Today’s a typical cloudy, chilly, winter day and since I’m on a last minute trip to British Columbia, I’m taking advantage of the downtime to catch up on some family trips from warmer, sunnier times.
Summer in Europe means fun, sun, and lots of travel. However, if you don’t have endless buckets of time and money, budgeting your fun time can be a total drag. In an effort to maximize our family fun time, Hubby David planned a fantastic trip that started in Copenhagen, Denmark and ended in Oslo, Norway, with a day trip to Lund, Sweden in between. Hubby even caught up with a local photographer one morning while we relaxed in our rented flat. So how did we manage it all and remain a happy family in the end? Simple: we kept family harmony by keeping in mind what makes us each tick. Daddy loves to take photos, Bella loves rides of all kinds but doesn’t like to be scared, and I, well, I love sweets like licorice and alone time. Since daddy knows I don’t like rides that much, he was my hero during our multiple trips into Tivoli Gardens. Bella had a bracelet pass which allowed her unlimited rides with a co-rider. This meant one of us was always on the sideline waiting near the ride’s exits, which translates nicely to my alone time.
There’s so much to see and do in Copenhagen, but we were all satisfied spending a couple of afternoons playing in the gardens. It may be the oldest amusement park in Europe but it is a class act, with high end shopping and great restaurants throughout. We also wanted to do the city highlights, the must sees and must dos, but kept things manageable by staying in a flat that made walking nearly everywhere possible, including Tivoli, and when the little one’s feet got tired, we could always spend a bit more to take a bicycle taxi, her favorite mode of transportation.
Here are a couple of sunny day montages from our multiple visits to Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens to add some cheer on a gloomy winter day.
After an afternoon Nyhavn Harbor boat tour, we returned to Tivoli for supper and an evening rock concert with Thirty Seconds to Mars. A day at Tivoli with an impromptu bike tour across the city center and a harbor tour was a perfect day…we were Exhausted but Happy!
Here are some takeaways from an all too brief visit to Copenhagen:
1. Get the multi ride bracelet ticket for a little one plus a co-rider at Tivoli Gardens. It’s worth the endless opportunities as long as the co-rider doesn’t get motion sickness. (I speak from experience there…)
2. There are different eateries within the park which makes it a popular place to visit for the locals. You can tell from the vast age ranges of visitors who come to the park for the different shows and top notch restaurants that it’s a popular spot for a nice evening out.
3. Check out the show schedule throughout the park. We caught an outdoor ballet before supper, after an afternoon harbor trip at Nyhavn. The park hosts fantastic evening concerts throughout the year, too, for the price of the entrance ticket alone. If you plan a trip to Copenhagen, it is worth looking into the concert schedule too. We caught the last half of Thirty Seconds to Mars after a fabulous sit down supper in the park.
4. Be flexible. We could do it all, but our favorite memories are when we haven’t kept to a strict schedule and just go with the flow. For instance, we had 2 things we wanted to do at the very least, a harbor tour and Tivoli Gardens. Everything else was going to be icing on the cake. The bike rides allowed us to quickly see the city and enjoy the fresh air. The harbor tour was a bit chilly but it was a lovely way to see and hear about Copenhagen. We also took a train ride one afternoon to nearby Lund, Sweden, so we were able to see more of this lovely area.
5. Know your modes of transportation and pick up/drop off points, especially for cities like Copenhagen and Paris. Don’t just go with the first one you see. Bigger cities have strict rules on where passengers can be picked up and dropped off. Bike taxis usually have a maximum number of passengers and some companies may have competitive rates between popular sites. If you want to modify the route, ask the driver and know what you’re willing to pay so you aren’t caught off guard. We’ve been lucky so far and had some friendly, talkative drivers who will give a bit of play by play as we drive around. Also bike taxis can sometimes go where cars and buses cannot, like pedestrian/bike areas!
6. Lastly, have fun!