Lenzburg Castle

We have spent many happy days at Lenzburg Castle, which has many fun interactive elements for children in addition to the educational historical exhibits. According to the marketing material, this castle is one of the oldest and more important hilltop castles in Switzerland. It is also home to Fauchi, an animatronic dragon that terrified my 2 year old, but is fun for the older ones. The castle museum has lots of rooms set up to show what it would be like to live in the castle. But the best is the children’s “museum” at the top of the castle, which has a craft area, dress-up, dungeon, tower lounge, wooden castle maze, and a play area for the little ones with blocks, books, stuffed animals, etc. For lunch, there’s a small cafeteria with a lovely outside garden and dragon picture books for the kiddies to read while they wait for the food. Or you can picnic in the lovely courtyard which hosts many weddings. On the walk up to the castle, there is an outdoor play area with several kid-size wood houses. In addition to the castle grounds and gardens, you can stroll on several walking paths outside the castle (see map in parking lot). This is a fun and educational outing for kids of all ages.

Location:   Zurich Region
Address: Ellsworthweg, Lenzburg, Canton Aargau, Switzerland
Car: ~30 mins from Zurich
Train: ~40 mins from Zurich
Open: April thru October, 10:00 to 17:00, closed Mondays
Price (2016): adult CHF 14, child CHF 8 CHF, under 6 free.
Family discount CHF 25 for 1 adult and up to 5 children
Services: cafe, picnic area, play area, no strollers
More info: www.schloss-lenzburg.ch

Overview

The castle includes the courtyard and gardens, three floors of castle museum, and the “Kindermuseum” with the children’s craft and play area.

No big bags allowed inside but there are lockers just to the side of the courtyard. Leave your strollers behind as well, there are too many stairs. No food inside the castle, but you can picnic here in the courtyard.

Getting There

By car: Drive to Lenzburg and follow signs to Schloss Lenzburg. Park in the big metered lot below the castle and walk up.

By public transport: Take a train to Lenzburg, Kronenplatz, then a bus to Lenzburg, Schloss.

Impressions

It’s a short uphill walk from the parking and bus stop to the castle. On your way, you’ll pass “Burg Waldegg”, which is simply a collection of wooden play houses and some picnic tables. It’s a good place for the kids to run around after visiting the castle.

Here’s the castle and the main gate.

My kids always laugh at the kid-sized door cut into the gate door.

The courtyard is a lovely place for a picnic and a great place for the kids to run off extra energy.

Our first stop is always to visit Fauchi, the resident dragon. When my kids were very little, this was too terrifying. The dragon lives in a dark corner on the ground floor of the castle. It moves a little and makes spooky noises.

Near Fauchi there is exhibit about the stories and myths associated with the castle, with some artifacts, illustrations and interactive computer displays. Here is Fauchi’s egg.

There is a little shadow puppet film about the dragon legend that shows on repeat. It’s pretty simple but the kids like it.

I liked this creative interpretation of Switzerland’s geography, shaping the map like a bear, made by people who lived in Bern.

On the top floor of the castle, you’ll find the children’s play and craft area.Most of the materials are free to use, including paper and cardboard, scissors, glue, markers, and decorative elements. Most kids are making cardboard swords and shields.

There are special craft projects organized by the staff, as shown on the menu board. You can buy the materials from the booth next to the craft tables.

Lots of knight and princess clothes and accessories for dress up.

There’s a play castle on two floors so the kids can act out their knight and princess stories.

There are usually lots of kids running around in costume.

There are plenty of places to sit and picture books to read.

An enclosed baby play area with toys.

My kids always want to head straight to the play area, but I make them tour the historical rooms first. Each section is dedicated to a different time period. There are written guides available on each floor.

In some rooms, there is an audio-visual element, like the table below that projects a video of people eating onto the table and you can listen to a conversation and educational information.

I always like seeing the kitchens, which make me thankful for modern conveniences.

The cafe is next to a nice courtyard, not really designed for kids but some sword fighting was tolerated.

A view of Lenzburg town from the castle grounds.

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