By Elaine Whelan
The capital of Denmark and one of the largest cities in Scandinavia, Copenhagen is a perfect destination for a family city break. Home of Lego, Danish pastries, hot dogs and royalty, Denmark is a kaleidoscope of culture, cuisine and history with the modern day quirkiness that Scandinavia is renowned for. After visiting Copenhagen myself, I learned that this city is a giant playground for a child’s learning and exploring. This city has the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe, castles and cathedrals galore and historic theme parks, Copenhagen has literally something for everyone and anyone. Here are a few that your kids will go crazy for:
One of the most iconic attractions in Copenhagen is Tivoli Gardens Theme Park. This 177 year old theme park is located smack bang in the centre of the city and is a magical place for children and adults. The wonder of Tivoli exists in more than just the roller coasters as the 20 acres of grounds is nothing short of a masterpiece. Inside the walls, there is beautiful lush scenery, exotic and historic architecture, food from every corner of the world and the feeling of nostalgia that comes to all. These wondrous things somehow manage to become even more magical at night when every inch of the gardens is illuminated by fairy lights. Both old and young thrill seekers will be equally satisfied with the rides on offer. Each one is designed to match the old world theme of the park and there is even a wooden roller coaster from 1914. This is one of seven in the world that still requires a brakeman on board every train. For those who prefer not to go 100 miles an hour through the skies, they can enjoy the pantomimes or daily live music held in the Chinese inspired Peacock Theatre which was built in 1874. With Tivoli even said to have inspired Disneyworld after Walt Disney’s visit, Tivoli is not an adventure that will disappoint. Words cannot describe the magic of Tivoli. https://www.tivoli.dk/en/
Nyhavn and The Little Mermaid
If you google Copenhagen there are two images that you will see everywhere! They are Nyhavn and The Little Mermaid statue. Nyhavn is a port just minutes away from the city centre. What attracts everyone to this spot is the colours, each house along the quays is painted in a different colour. Bright oranges, pinks, blues and yellows are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Snap a few pictures in the colourful port or take a boat through the canal. You and your kids can add a lock to the railing of the bridge in Nyhavn that your children can try and find if you ever return. Be warned though that this spot tends to be jammed with tourists so try to get their before the crowds.
One of the most famous Danes is without doubt, Hans Christian Anderson who penned the Little Mermaid. Copenhagen now celebrates this famous tale of tails in a statue sitting in the water. Now, do be warned that at the end of the day this is just a small statue a few metres away from the shore so it does tend to be a bit anticlimactic but it is one of the typical tourist things to do here. However, the journey to the statue passes through beautiful a beautiful park with a number of playgrounds so at least you can admire the beauty along the way.
Hans Christian Andersen Fairytale House
Speaking of the writer himself, you can visit the home of Hans Christian Anderson in Copenhagen. Here kids can get up close and personal and see the classics at the exhibitions with light and sound effects to make the world-renowned stories come to life. They can learn all about his childhood and his moving to Copenhagen in his adolescence where he wrote most of his classic stories and poems, as well as reliving. Home
Hans Christian Andersen Fairytale House
Now I know it is a bit odd to add visiting another country in a list of things to do in Copenhagen, but with the ease in which you can travel to the small city in Sweden, why not! The Oresund Bridge was built to connect the two cities and in just over a half an hour on the train and less than €10 for an adult ticket your family can cross two countries off your list in one go. The kids will love the experience of cutting through the water at high speed on the train. The small city itself is absolutely beautiful with a mix of historic architecture and modern shopping. When I visited Malmo, I ventured to the Malmo Castle. Here, there is a wonderful interactive maritime and animal museum that lets your kids explore everything from the first horses and dinosaurs to live snakes and clownfish. Upstairs there is a modern art museum that maybe the older members of the family might enjoy. The best part about this though is that children under 18 go free. We spent hours exploring here on our visit so what better way to provide free hours of entertainment than in Malmo Castle Malmöhus Castle
Copenhagen has a lot of museums and castles to choose from. Whereas some can be used as the perfect way to put your kids to sleep for some adult peace and quiet, others will have them bouncing off the walls in excitement.
The Experimentarium is something you will never experience anywhere else. Experimentarium brings science to life through hands-on exploration. There are three indoor floors with 18 interactive exhibitions about science and technology, as well as an interactive rooftop and science shows. This science centre truly is a celebration of curiosity, dedicated to playful science and offering hours of fun for the entire family. https://www.experimentarium.dk/en/
While the older members of the family marvel at all that the National Museum has to offer, the younger members can explore the smaller children’s museum located inside. This section is specially designed for four to ten year olds where they are submersed into the past of children from all around the world. https://en.natmus.dk/
Looking for something unusual or just want to tire out your hyperactive young ones? Well then the Circus Museum is the perfect thing for you. Every Sunday and every day in July your kids (or even any willing adults) can attend a free circus school. Here you can experience circus performances, learn about the history of the circus of swing from the trapeze yourself. Admission and opening hours
Rich culture, food and history mixed with a relaxed atmosphere makes this Nordic capital city a must see for all families. You will never be bored or never be stuck for something to marvel at for the duration of your trip. Add Copenhagen to your list for your next family city break.