The Atzmännig ropes course is fun for both big and small, with other amusements and hiking nearby. I previously thought that ropes courses were only for older kids, but I learned that many have small courses designed for children aged 4 and up. In a ropes course, you climb around a series of obstacles that are constructed high above the ground, usually in the trees. You wear a harness that is secured to the course with ropes. See wiki and google images if you are still confused. In German, it is called “Seilpark,” “Hochseilgarten,” or “Kletterpark.”
Atzmännig has two small courses for smaller kids, which have similar obstacles to the big courses, but are not very high off the ground and use a track for the safety wire, making it easier for young children to use. For 15CHF each, your kids can do the courses as much as you like for 90 minutes. My boys had a great time and felt challenged as well as entertained.
|Address:||Atzmännigstrasse, 8638 Goldingen SG-CH|
|Car:||1hr from Zurich
Parking GPS: 47°16’58.3″N 8°59’37.3″E
|Train:||1hr10 from Zurich HB to Atzmännig Schutt
Adult half-fare return CHF 23.80
|Suitable for:||standard course: children over 8, minimum height 130 cm
child course: children 4 to 8 years old
|Price (2016):||big course: adult CHF 35, child CHF 25 for 3 hours
child course: CHF 15 for 90 minutes
family discounts available
|Open:||April through October, weather dependent|
Atzmännig has 8 courses as shown on the map below (from Atzmännig website). Courses 1 & 2 are Kinderparcour and courses 3 to 8 are Standard courses.
Children aged 4 to 8 can use the two “Kinderparcour” courses. We paid CHF 15 per child, which includes safety equipment, short training instruction and use of the course for 90 minutes. These small courses are close to the ground and use a safety harness that does not require clipping in and out at each obstacle. Parents can easily monitor and help small children while standing next to the course.
For the big courses, children must be at least 8 years old and at least 130 cm tall. Maximum time on these courses is 3 hours. There are multiple courses, which range in difficulty. Children under 14 must be supervised by an adult on the course, not from the ground. One adult can reasonably supervise about 3 children. Some obstacles are difficult to reach for small children, even if they meet the minimum height restriction. Young children may also need help clipping in and out between obstacles.
The Atzmännig resort also has a restaurant, picnic area, big playground, with a few coin-operated attractions, a toboggan run and hikes, including a theme trail. See my other Atzmännig post for details.
By car: Drive toward Goldingen and continue driving till you reach the Atzmännig resort. Turn right and drive to the smaller dirt parking lot, where you’ll find the ropes course and office.
By public transport: The easiest connection is a train to Rüti, then a bus 885 to Atzmännig Schutt, then a short walk south to the ropes course.
You sign up and pay at the office adjacent to the ropes courses. You will then be outfitted in safety harnesses, which included shoulder straps for extra safety, plus gloves and helmets. Then a short safety video. Then the instructor demonstrated how to use the equipment and the course, which took just a few minutes. Then you can use the course, supervised by your parent. One warning: get there early! By midday, there can be quite a wait for equipment and the course.
Kinderparcours – Mini Course
Now some pics to give you an idea of the course. The first course is only about 1 meter off the ground, great for kids that are nervous at first. The second course is about 2 meters high and more challenging. Our 4YO had fun on both courses but was definitely challenged on the second course and got frustrated at times. Our 8YO felt the first Kinderparcours course was too easy but liked the second course.
On the regular big course, you must constantly clip your safety rope on and off the wires as you move through the course. But in the child’s course at Atzmännig, your child’s harness is always attached to the safety wire, making it safer and easier for your child to use the course. Not all child courses are like this; we’ve since been to another course where even the little kids had to clip on and off the safety wire. It’s a lot of work for really little kids and after awhile, my 4YO made me follow him and do all the clip work (I’ll post more about that later). Atzmännig was easier for both of us.
If your child needs help during the Kinderparcours course, you can climb up on the equipment and help them out. There’s always at least one staff member wandering around that can help you if needed.
The only downside was that my 8 year old really wanted to do the big course. Children 8 and over are allowed on some of the big courses, but they must be accompanied on the course by an adult. Children on the kid’s course also have to be supervised by a parent on the ground. I was by myself so I couldn’t be with both kids on different courses. However, one adult can accompany multiple kids on either course. So if you were with your spouse or friends, one adult could stay with the little kids and one with the big kids.
At another ropes course we went to, we were allowed to pay for only one adult and share the harness. So my husband and I would take turns, one going on the big course with our 8YO and the other monitoring our 4YO on the smaller course. This is nice because the big course is expensive (33CHF/adult, 24CHF/child for 3 hours). I don’t know if Atzmännig would allow that, but it’s worth asking. The big courses can take a long time to complete, possibly 1 hour for a single course (each Seilpark has multiple courses, varying in length and difficulty). So plan how you will occupy the little kids when their time is up and you have to wait for the big kids to finish.
We’ve been back several times since our first trip. While my youngest was too little, my husband or friends would take the older kids on the big courses, while I stayed with the little kids. Now my youngest can do the big courses, but we stay on the easy ones while my older son does the more difficult courses.
This link has a list of other ropes courses in Switzerland. Check the websites carefully before your visit. Every course has different age and height restrictions and not all have children courses.