Dive into Nature in Winterthur with the Wildlife Park and Nature Museum

Nature-inspired experiences in Winterthur – family trip for all year round

Animals and nature: an excursion to the Bruderhaus Wildlife Park and the Winterthur Nature Museum

Back when they were in strollers and toddling around, and now as kindergartners and school students, our children always love Winterthur’s Bruderhaus Wildlife Park – and so do we. It’s a place to relax, breathe in the fresh air, and watch the animals. You can see unusual animals here up close and completely free of charge. The spacious and beautifully landscaped animal park in the middle of the Eschenberg forest is home to wolves, European bison, Przewalski's horses, roe deer and stags, wild boars and lynxes in species-appropriate habitats.

A nice round tour leads us between the enclosures. We used to stick to the stroller-friendly “Windelwanderweg”, but our offspring now prefer to explore the more exciting steps and adventure trails. You can get a good view of the animals from the path, though it’s best if you steer clear of loud visitors. We even have a lynx stop and pose for us today! It is an incredible sight.

The wolf enclosure, with its various viewing options, is one of the park’s highlights. There is a new telescope that lets you study the wolves even more closely from the visitor’s tower, while the windows directly into the enclosure are particularly popular, and often provide a good view of a wolf or two.

Sika deer
Natural finds office

The children love to watch the wild boars wallowing in the mud. They also like the calm here above the city and the forest; it’s perfect for playing and collecting natural treasures. And us parents enjoy having nature-based experiences so close to the city. It’s a great feeling to grab a coffee from the restaurant after our walk, while the children (both big and small) let off steam on the large new play park with its beaver lodge, climbing area, bird’s nest, water snake and sand pits

A little tip: the Bruderhaus is now also home to the Winterthur pacifier tree, where children can hang up their pacifiers once they no longer need them. They will then be carefully watched over by the park’s animals!

Various barbecue spots and the Bruderhaus restaurant – which also has a generous outdoor area for picnics – make the wildlife park the perfect destination for a successful family trip. And you can go at any time; it’s open 365 days a year, and isn’t usually overcrowded.



Treasure hunters and nature lovers

We take our findings from the wildlife park straight to the Winterthur Nature Museum. Here, we can investigate our treasure in the natural finds office and discover what it all is with the help of a specialist (suitable for children aged eight and over).

Another great feature for school-age kids is being able to solve riddles via tablet with the virtual paleontologist Harry Hammer in the museum’s permanent exhibition. Anyone who finds the solutions can come to the museum’s next dig day (“Klopftag”) to excavate fossils from the 180 million-year-old Posidonia Shale themselves!

For younger children, the integrated Kerala Children’s Museum is a popular alternative; they can display their treasures themselves in the Museum of Drawers. Here, discovery, playing and exploring are the order of the day. Even very young nature fans can discover the habitats of local animals in the Children’s Museum: how soft is a fox’s fur? What are the frogs in our ponds called? Painting, listening to stories, puzzles, fishing and the walk-through fox’s den all provide a hands-on way to explore local nature. Drawers and themed boxes with bird calls, tactile games, hand puppets and natural materials encourage discovery and play, while the animal masks, fox tails, ears and paws let everyone transform into an animal.

On Sundays, there is also the family activity “Kerala kreativ”, where you can research and work on various nature topics. We finish off our day in the museum café with free children’s cordial and Pippi Longstocking ice cream.



Bruderhaus Wildlife Park

Nature Museum Winterthur

Insider tips Winterthur


September, 2018

An article by:
Journalist Marion Eberhard lives and works in Winterthur. She is the mother of two children and founder of the family platform www.kinderthur.ch, which discusses the leisure activities and more available for families in Winterthur.
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