Kids' Copenhagen

Kids' Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (D)

Copenhagen is filled with attractions and activities for families with small children as well as teenagers. This directory gives kids and their carers a list of kid-friendly spots in Copenhagen, from museums and playgrounds to cafes and toy shops, with simple, clear descriptions and the co-ordinates to find them easily.
How it works: The full article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the sights featured in this article. The app's navigation functions guide you from one sight to the next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: Kids' Copenhagen
Guide Location: Denmark » Copenhagen
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (D))
# of Attractions: 16
Author: Jane Graham
Author Bio: After exploring much of Europe in her twenties, the easy-going vibe of Copenhagen convinced native Brit Jane to settle down here in 1999. With four lively young children of her own, Jane is certainly no stranger to finding her way around the city’s streets with a stroller and diaper bag in search of family-friendly activities. An experienced travel writer as well as translator, Jane has written and consulted for numerous travel guides.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Children's Museum at the Nationalmuseet
  • Hamleys in Illum
  • Playground on Nikolaj Plads
  • Copenhagen Zoo
  • Restaurant Chili
  • Kongens Have Puppet Show
  • Sømods Bolcher Sweet Factory
  • Denmark’s Aquarium
  • Tivoli Gardens
  • MakkeKafe
  • Statens Museum for Children
  • Build-a-Bear Workshop
  • Experimentarium
  • Post & Tele Museum
  • Open Air Museum
  • Playground in Kongens Have
Children's Museum at the Nationalmuseet

1) Children's Museum at the Nationalmuseet

Let your kids run around a museum and play with everything on display. In the separate children’s wing of Copenhagen’s National Museum, no-one’s telling you not to touch the exhibits; in fact they’re encouraging it. A hands-on romp through history for kids up to 12 years; dress up like a Viking and clamber on board an exact replica of an original 10th-century long boat, practice weighing produce at the medieval market and sit down at the desk of granddad’s classroom in a 1920s school room. Boys and girls who enjoy playing dress up will be hard to tear away from ‘grandma’s wardrobe’, a treasure trove of sailor suits, old-fashioned underwear, socks, frilly skirts and aprons. Admission is free; closed on Mondays.
Hamleys in Illum

2) Hamleys in Illum

London’s most well-known toy emporium Hamleys is more than 250 years old, and has now taken over much of the fourth floor of grand old Illum department store on Copenhagen’s pedestrian street Strøget. Inner Copenhagen’s largest toy store is bright and animated, with plenty of demonstrations and display items. Kids should find everything they could wish for on the well-stacked racks, from dolls and teddies to Lego sets and computer games – and if mum and dad feel in need of a refreshment break, the top floor cafe ‘Spisebaren’ is just one stop on the elevator. Open Mon-Sat from 10am-7pm.
Playground on Nikolaj Plads

3) Playground on Nikolaj Plads

What this miniature public play area lacks in size it makes up for by being right in the middle of the shops and bustle of downtown Copenhagen, between pedestrian street Strøget and the Nikolaj Kirke church (now a modern art gallery). It has recently been completely renovated and offers smaller children the chance to climb around an imaginative jungle gym that has been designed by artists in the form of a small forest; small wooden owl sculptures stand guard close by. The entire area is enclosed with a gate so little children can’t run off and there are baby swings as well as those for older kids.
Copenhagen Zoo

4) Copenhagen Zoo

Located at the far end of the stately park Frederiksberg Have between Frederiksberg and the more suburban Valby district, Copenhagen Zoo is the only attraction in the city to be open 365 days a year and though entrance prices may seem a little steep, it can easily keep the kids amused for hours. First opened in 1859, many of the zoo’s oldest enclosures have been recently enlarged and improved, including the Norman Foster-designed elephant house and the glass-cased pool for the three resident hippos. Larger than you might first imagine, the zoo spreads out to the other side of Roskildevej, with the ‘African savannah’ and children’s petting zoo reached via a tunnel under the highway. The cafe is particularly family-friendly and the petting zoo and play area is an attraction in itself – one part of the playground is designed like a rabbit warren and you may find it hard to prize the children out! Open daily, admission 140Dkr for adults and children 12 and over, 80Dkr children aged 3-11, free for kids under 3.
Image Courtesy of Mark Healey.
Restaurant Chili

5) Restaurant Chili

Copenhagen’s oldest burger bar is found between central Nytorv Square and the canal side Gammel Strand, and is an ideal dining option for families with teenagers or tweens, who should love the kid-friendly dishes and American-style diner decor. Chili’s wipe-clean formica tables may lack a little in elegance, but when it comes to catering for families they’re the ideal choice. Prices are very reasonable by Copenhagen standards, and the menu offers hamburgers of good-quality beef, grilled chicken and vegetarian burgers, all accompanied by generous portions of fries. Kids will be amused by the carousel of dips that comes with all meals and if they get bored waiting, ask the wait staff for pens and paper so they can draw a picture to add to those already on the walls. Open daily from 10am (from 11am on Sundays).
Kongens Have Puppet Show

6) Kongens Have Puppet Show

The Marionetteatret’s traditional open air puppet show has been performed on its permanent stage on the Kronprinsessegade (city) side of Kongens Have Park (The King’s Gardens) every summer from June 1st until the end of August since 1966. A well-established tradition for Copenhagen families and tourists alike, each season presents two brand-new shows filled with sound, music and beautifully imaginative characters and sets. The virtually wordless, 30-minute performances are understandable in any language and suitable for children from 2 years upwards. The free shows start at 2pm and 3pm every day except Monday and take place in all weathers (remember raingear) as long as there is an audience, which there almost always is – the theatre estimates an annual audience between 40,000 to 50,000. Admission free; performances at 2pm & 3pm every Tue-Sun in June-Aug.
Image Courtesy of Marionetteatret.
Sømods Bolcher Sweet Factory

7) Sømods Bolcher Sweet Factory

A genuine old-fashioned boiled sweet factory in the heart of Copenhagen not far from Nørreport station, Sømods Bolcher is hidden in the back of a courtyard and recently celebrated 120 years of hand production. You go into the little shop on the first floor (leave prams and buggies in the courtyard) and after marvelling at all the many colours, sizes and varieties of candy on offer (you may even be allowed a few free tastings) you can ask to go into the back room, where the sweets are still made much as they were a century ago, with old rollers and boilers. Admission free; Open for production tours Mon-Fri from 9.15am-3pm (start of last tour).
Image Courtesy of Sømods Bolcher.
Denmark’s Aquarium

8) Denmark’s Aquarium

Denmark’s aquarium is located a little north of Copenhagen in the coastal suburb of Charlottenlund, reachable by the suburban train ‘s-toget’ and not far from an attractive sandy beach and pleasant woodland area. Colourful and curious, its exhibits are sure to fascinate quite young children, with over 300 species of both fresh and seawater varieties to see including seahorses, piranhas, turtles, squids and sharks. The ‘touch pools’ in the basement give children the chance to see what a variety of marine creatures feel like, from crabs to sea anemones. Witness a pack of hungry piranhas eating their lunch when the fish are fed once daily on weekdays and twice on weekends and holidays (11.30am and 2pm). If you still feel peckish after that, there is an in-house cafe. Open daily; Admission 100Dkr for adults and children 12 & over, 55Dkr for children 3-11 and free for under 3s
Image Courtesy of Ty Stange.
Tivoli Gardens

9) Tivoli Gardens

Located in the very heart of Copenhagen not far from the Central Train Station, Tivoli pleasure gardens dates from the 1860s but has been constantly updated to provide both nostalgic atmosphere and modern entertainment for all ages. Family-friendly facilities include baby-changing area, miniature kids’ toilets and kids’ ‘pancake house’ restaurant next to the children’s play area ‘Petzi’s World’. Those with young children are advised to come early as there are often long lines for kids’ rides, including the old-fashioned carousels and miniature rollercoasters, in high season. Note that although Tivoli is now free for children under 8 – older kids pay the full adult price – tickets don’t include admission to the rides, though a variety of multiride passes and tickets can be bought at the entrance. In addition to the daily parade, the traditional Pantomime Theatre has a regular spot during summer season with free admission and there are many restaurants and cafes dotted around the park. Other attractions include Tivoli’s attractive central lake area – that provides a little peace from the noisy excitement of it all – and a saltwater aquarium with 30m-long tropical coral reef, located on the ground floor of the concert hall building (entrance 20Dkr extra). Open from mid April to late Sept (summer), for 2 weeks in mid October and from mid Nov to end Dec; Admission 95Dkr for adults and kids 8 yrs and upwards.
Image Courtesy of Peter Lindberg.

10) MakkeKafe

The small cafe ‘MakkeKafe’ is run by two Italian women and can be found on the canal side between Gammel Strand and the National Museum, making it an ideal pit stop after a few hours in the children’s museum (see no.1). Note that the cafe is located down a number of steep steps in basement premises, so leave your pram or buggy outside. As well as serving great coffee and bottled organic fruit juices the cafe offers a range of handmade and healthy cakes, biscuits, bread rolls, salads and sandwiches, and while there are no actual kids menus, there’s enough here to take the edge off of anyone’s hunger. The cafe is furnished with a rather odd collection of thrift store hand-me-downs and rustic-looking furniture; dine at regular height (high chair available) or sink down onto a sofa by the long coffee tables. Prices are reasonable and in addition to the friendly, relaxed atmosphere there is also an inviting play area. Cash only. Open daily.
Image Courtesy of Jane Graham.
Statens Museum for Children

11) Statens Museum for Children

The children’s annex at Denmark’s national gallery Statens Museum for Kunst is located on the first floor. In addition to the workshops offering the chance to draw, paint and sculpt in a variety of materials, family-friendly initiatives at the museum include the open-to-all sketching room and family days on the first Sunday of every month. Guided tours for children are held every Sunday and are recommended for kids from 4-12 years with free admission, though due to numbers tickets need to be picked up at the ground-floor reception 30 minutes earlier. Tours run on changing themes according to current exhibits and place both the permanent collection and new exhibits at kids’ height. The museum is pram friendly (though you are requested to leave your own in the cloakroom and use one of the museum’s buggies, provided free of charge) and has changing facilities and an elevator to all floors. Entrance to the weekend workshops costs 45Dkr – buy a ticket from the reception downstairs, though no advance booking is necessary. Children’s workshops run every Sat-Sun from 10.30am-4.30pm and all July; Last ticket at 3.45pm.
Image Courtesy of SMK Foto.
Build-a-Bear Workshop

12) Build-a-Bear Workshop

The oldest and largest of the popular Build-a-Bear workshops in Denmark is found just outside Tivoli by the main Vesterbrogade entrance and is open all year round, even when Tivoli is not. All children, particularly girls from 4 years to about 10 will love the chance to make their own cuddly toys, seeing the bear ‘come alive’ as it is kissed, cuddled and stuffed by the store staff, who give each customer a name tag and individual attention through the process, which ends with a special ‘birth certificate’ for each bear. It’s also possible to hold birthday parties in the store (book in advance). Open daily from 11am (10am on weekends).
Image Courtesy of

13) Experimentarium

Denmark’s science museum is ideal for kids who’ve grown out of the zoo and little playgrounds and graduated onto the, ‘how does this work?’ phase of questioning. Admission is a little high, but all activities are included in the price and the centre is packed with gadgets and gizmos that will have kids (as well as dads) fascinated for hours. There are nearly 300 interactive exhibits, in different sections: The Kids’ Pavilion is ideal for 3-6 year-olds to play, dance and build, while ‘You & Me’, for example, focuses on the human body, in addition to daily demonstrations and shows on subjects as diverse as giant soap bubbles and looking inside a real pig’s brain. Located north of Copenhagen in the seaside suburb of Hellerup, the hands-on museum is found a short walk from Hellerup’s suburban S-train station and is fully accessible for all families as well as those with disabilities. It’s financed mainly by Danish businesses and is well equipped to deal with English-speaking guests; the museum cafe has snacks and meals for all tastes and is reasonably priced. Open daily from 9.30am, admission adults/ children from 12 yrs, 160Dkr, 3-11 yrs 100Dkr.
Image Courtesy of Christian Alsing.
Post & Tele Museum

14) Post & Tele Museum

Suggest a museum of post and telecommunications to the kids and they’ll probably groan. But Copenhagen’s post museum offers more for children than they, or you, might think – housed in Copenhagen’s original post office, it charts the history of Denmark’s communications from Scandinavia’s first postal service in 1624 to today’s digital era of communication, with a children’s workshop, top floor cafe offering splendid views over the city and shop. Perhaps best of all for 2012 however is the special exhibit-free play centre inside a stamp, where the motives of 104 Danish stamps has been put in a giant format. Play isn’t about the exhibits – it’s in it. Free admission; booking necessary for play centre (max. 1 hour). Open daily from 10am-4pm.
Image Courtesy of Post & Tele Museum.
Open Air Museum

15) Open Air Museum

Part of the National Museum, the Open Air Museum or ‘Frilandsmuseet’ is open in summer only and free to visit. It can be found in Kongens Lyngby north of Copenhagen and a short walk from Sorgenfri station. The museum’s 86 acres of land is the setting for over 50 original farms, mills and houses dating from 1650 up to 1950, from a watermill to a country manor – all fully furnished and staffed as they would have been in their prime. The buildings are authentic historic pieces transferred from their original sites across all of Denmark after the museum first opened in 1901. The kids can run around freely and there are also farm animals wandering around the area. Though there is a cafe, bringing your own packed lunch is a good idea, as well as choosing a sunny day as most of this museum is outside (as the name suggests) so do bring rain gear – the weather in Denmark is notoriously changeable. Free admission. Open May to October only from 10am; Closed on Mondays.
Image Courtesy of Christian Alsing.
Playground in Kongens Have

16) Playground in Kongens Have

No trip to see the puppet theatre in the Kings Gardens (Kongens Have) should miss out the chance to play in the park’s wonderful playground. What is small for grown-ups (and fenced in so little ones won’t run off) is a fantasy world for little princesses and brave knights, who will find plenty of challenges here. Decked out with carved wooden fantasy figures including a long dragon to climb on, and a balancing walk of golden eggs, this artists’ landscaped play area stimulates children’s imaginations and offers limitless possibilities for outdoor play. It’s also situated in arguably Copenhagen’s nicest park, an elegant Renaissance garden with a great view of Rosenborg Palace – should you feel like taking a look at the Danish crown jewels. Public toilets as well as a small snack cafe are located close by.

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