The Ämpächli - A Kid's Paradise
We have been to quite a lot of mountain stations with playgrounds, but so far, the Ämpächli in Elm - A Kids Paradise in Elm - has by far impressed us the most. Carry on reading and judge for yourself.
And you also find the Riesenwald Theme Trail up there.
For more hikes in Switzerland check out our hiking map.
Where is Ämpächli in Elm - A Kid's Paradise?
Way up at the top of the Sernf Valley in the Kanton of Glarus lies the little village of Elm.
The area is very well known for family holidays whether it be skiing fun or summer activities. But for the Swiss, Elm is also known for its regional fizzy drink “Elmer Citro”, a lemonade drink and for the Champion Skier Maria Walliser 🙂
How to get there
When you approach Elm you need to follow the sign posts for “Sportbahnen”. It is here you will find the cable car that brings you up to the “Ämpächli” a kid’s paradise in Elm.
Free parking is available opposite the Sportbahnen.
What to expect at the Ämpächli in Elm - A Kid's Paradise
As the title already says, it is a kid’s paradise and to be honest also perfect for adults.
Happy kids happy parents, right?
We exited the cable car and the euphoria, happiness and sheer excitement of our kids was so amazing and heartwarming to watch. They did not know where to start.
And to be honest it was a massive surprise also for us. Originally we had planned to come up here and hike the Riesenwald Theme trail.
But I think if we would have just ignored this place and went straight to the hike our kids would have quite understandably not talked with us for a year 🙂
On every corner something different to discover and explore.
First a giant slide got their attention, followed very quickly by the amazing trampolines set up.
All secured with netting and protection bands around the trampolines.
You will also find different climbing obstacles including this beautiful red structure.
Kids can also try the giant bowling or practice their balancing skills on the slack lines.
Water features and a giant nest swing are also amongst the activities.
On the upper terrace there is a goldmining station. You can go and get from the restaurant a sieve (payable). Step back in time and become a gold prospector. Should you be lucky enough and find some little gold nuggets you can exchange them at the reception in the restaurant for a present.
The little kids have their own play section with sand pits and small cars and bicycles.
No one will be left out or bored up at the Ämpächli in Elm - A Kid's Paradise.
Apart from all the activities there is a large restaurant with a terrace. And the view from the whole area is amazing.
For a quieter place to eat follow the signs for Älpli. A small mountain restaurant on the end of the Riesenwald trail, and only 5 min from the Ämpächli. The path up follows an amazing water feature.
Even inside the restaurant is a play area with a jumping castle, trampoline and 2 table-foot-ball, one for the bigger kids and a smaller one for the younger guests. But be aware that this trampoline has no side protection. Our kids still loved to be on it but only on their knees, no standing up.
Alternatives at the Ämpächli in Elm - A Kid's Paradise
Not that you would need some more activities whilst at the Ämpächli, but believe it or not, there is also some hiking. 🙂
Different trails for different levels of fitness start right at the cable car station at Ämpächli. Here are some listed
We suggest to do the Giants Forest “Riesenwald.” A 2.5km round trip with lots of interactions all based on the Giant Martin. On the trail there are 4-5 amazing BBQ grill stations and best of all wood is provided.
It is short enough to come back to the Ämpächli so the kids can finish their day at the kid's paradise in Elm.
If you are bringing your e-bike and need to charge it before cycling up to the Ämpächli, there is a charging station at the Berghotel Bischofalp in Elm. Here some great route suggestions
Downhill Scooters & Mountain karts in Elm
We opted for the Downhill Scooters (Trotinettes). For a while we have wanted to do a downhill scooter trip with the kids, but in many places they do not let the kids ride with a parent. But in Elm it was different. These scooters were giant ones so there was more than enough space for the kids to stand in front and hold on to the middle bar, and for sure wearing a helmet.
After a few brake tests we started this most amazing activity. This was so much fun. We all had a constant smile on our faces, and Lucas sang the whole way down. He was in paradise once more.
The path guides you down a large foot and mountain path. In some places there is a bit more gravel but perfectly ok to brake should you need to. The view was amazing so we had to stop every so often for a photo to capture the beauty.
It is a bit steep in some sections but with good breaking we managed these sections perfectly.
I found the path length ideal, but should it be too short for you, head up again and this time why not take a Mountain Kart instead.
NOTE :: You can book multiple trips or just an up with the cable car and down with a Scooter.
Seriously if you have never tried this activity you should give it a go. No experience needed.
Suggestions & Tips
When you plan to visit the Ämpächli in Elm - A Kid's Paradise, make sure you have the whole day. Go up there in the morning, let the kids play a bit on all the activities and then head in to the Riesenwald - Giant Forest theme trail.
A great BBQ half way along the hike, and finish the day again at the Ämpächli play area.
The way back to the car as mentioned above should be done on the scooter if you are visiting with older kids. Ours were just short of their 5th birthday, but having said that the twins are tall. 115 cm.
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I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when visiting The “Ämpächli” in Elm, Glarus
If I have left anything out or you have a question, please ask your questions in the comments below so that other readers can join in the conversation and benefit from your queries also.