The dark Danish winter has come to an early halt. The birds and the bees are busy, the buds are blossoming and, in and around the city, a furious frenzy of activity is unfolding, including both children and adults.
The excitement is understandable. For the first time since 2019, the public can look forward to a full program of Easter events, and believe us: there are many wonders waiting to be discovered for the whole family.
Well and truly open
Given that a combination of the now-ended restrictions and wintry weather has been stopping the family from taking day trips of late, this could be the first time in ages that the whole family has packed into a car.
So it’s safe to say that Denmark is well and truly open and ready to accommodate you throughout this Easter break.
Top of the season at Tivoli
Easter at Tivoli, Vesterbrogade 3, Cph V; open from April 8, Fri-Sat 11:00-24:00, Sun-Thu 11:00-22:00; entry: 145kr, entry with unlimited rides: 390kr; tivoli.dk
The gardens will be filled with aromatic hyacinths, daffodils and colourful eggs to celebrate Easter at Tivoli. If you are ready for some celebrations, the blooming gardens are too!
Tivoli will open for the Easter break with a grand firework display! On April 8, the banging will commence from the rooftop of the Concert Hall at 23:45 – it’s always best seen from the open-air stage.
Chums with Klump
The aforementioned open-air stage will be busy entertaining the younger ones. Every afternoon three shows will be held, while Rasmus Klump and his friends Pingo and Flora need your help to decorate beautiful eggs in time for Easter.
And last but not least: the rides! Back on track for another season, they rarely disappoint. (AD)
Where kids get to be sleuths
Viking Ship Museum, Vindeboder 12, Roskilde; open daily 10:00-16:00; 125kr
Adventure is awaiting at the Viking Ship Museum.
A free guided tour in English (at 13:00) will take you through the stories of five original Viking Ships from Skuldelev.
Stop the thieves!
Afterwards, why not save the museum from being the victim of a heist!
Master thief Heidenreich has plans to steal something valuable and only the children can help prevent that!
A phone is needed to download the free Useeum app to take part.
Ships that speak
And finally, who knew that ships could speak!
Listen to seafarers’ dramatic stories from the perspective of the ships themselves.
Day in the life you won’t forget
Experimentarium, Tuborg Havnevej 7, Hellerup; open Mon-Fri 09:30-17:00, Sat-Sun 09:30-17:00; over-11s 199kr, under-12s 125kr, under-3s free adm; experimentarium.dk
09:31: ”Hi darling, just wanted to let you know that we got here at 09:30 as planned – easy to find from Hellerup Station. I don’t think we’ll be much longer than an hour, so we’ll see you at 11 for coffee!”
10:47: “We’re not going to make coffee. Young Jasper took one look at the ball-bearings on a rail contraption and he was off. I’ve never seen him look so excited. He’s still there now, scoring points for all the balls he can collect. At least he seems to understand the rules. And Tom and Sarah have been cycling, hopping, playing stepping stones and testing their reactions, strength and agility in every way possible. And we’re not even finished on the first floor. Restaurant at 1 looking more likely now.”
13:13: “We’re still on the first floor, I’m afraid. Once Jasper found out about the hopping, cycling and the rest, he wanted to try them all, and the others didn’t seem to mind. We’ll get something at the canteen. Seriously, 3 o’clock for coffee – I’ll drag ‘em out if I need to.”
14:55: “I’ve never seen the kids so fascinated. Even Jasper is reading most of the scientific explanations. Every time I suggest it’s time to move on, we find something that everyone wants to do – yeah … me included. Like did you know I have an amazing heartbeat recovery time, and the fitness of somebody aged 32! Next up is a team challenge on observation skills.”
16:55: “We’re on the roof! Games galore up here and what a view! The place closes in five minutes, so I guess this is finally it. Although I hear they’re opening a luxury cinema up here so next year we can stay even longer. The kids are tired as hell, but they’re already talking about coming back! And Jasper says he wants to be a nuclear physicist. Time to head down the insane spiral stairway.” (BH)
Gunning down that hill
Copenhill, Vindmøllevej 6C, Cph S; open Mon-Fri 12:00-20:00, Sat 10:00-20:00, Sun 10:00-18:00; children: 105kr per hour, adults: 150kr per hour; copenhill.dk
An architecturally unique destination for an active family, Copenhill calls itself “Copenhagen’s epicentre of urban mountain sports” – and for good reason.
Start your visit by taking the hiking route through an exciting green landscape that lends itself to activities, but remember to take in the view.
At an altitude of 85 metres towering above the Øresund, you don’t need any further confirmation the height is above sea level.
The slope awaits
And then move on to the main event: a chance to ski and snowboard down the huge slope, which is divided into different levels to enable support for a wide range of abilities.
The centre also includes the largest climbing wall in the world. At 85 metres tall and 10 metres wide, it’s a challenge: both to climb and to convince anyone to give it a go.
Times at Copenhill should be booked online in advance on its website. (Maria El Youssif)
People say we monkey around!
Copenhagen Zoo, Roskildevej 32, Frederiksberg; open daily 09:00-17:00, until 18:00 on weekends; over-12s: 195 kr, under-12s: 105kr, zoo.dk
Tourscanner recently named Copenhagen Zoo as the 33rd best on the planet, drawing particular attention to its Elephant House, which was designed by famous British architect Norman Foster.
That isn’t the only must-see enclosure at the famous zoo – or one built by a celebrity architect for that matter – which is located a little outside the city centre, at the top of one of the steepest hills in the whole capital, where it overlooks the wonderful Frederiksberg Have park.
The panda house is designed by the famous Bjarke Ingels Group in the shape of a Yin-Yang symbol.
The pressure is mounting on resident pandas Xing Er and Mao Sun to mate, now fully four years since they moved to the new premises.
One of them managed a walkabout in 2020, suggesting they’re maybe not happy with the company!
Petting is compulsory!
The hippo pool is also highly recommended. Boasting breathtaking underwater views, you’ll never forget the first time one of the giant beasts emerges from the cloudy water to stare right into your face.
Tigers, lions, monkeys and polar bears also await – in total there are over 4,000 animals – but often the biggest draw with children is the area where they can get up close and personal.
In the Children’s Zoo section it is possible to pet African dwarf goats and meet the farm animals. Here young ones can also experience the horses being trained and pet them while they are being fed at the grooming stations.
Copenhagen Zoo will be open for the entire Easter break, offering many special activities such as hanging out with dinosaurs at Dinozoo, learning about the leopard gecko, meeting a zookeeper, watching shows and many other offers!
And as always, you can be present during feeding sessions with penguins, black-capped squirrel monkeys, birds, otters and other eccentric creatures. (BH)
Out there in ‘Old Denmark’
Frilandsmuseet (Open Air Museum), Kongevejen 100, Kongens Lyngby; open Tue-Sun 10:00-16:00; natmus.dk
A 20-minute drive from the city, or a quick S-train trip to Sorgenfri, is a journey back in time.
Learn about authentic old Danish living experiences in this outdoor history lesson of straw-houses, horse and buggy rides, and old gravel paths. And discover how farmers lived and worked in different regions of Denmark between the 1700-1900s.
Heaps of activities
Offering heaps of outdoor activities and over 100 buildings, Frilandsmuseet will entertain the young-ins during the Easter break.
Remember to call in advance if you wish to book a carriage ride.
Steamy in the spa
Copenhot, Refshalevej 325, Cph K; open Wed-Sun 10:00-21:00; copenhot.com
Not far from Copenhill, you can end the day with the Danish version of ‘apres-ski’ at Copenhot.
Enjoy a spa at the location or set off into the harbour. For a spa that sits five, it costs 1,300 an hour (as opposed to 300 kroner for individuals on their own).
Plenty of options
For a more intimate experience, choose the option that includes a bottle of Cava for 1,580 kroner.
Or for 2,200 kroner, take one of the two ‘Sailing Hot Tubs’ out for a 90-minute spin in the harbour.
Reservations are advised for group bookings.
At home in Holger and Hamlet’s hood
Kronborg Castle, Helsingør; open Fri-Sat 10:00-17:00, Tue-Sun 11:00-16:00, closed Mon; under-18s: free adm, over-18s: 125kr
It’s easy to spot Kronborg Castle once you’re in Helsingør. Its dreamlike turquoise spires and sandstone columns tower over the narrow promontory separating Denmark and Sweden.
Here, at the closest point, the Swedish coast is just 4km away.
A rich history to explore
In the 1500s, international relations were a little frostier than today, and the Swedish-facing side of Kronborg was bristling with artillery.
Nevertheless, in 1658 the Swedes invaded Kronborg, ransacking it of art and other valuables. In response, the very-pissed-off Danes built huge new ramparts and a more advanced line of defence – which can still be seen today – and Kronborg became the strongest fortress in Europe.
The site has done various stints as a prison, royal residence and military base. It’s about as majestic as classic Danish architecture gets and is well worth a day-trip as one of the three (technically five, but two are in Greenland) UNESCO world heritage sites in Denmark.
To be or not to be
Incidentally, it’s also the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, though Horatio’s description of the view from Kronborg – which “puts toys of desperation into every brain that looks so many fathoms to the sea and hears it roar beneath” – paints a bleaker picture than modern visitors can expect.
Today, the castle is home to special exhibitions, the latest being ‘Jim Lyngvild’s Royal History at Kronborg Castle’, which runs until November 14. Visitors can catch the royal retrospective, explore the rooms, complete with original furnishings, and wander the wind-battered military grounds.
If you dare, descend below the castle into its network of gloomy tunnels that house the famous statue of sleeping warrior, ‘Holger Dansk’. Legend has it he will awaken when his country needs him. (LH)
On safari in the savannah
Knuthenborg Safaripark, Knuthenborg Alle 1, Maribo; open daily 10:00-17:00; under-12s: 99-149kr, over-12s: 159-239kr, under-3s free adm (more expensive at weekends); knuthenborg.dk
Open since 1969, Knuthenborg Safaripark is the largest of its kind in northern Europe, spreading over an area of 660 hectares.
Up close with tigers
Along with the large areas in which the 1,000+ different species of animals stroll around freely, the site also has a large amusement park, an old manor house, a castle, informative exhibitions and activities.
Top tip: don’t miss the tiger area where you can see them up close and personal!
Among the beasts
Dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts are also a focus – in fact, there is even a Dinosaur Park. But don’t worry, an eccentric millionaire’s not going to accidentally release the velociraptors.
Nevertheless, if the thrill of mixing with the wildlife appeals to you, you can book an overnight stay in a tent on an elevated terrace two metres above ground-level, from where you can observe animals walking around below you.
If all that livestock whets your appetite, why not enjoy a delicious gourmet meal with a view of the savannah.
Tickets, including family passes, can be bought online. (LH)
Years of the clown
Easter at Bakken, Dyrehavevej 62, Klampenborg; open from April 8, 11:00-24:00; free adm; wristband for under-13s: 249-299kr, Monday wristband: 149kr; bakken.dk
Did you know that the Dyrehavsbakken theme park, which is more commonly referred to as Bakken, opened in 1583, making it the world’s oldest themepark?
This means it could quite legitimately have been mentioned in a Shakespeare play (but not Hamlet, as that’s set in around 1400), or had its opening day painted by a young Rubens.
Clown after our hearts
Its clown Pierrot is similarly ancient. He was born in 1800 and for over 200 summers he has been delighting the children of Denmark with his antics: these days between 15:00 and 16:00 in front of his little greenhouse.
“Pierrot, Pierrot come out now,” the children shout, and a few adults too, and his storytelling never fails to disappoint them. “I feel like a part of Bakken’s heart,” Pierrot says.
If that’s true, let’s hope Onkel Reje doesn’t cut it out because he’s a pirate. Aimed at slightly older kids, his shows are pretty riotous.
Rides don’t get more rickety
Almost as old as the clown are some of Bakken’s rides, such as its famous wooden rollercoaster ‘Rutschebanen’. You might suspect the rickety ride dates back to the 1580s, but it was in fact opened in 1932.
Until very recently, brakemen used to ride the coasters, responsible for reducing its speed around corners. But while that thrill has been discontinued, lots of new rides have been added over the last 20 years to bring Bakken kicking and screaming into yet another century. (BH)
Giant treasure hunt
The Hidden Giants, secret locations in Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishøj, Albertslund and Høje Taastrup; trollmap.com
Easter is upon us, and right on our doorstep is an outdoor activity that smacks of fairy-tale adventure.
‘The Six Forgotten Giants’ is a sculpture treasure-hunt hidden in nature-spots in six of Copenhagen’s western municipalities.
The timber giants, each up to five metres tall, are built from scrap wood with the help of local volunteers and form the first ‘chapter’ of an ongoing art-narrative entitled ‘The Great Story Of The Little People and The Giant Trolls’.
Off the beaten track
The artist behind the work is Thomas Dambo, whose mission objective is to get urbanites off the beaten track and into local green areas. “I find trash in the street and turn it into something new,” he says.
His outdoor troll installations – which have now popped up in Chicago, Pyongyang and Culebra in Puerto Rico too – are, in his words, an “ever-growing recycled sculpture fairytale.”
On your doorstep
But you won’t have to catch a flight or climb a beanstalk to find Dambo’s giants. The trolls are hidden in local forests, on hills and on the banks of lakes, and each hunt requires a little off-road rambling and google-mapping – perfect on a breezy autumn day.
Go to Dambo’s website, trollmap.com, for clues to help you hunt down the six secret spots in Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishøj, Albertslund and Høje Taastrup. (LH)
Cemetery cherry close-ups
Bispebjerg Cemetery, Rådvadsvej 64, Cph NV; open daily 07:00-19:00
Copenhagen’s beautiful cemeteries are a great place to sit in the sun and enjoy a picnic with family and friends.
That is odd if you ask me, but this author’s mind might be changed by the blooming cherry trees in Bispbjerg Cemetery.
Why 150,000 visit
The magnificent alley of pink Japanese cherry trees attracts more than 150,000 visitors annually.
Both Copenhageners and tourists flock to the old cemetery to behold and immortalise the sight with their cameras. Be one of first this year!
But be respectful
If you do get your camera out to photograph the beautiful pink flowers, do remember that you are visiting a cemetery and that mourners may be present.
If walking and taking pictures is not your thing, ride past them on your bicycle. (Armelle Delmelle)
Eggcellent: The hunt is on
Easter egg hunt, Lindevangsparken, Frederiksberg; April 16, 10:30-13:00; free tickets via billetto.dk
The perk of celebrating Easter with your kids is looking for eggs the Easter bunny might have left behind.
So why not do it with other families? Who knows: your kid might even meet their new besties.
It’s … Easter
To celebrate the holiday in Denmark, It’s July, a meeting app/website for families, is hosting its first egg hunt in Copenhagen, and you are invited!
You can even host experiences if you like: something as simple as a dinner for yours and another family. The simple aim is to create memories. (Armelle Delmelle)
Petting the spring lambs
Byoasen in Hørsholmparken, Cph N, open daily: Mon-Thur: 09:00-17:00, Fri: 09:00-16:30, Sat-Sun: 10:00-14:00
The sacrifice of a lamb is often compared to the death of Christ, so it makes sense that so many Danes like to pet one at Easter. It’s symbolic, innit.
Take your kids to the Byoasen petting zoo in Nørrebro and introduce them to a side of Easter that does not involve gorging on chocolate.
Other animals too
Byoasen, which literally means ‘city oasis’, is free admission.
You can enjoy a cup of coffee while the young ones interact with goats, chickens, guinea pigs, and rabbits. (Armelle Delmelle)
Towering over the forest canopy
Forest Tower, Skovtårnsvej 1, 4683 Rønnede; open daily 10:00-18:00; under-3s free adm; under-7s 75kr, over-7s 150kr, climbing park 150-350kr; campadventure.dk
It looked like something out of a fairy-tale when it was announced several years ago, but Camp Adventure’s 45 metre-high forest tower, complete with a spiral walkway, quickly became a reality when it opened, welcoming 2,500 people on its first day.
Set in the beautiful Gisselfeld Klosters forest, 95 metres above sea level and some 70 km away from Copenhagen, on a good day you can see much further from above the forest canopy – to Sweden and beyond!
Like Phileas Fogg
In fact, at the top of the tower, the direction and distance of many, many famous cities is marked, as you take a 360 degree tour around the world.
Nearer to the tower, which costs 150 kroner to climb and is open from 10:00 every day, enjoy an awe-inspiring view of hills, meadows, lakes, wetlands and streams.
Climb like Spiderman
And if climbing the tower isn’t enough – the distance of the walk, from the camp entrance, up the tower and back again, is a healthy 3.2 km – there’s also a challenging climbing park within the forest.
To get there by car, take the E20 and E47 from Copenhagen, or via rail, take a regional train to Næstved Station, from where the 630R bus will take you to within a kilometre. (BH)
No rest days at St Alban’s
St Alban’s Church, Churchillparken 11, Cph K; Easter Sunday service at 10:30, plus services on all holy days
Even Jesus got to rest on Saturday, but this won’t be the case at St Alban’s Church, which is holding Easter services throughout the ‘business end’ of Holy Week.
For nearly a century and a half, the Anglican (Episcopal) church has been the place to go for English-language services in Copenhagen.
In the aptly named park
Set in the idyllic surroundings of Churchillparken it has a lively community and often activities follow services, giving newcomers to the city the chance to socialise with like-minded English-speakers.
While the main Easter Sunday service starts at 10:30, Maundy Thursday and Holy Saturday services begin at 18:00, and the Good Friday service at 14:00. (Armelle Delmelle)
Ukrainian mecca for Easter
Alexander Nevsky Church, Bredgade 53, Cph K; Easter Day Service (in Russian) on April 24, 10:00
Following some recent war-related vandalism, Alexander Nevsky Church protested that while it is a Russian Orthodox church, it is not part of the Moscow patriarchate.
This, therefore, makes it an ideal spot for newly-arrived, Russian-speaking Ukrainians to celebrate Easter – once it comes around, as the Russian Orthodox churches celebrate the big day almost a week later on April 24.
Built in the 1880s
The church was built by the Russian government between 1881 and 1883 when Tzar Alexander and his wife, Princess Dagmar of Denmark, ascended to the Russian throne.
It is dedicated to the Russian patron saint Alexander Nevsky. (Armelle Delmelle)
Where space is surprisingly limited
Danish Architecture Center, Bryghusgade 10, Cph K; open daily, 10:00-18:00, until 21:00 on Thursdays; entry: adults: 115kr, under-18s: free adm, discounts available
During the Easter holidays, the Danish Architecture Centre invites you to family activities and two current exhibitions that zoom in on how small our homes could actually be – both here on Earth and in outer space.
DAC’s Educatorium invites the little ones inside where Easter fun is turned up a notch with creative activities including making beautiful Easter eggs inspired by the shapes and patterns of architecture, which you get to take home and hang up.
At home on The Moon
In the exhibition ‘A Space Saga’ you can explore a lunar home designed with well-being in mind. Space travel stimulates human curiosity and inventiveness and always has, whether in fiction or reality. Space travel requires concrete design and construction. Because how are we going to live in space?
In solidarity with Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen, who has confirmed he is going back to Space on a long-term mission, you too can discover what it is like to live in a cramped space.
In the exhibition A Space Saga you can experience SAGA Space Architects’ idea of an oval-shaped lunar habitat of just 4.5 sqm.
Building a better future
In turn, you can build lunar architecture with LEGO® bricks. Think outside the box, because how do you survive in Space where there is no oxygen and no water? It takes a good imagination and the courage to think big to survive on the Moon.
DAC’s host will introduce the workshop with tips on architecture for the Moon and help with special LEGO building techniques along the way. Both children and adults need a ticket for the workshop, which is free with entry and lasts 75 minutes.
Welcoming in nature
It is also the last chance to see the acclaimed exhibition ‘Living Better Sustainably’, which comes armed with the tagline “Death to the lawnmower”.
What on earth is that supposed to mean, you might think. Well, Tegnestuen Vandkunsten has highlighted this particular quote, as the whole exhibition is a bid for a sustainable future, where we should rethink the way we live.
The exhibition is not just about opening up to a community shared with other people, but also with nature, which we should welcome more into our homes, gardens and cities. (Armelle Delmelle)
Let them hunt eggs at Louisiana!
Louisiana Modern Art Museum; Gl Strandvej 13, Humlebæk; open Tue-Fri, 11:00-22:00, Sat-Sun: 11:00-18:00; 145kr, under-18s: free adm
Currently, there are seven exhibitions at Louisiana to enjoy, including a retrospective of the work of Sonia Delaunay.
From paintings to photography, from new to older works and acquisitions, there is something for everyone at Louisiana.
Children can enjoy Easter at the Children’s House, where all three floors will be a colourful paradise.
From Saturday 9 April to Easter Monday, the museum will be offering a special Easter package of workshops and activities for you, your family, and friends.
Easter egg hunts
You can paint Easter eggs, try your hand at Easter crafts and go on an Easter egg hunt outside in the museum’s Sculpture Park – there will also be opportunities to join the popular family tours.
More info on the museum’s Facebook page.
Visit a Brave new planet on Amager
Blue Planet, Jacob Fortlingsvej 1, Kastrup; open Mon 10:00-21:00, Tue-Sun 10:00-17:00; under-12s: 100kr, over-12s: 185kr; denblaaplanet.dk
Is your child still searching for Nemo? Well, they might just find him here at Blue Planet, northern Europe’s largest aquarium.
Visit Copenhagen’s international-class attraction and experience a world cruise under the sea for children and adults, on which you can get up close and personal with thousands of fish and sea animals.
In total there are 48 aquariums containing over 7 million litres of water.
Delightful in all seasons
When it rains, enjoy the fact that on the Blue Planet you can be dry and have a fun day surrounded by water and sea animals.
The sun meanwhile brings out the best in the aquarium. On clear days enjoy the sea view and look past the Øresund Bridge to Sweden.
Or turn around and admire the aquarium’s unique and distinctive architecture, which has become an important landmark in Denmark, winning several prizes, including a RIBA EU Award and the World Architecture Festival’s Display Award.
Lots of fun at Easter
For Easter, the Blue Planet has planned a very special list of daily events for kids of all ages to enjoy. Activities both outside and inside should make you enjoy the day no matter what the weather is like.
From feeding the fish to visiting the otherwise secret part of the aquarium, you won’t have a minute to be bored. There is something new to do every half hour.
Our favourites are the Gyotaki workshop, where you can print your own mule bag, and the Mermaid Show, which is performed to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
The exact schedule of all the activities is available on the aquarium’s website. (Maria El Youssif)