If you plan to have a shared summer vacation with families who live in another German state, you might run into problems. This is because the school vacation times vary a bit from state to state. Compared with many other countries, the summer vacation is rather short – six weeks. But the holiday period is spread over the months from June to September. If you live in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, for example, you might have to go back to school at the start of August already, whereas children in Bavaria have just started vacation at the end of July. This schedule was developed to prevent huge traffic chaos at the beginning or end of the vacation period, when people are traveling by car. The schedule is agreed among most German states and the times change each year.
Naturally, holidays aren't only in summer. There are 75 school-free working days (including Saturdays) throughout the year. There are also relatively long vacations in fall and winter.