I was asked a few weeks ago by a reader for some recommendations of some good places to visit and things to do with a four year old in Copenhagen. I thought that this might be information that would be interesting to many people so here they are. These recommendations are based on the things we have enjoyed doing since my son was three and we still love them. This is in no way a definitive guide and I am sure other people have other recommendations so please do leave a comment below if you do.
First of all a big category for us is museums. Copenhagen is very well served with amazing museums that actively welcome children and families. The Workers’ Museum and the National Museum have dedicated children’s sections, which can offer hours of entertainment and repeated visits. The rest of these museums are also welcoming to children and presented in the right way, fascinating. They both offer a varied events calendar which is worth keeping an eye on. The plus point for the National Museum is that its free. The Workers’ Museum offers a Friends scheme, which after paying an annual fee, a named adult can get in for free (children are always free).
The Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK) is also very welcoming to families and also free to get in. They usually have an exhibition aimed at children and at the weekend and during school holidays they have a children’s workshop, where for 45kr per child, your child can built a creation from recycled materials, paint a picture on an easel or some other creation.
The Danish Architecture Centre also offers children’s activities in some of the school holidays so this is worth keeping an eye on.
Parks and playgroundsI love the parks here in the city and there are many with great play areas such as Kongens Have and Ørsteds Parken, which are favourites of ours. Fælledparken raises the bar with the Traffic Playground, an enclosed area of small-sized roads with real traffic lights and street signs for children to practice safe cycling and also the Towers Playground, close to Rigshospital. Frederiksberg Have has the added bonus of spotting the elephants in the zoo from a public viewing spot.
A number of playgrounds are manned during the week by kommune employees and, at these times, offer more activities and things to play with, you can get the list here or from the personnel at one of the manned ones. In the summer months check out the playground Skydebanen in Vesterbro and the water playground in Fælledparken for large water play and paddling areas (known as soppesøer) very suitable for young children (there are others on the list linked above for playgrounds).
Again many of the pools here have facilities suitable for preschoolers, our favourite, although a little on the pricey side, is DGI Byen, where they have a great children’ pool for non swimmers with varying depths of areas and warm, clean changing rooms. For a full list of swimming pools check this out.
This place is the perfect place to explore and get lost in. My son loves running up and down the hills in the garden with twisty turny pathways and also exploring the hot houses. Some of the smaller glasshouses are open on holidays and special days in the week and are a great way to see some unusual and enormous plants. It is also a great place to observe the changes of seasons.
The Lego Store
I am sure that every parent has visited this place on Strøget many times but did you know that from 4pm – 6pm on the first Thursday of the month they offer a free mini build at the back of the store? You need to build it there but it is free to take home on completion.
I find that despite the fact there are very few specifically family friendly restaurants in the city most are. However our favourites are Hache Burger for lunch as they do a great lunch special and offer two sliders for the kids at a very reasonable price; The Laundromat Cafe; Sticks and Sushi, who also offer great children’s meals; and also Copenhagen Street Food (next to the Experimentarium) as there is something for everyone.
Finally heading out-of-town is a great way to have a day out with kids and explore something new. We regularly go to Louisiana and have since my son was three. The children’s wing is outstanding and the activities there are truly integrated with the current exhibitions. The buffet lunch price for children is affordable but the food is perhaps a little adult for some tastes. A good tip is to buy an integrated travel and entrance ticket from DSB (at the 7-11 at the stations but be prepared for the staff to not know about it straight away) it is 200Kr for an adult as children travel and get into Louisiana for free, saves you up to 50%. You can buy it on the day of travel.
The Frilands Museum is another amazing free day out (once you get there) and takes a short train ride from the city centre to immerse yourself in the Denmark of old and wander around a beautiful countryside area.
As mentioned above in some of the points, it is definitely worth exploring season passes for places you think you are likely to visit more than three times in a year as you will be saving a significant amount compared to paying each time. Also buying blocks of swimming tickets saves money.
All the bigger libraries (and some smaller) offer great free indoor play areas for children and can eat up a morning of activity for young preschools.
Also why not jump on one of the yellow harbour buses and enjoy an amazing view of the harbour for the usual price of your travel ticket or pass? It takes about an hour to go from the stop at Toldboden to Sluseholmen.
So they are my recommendations of places we enjoy, I am sure I have forgotten many other places. I haven’t mentioned some of the more obvious choices such as Tivoli (which we love), the Zoo and beaches such as Svanemollen and Amager. Or places we haven’t been but I hear great things about such as Byoasen (a small city farm in Nørrebro) and also the Nature Centre at Vestamager. I also love spending time in the quieter parts of Christiania.
Do add your recommendations below too!
Børn i byen (in Danish) for events etc
Meet a museum family (some repetition here but still interesting, I hope)