As a family destination, the world’s oldest open-air museum does not disappoint! Phonetic Planet took a trip to Stockholm, where they spent a memorable day sampling many aspects of Sweden’s unique traditions in a fabulous outdoor setting.
Välkommen till Skansen!
If you have been considering a trip to northern Europe with children, we can recommend this beautiful spot without hesitation. Easily accessible from Stockholm’s city center, Skandsen entices the visitor who appreciates fresh air and ample space for relaxed, individualized exploration. In a natural oasis that offers year-round programming to reflect seasonal changes and traditional holidays, it is possible to experience music, folklore and Sweden’s historic farming tradition as well as walking trails, regional cuisine and opportunities to engage in hands-on learning.
Options abound here! With careful planning, you can customize your visit to enrich a few short hours (although we guarantee that an entire day can fly by in this special place). It is also possible to purchase a two-day pass, which might be useful if you are visiting around particular holidays. Midsummer, for example, is an ideal time to visit; this year’s programming (from June 22-24) features wreath making and dancing around the Maypole, to live music, until the late night hours. Now, doesn’t that sound tempting? For winter entertainment, there are daily skating lessons and ski sleds to complement the traditional holiday celebrations.
This park offers the availability of baby strollers for rent, which is helpful if you are hoping to explore as much as you can of the 75 acre area. It is also wheelchair accessible, and offers wheelchairs free of charge to those in need. There are plenty of places in which to sit and take a break when hunger strikes. Bring your own picnic if you choose to do so, although you may just find yourself caving in to the temptation of one or two of those charming little tea shops that you might meet along the way…..
Skansen was opened in October 1891 as a means of showcasing the way of life in different parts of Sweden before the onset of the industrial age. As a living history museum, it presents not only farm life but also a full replica of a 19th century town, complete with bakers, glass-blowers and shoemakers.
There is also a small open-air zoo, where visitors can get a good look at many species native to Scandinavia, including wolf, moose, lynx and grey seal. Oh, did we mention the reindeer? Yes, there are several. Contrary to what we had been thinking, we discovered that there are no wild reindeer in Sweden. Rather, the herds that exist in the Swedish mountains belong to about ten percent of the Sami population, an indigenous minority who have legal right to herding them for cultural and political reasons. We have to admit that attending an information session on these beautiful animals was one of the highlights of our trip!
Many of the information sessions are provided in English as well as in Swedish, by the way. The entire property is tastefully arranged to entice rather than to overwhelm. Our visit did include a stop at the gift shop, which offered a wide selection of traditional crafts and a wonderful array of children’s books for all reading levels.
Learn more at http://www.skansen.se/en/ where you will see why we hope to make a return trip to this beautiful spot!