Winterthur Skills Park

Any freestyle fan will be in heaven at the Winterthur Skills park, an enormous warehouse is filled with dozens of trampolines, a street skate course, pumptracks, parcour obstacles, bowl park, big air jumps, and a Ninja warrior style obstacle course. Rent or bring your own scooters, skateboards, roller blades and freestyle bikes (and helmets!). Then practice your skills and experiment with new tricks. It’s even fun just observing the many talented kids and adults jumping and flipping all over the place.

My kids were a little intimidated and overwhelmed at first, but quickly found their favorites. I think it would be best with friends, because they need to motivate each other to try new things and compete to get better it.

It’s best for kids aged 8 and up, but but sporty kids as young as 4 or 5 could enjoy it with some close supervision. On Sunday mornings, it is open exclusively for kids 5 and under, which would be great fun for little ones.

On weekends and holidays, the whole complex can get very crowded, but the kids don’t seem to mind. Even without staff facilitating the attractions, somehow everyone seems to get a turn. Kids will need to be a little aggressive to get a spot on the trampolines and take care on the skate courses not to bump into other riders.

All in all, it’s a great option for any kid that likes freestyle sports and perfect to keep active on cold, rainy days. We’ll definitely be back!

Location:   Zurich region – Winterthur
Address: Lagerplatz 17 8400 Winterthur
Car: No parking at the Skills Park, but several parking garages in the area.
Parkhaus Kesselhaus Pionierstrasse 14-24 8400 Winterthur CHF 2/hr
Train: 30 mins from Zürich HB to Winterthur Hauptbahnhof, then 10 min walk
Adult half-fare return CHF 13
Open: Mon – Thur 10:00 to 22:00, Fri – Sat 10:00 to 24:00, Sun 10:00-19:00*
On Sundays, exclusively for kids 5 and under from 10:00 to 12:00
Price: All day entry Ages 3-24 CHF 15, Age 24+ CHF 20, spectator only CHF 3
Services: picnic room, cafe, lockers (bring a lock), changing table, strollers ok, elevator access
More info: www.skillspark.ch

First the attractions, then the logistics below.

Trampolines

There are dozens of trampolines of different shapes and sizes. For most of the trampolines, there are no lines and no staff making sure everyone turn. So just hover and eventually you’ll get on.

There is one giant super trampoline, that will launch you almost as high as the ceiling. This was often dominated by groups that clearly belonged to sport clubs and could do amazing tricks like triple flips. But anyone can wait in line and get a turn to jump for a couple minutes. The kids/teens seemed pretty polite about it.

There are two trampolines next to big air pillow. So kids do flips off the trampoline into the air pillow. There is a line for this one and kids were good about taking turns. Kids also climb on the wall above the trampolines and jump off into the air pillow. Quite dangerous and chaotic if you ask me.

Parkour

This area has a bouncy floor, some mats and movable obstacles that you can jump over. It was mostly filled with talented kids (probably trained gymnasts) that can do standing flips, very fun to watch.

Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course

This area has a few obstacles copied from the popular Ninja Warrior competition, including quad steps and the infamous warped wall. My kids are big fans of the show and loved trying it out themselves.

Much harder than they expected! At first my kids thought these obstacles were impossible and they left to do other things. But later they saw some other kids trying and failing and my kids got competitive and eventually completed some of the obstacles. So encourage your kids to keep trying.

They were still wearing their anti-slip socks, which made it a bit more difficult. It would have been more fun with indoor gym shoes. One tip: there are big black blocks scattered around that you can stack to help shorter kids reach certain obstacles. So nice!

Big Jump

This big jump was totally crazy! Kids just hurl themselves from 3 or 4 m into a big air pillow. No one is managing the line. There’s no age restriction. But kids of all ages politely take turns and flip off this thing like it was nothing.

Street Skate

This area has a cement floor with street style obstacles like curbs, ramps, stairs, etc. typically used with skateboards. This was usually the least crowded section with more advanced skaters working on their skills.

Pumptracks

This area has multiple concentric circular tracks, some with bumps. Mostly filled with younger kids with scooters and Like-a-Bikes, a few with bikes. This was always very crowded but traffic kept flowing and only the occasional crash.

Big Air

This is the scariest attraction, with three tall ramps launching you onto a giant air pillow. It’s mostly filled with teens, but I saw kids as young as five go down it on scooters. Kids use freestyle bikes, scooters and roller blades on these ramps. Most everyone had a helmet and many had knee pads and shin guards.

Getting There

The Skills Park is located in Winterthur, in a warehouse near the main train station.

By car: There is no parking at the Skills Park, so it’s best to simply drive directly to one of the nearby parking garages and walk over. The closest is Parkhaus Kesselhaus ( Pionierstrasse 14-24 8400 Winterthur), which charges CHF 2/hr, cash or card. If that’s full, here are other options: Parkhaus Halle 53, Parkhaus Bahnhof, Parkhaus Zentrum. Then walk to the Skills Park at Lagerplatz 17 8400 Winterthur.

By public transport: Take a train to Winterthur Hauptbahnhof, then walk about walk about 10 mins to the skills park at Lagerplatz 17 8400 Winterthur as shown on the map below. If you live in Winterthur, the closest bus stops are Brühleck and Wylandbrücke.

Entrance Fee

Before coming, you are supposed to fill out a liability form for each participant, available on their website, and bring it with you. They did not ask for this form when I paid the entrance fee.

You can pay the entrance fee at the front desk, with a card or cash. The entrance fee is good for all attractions and all day; you can leave and come back using the re-entry armband.

I love that parents can buy a “Zuschauer” pass, aka spectator, for CHF 3 if you are not using the attractions. I wish other family destinations used this model!

Be warned: on busy days, you might have to wait in line for 30 minutes or more to get in. On really busy days, they can reach capacity and more people cannot go in until people leave. Best to get there about 15 mins before they open.

On busy days, purchase your ticket online beforehand or on your phone while you wait in line. You will pay an extra CHF 1 for each person. Strangely this link is not on their website, but promoted on the wall while you wait in line. You will get a bar code for each person. You can skip the line and at the turnstile, scan each bar code for each person to go in.

Immediately after the turnstile, there is an equipment rental desk where you can buy the anti-slip socks (CHF 3) required for using the trampolines. I recommend getting one size up as they can be a tight fit. Keep them for next time.

At the rental desk, you can also get the armband required for re-entry. Might as well get it now so you don’t have to wait again later. You have to show your entry ticket or bar code to get each armband. As far as I could tell, you don’t need it to use the equipment.

Equipment Rental

Bring your own scooters, skateboards, freestyle bikes, like-a-bikes for little ones, and helmets. All these are available for rent on location, with reasonable prices and limited availability. For example, a scooter costs CHF 5 for the day.

What to Wear

I saw kids wearing a wide range of clothes, from sport clothes and gymnastic outfits to casual street wear to jeans and dresses. Kids will be most comfortable in clothes that allow a wide range of movement. I’d also recommend long sport pants or leggings as kids can get rashes from the trampolines or other obstacles.

Socks & Shoes. Kids on the trampolines and parcour must wear the anti-slip socks (available for CHF 3 at rental desk). However, the Ninja warrior course is best with indoor gym shoes. Kids using scooters, skateboards and bikes are wearing normal outdoor sport or skate shoes.

If your kids wear glasses, remember to remove them before going off the big jump or doing flips off the trampolines. I saw several pairs of glasses go flying in all directions, including those of my own kids. Since my kids can’t see great without them, I stayed close to hold the glasses whenever they wanted to do flips. Setting the glasses on the side of the trampoline would have never worked since so many kids are running around.

Lockers & Changing Room

There are lots of lockers all over the facility, but bring your own lock. Upstairs, you’ll find small changing rooms with hangers for coats, the WC and showers. There is a baby changing table on the wall just outside the women’s changing room, in the baby play area. There are also unsecured cubbies on the wall for personal items. Most people just piled clothes, coats, scooters, etc along the walls. Lots of equipment was scattered all over the facility but I didn’t see anything locked. That equipment can be pretty expensive, so I’d feel more comfortable if my kids brought a lock for it.

Cafe & Picnic

There is a large picnic area upstairs with tables and benches. For birthday parties, you can reserve a table for a small fee.

To access the cafe downstairs, you have to exit the freestyle area and later re-enter using your armband. So make sure to get your armband first. Besides the normal fare, I liked that the cafe has a free water fountain to refill your water bottles. They also give free cups of syrup drink to kids.

Workshops

They offer workshops for skateboard, scooter, and BMX & MTB. These are booked separately from Skills Park. See the course page for more info.

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