Adventures in Wolfsburg
One trip to the German city, Jessica Gee, matriarch of The Bucket List Family, found a bustling metropolis that appealed to her entire brood.
In 2015, my husband, Garrett, and I decided to sell all our belongings and put our life’s savings toward traveling the world with our two young children, Dorothy and Manilla. We created a blog (thebucketlistfamily.com) and set off on what was supposed to be a six-month trip around the Pacific Ocean. Nearly three years later, we still haven’t stopped. Our journey has taken us all over the planet — from diving with humpback whales just off the island of Tonga to exploring the Night Safari in Singapore to hiking underneath mango trees in St. Kitts.
One of our favorite trips was to Wolfsburg, Germany, home to Volkswagen’s famed Autostadt and chosen in part because of Manilla’s obsession with cars. We weren’t sure what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised by how fun and family friendly the city was. If you like cars you’ll really appreciate this city — and if you love cars, like my son, you’ll be in heaven. Here are a few of our favorite spots.
CAR TOWERS AT THE AUTOSTADT
Going here was my son’s favorite part of the trip. It’s almost like a vending machine of cars, where they hold new Volkswagens before they are delivered to their owners. Visitors can go into a glass cabin in the middle and rise slowly up 13 stories, almost like a ride. The cars were so unique and bright, it felt like we were in a museum of Hot Wheels. Autostadt in Wolfsburg; autostadt.de
PHAENO SCIENCE CENTER
We didn’t have nearly enough time at this beautiful museum, designed by architect Zaha Hadid. There were great human-body exhibits — you can find out things like how far you can jump, how much air your lungs can hold and how much blood your heart pumps in a minute. We could have spent hours there — with or without the little ones. 1 Willy-Brandt-Platz; phaeno.de
THE POOL AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, WOLFSBURG
My kids and my husband love swimming pools, and Garrett has deemed the pool at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg one of his favorites — and we’ve been to a lot of pools during our travels! It overlooks the stacks of the Volkswagen factory, which is a uniquely wonderful setting. The pool is heated so that you can swim in it year-round. Every night, Dorothy would stay up past her bedtime and would go swimming until the spa was closed. Parkstrasse 1, ritzcarlton.com