Family friendly spots in the Scandinavian capitals
City breaks are often thought to be a very adult way to holiday. However, in the Scandinavian capitals of Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen you will find plenty of things that delight children and parents equally. Here are some of the best spots to visit with the whole family.
The area of Djurgården is familiar to many but cannot be overlooked if visiting Stockholm with children. There are several sights that will get the little ones excited, but keep the parents suitably entertained as well. You could go and see the popular Vasa ship and then make a round through Abba museum and the Viking museum. Both of these are far from a traditional museum and feature a lot of interactive and entertaining features. For smaller children Junibacken. a theme park dedicated to characters from children's books is a must.
In Södertälje, south of Stockholm you will find Tom Tits Experiment. It is a centre where you can do hands-on science and technology experiments. The exhibition is spread over four floors and most experiments are suitable for all ages. There is also a lovely café on site and a picnic room where you can eat your own packed lunch.
Stockholm is good for eating out with the whole family. You could check out Meatballs for the People, a restaurant serving variations of the Swedish classic to suit the tastes of both children and adults. You can eat meatballs the traditional way, with mashed potatoes and gravy or go for something more out there, such as a meatball ramen. Even vegetarians are catered for.
If you are craving something more exotic, try Kho Phangan. It serves great Thai food with a modest price tag – but it's the decor that will keep the children happy. The interior design of the restaurant transports you directly to a beach holiday in Thailand complete with palmtrees, hanging lights, a beach bar and even a tuk tuk!
First place to visit in Oslo with the kids should be Popsenteret. It is an interactive museum of pop music where you can record your own song in a real studio, mix tracks or get some photos taken for an album cover! It is suitable - and interesting - for all ages and there is English signage throughout the exhibition to help you navigate.
For something inspiring take the whole family to the Nobel Peace Center that collects the stories of Nobel Peace Prize winners into an interactive exhibition. While the adults enjoy the collection children can join in on a Nobel mystery, a game where you must gather clues to find a code to Alfred Nobel's safe.
If the children need to let out some steam you could take them to Leos Lekeland, a vast indoor adventure playground. There are different slides, mazes, and trampolines to try out and a café for when hunger eventually strikes.
For an easy eating out option in Oslo choose Mathallen. Everyone in the family will find what they crave from the more than 40 specialty cafés and eateries that serve anything from bento boxes to French baked goods. All the food can be brought to a large communal eating area and there are highchairs available for small diners.
Children can get creative in Copenhagen at the National Gallery of Denmark every Saturday and Sunday. The museum's house artists host Children's workshops where a variety of art styles and materials can be tested. In the meanwhile, grown-ups can make the most of their free time and visit the exhibition. The museum is designed to suit family visits so there are also baby changing facilities, a picnic room and a café serving food that pleases visitors of all ages.
Copenhagen is a city of playgrounds, many of them cool enough to make parents excited as well. Check out Superkilen, a vast urban space in Norrebro that has three different areas to explore. The park is visually impressive and celebrates diversity. There are play and sporting areas with skate ramps, bicycle lanes and even a boxing ring.
For something totally different try Nature Playground in Valby park on the outskirts of Copenhagen. It has creative outdoor features such as a climbing area, a spiraling pathway, willow huts and little islands.
Burgers might seem like the obvious choice when eating with children. But if you want to make the familiar and fast family dinner a little better grab your meal from Gasoline Grill. Many locals think they make some of the best burgers in the world and unlike many other burger joints they have an emphasis on organic ingredients. The menu is short and simple and suits both vegetarians and meat eaters. A tip for grown-ups, order your fries with truffle salt for an extra kick.
You can't leave Copenhagen without a visit to one of the spots selling Lakrids by Bülow licorice. The danish treat comes in a huge variety of flavours, some designed for a more mature palate such as the Habanero or Coffee. Children will find their own favourites too. The brand has shops in the department stores Magasin du Nord and Illum and at Tivoli.