Making time waiting for the train fly

7 ideas for when waiting for the train

When travelling with the whole family you need to be more generous when it comes to estimating times, which is why it’s better to arrive at the station a few minutes before the train is scheduled to leave. Now all that’s left is to keep boredom at bay! Turn waiting time into play time with these children’s activities.


1. Let’s read minds

In “Platform live theatre”, every member of the family becomes a voiceover artist, and narrates the thoughts of different people on the platform: The couple with walking boots is definitely thinking about their last trip. Is the man in the hat dreaming of his next visit to a beer garden? And surely the woman with the big bag is on her way to the nearest lake! Fun and imagination know no bounds here.

2. Write a postcard

Select a postcard together at the destination, and write a message while you wait for your train home. The grandparents must want to know how fabulous Neuschwanstein castle looks, how refreshing the water in Starnberger See lake was and how twisty the streets in Regensburg’s old town were. When writing a postcard, little ones and adults can reminisce over the trip together.

3. Hold a drawing quiz

Sketch the station building or the alpine panorama, or take a picture with your mobile phone. Send it with the message, “guess where I am” to friends or family. That’s all it takes to include those who stayed home in the trip with this exciting quiz. Hint: Characteristic details such as the giant archway of Nuremberg main station in the drawing make guessing easier.

4. Fun in the photo booth

Photo booths make for exciting entertainment boxes for bored children on trips. At larger Bavarian stations such as Nuremberg, Munich, Regensburg, Bayreuth or Augsburg you can have a small photo shoot at or near the station while you wait. At most booths, four different photos cost around EUR 5.

5. Create counting competitions

How many doors does the train have? How many lights are on the platform? How many shops can you see? How many passengers have a suitcase? There are many things for preschool and primary school children to count at the station. Why not make it a fun competition? The first person to get the right number wins.

6. Go on a tastebud adventure

Need to wait longer? A small snack always goes down a treat – perhaps a discovery tour for the tastebuds? Many Bavarian stations have regional snacks such as Rostbratwürste (roast sausages), pretzels and Käsespätzle (traditional German noodles with cheese). The players are divided into two teams. One team goes and buys a regional speciality without letting the other team know what it is. The players from the other team will have their eyes covered and must then figure out what the other team has purchased, based on taste alone.

7. Estimate distances

When playing 'guess the kilometre', players estimate the distance from their station to different places in Bavaria. The information table about upcoming train departures or the hiking maps which are primarily found at smaller stations, offer inspiration. The right answers can be found with Google Maps if all else fails. Once you find out how close the beautiful Badesee lake is, or the nearest leisure park, or an idyllic walking destination, you’re bound to look forward to the next trip with the train.

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