From amusement parks and green space for running loose to museums and libraries just for kids, Stockholm is arguably one of the top family-friendly cities in the world and it seems Stockholm was built for families.
Specifically families with small children. Beyond making public places, transportation, and buildings easily accessible for strollers, there’s also an innate thoughtfulness that goes towards making the city family-friendly. For example, parents pushing infants and toddlers in strollers can ride for free on public buses because parents aren’t supposed to leave their stroller-bound child unattended in the back of the bus while having to pay the bus driver.
For your trip to Stockholm with kids, here are some activities and places worth checking out.
Activity 1: Junibacken
Sweden itself has a strong literary culture geared towards children with world renowned authors like literary icon Astrid Lindgren who have penned dozens of classic children’s books. If your kid is a fan of Pippi Longstocking, be sure to stop by Junibacken, a children’s playground and storybook museum on the island of Djurgården.
Junibacken is a themed attraction filled with vibrant settings and live performances. Kids get to take the story train on a journey through Pippi’s world and the characters and settings from writer Astrid Lindgren’s books. There’s an extensive bookstore here with tons of Swedish children’s books as well as interactive exhibits to keep them busy.
Activity 2: Rum för Barn (Room for Kids)
Rum för Barn (Room for kids) is an exclusive library just for kids and it has children’s books in close to a dozen languages as well as activities like painting, crafts, and sing-alongs.
Located on the fourth floor of Stockholm’s iconic Kulturhuset, it has three sections for children of different age groups – from stumbling toddlers to bumbling preteens – and the rooms have nooks, crannies, and hideaways for kids to play in as well as hammocks, bean bags, and shelves of vibrant children’s books to read and thumb through. The focus is on cognitive development, motor skills, and other creativity boosters so you’ll be hard pressed to find computer games or computerized electronics here.
Activity 3: Skansen
Located on the island of Djurgården, Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum. It was founded in 1891 to preserve and spotlight Swedish culture—from traditional artisans at work to period Nordic lifestyles. Skansen’s main draw is its Nordic zoo with Nordic wildlife such as reindeer, lynx, wolves, and moose, in addition to more than 150 traditional red Swedish cottages and historic buildings, barns with farm animals, artists’ studios and an aquarium filled with all sorts of marine life. Kids would love exploring this unique attraction which is one of Stockholm’s most interesting experiences.
Activity 4: Tom Tits Experiment
Optical illusions, earthquakes, storm winds, a robot-controlled mini roller coaster, and a slide that runs through the entire building are just a few of 600 different experiences at Tom Tits Experiment located in the town of Södertälje – a 30 minute train ride from Stockholm.
The concept is based on the French character Tom Tit. Tom Tit is an imaginary figure who carried out a range of scientific experiments in the French magazine, l’Illustration, and in several books published at the end of the 19th century. Tom Tits Experiment’s mission is to awaken children’s interest in science and technology.
A few of the experiments and experiences on tap include a soap bubble blower with interesting formations and surface light reflections, and ball race where gravity comes to play with free falling balls. There are blow holes, mirror mazes, mind games, illusion galleries, periodic tables, slides, spaceballs, and enough geeky goodness to keep your kids entertained for hours.
1 Great Place to Stay: Scandic Hotels
Beyond renting an apartment which is a great way to live like a local and save money, when it comes to overall value, it’s hard to beat Scandic Hotel chain’s roughly 20+ hotel locations that dot the city.
While rooms are modest and minimalist — you’re in Scandinavia, after all — each Scandic hotel is designed with efficiency and bang-for-buck mind. They have family rooms and suites in addition to fantastic breakfast buffet spreads with both cold and warm dishes, free high-speed wireless Internet in all rooms and access to gyms and saunas, all included in the price.
1 Great Place to Eat: Rosendals Trädgård Café
In terms of ambiance and a great place to eat as well as explore with the kids, Rosendals Trädgård Kafé and Bageri serves everything from freshly-baked eco-friendly pastries and breads to meat and seafood dishes, soups, and salads made with ingredients from their own gardens.
The café itself is located inside a large glass greenhouse, surrounded by flower and herb gardens and fruit orchards, which creates a charming ambiance.
Their breads and pastries are baked with biodynamic flour from the Saltå Kvarn mill in nearby Järna, and their dishes are cooked using seasonal ingredients and organic produce from certified farms and growers. You can also picnic under their fruit trees in the large orchards as well.