1. The BedBox Was Designed Here
Yes, it’s true! Did you know we are a small Norwegian company based just outside Oslo and 10 minutes by car from Oslo’s airport? We share our premises BarnOmBord, a retail and rental service for travelling with children. So if you are in the neighbourhood stop by and say hello as we love meeting our customers!
2. Oslo Is Incredibly Family Friendly
In Norway, we love children and we are never bothered by their presence. If you walk into the centre of Paleet Shopping Centre on Karl Johan Street (our main street in the heart of the city) you’ll find mums with babies meeting up for coffee. In temperatures as cold as -10C you’ll find parents sit by the window inside a coffee shop whilst their child sleeps outside in a pushchair. Breastfeeding in public is so normal here that it is not even noticed and you’ll always find baby changing rooms in restaurants, museums and shopping centres. Although you made need a bit of help to get onto the tram, the city is very pushchair friendly – even the T-bane (metro) is easy!
If you are worried about where to eat out in the evenings with your family of zoo animals: don’t. Chain restaurants like Peppes Pizza and EGON are always welcoming children and have set child menus. The majority of people here speak English to a high standard, so communicating with anyone shouldn’t be an issue. Just remember that Norwegians aren’t being rude, if they don’t say much, they are simply not chatty people.
3. We’re An Outdoors City
There is so much to do in Oslo in the fresh air. If the weather is cold bring skiwear, if the weather is bad bring rainwear. You’ll see that children are outside here everyday of the year. Here are some of the activities that we suggest be top on your list:
Norwegian artist Gustav Vegeland created over 200 sculptures for a park named in his honour. If you start at the rear of the park by taking the T-bane to Borgen, it is a 15 minute walk to the Park. See these directions here. As you enter you’ll see the impressive monolith which you can let your children contemplate the meaning of. Then, as you walk through the park and over the bridge you’ll meet a statue of a child that might resemble one of your own, named the Angry Boy. Throughout the walk, you can bribe your children with the surprise at the end of the walk. When you enter from the front entrance of the park you cannot do this! This side of Vegeland park has a huge playground suitable for all ages of children as well as a cafe and toilets with baby changing facilities. Voilà! Your children are happy and you have explored one of the city’s main sites.
Whatever the weather, Holmenkollen offers a range of activities for families. In the winter, you can take your skis (cross country or alpine) on the metro with you from the city centre and arrive at the top of the mountain for a day’s skiing at the Oslo Winter Park (Tryvann). There are skis and sledges available to hire at the resort. You will get the rare opportunities to ski on fresh snow whilst being able to watch a ship dock in the city’s harbour down below. The view is stunning. You may even be lucky enough to watch some skiing jumping – or even let your children participate in the mini ski jumps!
Even in the summer there is plenty to do at Holmenkollen, the Oslo Summer Park is one of the biggest climbing parks in the whole of Scandinavia. All year round, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum is open. And finally, after a long day of activities, we recommend that you visit Frognersetern. The typical Norwegian lodge has a roaring fire, delicious food and an incredible view over Oslo. There is a fine dining restaurant as well as a cafeteria so all occasions are catered for.
If you pronounce it “big-day” that’ll be close enough. We’re lucky in Oslo that we are blessed with the sun in the summer, and the snow in the winter. So if you happen to be in Oslo during the summer, you may want to visit our beach. Pop to a shop beforehand. Buy some pølse (sausages) as there are plenty of BBQs scattered around the parks and the beaches. The beautiful country-side peninsula is in the heart of the Oslo city. You can take the ferry from Aker Brygge to Bygdøy as an exciting adventure for children.
4. There Is Plenty To Do Inside As Well.
If you do not fancy being outdoors for your whole trip we have listed a few suggestions on what to do in Oslo inside with children. This is where we advise you purchase the Oslo Pass as it gives you unlimited access to all of Oslo’s museums.
In addition to going to Bygdøy for the outdoors, there is plenty to offer inside as well on the peninsula.
Located just by the ferry-dock are the Fram museum, the Kontiki museum and the Maritime museum. The Fram museum takes you on a journey following the Norwegian explorers who became the first to reach the North and South Pole. Just across the road, is the Kontiki museum, perfect for any little adventurer who wants to see the story and the raft of Thor Heyerdahl. The raft drifted from South American to the French Polynesia to prove how the islands were populated. Also next to these exciting museums is the Maritime museum which shows the history and development of Norwegian maritime.
Finally, a short bus journey on the peninsula will take you over to the Folk Museum. This outdoor-indoor museum has an impressive number of typical Norwegian cabins and buildings including a Stave Church. There are many activities put on for children to participate in.
The Scream by Edvard Munch
Did you know there are 4 originals of the Scream? Two of the paintings are in Oslo: one at the Munch Museum (suitable for older children), and the other at the National Art Gallery (suitable for children who like art). Getting your kids to attempt to impersonate the painting whilst standing next to it makes for a fun photo.
If all else fails, there is always Leo’s Lekeland. The large indoor soft play area is a good place for kids to let off some steam. Being a tourist isn’t always easy for kids. Therefore, Leo Lekeland is bound to be a hit. Open everyday, children under 2 and parents go free.
5. Day Trips Outside Oslo
If you are in Oslo for some time, you may want to do some day trips outside of the city. There are numerous places you can go, near and far. Close by, you can take day trips to the islands in the fjords. And for the frill seekers, we have a theme park nearby the city called Tusenfryd. Whilst Oslo does not have a zoo, a 2 hour drive will get you to the Bear Park. Not only will you see bears, but there are also moose, lynx and various other native Norwegian animals as well as lots of playgrounds, a zip-wire and high ropes.
Norway has plenty more to explore than what is sitting in the city centre.
6. Norwegian Salmon and Other Foods
We mentioned previously good child-friendly places to eat yet something you must try whilst in Norway is fresh Norwegian salmon. You’ll find salmon is served in most cafes and restaurants. We recommend, however, that you book a table at Skur33 if you are here during the summer. The restaurant is closed during the other seasons. Our other traditional food is kjøttkaker (meatcakes) which are bigger in size than the Swedish meatball. Food such as reindeer, moose and whale can also be found on the menu in restaurants around Oslo.
7. Norwegian Living
Our final reason why you should visit Oslo is to experience our way of life. We are a relaxed city where skiing and hiking takes priority over work. If there is the opportunity to be outside, Norwegians take it. You’ll find the country is an eclectic mix tradition and modernity. Families will drive their electric Tesla to spend the weekend in their hytta (cabin). Traditional Norwegian costumes called Bunad are frequently seen being used for weddings and other special occasions. Whilst you will have head further north in Norway to see the midnight sun, you can profit from elongated days in the summer and endless light. In the deepest of winter, the sun will rise around 9am and set around 3pm.