Djurgården, the green oasis on the edge of Stockholm’s Östermalm district, has been a royal hunting ground and park since the 1400s. It’s adored by both Stockholmers and visitors for good reason: it is a peaceful place, located just a short stroll from Stockholm city, where you can find respite from the city hustle and bustle. And for children, Djurgården is filled with fun and delight.
Junibacken is a fantasy house and museum for children and is named after the fictional house where Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s children’s book character Madicken lived. One of the most enchanting things about Junibacken is the Story Train. It takes your kids on an exciting journey through the many wonderful stories of Astrid Lindgren, as well as introducing many other famous figures such as Alfie Atkins, Festus and Mercury and Mulle Meck.
Junibacken is a house that bubbles with stories, laughter, and familiar figures that are brought to life. There’s also a ‘workroom’, where the kids can build, invent, and create in a space filled with laughter and care.
When: see website
Stockholm’s legendary amusement park, Gröna Lund, is perfect for giving your kids a day they’ll never forget. There are of course a multitude of rides for kids of all ages, with the park having a special section for the little ones. There are fast, high, whirly, chilling, thrilling and downright wonderful (and scary!) rides, but also old favourites like the bumper cars, love tunnel, and fun house. If you need a breather between rides try your hand at the games – there’s nothing like winning a gigantic bar of Sweden’s favourite chocolate, Marabou, which you will have to wait to open until after you wrangle it back to your hotel.
Grin Llund is Sweden’s oldest amusement park and there are not only rides and games but also a theater and and concerts. On the main stage in the center of the park both Swedish and international performers strut their stuff – it’s worth checking listings ahead of time because during nearly 100 years musicians as diverse as Jimi Hendrix and Lady Gaga have performed on the legendary Gröna Lund stage.
Where: Lilla Allmänna Gränd 9
When: During summer season, see the website
Skansen, founded in 1891, is the world’s first open-air museum, and is a firm favourite for kids. Stroll through five centuries of Swedish history, taking in historical buildings and dwellings that were brought from all over Sweden, as people in historical dress fill you in on the details. Often glass-blowers and other traditional craftspeople are on hand plying their trades – and they’ll usually invite you to join in and try your hand at things.
Once you’ve had your fill of Swedish history head to the zoo, where there is a small petting zoo and a bigger area featuring seals, brown bears, lynx, wolverines, Swedish elk, and even reindeer. In total about 75 different species of Scandinavia animals are represented at Skansen, and while the more exotic are exciting to see there’s something wonderful about jumping into the goat enclosure and getting up close and personal.
Also not to be missed is the Skansen Aquarium, with its World of Monkeys, as well as the exotic species area, where you might get lucky and get to pet a tarantula. There are also regular markets (including the excellent Christmas Market), a top notch gift shop, a train that takes you around the park, and horse rides.
At Stockholm’s Skansen there is something fun happening every day – it will be impossible for your children to get bored!
Where: Djurgårdsslätten 49-51
When: see website
At Stockholm’s Vasa Museum you’ll find the mightiest warship of its time, the 69 meter-long Vasa, which sank in Stockholm Harbour in 1628 on its inaugural voyage – and wasn’t found until 1961.
In addition to the centrepiece restored ship, there are ten other exhibitions that focus on life on board the ship, giving insight into another time, when life was very different. The cinema in particular, which features a film exploring the history of both the ship and the salvaging of it, is all part of the Vasa bringing history to life. Today it is also the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world. And even though it has been on the seabed for 333 years, 95 percent of the ship is original.
Be sure to stop by the excellent gift shop, one of Stockholm’s best. The restaurant serves classic Swedish food at reasonable prices.
Where: Galärvarvsvägen 14
When: see website
In addition to the above, Djurgården is perfect for walking. Two of the best walks are at Djurgårdsbrunnskanalen and Blockshusudden. Grab a picnic, spread our your blanket, and enjoy a lovely family gathering while you rest your feet. Alternatively, try one of the many restaurants and cafés scattered around the island.
How to get to Djurgården
There are several ways to get to Djurgården. You can either walk, take the ferry Djurgårdsfärjan from Old Town/Slussen, the tram from Sergels Torg or buses (44, 69).
We wish you and your family a pleasant day on Djurgården!