Copenhagen is a safe, small and family-oriented city with as many child-friendly attractions as there are grown-up things to do. With a little planning, everyone can have a good time.
Start your day in the gorgeous Kings Gardens, Kongens Have, in front of the regal Rosenborg Palace – a real fairytale castle, with turrets, a moat and even the crown jewels in the basement. The kids might not feel like running around its old rooms, but they’re sure to enjoy jumping about in the gardens’ newly-renovated playground, which boasts artist-designed animal figures to encourage imaginative play. The gardens themselves are a mix of Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic stylings from the 17th to 19th centuries (should mom and dad be interested).
The Playground in Kongens Have Gardens — Photo courtesy of Palaces and Properties Agency
If you’re here at the right time – from 1st June to end August at 2pm or 3pm every day except Monday – the Kongens Have Marionette Theater, which has its own little stage at the front of the park near Kronprinsessegade, is a long-established Copenhagen tradition. The half-hour shows are virtually wordless, so kids can appreciate them no matter what language they speak.
The weather in Copenhagen can be inclement, so we’ve provided a rainy day alternative: The children’s annex of the Nationalmuseet is a romp through Danish history for younger kids, allowing plenty of hands-on learning in the form of playing shops, schools and dress-up in the Victorian wardrobe. Even better, the museum has free entry for everyone and a great restaurant, Julian, on the first floor that’s family-friendly, organic and surprisingly stylish.
Hands-on learning in the children's museum of Nationalmuseet. — Photo courtesy of Nationalmuseet
If you’re here in season (Mid-April to late-Sep or mid-Nov to end-Dec), no family can leave Copenhagen without a trip to the Tivoli Pleasure Gardens. The kids will enjoy the rides while mum and dad will appreciate the park’s lofty ambitions that raise it far above the average funfair – live music, concerts, pantomime shows and restaurants all provide stimulation and diversion, as do the thousands of flowers, obviously cared-for lawns, boating lake and late night firework shows. There can be long waits for the rides for the smallest kids, so it’s advisable to come before 2pm to avoid queues – and note that rides cost extra, so buy a multi-pass bracelet along with your entry ticket if your kids are the type to try everything more than once.
Tivoli Gardens. — Photo courtesy of Peter Lindberg
If Tivoli happens to be closed, why not take a trip a little out of town to one of two great attractions found a little north of Copenhagen: Danmarks Akvarium is located in coastal suburb Charlottenlund, and has everything from seahorses and giant turtles to piranhas and sharks.
Kids of all sizes can appreciate science museum Experimentarium. — Photo courtesy of Christian Alsing
Hellerup’s science museum Experimentarium doesn’t merely answer kids’ annoying, “how-does-this-work” questions, it allows them to figure it out themselves in the form of a vast array of gadgets, machines and kinetic displays. You’ll never get dad out of there.