So much to do in the city my little pumpkin
Various venues in Greater Cph; starts Fri, ends Sun Oct 20
It’s that time of year again. School’s out for week 42 and there are nine days of quality family time ahead. Whilst the well-heeled may be jetting off to sunnier climes for one last desperate session of sun-worshipping, the rest of us mere mortals will be attempting to pry the iPads and remote controls out of the claw-like grips of our off-school offspring and drag them screaming into the streets of Copenhagen. It’ll all end in tears, I hear you cry.
Well, no need to panic: play it safe and let Copenhagen itself do all the hard work. Perhaps this should be the autumn break to stick to the tried and tested ideas for a series of successful days out with the kids – you may just be surprised at how wonderful Copenhagen truly is:
Halloween in Tivoli
Vesterbrogade 3, Cph V; starts Fri, ends Oct 27, open 10:00-23:00; tickets: adults 95kr, under-8s free adm, day-passes available for rides; www.tivoli.dk
Tivoli doesn’t do things by halves, as Halloween has been magically stretched into a 17-day celebration from October 11-27, with a plethora of pumpkins, witches-a-plenty and, strictly for the over 12s, the Scary Hotel. As in Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the extras have gone completely over the top with ghastly and ghoulish stage make-up to create an experience that will send shivers down your spine. The usual activities, restaurants and rides are open, making the Tivoli half-term Halloween extravaganza an unmissable annual treat.
CPH Zoo, Roskildevej 32, Frederiksberg; open daily 10:00-18:00; tickets: adults: 150kr, children: 90kr; www.zoo.dk
If the weather holds out, the simple bare necessities of the Zoo will keep the kids entertained. Over the half-term break, keepers are at hand to pass on their pearls of wisdom about the practical side of running a zoo. For the serious zoo-keepers of the future, Zoo Camp is also open. For 1,950kr, kids aged eight to 12 can have a close-up experience of life in the zoo by mucking out, feeding and stimulating the wildlife behind the bars from Monday to Wednesday, 10:00-15:00.
Historical market at Frilandsmuseet
Kongevejen 100, Lyngby (from Sorgenfri Station, buses 184/194); starts Sun, ends Oct 20, open 11:00-15:00; free adm; www.natmus.dk
Travel back in time to an authentic 1800s village market with jugglers, clowns and charlatans. After the kids have attempted stilt-walking, fallen off a penny farthing and chucked a few wooden balls at the stacks of tin cans, you can walk around the grounds of the open air museum and pop into the historical houses. Admission is free, but remember to bring loose change for the activities and a bite to eat.
Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup; open weekdays 09:30-17:00, weekends11:00-17:00; tickets: over-12s: 165kr, under-12s: 108kr; www.exsperimentarium.dk
With 300 interactive exhibits, the Experimentarium is a sure-fire hit for kids of all ages. During the half-term holiday, a special Tyrannosaurus Rex hunt is one of the highlights (see G9). Guests will be greeted by the boiling of various carcasses in a copper cauldron to reveal the skeletons within – a clothes-peg for the nose might be recommended. On Tuesday nights, the museum is open to 21:00 for the family that never sleeps.
Østervoldgade 4A, Cph K; open 10:00-16:00 all week; tickets: adults: 55-80kr, under 18s: free adm; www.rosenborgslot.dk
Still hankering after a Halloween theme? The witch-hunts of Christian IV’s time are the inspiration for broomstick and pointy hat activities within the majestic castle walls. The kids can help Alvilda the witch find the ingredients for her magic potion, while adults can admire what is a rather splendidly preserved stronghold.
Købmagergade 52A, Cph K; open 10:00-17:00; tickets: over-15s: 25kr, under-15s: 5kr; www.rundetaarn.dk
Follow up the Rosenborg experience with the ever-popular 209m spiralling walk to the top of Europe’s oldest functioning astronomical observatory, the architectural curiosity that is the Round Tower. Enjoy a splendid view from the top before a spot of shopping and having a look at the street performers in the pedestrian streets. For stargazers, the observatory is open 19:00-21:00 from Monday to Thursday for a peek at the moon through the lenses of the telescope at the top.
Gamle Carlsbergvej 11, Cph V; open Oct 12-20, closed Mon; tickets: adults 70kr (inc 2 drinks), under-17s 50kr (inc 2 drinks), under-5s free adm; horse ride 15kr extra; www.visitcarlsberg.dk
Experience the impressive Willy Wonka atmosphere of the Carlsberg brewery with a bumpy ride on the old horse-drawn wagons and a treasure hunt, topped off by a tour of the factory and beer sampling for the deserving guardians of the young ones.
Pasteursvej 10, Cph K; open daily from Sat, ends Oct 20; open 10:00-18:00; tickets 50-150kr; www.klatreskoven.dk
After the brewery tour, give the nippers a chance to let off steam in the adventure playground ten metres up in the air, where they can climb, jump and abseil through four different courses. Book online at least a day in advance.
Lego Architects at Danish Architecture Centre
Strandgade 27B, Cph K; open 10:00-17:00; tickets 60kr; www.dac.dk
Budding architects are given a specific project to design and build, using everyone’s favourite construction toy, Lego. The theme is the creation of architectural gems designed to withstand the harsh Scandinavian winters.
Bertel Thorvaldsens Plads 2, Cph K; open Mon-Fri 10:00-17:00; tickets: adults 40kr, under-18s free adm; www.thorvaldsensmuseum.dk
Intensive workshops all week give visitors a chance to let the creative juices flow and draw, paint and sculpt. A special hand-drawing workshop for adults (75kr) and children aged 8 and over (25kr) is available, but sign up quickly by phone 3332 1532 for the English sessions on Saturday October 19. The exhibition itself is also well worth seeing.
The Blue Planet
Den Blå Planet; Jacob Fortlingsvej 1, Kastrup; open Mon 10:00-21:00; tickets: over-11s: 144kr, under-11s: 85kr; www.denblaaplanet.dk
If you haven’t been there yet, you’d better get your skates on. There’s nothing fishy about one of Copenhagen’s main family attractions that promises to “rok you” with 20,000 experiences in its maze of tunnels, including getting up-close-and-personal with the sharks, stingrays and piranhas.