My husband was away for work back in May, 2021, and with Covid restrictions lifted a little bit and a nice weekend (finally) ahead of us, I decided that the kids and I needed to get the heck out of dodge. So the four of us packed up our things and spent a weekend wandering around Münster, Germany.
Münster is about two hours away from us, which is pretty much my limit for driving solo with kids. And since we left on a Friday afternoon it took closer to three hours to get to our AirBnb.
Before I go on, if you’re like me with thinking that Münster must be home to the delicious cheese of the same name…well, we’re both wrong. That cheese comes from England. Just had to clarify that since stopping for cheese would’ve been my top priority.
This Münster, on the other hand, is a city a little bit north of us that I’ve had on my list. I have a friend who lives up there, so I figured it would be the perfect time to head up there to see her and explore the area.
Since I know driving tires me out I decided to spend the night on Friday night and Saturday night so we’d have all day Saturday and Sunday to explore.
Where we Stayed Near Münster
This was the first solo trip with just the kids, so I wanted to find things that would interest them on this trip. When I found this AirBnb on a farm I couldn’t resist staying there.
It was about 30 minutes from Münster, but it was so great staying there that the distance didn’t bother me.
The back yard was a haven for my kids with an in-ground trampoline, a swing, and ample room to run around.
There was Disney+ on the TV in our room, and tons of toys for them to play with.
Then there was the farm.
The owner, Tina, graciously let them feed the animals both mornings, and even let them take a little stroll on their horse. They were in heaven and talked about it for weeks after we stayed there.
The kids legit didn’t want to leave, and would’ve been content staying at the AirBnb the entire time.
I get absolutely zero compensation for telling you about this place, so trust me when I say that if you’re ever in the area and have kids, this is the place to stay.
Checking out Münster
I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t plan this trip very well. There were places I wanted to visit, but because of Covid restrictions, I didn’t get my act together in time to make reservations.
I know I said in the first paragraph that restrictions were lifted—and they were—but not all of them.
We could eat outside again without a test, for example, but places like museums and zoos were still restricting visitors; you had to make a reservation for a specific time at each place…and I was too late; every place I wanted to go was sold out.
If we could’ve gone somewhere, there were the places I had in mind:
Instead we made our way to the city center. Luckily for us, Saturday was market day, and my friend said she’d meet us there. (More on the market in a minute)
With a little bit of time to kill, we checked out St. Lamberti, a fascinating cathedral. The inside was beautiful (as most are), but the interesting thing is what’s on the outside of this place.
P.S. we lit a candle for my dad inside. Any time there’s the option, and if we have money to pay/donate, we light one in his memory.
About St. Lamberti and its Cages
Okay, so check out the two photos of the church’s tower. With the zoomed in picture on the right you can see three cages (each is 7′ tall and a yard deep/wide).
If you’re now asking yourself, “Why are there CAGES on a church tower?” Well, you’re not alone.
Long (interesting) story short: back in 1536 there was a religious rebellion that ended with three men being publicly tortured in Münster.
…that’s not terribly uncommon for that day, but hang with me….
As a warning to any other potential rebels, they put their bodies in the cages and left them dangling there…for FIFTY (50) YEARS.
What in the actual world?!!!!
But wait; I’m not done.
They finally removed the bodies (or whatever was left of them?) after those 50 years, but they LEFT THE CAGES UP.
In the 1800s the tower was demolished, but they rebuilt it, and reinstalled the cages.
After the church was bombed in 1944 (400 years since they originally went up, btw), they not only reconstructed the church (again), but they put the cages BACK UP for a second time! ????????????????
Crazy, right? I didn’t tell the kids the story of the cages, and they didn’t notice them; we just continued on our merry way after checking out the inside.
A Huge Market in Münster
I realize Münster is a bigger city than I’m used to, but their market was HUGE. Dozens of produce stands, cheese and meat stalls, and bread venders were everywhere. Not to mention, all the delicious prepared food to snack on or get for lunch.
The kids and I enjoyed all sorts of treats while we wandered around.
Their farmer’s market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7am until 2:30pm; highly recommended if you’re in the area.
Afternoon at The Dino Zoo
That afternoon we drove 40 minutes northwest of Münster and went to the Dino Zoo. We had a BLAST there. The reviews were pretty wishy-washy; people either loved it or they hated it. Thankfully, we fell in the love category and had a really great time.
I’ll go into my details in my next post, but if you’re in the area and have a morning, afternoon, or day to spare (and have some dino-loving kids in your party), then we highly recommend visiting.
Dinner with New Friends
I completely forgot to take pictures, but we had dinner with our new friends at their home, and it filled our cups so much.
We “met” through Instagram, and before you start thinking that we were crazy for meeting in real life: we actually met face-to-masked-face at our local commissary. So I at the very least knew she was a real person!
Because of Corona, we really haven’t gotten together with too many people.
So when our friends invited us over for dinner and not only did their kids and my three get along, but it was so nice to have an adult conversation (something I cherish when I’m solo parenting).
Visiting Burg Vischering
Not ready to head back home on Sunday, we decided to check out Burg Vischering “on the way.” It was about 30 minutes south of Münster, and totally worth the detour.
First, I love a good castle tour…especially if it’s in English. Everyone was so helpful (even when we got slightly lost and the attendant had to help us find our way back on the path!).
Our Weekend in Münster
Our weekend trip to Münster wasn’t over-the-top crazy exciting and packed full of adventure, but that’s not what we were going for. I wanted a change of scenery and to take it somewhat easy while also seeing new things.
Are there more things I wish we saw/did in Münster? Absolutely. But this quick trip was a great way to dip our toes into traveling around out here without my husband, and it was a giant success.