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As soon as the sun starts warming things up, the snow begins to melt and it starts staying lighter out longer, Germany awakes from its hibernation. People flock outdoors in droves as parks, zoos and amusement parks reopen for a new season.

Alongside the tourist attractions, ice cream parlors and beer gardens set up outside again. As ice cream parlors often close completely during the wintermonths, this is always a welcomed sight. The cafes that usually sport an Italian flair, are cleaned, restocked with overflowing stainless-steel tubs overflooding with delicious gelato and the coffee presses are ready for that perfect shot of espresso or a nice latte macchiato. Menus on the table show off impressive creations of whipped cream, fresh fruit and ice cream. What better way to spend a lovely spring day than sitting outside and having that perfect ice cream sundae? One of the most popular Italian-German creation has to be the spaghetti ice cream, and it should be on any taste testing bucket list for Germany. Composed of spaghetti noodle shaped vanilla ice cream, strawberry sauce in place for the tomato sauce and shredded white chocolate to mock the parmesan cheese, it is one of the ice cream parlor classics. Today they often offer several different variations of it, and they all have one thing in common, they are delicious!

Sweets and ice cream aren’t everyone’s favorite, but do not despair… The beer gardens are here to save the day. While they aren’t decked out with fancy menus and cute doilies, they impress with rustic German beer benches and hearty German cuisine.

In the southern part of Germany, the beer gardens are the places to hang out after work or after a nice day out and about. Strangers mingle on the large benches and debate about everything from the weather to politics. While some beer gardens offer food and are part of a restaurant, there are beer gardens out there that let you bring your own food and just provide drinks. If your beer garden isn’t attached to a restaurant and you are unsure, ask before unpacking your own lunch. Often tabs are kept on the little coasters they hand out with the beer, so be sure to keep the coaster so you can pay your fare at the end.

Especially in Bavaria, where beer gardens are part of everyday life, you will notice people just sitting there soaking up some of the long-missed sun. Typical dishes served at beer gardens are snack foods that are local to the area. In Bavaria the staples at the beer garden are pretzels, white sausages with sweet mustard and half a roasted chicken. In the Swabian area, German ravioli (Maultaschen), potato salad or cheese egg noodles (Kässpätzle) are popular foods served.

One of the most popular beer gardens in the Stuttgart area has to be the Schwabengarten. It is set up beautifully in its own secluded area with a children’s play area and lots of German flair. There is even a beach area set up with lounge chairs and lots of room to relax, enjoy the sun and wind down.

The Schwabengarten’s season opening is on April 12th, and it will start with a big bang! The party starts at 7pm and is expected to run until 2am. After the kick-off event, the Schwabengarten resumes normal opening hours and offers lots of exciting events throughout the year. Last year we were able to enjoy many highlights like the USA themed weekend, the Caribbean night and, of course, the winter village. All were accompanied by great live bands, delicious foods and lots of fun and laughter.

So, what are you waiting for? Go enjoy a traditional German experience!

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