Does your child feel like a hike (or not)?
Everyone starts small
Children get tired more quickly than adults and of course have shorter legs. You should consider this when you plan your route. The general principle: less is more. You can always ramp it up later!
Children don’t care how many meters they manage in an hour or how high the next summit is. They mainly look at the ground and discover stones, weeds and little creatures just off the beaten track. They would rather wander around daydreaming than head straight to their destination. Children should be allowed to enjoy this thirst for discovery at their own slow pace. If we parents push them to go faster or fail to build in breaks, the effect will be counterproductive.
Kids enjoy themed hiking trails
Kids love stories. No matter what they are doing, they love to hear a good tale about it. Hiking is also much more exciting and a whole lot easier when a story surrounds it. That’s why kids love themed hiking trails like the Planetenweg from Uetliberg to Felsenegg. You can find the wide range of themed hiking trails on offer in canton Zurich here.
Mysterious places have a magical attraction
Sometimes, all a place or destination has to do to inspire a child’s spirit of adventure and encourage them to visit is to look mystical and magical, or appear in a myth or legend. An example of this is the mini Stonehenge on Zurich’s Käferberg, with its six marvelous “menhirs”.
… or an elephant in the Küsnachtertobel which, according to legend, was said to have been used as Hannibal’s war elephant. When he arrived at the stream, he was tired out and stayed there. He was freed from his burden and turned into stone. Is there really any child who wouldn’t want to visit that right away?
Taking the train is always a draw
There’s no child alive who wouldn't be excited about hiking if a train journey of some kind is involved. If we make smart use of this option as parents, we can turn a hike into an exciting adventure even for children who don’t like to hike. The city of Zurich alone boasts a few exciting railways that would be the perfect complement to any child’s hike: the Üetlibergbahn, the Felseneggbahn, the Dolderbahn, the Rigiblickbahn and the Polybahn. Which also goes to show that you can “hike” with your children in the city, too!