Play well, experiment and run your parents ragged

Winter Holiday 2014
Various venues, starts Fri, ends Feb 16

School’s out for a week and for many that means gazing on enviously as colleagues, friends and family either head  gleefully for the pistes or escape one of the murkiest Januaries in Danish history to sunnier climes? You can, of course, choose to abandon the kids to a playstation vacation or just maybe, with a little bit of planning, this year’s winter vacation can become a fun-filled family ‘staycation’ that can take pride of place in the family album. Nodding off in the cinema might be the most some overstressed mums and dads will manage, but the bold and unafraid parents will be heading out onto the streets of Copenhagen. For these hardy souls is a selection of ideas for the week:

Experimentarium City
Trangravsvej 10-12, Cph K; open all week 10:00-18:00; tickets: adults 160kr, under-12s: 105kr;; 9A bus to the door, closest tube: Christianshavn

Experimentarium has moved lock, stock and barrel to a new location in Christianshavn, transforming itself into the brand new 3,000 sqm Experimentarium City. The official opening is on February 7 and there are now more than 200 different hands-on science-based activities. The special opening attraction blends winter-sports with science. It’s a mini indoor Winter Olympic with disciplines ranging from ski-jumping and bob-sledging to curling and ski-shooting. Something for everybody and always a sure-fire winner for a family day out.

Bella Center, Center Boulevard 5, Cph S; opens Thu, ends Feb 16, open daily 10:00-17:00; tickets  140kr , under 3s free adm;

The hugely popular Lego World exhibition is back at the Bella Center with a reported 22 truckloads of Lego bricks. You can help the Lego cops catch the Lego robbers, take a ride in the Legoland adventure cars, get to know a real Lego designer and pick up some tips, design your own personalised Lego brick, perfect your Lego-Jedi abilities or chill out in the Lego cinema. As something completely new, this year features a huge 1,600 sqm football fanzone where you can get your kicks – a must for those warming up for the summer World Cup. To make things easy, the exhibition has been sorted into activities for different age groups. Book early and let your kids loose in the plastic fantastic that is Lego.

Louisiana’s Children’s Wing
Gl Strandvej 13, Humlebæk; open Feb 11-14; adults 110kr, children free adm;

A trip up the coast to Louisiana’s Children’s Wing should satisfy your junior culture vultures. There is an Arabian theme at present and workshops involve making pop-up cards and designing Arabian-style pieces with a glue gun. Join in with the clay bodies modelling workshop, Jackson Pollock-inspired badge-making and painting workshops, a flying carpet trip for the 3-6 year olds, and an ingenious Art Detective activity complete with magnifying glass and tape measure.

The Theatre Museum
Christiansborg Ridebane 18, Cph K; open Mon, Wed & Thu 13:00, Tue 13:30; tickets: adults 40kr;

Tucked away behind the parliament building, the Theatre Museum at the Court Theatre has a free guided tour (in Danish) where tales are spun of princes, princesses and thespians of yore before a magic show from Erik Jensby rounds off the visit. This trip can be combined with a bit of shopping in Strøget, a jaunt to the spiralling Round Tower or a visit to the nearby armoury museum.

Museum of Science and Technology
Fabriksvej 25, Helsingør; open Mon-Sun 10:00-17:00; tickets: adults 65kr, kids free adm; 

A wistfully nostalgic trip down memory lane for some and a  fantastic collection of steam engines, inventions, electric appliances, bicycles, cars and airplanes. It might be a bit off the beaten track, but if you are looking for a day out in Helsingør, maybe combined with a trip to the castle, then the kids will love this one, especially the more technically-minded. The 802 bus leaves from the train station every 20 minutes.

The Blue Planet
Jacob Fortlingsvej 1, Kastrup; open Mon 10:00-21:00; tickets: adults 144kr, under-11s 85kr;

Rays of sunshine may be scarce, but there are rays a-plenty in Northern Europe’s biggest aquarium. If you still haven’t been there, then now is the time to see what everyone has been carping on about. With activities all day long, why not start at 10:30 with breakfast for the ravenous piranhas, a close encounter with hammerhead sharks, and a chance to shake a leg with an octopus along the way. Book online to avoid being packed in like sardines in the inevitable queues.

Circus Museum in Hvidovre
Hovedporten 6, Hvidovre; open 11:00-14:00 on Feb 10-14; adults 50kr, children free adm; (phone 3649 0030 to  reserve tickets)

Not many people make it out to the Circus Museum, but the number 1A bus takes you all the way there and it’s well worth the effort.  At 10:00, Monday to Friday during the autumn holiday, ventriloquist and magician Peter Nørgaard is in the spotlight. After this, kids and adults can top it off with instruction in trapeze, tightrope, juggling and other circus disciplines. The museum itself is also well worth a visit as a rare glimpse into the history of Danish circus life.

Zoological Museum
Universitetsparken 15, Cph Ø;  open daily 10:00-17:00; adults: 75kr, under-16s 40kr;

Perhaps it will be too chilly to traipse around Copenhagen Zoo, so the next best thing is the Zoological Museum in Østerbro. The impressive mammoth exhibition is still running, with a mummified bay mammoth as one of the main attractions. Museum  attendants may have a bone to pick with you as you get to grips with a cranium or two, put together a lion skeleton or guess the animal tailbones. Budding curators can create a display for a jawbone with accompanying text and take it home.  On Wednesday 12 February, between 11:00 and 13:00, an arctic wolf will be dissected – probably not for the squeamish – but fascinating nonentheless.

Disney On Ice
Forum Copenhagen, Julius Thomsens Plads 1, Frederiksberg; performances Tue & Wed 11:00, 15:00 & 19:00; tickets 202-470kr,

Last year’s big hit in Ballerup has skated downtown to the Forum in Frederiksberg with a bigger and even better performance Worlds of Fantasy. Rev up for non-stop fun as the Cars cast race across the ice. Dive into The Little Mermaid’s enchanting undersea kingdom or witness the Toy Story gang escape from the dreaded Sunnyside Daycare. Old favourites such as Mickey, Goofy and Pluto will also have their blades sharpened for the occasion. Plenty of dazzling skating, special effects and songs (in Danish).


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