Copenhagen with Kids
Copenhagen is an approachable city that offers tons of tun and nearby day trips. It is not as family friendly as some of the other parts of Denmark, but is worth a visit.
We found a perfectly quirky Airbnb to rent in the heart of Copenhagen. The location was to die for, the place perfectly appointed but, like most Airbnb’s it had its quirks. (This one had the apartment’s only toilet out in the hall and a camping shower that hooked into the sink in the bathroom/laundry room.) This was all easily forgivable though through the charm and location of the place.
It has a master bed above a toddler bed and crib, plus a second room with a bunk bed and one lofted bed. The toys that were in the apartment were a total bonus for the kids after several long driving days. We also loved the play area in the courtyard.
This adorable kitchen table and living room though really did become our home away from home for a few days. The kids loved eating our meals here and planning our days.
There are plenty of public lots for parking. Parking was free on Sunday so we moved our car from the lot to the free parking spaces behind our building.
Our house was located next to Torvhallerne, Copenhagen’s food market. This, and the grocery store on the next block, became our go to place for food. The food market has over 60 stands selling everything you could possibly want.
Our first night we grabbed some tacos and sodas and ate in the adjacent park. The kids loved running around exploring the fountains and stairs.
Every evening our kids asked to go back to play in this concrete playground. There was always something going on in this space from drummers to basketball games, making it a fun place to hang out. It also happened to be directly above the car park we used for our visit.
Our first full day in Copenhagen we set off on foot to explore the city. Our first stop was a block from the house, Rosenborg Castle. You can go inside to see crown jewels and other exhibits but the kids were more interested in exploring the gardens and parks that surround the castle and are open to the public.
The Kings Garden was the perfect place to set the kids free to run through this traditional garden. They loved weaving in and out of the paths, and we loved that they were contained.
In the center of the park is a lovely little playground with two sleeping dragons and an egg in the center. There are four pavilions, each with an obstacle between the egg and the pavilion. The playground sparked the kids’ imaginations and our kids immediately took off to defeat the obstacles.
With everyone tired from our jaunt in the park we loaded one kid into a carrier and one into the stroller and headed off to Copenhagen’s own star fort, Kastellet. We chose a path that ran along the moat, through the trees. We even found a little playground tucked up into a clearing.
It’s just a short walk through some more manicured gardens to the Little Mermaid Statue. It is in fact, smaller then you would imagine. At 10am it was swamped with tourists, many of whom were trying to crawl out and sit with it.
We picked up the public harbor boat just past the Little Mermaid with the intention of taking it all the way to the royal library, but instead hopped off in Nyhaven. The weather was so nice and a stroll through this trendy area of town looking for lunch seemed like a good idea.
We thought we would grab some lunch at the Copenhagen Street Food area across from Nyhaven, but bridge work had closed the pedestrian bridge. Then we attempted to walk to the famous sandwich place mentioned in 1,000 Place to See Before you Die, but found it closed on weekends. Instead we ducked into a courtyard and found Amadeus. The food was delicious and they had coloring for the kids!
Leaving the restaurant we ran into the Danish Fire Department. My kids are obsessed with fire trucks and were overjoyed when the firefighters produced plastic hats and coloring books for them. The kids wore the hats on and off for the rest of our trip.
The next stop was the National Museum of Denmark. Like many of the museums in Europe you have to transfer to a museum stroller upon arrival. Our kids always love this because it means they both get to ride! The ones at the National Museum of Denmark were brand new and the kids were so cozy they cried when we had to trade back for our regular stroller.
The museum has a fabulous children’s area. It has several themed play areas. The school room was a favorite. H was our teacher while O scribbled on the chalkboard. Jeff and I had fun writing on the chalk tablets, while Jeff taught.
Another great area was the medieval kitchen. The kids dressed up and served us a huge meal of plastic chickens and bread. There was also a fun castle, a Viking ship and a mini roundhouse all of which the kids enjoyed.
We also ventured into the actual museum. The boys had little appetite for the antiquities so instead we went to an exhibit on doll houses. The room moved from day to night with little lights flickering in the houses. The back of the display lets you peak into all the houses.
O found a whole wall of antique car toys which pretty much completed his life. He just pointed at each toy and said “car” over and over.
The plan was to hit the round tower as we headed back toward our house for the evening, but the line stretched around the block. Instead we grabbed some ice cream at Paradis Is for our walk back to the house. When we arrived back at our place, both boys had fallen asleep. Jeff ran over to the market for some dinner and we spent the rest of the evening relaxing at the house.
The next day we took a day trip to Malmo, Sweden. Follow the link for more!
The plan for our next day in Copenhagen was to head over to Tivoli gardens when it opened at eleven. The kids were up early so we had some morning time to fill. The Coffee Collective, at the market was our first stop. Their coffee is delicious and they make an iced latte that was perfect for the already warm morning.
The Round Tower opens at 10 and we were first in line to climb the tower. This 17th century tower and observatory has virtually no stairs so we were able to take the stroller most of the way up, with O riding happily. Once at the top you have stunning views of Copenhagen. We were also able to stand over the hollow core of the building in a small room with a glass floor. The boys thought this was so cool!
On the way down we stopped into the library hall where there is artwork inspired by H.C. Anderson. We had fun guessing which story each piece of art work came from. The artwork rotates but is always H.C. Anderson themed as he was a frequent visitor of the university library that was hosted in the hall.
We made one final stop at the Jens Olsen’s World Clock in the Copenhagen city hall. This clock, constructed from 1945-1955, displays not only the local time but the solar time, sidereal time, sunrises and sunsets, celestial pole migration as well as hosts a Gregorian calendar and changing holidays! The visit is free.
We spent the rest of our Monday at Tivoli Gardens. You can read about our visit here. After Tivoli we walked back into town for dinner at Sporvejen. This refurbished trolley car serves some of the best burgers in town. They have a kids menu and provide coloring at the table. Despite the beautiful weather we sat inside to enjoy the “tram” feel. After dinner the boys danced around in the square just outside the restaurant before we made the short walk home.
We were driving but have flown through the Copenhagen airport previously. I wanted to mention that they have a lovely kids area full of things to play with for kids of all ages. There are several Joe and the Juice locations, a Scandinavian chain, in the airport that have great sandwiches and smoothies if you need a bite to eat.
The bottom line is don’t let the cost of Copenhagen scare you away from this charming city. Even if you just venture in for a day or two it is full of hidden surprises.