Things to do in Stockholm with Kids: Your Family Holiday Guide to Sweden’s Capital

Stockholm is regularly voted as one of the most livable cities for families with 480 days of split parental leave, to free bus rides if you have a stroller. We wanted to find out if it’s equally as inviting for families who are visiting this fantastic city. So, for this Go With Nugget podcast episode, we sat down with local mom and Nugget contributor Emelie Cheng to find out why Sweden’s capital is such a magical place. Emelie shares with us her recommendations for things to do in Stockholm with kids and why you should consider it for your next family holiday. After speaking with her, we are officially in love with Stockholm. Read on and listen to the podcast episode to find out why your family will fall in love with this city as well.

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STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER IT

Stockholm effortlessly blends urban flair with natural beauty and will appeal to nature-loving families as much as to those looking for a fun city break. Surrounded by water, the city spreads across 14 islands, each offering unique things to do for kids. Stockholm is also the gateway to the stunning Stockholm Archipelago, the second-largest in the Baltic Sea, and a must for anyone visiting Sweden with kids. Also, it’s one of the cleanest and safest cities in Europe, designed with the well-being of families in mind. Plus, almost everyone speaks English. Are you falling in love already? Here are even more reasons why you should visit Stockholm with kids on your next family holiday.

All the things that make Stockholm a great place to live as a family also make it a great place to visit with a family.

— EMELIE CHENG

KIDS WILL LOVE

Delightful playgrounds, Scandinavian animals, hands-on open-air museum, swimming in the Baltic Sea, kanelbulle (cinnamon bun)

PARENTS WILL LOVE

Gorgeous walkable city, stunning water views, stellar food, cutting-edge designs, Swedish fika (coffee break), accessible public transportation

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: stockholm

Stockholm is a collection of islands surrounded by water. Photo: Euripides from Pixabay

GOOD TO KNOW

Stockholm’s public transit system is well maintained and extremely family-friendly. So much so that if you are traveling with a stroller, you can ride the bus for free. How awesome is that! Museums are also very kid-friendly, and most of them do not charge admission for children Skansen being one of the big exceptions.

SUGGESTED NUMBER OF DAYS

To get a true feeling of Stockholm, Emelie suggests you stay for at least a week. This will allow your family to enjoy everything the city has to offer at a more leisurely pace and also include a few day trips outside the city. If you only have a long weekend, you can still see the major sights, but it will make for a much busier trip. Emelie suggests you prioritize between the different things to do and pick the ones that resonate the most with your family. There is so much to do and see, it’s impossible to experience all in one weekend.

WHERE TO STAY IN STOCKHOLM WITH A FAMILY

Emelie suggests you make the island of Södermalm your home base during your Stockholm family holiday. It’s centrally located and all major sights are easily accessible through public transportation. Because it’s a more residential neighborhood, you can really immerse yourself into the local life. Plus, some of the best Stockholm playgrounds will be within walking distance. All this makes it truly one of the best places to stay with kids.

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: SKANSEN, DJURGÅRDEN

Things to do in Stockholm with kids_Girl in Skansen looking at blacksmith tools

Emelie’s daughter is checking out the historic blacksmith tools. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Skansen always makes the top of the list of the best things to do with kids in Stockholm, and for good reason. It’s an incredible open-air museum that’s part historical time capsule, part zoo and part cultural center. It’s a microcosm of Swedish nature, culture and society. You can walk through restored historic villages; observe elk, wolves and lynx in their natural habitat; and experience authentic celebrations of Swedish culture. If your schedule allows, Emelie recommends you visit for their Christmas market or during Midsommar (Midsummer) and join the locals for an authentic celebration. Families with younger kids will also enjoy Little Skansen, which offers a small petting zoo, multiple playgrounds and lots of interactive nature exhibitions. There are also regular performances and family-focused programs. So be sure to check out their event calendar before you go.

KIDS WILL LOVE

Seeing Nordic animals in their natural habitat, fun playgrounds, pony rides, being in nature

PARENTS WILL LOVE

Reconstructed Swedish villages, historical demonstrations, beautiful landscape

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Girl walking through Skansen village

Stroll through beautiful reconstructed historic villages. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Skansen BakingDemo

Watch a baking demonstration at an old bakery. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Girl in Skansen

Emelie’s daughter is having fun at Little Skansen. Photo: Emelie Cheng

SUGGESTED AMOUNT OF TIME

On a nice day, you can easily spend an entire day at Skansen. At a minimum, you’d want to give your family half a day to explore the many different parts.

GOOD TO KNOW

Dress for the weather. While there are some indoor activities and dining options, most of Skansen is outdoors. Also, in the late fall and winter, Skansen closes at 4:30 pm, so be sure to arrive early, to have enough time to play and explore.

FUN FACT

Trying to rid your toddler of his beloved pacifier? Within the zoo’s playroom is a place where the kids of Stockholm come to give up their pacifiers when they are ready. How’s that for a reason to visit Stockholm with kids?

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: VASA MUSEUM, DJURGÅRDEN

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Vasa museum

The Vasa is an impressive sight. Photo: Monika Neumann from Pixabay

The Vasa Museum is one of the most visited museums in Scandinavia and is dedicated to a 17th-century warship that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. After more than 300 years underwater, the ship was salvaged in 1961. Remarkably, it was almost fully intact. Today, visitors, old and young, can marvel at this impressive ship from multiple levels and learn about its history through detailed models and in-depth exhibits. It’s a unique experience both kids and parents will enjoy, and an activity you don’t want to miss when you visit Stockholm with children.

GOOD TO KNOW

The Vasa Museum offers free self-guided discovery tours for kids 3 years and older in Swedish, English, German, Finnish and Russian.

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: JUNIBACKEN, DJURGÅRDEN

Things to do in Stockholm with kids_Girl playing at Junibacken
Things to do in Stockholm with kids_Girl playing at Junibacken

Your kids will love the wonderfully immersive storybook world. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Junibacken may be the world’s only amusement park dedicated to children’s literature. It’s also home to Sweden’s largest children’s bookstore. If you aren’t familiar with Sweden’s most famous children’s author, Astrid Lindgren, head to your public library and start reading now. Your kids will love her famous characters, such as Pippi Longstocking or Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter. In Junibacken, they can experience scenes from Astrid’s famous books in real-life sets. And if this can’t get any better, there is also a story train that takes families through dioramas of her stories and those of other famous Swedish children’s book authors.

GOOD TO KNOW

Junibacken is very popular with local families. To avoid the crowds, Emelie suggests you visit early in the morning on a weekday.

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: ROSENDALS TRÄDGÅRD, DJURGÅRDEN

Things to do in Stockholm with kids_Rosendals_Greenhouse:Shop

Rosendals Trädgård offers a unique food experience for the whole family. Photo: Emelie Cheng

This activity is for the foodie parents, but will also please their kids. For over 30 years, Rosendals Trädgård (Rosendals Garden) has been focused on biodynamic farming and serving delightful food in its onsite cafe. Stop by for lunch or fika, and enjoy fresh bread or pastries from their onsite bakery. In the summer, the cafe is surrounded by beautiful flower fields where local families go to pick flowers. There’s also a lovely orchard where you can have a picnic and let the kids run around. Rosendals Trädgård makes for the perfect afternoon when visiting Stockholm with kids. It also provides some peace and quiet after an active morning at Junibacken. Sometimes we parents also need a reward for partaking in a kid’s activity.

GOOD TO KNOW

The nicer the weather the longer the lines, especially on a weekend. So plan accordingly, or try to visit on a weekday.

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: girl picking flowers

Even if you aren’t picking flowers, take a stroll through the fields and snap some photos. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Rosendals Cafe

Enjoy freshly baked treats from the onsite bakery. Photo: Emelie Cheng

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: UGGLEPARKEN PLAYGROUND

Things to do in Stockholm with kids_Uggleparken_playground
Things to do in Stockholm with kids: wooden flowers at Uggleparken playground

Kids will love the giant slides and wooden daisy fields. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Uggleparken is the favorite playground of Emelie’s daughter. We think it may actually be the best playground in Stockholm. Kids get to explore giant wooden owls and whisk down fun slides. It’s a bit outside the main tourist drag, but that adds to its charm and it’s definitely worth the trip. So add this playground to your list of things to do for your Stockholm family holiday!

GOOD TO KNOW

There’s also a mini golf course with a nice cafe nearby. Check out Emelie’s itinerary for the perfect afternoon in Stockholm with kids.

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: SÖDERMALM

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: girl on bench in Södermalm

Södermalm is home to adorable boutique stores. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Södermalm is a fairly large island in the south of Stockholm. Emelie’s favorite part is the area south of Folkungagatan (SOFO), which is often considered one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Stockholm. Alongside cafes and restaurants, you’ll find cute design shops showcasing stylish houseware and new and upcoming Swedish designers. There are also a number of parks and playgrounds, which make it a surprisingly fun neighborhood to explore with kids.

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: BRYGGARTÄPPAN PLAYGROUND

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Brygartäppan playground
Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Brygartäppan playground
Things to do in Stockholm with kids_cafe at Brygartäppan

Let your kids explore Bryggartäppan while you enjoy a coffee or a drink from the onsite cafe. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Södermalm is home to another of Emelie’s favorite playgrounds: Bryggartäppan. This playground features a wooden miniature version of historic Södermalm. Children can play in a tiny blacksmith cabin, a miniature-size factory and many other small wooden houses. There’s also a lovely little cafe where families can buy ice cream, snacks and drinks. We highly recommend that you add this playground to your list of things to do in Stockholm.

GOOD TO KNOW

The cafe at Bryggartäppan is not open year-round.

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: DROTTNINGHOLM PALACE

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Drottningholm Palace

Drottningholm Palace takes inspiration from Paris’ Versailles. Photo: Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

If you or your kids are into history and want to learn about Sweden’s royal family, then you don’t want to miss Drottningholm Palace. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace was originally built in the 16th century. After serving as the summer residence of the royal family for centuries, the palace was abandoned in the 18th century. It was restored to its 18th-century appearance in the early 19th century and has since seen a few more renovations. The royal Swedish family has used the palace again as their primary residence since 1981. History-loving parents visiting Stockholm with kids will enjoy the lavish gardens and the rich history. Kids will enjoy the abundance of space and the optional boat ride to the island.

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: ARTIPELAG

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Girl at Artipelag entrance

The entrance to Artipelag. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: girl at Artipelag looking at Warhol exhibit

Emelie’s daughter observes one of the exhibits. Photo: Emelie Cheng

How about visiting a cutting-edge art museum and immersing yourself in nature at the same time? One of Emelie’s favorite things to do in Stockholm is visiting Artipelag, a contemporary art museum on the Värmdö Island in the Stockholm Archipelago. Surrounded by a beautiful pine forest, the museum offers a unique day trip for art-loving families. After visiting the museum, Emelie suggests you take a stroll along the free nature path and soak in the beautiful views of the archipelago. Round up your day trip with a delicious meal at the onsite restaurant while overlooking the water. During the summer months, you can get to Artipelag via boat, which makes this a truly unique adventure.

GOOD TO KNOW

The museum welcomes families with kids of all ages. Its founders are also the founders of BabyBjörn, the world-leading manufacturer of baby carriers. Parents visiting Stockholm with babies or little kids can rent a BabyBjörn carrier or stroller at the museum for free. Plus, the museum facilities are stroller-friendly, there are multiple changing stations, and they even offer a private nursing room. We hope more museums will take note!

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: mom and daughter outside Artipelag

Experience Stockholm’s archipelago during a visit to Artipelag. Photo: Emelie Cheng

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: FIKA

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns
Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Buns

Snack on delicious Swedish fika pastry. Photo: Emelie Cheng

If you want to introduce your kids to a piece of Swedish culture they almost certainly will enjoy, take them to a cafe for fika. Fika is an afternoon coffee break accompanied by tasty baked goods. The most famous pastry, and most popular with kids, is the kanelbulle (cinnamon bun). Parents don’t want to miss the equally tasty cardamom bun. One of the best bakeries in Stockholm is Fabrique, with multiple locations throughout Stockholm.

THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM WITH KIDS: SWIMMING

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Lilla Blecktornsparken splash pool

Jump into the splash pool at Lilla Blecktornsparken. Photo: Emelie Cheng

While you may not think about putting on your swimsuit while visiting Stockholm with kids, a refreshing dip on a warm summer day is something Emelie highly recommends you add to your list of things to do. 

For a fun beach day, head to Hornstull Strand in Södermalm’s hip Hornstull neighborhood. This small, kid-friendly city beach has an enclosed swimming area and is right next to Tantolunden Park with a playground, mini golf and hot-dog stands. Another beach popular with local families is in Långholmen, the neighborhood next to Hornstull. This one is a bit trickier to find, but you’re sure to be one of the few tourists joining the water fun. 

The splash pool at Lilla Blecktornsparken is another fun thing to do with kids in Stockholm. Recently renovated, it’s best suited for small children. Parents will also appreciate its proximity to Bleck, a lively restaurant with outdoor seating and an ice cream bar in the summer. 

For families with older kids, Emelie recommends Erikdalsbadet, the biggest aquatic centre in Stockholm. This amazing pool complex boasts an indoor pool with an “adventure swim” area for kids that includes waterslides and whirlpools, an outdoor pool, as well as a snack and ice cream kiosk, playground and picnic areas. While the complex is open year-round, the outdoor pool is only open during the summer months.

NUGGET’S ADVICE FOR TRAVELING TO SWEDEN WITH KIDS

From what to wear to what to eat, here are a few more nuggets of advice for making your family’s trip to Stockholm a succesful one.

TIP 1

eat pancakes

Parents of picky eaters, do not despair, in Stockholm your kids will eat lunch and dinner without a fuss! Pancakes are an acceptable meal for Swedish children, and you’ll find them on most kid’s menus. Other kid favorites are köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) and waffles.

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Swedish meatballs

Swedish meatballs are a staple on every kid’s menu. Photo: Emelie Cheng

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Waffles

Kids will love Swedish waffles. Photo: Emelie Cheng

TIP 2

dress for the elements

Swedish weather is unpredictable, and because Stockholm is surrounded by water, the weather can be even more volatile. So dress your family accordingly (layers are your best friend). And if there’s even the slightest chance for rain, pack an umbrella and rain jackets so your adventurers don’t get dampened by an unforeseen shower.

TIP 3

bring mud pants

There is a reason why every Swedish kid owns a pair of mud pants. The playgrounds in Stockholm are fun and interactive, but add some rain and snow, and it can become very muddy. So if you are planning to visit in spring, fall or winter, invest in a pair of mud pants to reduce the amount of laundry you’d have to do otherwise.

TIP 4

maximize daylight

If you are traveling during the winter months, be smart about what activities require daylight. Skansen is open year-round, but in the winter it will close early, whereas some museums may stay open late. It’s best to look up opening times and sunset times in advance of your trip, and plan your days accordingly.

TIP 5

rent a bike

Stockholm is a very bike-friendly city, and zipping along the water on a warm summer day may be the highlight of your family holiday. Check out one of the many bike rental places and take your kids for a spin. Most rental places will also have bike seats for little kids.

ABOUT OUR GUEST

Emelie Cheng is a Canadian transplant who’s called Stockholm home for more than 13 years. An art director and graphic designer during the week, she loves exploring her adopted hometown on weekends with her 8-year-old daughter. When they aren’t frolicking through Stockholm’s parks and forests, checking out the most recent art exhibits at the Moderna Museet or enjoying fika at one of Stockholm’s trendy cafes, they can be found at home cooking delicious multicultural meals. Follow Emelie on her adventures in Stockholm and beyond on Instagram at @smallnomads.

Things to do in Stockholm with kids: Emelie Cheng with her daughter

Emelie loves exploring Stockholm together with her daughter. Photo: Emelie Cheng

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