. At the Maritime Museum, for example, there is a pirate-guided tour, which is tailored to the age of the group joining it, and they have treasure hunts running throughout the museum and many different workshops alongside the exhibitions too.’
Cosima keeps her website updated with local children’s shows and events running throughout the city, check out what’s on here.
City Strollers works with most of Hamburg’s hotels supplying them with baby and child equipment and Cosima has got to know which really go out of their way to support young families. ‘The Park Hyatt and the Atlantic Kempinski are among the most child friendly first class hotels, whilst for a more medium-price, family-oriented place, try the Skandic Emporio.’
And, most Hamburg restaurants welcome children and often will entertain them whilst waiting for their orders with colouring pages and puzzles. For a list of recommendations see the City Strollers website dining page.
City Strollers was developed by Cosima to cater for the needs of young families visiting Hamburg. With all she provides you can leave your strollers, travel cots and carseats at home, safe in the knowledge that City Strollers can provide you with a vast range of top quality equipment. From Bugaboo strollers to Babybjörn carriers, Geuther highchairs to Pinolino cradles, City Strollers has it all. Plus, they also supply a range of children’s bikes and scooters and even Cargo, a rickshaw-style bike that you can drive them all around in. Each item is available for a reasonable daily, weekly or monthly charge.
To save you the trip to the local supermarket upon your arrival, City Strollers will also deliver a wide range of convenience goods such as formula and diapers for your child.
‘I have four young children and I know how much stuff you need to pack for them when travelling,’ explains Cosima. ‘I set up City Strollers to make travelling that little bit easier for parents with young children. Now you can leave all that equipment back home and pack a little lighter, safe in the knowledge that I can provide you with top quality equipment when you get here and deliver it direct to your hotel or apartment.’
Photos provided by City Strollers except where noted
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