Carnival comes to a banging end this week with the Rose Monday parade in Cologne, giving Germans some time to sober up and enjoy a peaceful rain forest or get ready for a Valentine's Day romance rush.
There are plenty of chances to clown around in Germany this week
Catch Carnival candies in Cologne. No one in Cologne will be able to avoid the Rose Monday so you might as well get dressed up, have a look at the parade route and hit the street. The parade officially begins at Chlodwigplatz at 11 minutes after 11 a.m. and winds six kilometers through Cologne's streets. Between sips of beer and shouts of Alaaf, Cologne's Carnival greeting, you can scramble for the sweets thrown from the parade floats and kisses from nearly everyone in town. The celebration continues Tuesday with another smaller parade for anyone who can still stand up and follow the clowns to find a place to party until midnight.
The Rain Forest House in Hanover
From Carnival craziness to Hanover's hushed rain forest. The answer to Germany's gray winter is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Hanover's Rain Forest House. What was a small vegetable garden in 1666 has entered the 21st century and is now filled with 6,000 different types of plants and animals from a warmer and more tropical part of the world. Walk through the Rain Forest House then have a look at the Green Lab's botanical wonderland, where visitors get a feel for the natural world.
Think speaking German is tough? This doctor in Bremen broke her tongue. The three-part play Tongue, Come Back Soon is a litany of literary lunacy. In the search for the ultimate of German tongue twisters, this language researcher broke her tongue and can only fix it by correctly pronouncing the world's longest tongue twister. The search goes way beyond Sally selling seashells at the seashore, but will it end with Sweden's mythical miracle? Join the doctor on her journey in the jumbled jargon jungle on Feb. 12 in Bremen's Junges Theater.
Mensch ärgere dich nicht, a game like Ludo and Sorry, was created in Germany
Sit down for a round of Germany 's most famous board game at the Nuremberg Toy Museum's exhibition of "Mensch ärgere dich nicht," which is similar to the games Ludo and Sorry and translates roughly to "Hey, don't get so annoyed." The exhibition tells the story of the successful game created by Josef Friedrich Schmidt in 1914, highlights the game's ancient Indian roots and explores its cultural and sociological dimension. The exhibition runs until Feb. 13 and of course, you can also play the game and be exasperated to your heart's content.
Valentine's Day is right around the corner
Still haven't found a Valentine? Romance is around the corner at Solodue in Berlin. It's holding dinners on the 12th and 13th for anyone searching for a special someone. There's plenty of time between courses to brush up on the finer points of Valentine card poetry that's sure to make your valentine swoon.