Great places with kids - Oslo

Travelling with kids is not my idea of a good time, but I have one now, so things have changed. But not too much. My idea of travelling with kids...or kid, actually, is not what the usual articles suggest. Contrary to popular travel advice, I haven't travelled halfway around the world to go to an amusement park or reptile park. Hell – I live in Tokyo which is home to Disneyland AND Disneysea and Little Miss O has been to neither. So – no amusement parks. No zoos. In fact, nothing that is so-called kid-oriented. Sorry, little one.

However, these days, I appreciate a city that is mother and kid-friendly, and Oslo has hit the nail on the head. Indulge my obsession with bullet points while I list all the great things that made a visit with a three year old much, much easier;

  1. Lots of green spaces. From the Vigelandsparken where Little Miss O stared in wonder at all the nude statues to the beautiful park around the palace and everything in between. Spaces to hug trees and run on the grass – both of which are encouraged and both of which we love to do. A picnic would have been the cherry on the cake.
  2. Small museums. The endless rooms of the Hermitage in Saint Peterbsurg, while amazing, almost killed Little Miss O - and me as I had to carry her through quite a lot of them. Museum lag can be near fatal. However, Oslo museums are very manageable – a floor or two each and thus just long enough not to drive a three year old mad. And at the Henrik Ibsen museum, they can peep inside someone else's home – always fun.

  3. Great cakes. Our favourite was Baker Hansen which served a jubileumsbolle that was a heavenly mix of custard and cinnamon and pastry. More please.
  4. Museum activities. Some places had free activity sheets for kids – at the Munch Museum it was stickers of small details of certain paintings that kids had to locate and put on a map.

  5. An open-air museum. The Norske Folkemuseum is an amazing collection of old Norwegian architecture with plenty of houses, churches, shops, barns etc. for kids to explore.
  6. Viking ships and the Kon-tiki raft. Who doesn't love a boat and tales of adventure?

  7. Great pizza – try the Villa Paradiso in Grunerlokka. In the restaurants we went to, I was stoked not to find any kids' menus as they are usually full of fried crap and meat, but instead serving sizes that were enough to share with a small girl.

  8. Beautiful things for children. If you have the cash to spare and in Norway, that does mean a LOT of cash, shops such as Små Ting on Prinsensgate sell a wide range of beautiful toys and games as well as other kiddy type stuff. There is a castle at the back with toys for playing while the parents browse.
  9. A walkable city – Oslo central is beautifully compact and pleasant to walk. For tired little and big feet, there are trams, buses and an underground system that are all pretty easy to navigate.  People mostly stood up for us as well on public transport.  Nice.
  10. A view over the city via a roof that you can walk up at Oslo's Opera House.
  11. Hot chocolate that is served as a ball on a stick to stir and melt in hot milk – also found at the Opera House.
  12. Free entry. For really little kids, like Little Miss O, everything was free.  Got to love that.

Besides being a beautiful place steeped in history, Oslo is an easy travel location for a tired mother with a demanding little madam.  Takk.   


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