On behalf of my family’s interest in the Niederösterreich Card, welcome to my How-to series where I show you places to go, things to see, food to eat, and coffee to drink using the NÖ card.
Yeah, I’ll pretty much go anywhere with ‘kitten’ in the title, and this adventure did not disappoint despite not having any kittens on site.
Kittenberger Erlebnisgärten, or Wonderland Garden Fantasy…? (as it’s translated online?) is an easy hour outside of Vienna with plenty of golden fields and tiny villages to fawn over along the way. Upon arrival, we thought we missed our turn because the drive up isn’t particularly impressive. For a brief moment, I thought we’d been led to a smaller Hornbach. But the entry’s fancy waterfall beckoned us inside to discover the truth: It is a smaller Hornbach!
Totally kidding. Hornbach is in no way involved here, though similar to many stores, there is a portion of the experience in which visitors can peruse through a garden section and walk away with affordable greenery. After walking by one too many expensive Buddhas, we were led to the Wonderland’s gorgeous garden restaurant and waterside terrace to enter into what I believe to be the “fantasy” part of the experience. And fantasy, indeed. Here’s why:
For the grownups
The entire place, which is enormous bee-tee-dubs, was created by the Kittenberger family. According to their website, there are around forty themed gardens to admire, each one different from the next, designed not only to comfort and inspire guests but also to be bought. Yes, bought. The strategy is brilliant. Each garden was created with the utmost care and professionalism as well as crazy-perfect style. So if I’m me, which I am, then I scamper along the path with all the flowers to a beautiful pool that resembles a not-gross pond. Oh, look. A small rainforest surrounds the world’s squishiest, comfiest outdoor couch. Now I’m thinking, “Man, I could use this on the regular. Maybe I need this?” And BOOM. Problem solved because I can buy the entire pool-pond + filtering system + magic feels + squishy couch + faux rainforest if I just call the hotline on the garden’s sign. It’s probably affordable.
Lol. That’s the fantasy.
But smart. I’ll give them that.
Will and I loved wandering through the themed gardens because we enjoyed pretending we were fancy grownups for a little while. The kids thought the gardens were neat, but they mostly focused on the future promise of there being a playground. I told them the green earth is their playground. They said yeah but no.
For the kids and/or anti-garden lovers
Around and throughout the show gardens are activities, attractions, and playgrounds for the big and the small:
- A gnome maze (WARNING: One section is full of X-rated gnomes. I don’t know why. Casually scurry your kids past them.)
- A petting zoo
- Real kangaroos!
- Gigantic slides
- A straw tower
- Bouncy houses
- A lego-filled teepee
- Puppet shows
- Lawns for sunbathing
- Snack Shack
- Multiple playgrounds (different age levels/abilities)
- A treehouse
- Raft across a pond
- Family herb-planting
And that’s scratching the surface.
Kids, no kids – You can’t go wrong with a day trip to this place. There’s something for everyone with an emphasis on nature, education, growth, and beauty. (Also good food and gelato.)