Want to get the kids away from the screens and out in the fresh air?
Here are a few tips for some family-fun in the snow in the Norwegian capital.
Nature is all around you here: the Oslo fjord and its islands, forests, lakes and parks – and the locals enthusiastically enjoy it all. Perhaps you will too? After these lively winter activities, you’ll return home in great shape and with heaps of good family memories.
- Every winter weekend (and there are many, many of those), families take to the woods to ski. Cross-country skiing is the national sport for young and old and everyone in between. Have babies that can’t walk yet? No worries, just wrap them in a snug sheep skin, put them in a pulk (a pull-sled) and pull them along. Strap on the skis at Frognerseteren – a mere 15 minutes by metro from the city centre. (And you can have hot chocolate and waffles by the roaring fireplace after).
- If downhill is more your thing, Tryvann Vinterpark is nearby. Tryvann is everyone’s playground. With 14 slopes and 7 lifts, you can slalom, Telemark ski and snowboard. Kids of all ages jump and play in the wavy terrain park and half-pipe. Two of the lifts, 3 slopes and a few jumps are reserved for the youngest children.
- Also near Frognerseteren is Korketrekkeren, a corkscrew hill, 2000 metres long and with a 255-metre drop. Tobogganing down takes 8 – 10 minutes at full speed. Want more? Take the metro back up and go again. Korketrekkeren is all lit up for night-time snowy fun as well.
- The forest is magic at night time. Why not spend a night in a cabin in the wilderness? When the kids are asleep, the two of you could take a romantic moonlit glide along the tracks…
- On Karl Johan, Oslo’s main street, you can skate at the outdoor rink. After dark, it’s illuminated and you can skate to classical music.
For easier days out in Oslo, try these cultural outdoors activities:
- In Frogner Park, you can stroll among Gustav Vigeland’s cool snow-covered sculptures. The children will have fun climbing on them.
- How about some winter sailing? A mini cruise in an old wooden sailboat in Oslo harbour is a great way to get your bearings. The boat takes you past medieval Akershus Fortress, Oslo Opera House and Bygdøy museum peninsula. I like standing on deck as snow falls, warming my hands on a cup of lovely, hot tea (or yummy, spicy gløgg, if it’s before Christmas). You can get on or off at any of the stops all day long.
- Your kids might not like opera (although you’d be surprised how difficult it is to get seats for the children’s performances of The Magic Flute), but they’ll relish climbing and running on the roof of the fabulous white marble ice-floe opera house. Fantastic fjord views from the roof-top.
- At Bygdøy, kids love exploring Amundsen’s Polar ship Fram, excellently preserved Viking ships, and the Kon-Tiki raft that crossed from South America to Polynesia.
- Your little science-nerd will want to see our oldest ancestor, 47-million-year-old primate fossil Ida, at the Zoological museum. You may have to stop by the National Gallery as well – kids are weirdly fascinated by Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream
This is a slightly altered version of an article I wrote for Nile Guide