It looks like 2023 will be a year with visitors, and some of those visitors will be kids, pre-teens, and teens! We are looking forward to hosting at our new place, but also thinking that folks who travel across an ocean may not be looking to spend the whole time in our suburban abode. So, I’ve been thinking of fun places to visit (winter or summer) that would be especially fun and interesting for kids. That doesn’t exclude it being fun and interesting for adults, but it’s fair to say that in general, kids have a more tactile, brightly-coloured, fun-oriented palate for tourism. Most kids are probably not going to dig the Design and Architecture museum or the ‘don’t touch’ vibe or Stockholm Antique shops, so for them and the adults who feel similar (cough-cough GRAHAM), here is a list-in-progress of kid-friendly visiting destinations around our place. Note that many of the websites don’t have a separate English language version, so you will need to use the Chrome translate plugin (if you are using Chrome it usually shows up automatically in your address bar).
- Skansen – one of our first Stockholm destinations years ago and still a winner! An outdoor museum with historical buildings from all over Sweden including village shops, farm houses, and mountain chalets. It is a ‘living museum’ with staff in historical dress demonstrating traditional flatbread baking, glassblowing, leather work, feeding the ducks, etc. They also have a fun menagerie of Swedish animals (go during baby pig season!)
- Tom Tits Experiment – Södertälje’s Science Center with a hilarious name is a 20min train ride south to the harbour town Södertälje. We’ve never been there, but the reviews are good and it seems like kids would dig all the interactive bits.
- Gröna Lund Tivoli – Stockholm’s big amusement park, located on the same island as skansen. I am extremely meh about this, but some folks really dig roller coasters.
- Rosendahl’s – the link is to the café and nursery, but it is surrounded by large gardens and orchards, perfect for bringing a picnic, buying lunch at the café, or splitting the difference and buying some of the OUTSTANDING bread/bullar and preserves at the garden shop picnic. They have a fun kids’ garden where everything is non-toxic and kids can touch, smell, and taste whatever they like!
- Tullinge Canoe Club – This one is a quick walk down the hill to the lake, and clearly this is one we visit a lot. While most of our time there is for short training visits, on a warm day it is a great place to hang out for a leisurely picnic and paddle. The self-serve café container includes a full complement of dishes and cutlery, a grilling BBQ, a waffle maker, hotdogs with buns and fixings, and ice cream in the freezer. There are SUPs and all nature of canoes and kayaks to try, tons of birds to spy, and clean water to swim in (this is not even seasonal – some folks chop a hole in the ice in winter!)
- Hågelbyparken – a short bike ride or bus ride in our own community leads to this old manor estate. They have nice gardens, a very good café, and an outdoor theatre, as well as a 4-H farm (I see this weekend they have ‘come pet the sheep’ event, presumably to help diversify kids microbiomes)
- Lida – on the other side of ‘our’ forest is a real favourite: Lida outdoor park. You can either take a bus or do a 6km hike through forest trails (past our mushroom hunting grounds) to the main park, which contains cute little cabins and plenty of grilling spots, a variety of playgrounds including the viking gym and ‘nature parkour‘, a zipline course called Acropark that I would love to try, a restaurant with quite good chanterelle soup and baked goods, and the Vildmarkstugan that I would love to stay in sometime. swimming in 50meters f marked lanes n the summer, ice skating, skiing, and tobogganing in the winter. I would call this a ‘must do’!
- Flottsbro – ski hill in the winter, mountain bike park and beach in the summer. This is easy to paddle to from the Canoe Club for a beach excursion, or take the bus.
- Playgrounds and forest walks – a 1km radius would bring you to 5 legit playgrounds, with the nearest being 20m out our backdoor. Forest walks abound with lit trails in the winter as you go toward Lida, or head in the other direction for a more off-road, orienteering experience along the powerline trail (would be super dodgy with ice or snow).
That is the list so far… and Graham noted that Visit Stockholm has some lists of things that are fun for kids and teenagers (which includes acknowledgement of what they think will be lame), as well as a 2023 events list. We may report back at some point with updates and new discoveries!