Copenhagen for Kids

Fairy tales come to life in this European metropolis

By: Dorit Fromm

The best big city in Europe to visit with kids? Surely that would be Copenhagen. Recently rated “the happiest country in the world,” Danes have a social system that plans for the needs of young and old alike. For tourists and their kids, that translates to a very bikeable and walkable city, wonderful public transportation with areas reserved on buses and trains for baby carriages, bathrooms with changing tables, children’s menus in restaurants and reduced kids rates at all museums, galleries and various entertainment venues.

Amusement Parks

Tivoli, located in the center of town, is the crown jewel of children’s delights. Combining an amusement park, beautiful gardens, outdoor entertainment and restaurants, it is wonderful by day and magical at night. Tivoli has more old-fashioned charm than Disneyland. Kids will love steering a small Model T or Studebaker; floating in boats around a lagoon; sitting in “The Flying Trunk” as it moved through Hans Christian Andersen’s stories; and playing games to score prizes. Teens will want to ride the roller coasters and plunge rides. The whole family can enjoy the classic pantomime theater (Pantomimeteatret). For a quiet place to rest with young ones, a new huge floor-to-ceiling saltwater aquarium tank is located at the Concert Hall. Opposite Glyptoteket is the Family Amenity Centre with changing tables, free diapers and rentable strollers and push carts.

Tivoli opens in mid-April and closes mid-September. There is an entrance fee, although kids under 3 are free. Tivoli reopens during the Danish autumn school vacation and again from mid-November until the end of the year with a bustling Christmas Market.

Bakken is Copenhagen’s other amusement park and is located just out of town, a short journey from the Klampenborg S-train station by foot or horse-drawn carriage on the wooded edge of Dyrehaven. It’s the world’s oldest amusement park. Although noisier and less harmonious than Tivoli, Bakken is another teen favorite. Recommend the log flume ride and notorious roller coaster. For the youngest children, Bakken has less to offer. The park is open from late March to late August, admission is free, but rides cost a bit more than at Tivoli.

Out and About

The vibrant area of Stroget is a favorite stroll. Its western end starts at Radhuspladsen, next to Tivoli, and its eastern end is at Kongens Nytorv (at Nyhavn). Copenhagen’s main pedestrian space is an urban spectacle in motion. The colorful shop displays (including ice cream, candy and toy stores) are especially attractive to kids. Experiencing Copenhagen city life can also include watching the Changing of the Guard at Amalienborg, every day at noon, or taking a canal tour in open or glass-topped boats.

For higher cultural pursuits, a number of museums have kid-friendly sections. The National Museum (Statens Museum for Kunst) has a Children’s Gallery. The Experimentarium has many hands-on exhibitions that are fun to manipulate and the Tycho Brahe Planetarium shows IMAX films on a dome-shaped screen.

For landscape and greenery, relax in the center of town at Kongens Have (The Kings Garden), which has puppet theater performances in summer. At Frederiksberg, have clients take a short tour of the canals in a boat. Copenhagen also has a good zoo with its children’s area and monkey house and there is an aquarium just outside the city.



Bakken Dyrehavevej 62, Klampenborg.

DFDS Canal Tours 32-96-3000

The Experimentarium Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup 39-27-3333

The National Museum Ny Vestergade 10 33-13-4411

Tivoli 33-15-1001

The Tycho Brahe Planetarium



Cafe Hovedtelegrafen On the top floor of the postal museum, serves Danish food and has a good view over the rooftops and toys for kids, as well as a glass elevator. Kobmagergade 37 33-41-0986

La Glace Founded in 1870, it is the beloved dessert cafe for complete confectionary indulgence. Skoubogade 3

Skildpadden (i.e. The Turtle) Inexpensive “build-your-own-sandwich” restaurant off Stroget. Grabrodretorv 9 33-13-05-06

Slotskaelderen Although not for kids, teens will enjoy traditional smorrebrod (open-face sandwich) lunch. Reservation recommended. Fortunstraede 4 33-12-6125


Chili Many different hamburgers with an American motif, kid-sized for the under-12-year-olds, close to Radhuspladsen (the City Hall square). Vandkunsten 1 33-91-1918

The Frigate Sct. Georg III A replica of a 17th-century ship, serves children’s portions. 33-15-9204

Faergekroen Bryghus Although it’s a beer house, there are outdoor tables next to Tivoli’s lake, serving Danish meatballs with a big portion of French fries. 33-75-0680

Hard Rock Cafe Full of rock memorabilia and familiar, tasty American food, this international franchise is popular with tweens and teens. Also has an entrance next to Tivoli. Vesterbrogade 3


Hotel Danmark A three-star hotel also near Tivoli with some large family rooms. Vester Voldgade 89 45-33-11-4806

Radisson SAS Royal Hotel Right across from Tivoli, this five-star hotel has comfortable family rooms, a kids playroom and provides cribs. 45-33-42-6000