As dark days and early nights make way for snowdrops, daffodils, lambs and chicks, there’s a palpable sense of new beginnings. Seize this sensation and try one of these new activities – which are sure to put a spring in your step.
Skate in a converted airport
Now spring is in the air, it's time to get your skates on and join the inline skaters, rollerskaters and skateboarders that have taken over the traffic-free smooth surface and ramps of Berlin’s old airport, Tempelhof.
Elsewhere, skaters can whizz down Teltow Canal, wind around Volkspark Friedrichshain – Berlin’s oldest public park – and zip along Kronprinzessinnenweg, a 4-kilometre path in Grunewald Forest.
Experienced inline skaters can also participate in the Generali Berlin Half Marathon every April, the 10km Adidas Runners City Night in July and BMW Berlin Marathon every September – the finish line is behind Brandenburg Gate.
Adventure seekers should travel south of the city to visit Flaeming Skate. Designed with skaters in mind, the web of eight asphalt paths spans 225 kilometres, with trails ranging from 11 to 97 kilometres through fields, forests and villages.
Flaeming Skate’s Susan Gutperl says, “Most of the track is close to nature – rolling along fields, up and down mellow hills and through forests with only a few villages sprinkled far and few between. The network of tracks is in an area with a low population density and most people thoroughly enjoy the peace and quiet the open scenery provides.”
Try German-style curling
The Icestocksport World Championships are held every February, celebrating the little known sport of ice stock sport.
Competitors work in two teams of four to slide puck-like stocks over ice with the goal of hitting a target, or daube, which moves when it is hit. Points are awarded for the stocks closest to the daube. In warmer months, it’s also played on Tarmac.
Popular in Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland, the sport dates back to the 16th century – it was first depicted in a 1565 painting, Hunters in the Snow, by the Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It became popular in the late 19th century before being demonstrated in the Winter Olympics in 1936 and 1964.
Today you can try the sport in one of six curling lanes in the grounds of Café am Neuen See, a country house with a beer garden near Neuen lake, in the southwestern corner of Tiergarten. If you win, celebrate with a game dish followed by homemade strudel.
Climb through Berlin’s skyline
Berlin isn’t known for its mountains, but that doesn’t stop its climbing community.
The high ropes course MountMitte reopens every March in Nordbahnhof Park near the Natural History Museum.
Made from steel, the three-storey structure has views of Berlin landmarks such as Berlin Television Tower on Alexanderplatz. Its six courses and 90 obstacles – which range from three to 15 metres high – cater for all abilities.
Novices can try Parcour Brocken, the easiest course, while the toughest is Parcour Everest. Along the way you can navigate punch bags as you cross a suspension bridge, cycle along a tightrope and balance on a surfboard.
If you have a head for heights, you’ll enjoy the thrill of dropping eight metres on a giant SkySwing trapeze and jumping 13 metres on SkyFall. The SkyWalk meanwhile involves clambering inside a Trabant car as it dangles above ground.
The site is also home to a 1,000 square metre indoor trampoline centre, 47 beach volleyball courts and Europe’s largest inner-city beach.
After a day outdoors, return to Hotel de Rome to soothe your aching muscles in De Rome Spa.