Eight Things to Do in Copenhagen for Families

 

Eight Things to Do in Copenhagen for Families pin

Located on the eastern coast of Denmark, this tenth-century fishing village has turned into a famous cultural city for all of Scandinavia. There are a variety of museums and even the two oldest amusement parks in the world in Copenhagen! Check out this list of what to see when visiting the city of spires.

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Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park

Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park opened in 1843 in central Copenhagen, making it the second oldest amusement park (behind Dyrehavsbakken). Visitors can enjoy a roller coaster, Rutschebanen, built in 1915. They can also ride the oldest Ferris wheel still in use, built in 1943.

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There are also new rides, like the Star Flyer, that gives visitors a 360-degree view of the city. However, those who don’t want to go on the rides can still enjoy many other attractions. Tivoli regularly holds various shows at the Concert Hall. Also, the staff lights up parts of Tivoli with festive lights during the holidays, including the lake.

Dyrehavsbakken (Bakken) Amusement Park

The oldest amusement park in the world, founded in 1583, is surrounded by 400-year-old trees and thousands of deer in the forest of Jægersborg Dyrehave. There are thirty-three rides and attractions at Bakken, more than any other amusement park in Scandinavia. The park also boasts several restaurants, pubs, and live music, so there’s something for everyone in the family here. Due to its location and historical value, no big name brands can set up in Bakken, and all neon signs are banned.

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The Little Mermaid Statue

Many of Copenhagen’s visitors make their way to Langelinje Pier to see the sculpture of the Little Mermaid. She is over 100 years old and was a gift to the city from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen. The sculpture was inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson tale about a mermaid and is made of bronze and granite. The mermaid has been vandalized several times but is always restored because it is such a popular tourist sight.

Eight Things to Do in Copenhagen for Families statue

Amalienborg Palace

Amalienborg Palace, made up of four identical buildings, was constructed in the 1700s.  The Amalienborg Museum has rooms dedicated to the traditional and modern royal family. This museum displays history going back 150 years to Christian IX and Queen Louise, known as “the in-laws of Europe” because four of their many children ruled England, Greece, Russia, and Denmark. The rooms of these monarchs still stand intact to this day, reflecting the period’s tastes and personalities of the kings and queens.

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Beside the Amalienborg Museum, the Palace also features an event for the changing of the guards. Each day at noon, the guards march from their barracks by Rosenborg Castle through the streets of Copenhagen to Amalienborg Palace.

Rosenborg Castle

Finished in 1633, Rosenborg Castle was one of Christian IV’s many lots and became his favorite summer spot. The palace was built in four phases in the early 1600s and was used as a royal residence until 1710. Guests can see artifacts from the kings and queens that lived at Rosenborg throughout the years, such as, sculptures, furniture and more. These objects represent the history of high Danish culture from the late sixteenth century to the nineteenth century. Of course, everyone wants to see the exclusive Crown Jewels displayed on a Schatzkammer, as well as the Throne Chair of Denmark.

Eight Things to Do in Copenhagen for Families ride

Hans Christian Andersen’s Childhood Home and Museum

Hans Christian Andersen and his parents lived in a small house close to St. Knud’s Cathedral for just over ten years. The exhibit in the home helps remake the interior in the image of the description Anderson gave in his autobiographies. Here, guests can see the simple rooms where the world-renowned fairy tale writer found inspiration.

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Next to the home is the Hans Christian Andersen museum, opened in 1908 and one of the oldest poet museums. It celebrates Andersen’s life, inspiration, and writings.

Hans Christian Andersen Fairy-Tale House

This museum focuses on what Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. Here, visitors can see hand-written manuscripts as well as a trip to Andersen’s study to hear “him” speak about his life and travels abroad. Families can also enjoy the live fairy tale exhibit which boasts advanced lighting effects and a sound system translated in Danish, English, and German.

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Autism Travel Tips:

  • Tivoli joined the Accessibility Label Scheme in 2005, meaning parts can find info on the park’s accessibility online.
  • Public accessible parking spaces are available for Tivoli by the main entrance at the Glyptotek entrance. Wheelchair users can access all entrances.
  • Visitors who bring electric wheelchairs can recharge them at various charging points by the lockers near the Pantomime Theatre and near the Nurses’ Station.
  • Parents can book tickets for the Concert Hall and Glass Hall Theater in Tivoli.
  • Support companions are admitted to Tivoli for free.
  • Bakken houses absolutely no big name brands regarding vendors. Parents of kids who want something familiar ought to eat before going to the park.
  • The Bakken amusement park is free to get into, but parents will need to pay extra for a multi-ride pass.
  • The Hans Christian Andersen childhood home is not wheelchair accessible.

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Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust pin

The Holocaust is a dark historical event that can be hard to comprehend for most people let alone kids. Some parents may find it easier to visit particular sites offering educational and interactive resources than talk about the events with their children. For families wishing to introduce their kids to the topic here are some suggested sites to explore.

 

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust sign

Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany

Dachau, Germany is the location of the first Nazi concentration camp created in 1933. Initially, the camp held political prisoners. Soon the camp also housed not only Jews but artists, intellectuals, members of the LGBT community, and even the physically and mentally disabled. Sadly many of the detainees were subjected to cruel medical experiments and torture too.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust path
A memorial was created for the prisoners in 1965 where visitors can visit some of the historic buildings in and around the camp. The landmark also offers access to its library and some special exhibits containing materials related to Dachau’s history.

Visitors should be aware that there is quite a bit of walking involved and that a typical tour can last anywhere between 2-4 hours.

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Resistance Museu, Copenhagen

After the original museum closed due to an intense fire in 2013, the archive and artifacts of the Danish Resistance Museum moved from Denmark to Brede, North of Copenhagen. Nowadays, travelers can only visit these archives if they make an appointment ahead of time. Officials are hoping the new facility will open by the end of 2018.

When we visited in 2008, our kids had just read Lois Lowry’s Number of the Stars novel that described the plight of the Danish Jews, so they found the museum and its artifacts fascinating.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust window

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

Located in central Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House is where the fifteen-year-old novelist lived during the war. Today, the house stands as a preserved national icon visited by thousands of tourists every year.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust anne frank

 

The house acts as a biographical museum for Anne Frank, her family and those who also hid with them. The museum displays original maps, letters, and stories written by Anne and her family. Visitors can also see interviews with Anne’s father (the only member to survive) as they travel through the house.

Parents should know there are quite a few stairs to climb to get to the Franks’ hideaway. The tiny alcove can get quite crowded with visitors during certain times of the year.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust statue

Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

The Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel is a living memorial to the Holocaust that safeguards the memory of the past and its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, Yad Vashem became the world center for documents, research, education, and commemoration of the Holocaust.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust stone

Today, Yad Vashem is a comprehensive primary source for those who wish to learn about the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. Here, visitors can find a variety of original Holocaust-era documentation provided in English such as letters, diaries, and testimonies of survivors as well as photos.

Not to be missed is the outdoor garden. This place is dedicated to non-Jews like JanuszKorczakk who risked their lives to save kids and families during the Holocaust.

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Pinkas Synagogue, Prague

Aaron Meshullam Horowitz built the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague in 1535. Originally a private establishment, the Pinkas Synagogue is covered with 77,000 names of perished Bohemian-Moravian Jews. It is Prague’s second oldest surviving synagogue, connected with the well known Horowitz family.

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Exceptionally touching are the series of pictures drawn by children forced into concentration camps in Theresienstadt during lessons by painter Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. Before her deportation to Auschwitz, Dicker-Brandeis hid these drawings to ensure their survival, totaling 4,500 pictures.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust bench

Shoes on Danube, Budapest

Travelers to Budapest can view this great iron shoe memorial created by Can Togay and Gyula Pauer.
The site is dedicated to those who died by the hands of Arrow Cross, a concentration camp enforcer run by the locals. Here, the victims were taken to the edge of the river and ordered to remove their shoes before getting shot and tossed in the Danube.

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Holocaust Museum, Washington DC

The Washington DC Holocaust Museum holds a permanent exhibition that tells a narrative story of the Holocaust. At this museum, there are photos, film clips, historical artifacts and eye witness testimonies from this time. The museum also features numerous other exhibitions that change with time. These exhibits discuss how genocide happens and how to prevent it in the present and future.

Not to be missed is Daniel’s story. There’s also the thousands of shoes brought from Majdanek exhibits that create a powerful visual for visitors.

Seven Moving Places to Teach Kids about the Holocaust museum

Photo Credit: US Holocaust Memorial Museum

 

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents to kids with autism should prepare their children for the visits ahead of time by watching age-appropriate movies and reading books.
  • Due to the popularity of the Anne Frank House, parents should prepare to stand in line for up to four hours before they can enter the museum.
  • Many of these locations feature extreme content that might not be appropriate for younger kids. Parents should use discretion before visiting.

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