Here are three great places all within an hour’s drive from Graz for some family fun & adventure.
Motorikpark Gamlitz is really fun for all ages. It’s a large park filled with obstacle courses, things to balance on, swing on and much more. All designed to improve agility and motoric skills. There’s lots of grassy space to have a picnic and also a small cafe. In warm weather there are several large natural ponds for swimming. It’s completely free to visit and open all hours. You just need to pay for parking (€1.50 hr). Dogs are not allowed.
Tierwelt Herberstein is a nice zoo set in a large park (23 hectares and 6 km of trails so be prepared to walk – also some steep hills). There are over 700 animals from all over the world and the park is divided into the different continents of Africa, America, Eurasia and Australia. There is also a kids playground, a petting zoo and education center. The other two highlights included in the ticket price is the beautifully renovated Gironcoli museum and the Heberstein Schloss (palace). The Schloss has hourly guided tours between 12:00 – 15:00 (only in German but still worth doing to see the interior). There are also pretty gardens to walk through.
Zotter Chocolate Factory tour is a true Willy Wonka adventure. Zotter is the only company in Europe that produces chocolate from bean to bar, using organic fairtrade products. They have a huge range of traditional and exotic flavoured chocolate bars that you’ve probably seen in shops around Graz. You can take a self guided tour of their factory and learn all about the chocolate making process, plus taste loads of samples. People love visiting here! It can get very busy, especially on weekends so best to book in advance. And the adventure doesn’t end there, outside is also a pretty farm (they specialise in rare old animal breeds), a petting zoo and plenty of space to play. Plus they have a great organic restaurant Öko-Essbar where everything from bread, pasta to meat is produced on their farm (open summer only). Be prepared to spend the whole day here!