Family of five traveling to Münster and Düsseldorf over Thanksgiving week. Any recommendations: what to do and see, Side trips, markets, really anything. Kids are all teenagers.
I'd note that Cologne may have "more to do" than Dusseldorf. But the famous bierhaus dining scene in D'dorf is certainly a family affair. Check if there is a "Fishmarket" weekend day, which is an outdoor monthly one-day festival along the river. (More sausages than fish, I think) If the kids have seen "The Princess and the Warrior" film, they'll want to ride the Schwebebahn in Wuppertal. For me, many of the museums in Cologne are must-sees. Smallest and most overlooked is a Kathe Kollwitz museum, in a shopping mall! Great walking city. Easiest museum to like, MAK (Applied Arts). Most ususual, Roman underground structures are close (?) for now. Also a medieval mikveh, if it's open. Cologne "old town" is missable, much of the city is "postwar" or "Wiederaufbauen."
You'll have to seek out transportation, but the picturebook (and NOT undiscovered) Fachwerke town of Monschau is not too far.
Munster is quite historic, and like D'dorf, known for contemporary art, particularly sculpture, all over the city as well as a big museum. Kassel is not next door, but I also liked it a lot.
I think Duesseldorf is a hub for Lufthansa. It is the second-largest airport in the country.
this might be of interest, the Wuppertal Schwebebahn
If you intend on doing a side trip., afternoon or day, from Münster, I heartily suggest Soest, the oldest town is Westfalen. Westfalen has numerous historical places of note, depending on your level and geographic of historical interest. Warendorf (next to Münster) is well-known, if your interest is in horses. There is also the singular history museum in Warendorf..
On side trips from Düsseldorf am Rhein, I suggest Neuss and Kaiserswerth, both accessible on the regional train or U-Bahn.
Not to be a ghoul or anything, but if you're in Münster, your kids might be interested in St. Lambert's church, which is down the street from St. Paulus Dom, the main cathedral (also worth a visit - check out the Münster astronomical clock inside). At the very top of St. Lambert's you can see 3 iron cages that once housed the bodies of Anabaptists who were tortured, then executed in 1536. The three bodies hung there for 50 years.
How far from Münster are you willing to go on a " side trip? " Presumably less than 2 hours. If so and you want to go eastwards, I heartily suggest Minden an der Weser, a very interesting town, lovely Zentrum along with its history museum. I've stayed there a couple of times plus visited the place on day trips from Düsseldorf.
If you're motorised, even better, since the S-Bahn from Minden only gets you so far but by auto you can get to Porta Westfalica....fantastic view from the huge monument.