I have a soft spot for Stockholm as I spent my very early years there, so writing this piece gave me the chance to revisit some memories and see what is new in town. You will find Stockholm a very child-friendly city with plenty of things to do with the kids. Here is my pick of 10 Fun Things to do in Stockholm with Kids:
Number one on my list is a visit to Skansen, the outdoor museum and zoo located on the island of Djurgården. You’ll probably end up spending the best part of a day here with all there is to see.
Visitors to Skansen get to see a miniature historical Sweden, with traditional buildings and traditional ways of life reflected from the past with people in costume showing how rural life was lived. There’s a fun funicular railway take you up to the top of Skansen, particularly handy for strollers and smaller kiddies.
See if you can find the full sized Dalahästa (Dala horses), the traditional carved and brightly painted wooden horses, kids will love climbing up and getting their picture taken on them.
The Zoo at Skansen is committed to showing Scandinavian animals, with 75 different species and breeds from the wild animals such as brown bears and wolves and elk. There’s also a smaller children’s zoo where kids can meet and pet cats, chicks and other small animals.
The Skansen Aquarium houses exotic species of fish and animals, and visitors are allowed in to some of the animals, such as the lemurs and the animals in the Children’s Rain Forest. (NB there’s an extra admission fee for the Aquarium).
Children under 6 go free.
While you are on Djurgården you might also enjoy Gröna Lund, the amusement park, where you’ll find rollercoasters and rides, with some rides catering for very small kids like Mini Bumper Cars.
#2. Gamla Stan
With its winding alleyways, old buildings, small squares and the Royal Palace, Gamla Stan (Old Town) is a super place for wandering around and is mostly pedestrianised so you don’t have to worry about kids and traffic.
Full of sights and attractions such as the Royal Palace which has a daily Changing of the Guard during the summer, restaurants, cafés, bars and places to shop, you’ll enjoy the narrow winding cobblestone streets, with their buildings in different shades of gold.
See if you can find Mårten Trotzigs gränd (Mårten Trotzigs alley), it’s the narrowest alley in Gamla Stan, only 90 centimeters wide at its narrowest point!
#3. Vasa Museum
The Vasa is the only preserved 17th-century ship in the world. It sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628, and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. Since then it has been painstakingly restored to something approaching its original glory and on display at the Vasa Museum. You might think a museum about an old ship would be dull but on the contrary!
Vasa Museum is designed so you can get up close to the ship and the three masts on the roof outside the specially built museum show the height of the ship’s original masts.
There are ten different exhibitions around the ship to tell about life on board the ship and plenty of interactive things to help you learn about those times.
Kids up to 18 go free.
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From gentle butterflies to ferocious sharks, a visit to The Butterfly House Haga Ocean combined attraction is a must for families. Start your visit to The Butterfly House, where you’ll enjoy walking in the tropical environment with stunningly beautiful and colourful butterflies flying freely around you. There are waterfalls and rich vegetation to explore and you might even get to see a butterfly hatch.
Then after a refreshment break at the Café, it’s time to see some sharks at Haga Ocean! You’ll get to see Blacktip Reef and Sandbar Sharks, coral reefs and enjoy the feeding of the Koi carp every day at 13:00 pm.
Then if you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a trip around Haga park on one of their Segways, kids under 15 can ride by themselves inside the Butterfly House area or in the park area under parental supervision.
#5. Naturhistoriska Museet Stockholm
The Natural History Museum is a good place to spend a few hours learning and exploring the 10 permanent exhibitions about nature, science and the development of mankind. You’ll learn all about the universe and the earth, animals and plants.
There are dinosaur skeletons and fossils for those who are mad for dinos and kids will enjoy the 3D films at the Cosmonova IMAX® Dome.
Free admission for children and young people aged up to 18.
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Centred around The Story Train, you will journey through the stories of Lindgren, ending at Villa Villekulla (Pippi’s house) where you can play in Pippi’s house and ride her horse!
At the time of writing they have a special Moomins exhibition which will remain until 2017. As well as exploring Moominvalley and meeting its magical inhabitants, there is a daily theatre performance And Then What Happened? based on Tove Jansson’s classic book: The Book about Moomin, Mymble and Little My.
Kids under 2 Free.
#7. Museum of Modern Art
The Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) located on Skeppsholmen, an island in central Stockholm, has a fine collection of art & photography – you’ll find works by Picasso, Matisse and Dali there.
It is also a very family friendly museum with a kids’ reading corner, push chair parking, kiddie carriers and baby changing facilities. On Family Sundays there is a special guided tour for families followed by a practical Workshop session, and during school holidays, kids are welcome to join in Moderna Museet’s holiday activities.
Kids under 18 go free and for adults there is also free admission on Fridays from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.
#8. Drottningholm Palace
Take a day trip to Drottningholm Palace, the actual residence of the King and Queen of Sweden (the rooms in the southern wing of the palace are reserved for them while the rest of the palace and grounds are open to the public year round).
On UNESCO’s World Heritage list, Drottningholm is a well-preserved royal castle built in the 1600s in Sweden. Think of it as the “Versailles of Sweden”.
The Palace is located on the island of island Lovön about 12km outside of Stockholm and can be accessed by car, taxi or subway but you can also take a boat trip from downtown Stockholm to Drottningholm to make it an extra fun outing.
There is an exotic Chinese Pavilion pleasure palace built as a surprise present for Queen Lovisa Ulrika by King Adolf Frederick in 1753 (imagine that for a surprise!). You will also enjoy visiting the 300 year old Palace Theatre which is only one in the world that still uses the original stage machinery on a regular basis.
And there are wonderful gardens which are easy for smaller walkers and for pushchairs. You can bring a picnic or there are restaurants and a café on the grounds.
#9. ABBA The Museum
A treat for ABBA fans but also non-fans will enjoy ABBA The Museum, which as expected has plenty of memorabilia such as ABBA costumes, gold records and other original items.
But what you may not know is at the ABBA museum you get to experience the feeling of being the 5th ABBA member! You can find out what you would look like in their legendary stage costumes, sing at the Polar Studio, experience exciting hologram illusions, and you even get to go on stage with the band!
Kids under 7 go free. They have carriers for small kids as they don’t allow strollers inside the museum but you can borrow a stroller locker free of charge while you visit.
If you’re really into your music, your ticket also gives you entrance to the Swedish Music Hall of Fame and the History of Swedish Popular Music.
#10. Stadshuset Tour
You can take a public tour through the halls of the Stadshuset, including the Blue and Golden Hall – where the Nobel festivities take places. There is a limited number of tickets for each tour, you have to buy tickets at the City Hall on the day of the visit; NB tickets cannot be pre-booked or purchased online.
Also worth doing while you are there is to go up the City Hall Tower. It’s 106m high and offers a breathtaking view of Stockholm. An exciting walk up staircases and narrow passages is well worth the effort and there is a lift that can take you half-way if you don’t want to climb all the stairs or smaller legs can’t manage. You can also visit the Tower Museum, located in the middle of the Tower.
Again, visits are limited to the Tower and on good weather days can sell out quickly, so if you are planning a visit to the Statshuset and Tower, it’s worth planning what time you want to visit and going first thing when the ticket office opens at 9 am to buy your tickets, you can buy them to any of the visits during that day.
Kids under 11 go free.
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Over to you now! Have you got a favourite fun thing to do in Stockholm with kids? Share it with us in the comments below.