Inout Kids corner: Fresh-air crafty critters (someone’s been telling porkie pies!)

September 5th, 2015 1:00 pm| by Hellen Dyrbye

Where can you spend all day letting off steam after being cooped back up at school for weeks?

Need another clue? Well, it must have cost blood, sweat and tears moving all the fascinating old buildings from all over Denmark and rebuilding them brick by brick and stone by stone in this amazing natural oasis.
And did I mention that admission is absolutely free?

Udder sustainable energies
Any ideas? Yes, you’ve guessed. For this month’s column, we visited the Open Air Museum (Friluftsmusseet) in Lyngby, which covers 76 acres and has about 50 different charming dwellings to explore.

Inside, you’ll also find quaint old furniture and tools of the trade that have belonged to craftsmen and craftswomen down through the ages. A load of old cobblers. Of course. And weavers, potters, blacksmiths, farmers and their animals. Imagine that: having your cows in the next room to help keep you warm during the bitter Danish winters. Cuddle up, Buttercup.

Giddy up, let’s roll
We started off by turning right just inside the entrance to the museum and climbing aboard a horse-drawn cart. The 20-minute ride costs 25 kroner per person and gives a good overview of what to visit on foot. The wagons only roll in good weather and when there are enough visitors to make it worthwhile (check via 4120 6455).

We saw lots of children. Some waved and others were too busy playing with the manmade waterfalls and the chickens scratching among the bushes. Anika and Toran kindly sat and stood in for photos as Jake was at school.

Big piggywig
We passed the biggest pig I have ever seen. As soon as we were out of range, it stood up and looked very photogenic with a very appealing ‘mud petticoat’. The coachman explained this was a rather sneaky piggy.

The museum had bought her earlier in the summer because she was showing all the signs of being an expectant mummy pig waiting to have piglets. She was certainly amply proportioned. But now, with summer drawing to a close, and still no piggywinks, she was generally believed to have tricked her way into a cushy number in piggy paradise with a phantom pregnancy. She has no name, but
Trixie would do nicely.

Anyway, by the time I had jumped off the wagon where the trip started and hiked back to where I thought I’d last seen her, she too seemed to have disappeared into thin air. I started asking other visitors I met: “Have you seen a big pig”, and I finally found her in the Andelsbyen section. By then, she had flopped once again and not even her legs were very visible. She was making comforting little grunts, but grunts get lost in translation and print, I’m afraid.

Bringing the past to life
As luck would have it, Finbarr the craftsman was clowning about making children laugh just as I happened to walk past. He’s actually Irish, but his antics are so visual that words are unnecessary. Looking ahead, Frilandsmuseet’s historical market is always held during the autumn school holiday – this year from 11-18 October 2015 with activities from 11:00-15:30 that show life at the end of the 1800s, with traditional stalls, wacky theatre shows and tasty treats galore. So remember to take some cash – especially in case you get peckish.

Winter wonderland
After the autumn holiday, the museum will be closed until Christmas, when it opens again for the first two weekends in December, transformed with Christmas spirit and decorated to the hilt with the restaurant serving delicious dishes from the good old days.

See for lots more photos, including Trixie the Pig – and some from last Christmas – and find out how Jake and I made a fleece egg cosy inspired by the ones we bought in the charming museum shop, which is crowded with cute craft products.

Everything you need to know

Dogs are welcome … but not in the buildings.
You can borrow carts, but bicycles are not allowed for safety reasons.
There is wheelchair access – the tracks are relatively solid, though the terrain is bumpy.
However, most courtyards are difficult to access for wheelchair users.
Three museum buildings have partial access: Kniplehus from Nr. Sejerslev (no 33), a farm from Ostenfeld (no 4) and Haugbarg from Ejdersted (no 31).

Getting there
The main entrance, shop and restaurant are on Kongevejen 100, Lyngby with parking marked close by.
There’s a north entrance at IC Modewegs Vej, Lyngby.
Take the S-train line E to Sorgenfri and the walk takes about 10 minutes.
Buses 184 and 194 stop right by the main entrance.
The Jægersborg-Nærum train stops in Brede close to the museum’s north entrance by Brede Værk – another museum (for older kids) tracing the industrial revolution through the eyes of the fabric mill employees (see the old weaving machines and more at

Animal languages
Guess which creatures match these noises in Danish and English!
Choose from dog, donkey, bear, cow, sheep, bird, cockerel, frog, pig and owl.
Oink – øf
Kykeliky – cock-a-doodle-doo
Vuf – woof
Muh – moo
Uhu – twit-twoo
Hiho – hee-haw
Mæh – baa
brøl – roar
Kvæk – ribbit
Pip – cheep
Check out, where there are plenty more to giggle over, especially guinea pigs that apparently say ‘wee wee’ (must be American)!

The author
Helen Dyrbye is a published author, translator and former scout leader from East Anglia in England who relocated to Denmark a long time ago and loves it here as much as ‘back home’.

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