Stockholm with little kids
June 2, 2014 1:27 PM   Subscribe

We will be spending four days in Stockholm in the middle of June, with two boys, three and six years old. We've got the standard order guidebook suggestions (Vasa Museum, Skansen, etc.) of things to do, but I'd really love some suggestions of fun things for kids, or even just playgrounds for them to run around when they have had enough of Vikings and whatnot. They tend to be very excited about all modes of transportation, so trams, ferries, etc are a bonus. We will be staying near Ostermalm.
posted by ambrosia to Travel & Transportation around Stockholm, Sweden (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Vasaparken is wonderful. There's a big soccer field on one end and a playground on the other. It includes artificial hills that sport a slide and, better still, three small trampolines that are just below surface level so you can't really hurt yourself much.

I happen to be visiting Stockholm right this minute. Let me ponder the playgrounds I used to go to with my kid, back when we lived here and she was small, and get back to you.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:31 PM on June 2, 2014

Vasa museum was indeed great.

We also loved these tiny gardens. It was fun to just wander around up there and imagine what it was like in those tiny little houses.
posted by advicepig at 1:32 PM on June 2, 2014

Best answer: I took my two boys (then aged 4 and 6) to Stockholm last summer and we had a blast. The Vasa Museum was great - I prefaced it by telling them the story of the mad king who wanted his ship to be made bigger and bigger - and that provided enough context to make it interesting.

Skansen was fun, but they were not really interested in the historical aspect, they just liked the animals and the small train.

The best part was taking boats to various places. We liked Fjäderholmen because it was a short ride, and a nice little island with a good kids playground. That was an easy afternoon. But picking almost any of the short boat rides from the docks off Strandvagen will be fun.

There is also a subway system and trams, which my transport-obsessed boys loved.

There were decent parks everywhere, although I have forgotten which ones we went to.
posted by Joh at 1:36 PM on June 2, 2014

Best answer: Oh, on my list of places to go (but we never made it there) was Tom Tit's Experiment which sounds like a cross between a playground and a science museum. Its a train ride away from central Stockholm, which is arguably a bonus for little people. I can't vouch for it, but sounds fun in theory.

It was recommended to me right here on AskMeFi in this question last year!
posted by Joh at 1:45 PM on June 2, 2014

Best answer: I will always recommend Tom Tit's Experiment for kids (ok, I had a lot of fun too). It's kind of like the Exploratorium, but it's even more fun. When my daughter and I first got in, we heard the kids talking about the "rutschkana", so we went to see what that was. Turns out it's a four-story slide that goes in and out of the building. At the very end, you can see what your speed was in kilometers. We could've done that all day, but we moved on to a bubble room, an outdoor water area (where my daughter got soaked), a wind tunnel where you can experience how strong various wind forces feel (I got her partially dried off there), and so much more.

Also, check around where you're staying for parks - we did an apartment rental, and about 5 minutes' walk from our apartment was a series of parks for the neighborhood.

Are you staying in a hotel or an apartment? Hotels will probably have blackout curtains, but if you're in an apartment, be prepared to improvise extra curtains. It can be hard for kids to fall asleep when the sun is still up at 10 pm (or later). For adults, a sleep mask can be really helpful.

MeMail me if you want more info or ideas.
posted by mogget at 2:56 PM on June 2, 2014

Stockholm is basically engineered for parents and kids. Especially if you like six billion museums. You can check out the Transport Museum but you can also take a couple of older trams out on Djurdgården, including one with a coffeeshop on board. Public transport is very expensive and requires pre-bought tickets or registering your cellphone and buying tickets via SMS. Your best bet is probably to buy a 3-day or 7-day ticket. The kids travel for free with a paying adult. You can use this ticket to take the boat from Slussen to Djursholm and then go on the tram back! Will drop in a little later with some other suggestions.
posted by Iteki at 1:06 AM on June 3, 2014

Since you will stay near Östermalm I really recommend the excellent playground in the Humlegården park. It’s in the northern part, by Karlavägen. The playground has different sections for different ages, and you can borrow loads of toys – from sandbox stuff to tricycles – for free. Toys are just lying around all over the place. It’s staffed during the day and there’s a house with restrooms, where you can also buy lemonade and biscuits for a few kronor. Also the Humlegården-park is really nice in itself. Get your coffee at Albert & Jacks on Engelbrektsgatan in the lower part of the park.
posted by Petersondub at 1:32 AM on June 3, 2014

Junibacken is right next to the Vasa museum on Djurgården. It's a playland type place based on well-loved author Astrid Lindgren's world, and from what I know it is squarely aimed at kids the age of your boys. There is some kind of "story train" ride, so that might tickle their fancy! (You can also ride the tram down there from Östermalm.)

If it's really warm outside, there's a family friendly outside pool in the green space on the outskirts of Östermalm - Kampementsbadet. It's not outstanding in any way, and it can get quite crowded, but it is a convenient place to cool down if your kids like splashing about in the water. The pictures on the site show it fairly well, including the little kiddy pool.
posted by harujion at 2:15 AM on June 3, 2014

God.. not Djursholm, Djurgården with the boat..

When in the middle of june are you coming? There's a whole book called "Barn i Stan" that's available more or less anywhere touristy, here's their site, it might work well with google translate. Barn i Stan. Enter your dates on the left. You can also sort by area, such as Östermalm. Get stuff nearby like this.
If you are here for midsommar you should go to Skansen for that.

Can I hijaack this thread a teeny bit to point to Bella Donna's meetup thread? Not everyone uses the location field in their profile.
posted by Iteki at 2:40 AM on June 3, 2014

Best answer: Nthing Tom Tits Experiment, which is a full day's outing in my experience. Also, Nthing Humlegården, which I took my then 7-year old to every day the first couple of weeks after we moved to Sweden years ago and were staying temporarily in Östermalm.

Another great park is Rålambshovsparken, which is big and fun. You can walk from there to Smedisbadet, a nice place to swim outdoors.

As you may know, you are not required to pay to get on the bus if you have a child in a stroller. The parent with the older child will need to get on at the front and pay for him/herself but the parent with the stroller can press the stroller button in the middle of the bus and get on there, for free.

Nobody mentioned Old Town, or Gamla Stan. But the Palace is there and it's fun to see the soldiers guarding it and walk around on cobbled streets and stop for ice cream. It is a tourist mob scene but there are many quiet streets off the main drag.

Finally, don't miss the herring wagon called Nystekt Strömmingvagnen at Slussen. It's a Stockholm institution and serves up really great, local food. And since it's outside near water and near Old Town and a part of Södermalm, it's in a great, central location.

Have a wonderful trip!
posted by Bella Donna at 6:36 PM on June 10, 2014

Response by poster: We are back from Stockholm, and thanks everyone for the great advice. Tom Tits Experiment was hands down the biggest hit with the kids, along with the Vasa Museum. We did happen to stumble on the palace during the changing of the guard, and my kids enjoyed that too. We also happened to be at Skansen while they were holding something called the "drop-in brollop" which looked like some mass impromptu wedding?

For future visitors, we decided to spring for the Stockholm Card, which you can buy in 24 hour increments, that gets you in to just about everything and also covers all public transportation. It's not cheap, but admission prices add up fast, and a lot of museums are worth the time but perhaps not the cost of admission, and the Stockholm card meant we could just pop in and check something out without worrying about the expense, and also simplified all the public transit. It definitely paid for itself.
posted by ambrosia at 7:24 AM on June 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

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