The 10 best things to do in Stockholm with kids – 2020

Not only does Sweden’s capital, enjoy a picture-perfect setting but it has an amazing family-friendly attitude too. Plus there is so much to do in Stockholm with kids.

This Nordic country has long had a reputation for being a great place for kids to grow up. Across Sweden there are child-specific libraries, pram ramps are common and parks have dedicated sections for kids. Most shopping centres have nursing rooms and the majority restaurants have high chairs.

But it’s more than just family-friendly amenities that Sweden offers. Government offices, for example, will regularly invite young Swedes to share their opinions and needs. This, in turn, has helped to shape decision-making processes and policies.

It really does seem like Sweden is one of the most child-friendly countries in Europe!

Updated for 2020 – make sure to check all venues for information regarding opening during Covid-19. 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate and commercial links. For more information please see my disclosure policy.

Stockholm with kids
Beautiful Stockholm is a wonderful city for kids.

 

Stockholm for kids

Stockholm with kids
Amazing cinnamon buns in Stockholm

 

The following activities and attractions are perfect for Stockholm kids (and those that just happen to be visiting!).

 

[author] [author_info]This post has information on other great European city breaks with kids. For more adventures in Northern Europe, why not take a road trip around Finland? As with all trips, remember to get travel medical insurance before you travel.[/author_info] [/author]

 

Stockholm with kids
Discover the world of Pippi Longstocking at Junibacken

Get lost in fairy tales at Junibacken

If you’re wondering where to start in Stockholm with children I would recommend Junibacken. This kid-friendly museum and cultural centre aims to inspire a love of reading in children.

Located on the island of Djurgården, in the centre of Stockholm, the popular museum is devoted to Swedish children’s literature, in particular the works of Astrid Lindgren. For those unfamiliar with Lindgren, she is the author of many books including the wonderful Pippi Longstocking.

Literary-inspired activities prevail at Junibacken and include an enchanting Story Train ride through some of Lindgren’s most popular stories. This fun train journey ends at Villa Villekulla, home to Pippi Longstocking.

There is also Storybook Square, where children can visit Pippi’s house and even ride her horse. The on-site theatre puts on 1,500 shows annually – all family-friendly – and the restaurant is famous for serving 150,000 pancakes a year!

 

Become a knight at the Royal Armoury

Established in 1628 by King Gustav II Adolph, the Royal Armoury (Livrustkammaren) is the oldest museum in Sweden and one of the best things to do in Stockholm for children. It was created initially to preserve the royal clothes used by the King on his campaign in Poland and is today an interactive lesson in Swedish History.

More importantly, perhaps, it gives children the opportunity to dress up as knights!

Positioned in the dark cellar of the Royal Palace, the museum houses elaborate costumes, glittering carriages, and clothes and playthings once belonging to the royal children. Somewhat morbidly, the outfit worn by Gustav III to the masquerade ball in 1792 where he was assassinated is also on display.

A good way to explore the Royal Armoury is on the self-guided ‘Castle Mouse’ tour; the museum gift shop provides the tools you need to enjoy this family-friendly tour. Afterwards, kids can dress up as Kings and Queens in the Play & Learn room.

 

Stockholm with kids
Challenge your brain at MegaMind

Challenge your brain at MegaMind

Possibly one of best places to visit in Stockholm, Sweden is the National Museum of Science and Technology. This brilliant museum opened MegaMind in early 2016 and it is fantastic. Designed to encourage and inspire children to experiment their way to new, smart ideas, it’s a great way to get kids thinking while having fun.

The museum design is based on the human brain. Visitors enter the museum through a gigantic ear and onwards into a large room where the brain’s hemispheres are represented.

From here on, it’s all about creative thinking.

There are some 50 interactive displays that challenge children’s perceptions. Children can see what the world looks like through a pair of cat’s eyes or learn about balance when walking across the dizzy bridge. There’s the chance to paint with your eyes, make music with your entire body and drive a satellite.

There is also a family room in MegaMind for changing babies’ diapers/nappies and for feeding – as well as giving everyone a rest!

 

Stockholm with kids
The amazing Vasa Museum is brilliant for families

Discover the incredible story of The Vasa

In 1626 King Gustavus Adolphus ordered a ship to be built that would be grand enough to showcase Sweden’s military might. The Vasa took two years to build and when she was finished she was a beautiful ship; richly decorated and fitted with elaborate bronze cannons.

Unfortunately, however, the Vasa was incredibly unstable. It’s not surprising then, that when the Vasa took her maiden voyage in August 1628, she sank. She had only travelled 1,300 meters.

For 300 years, the Vasa lay at the bottom of Stockholm harbour until April 1961 when she was raised to the surface with her hull almost entirely intact. Today she sits in the Vasa Museum and is one of the most popular Stockholm attractions.

Numerous activities are offered specifically for children at the museum. One of the most popular is the showing of a film about a little piglet called Lindblom who heads out on an adventure aboard the Vasa. There is also a family trail to follow after you have seen the film that guides you through the museum, asking questions based on Lindblom’s adventures. The trail is in English and suitable for children 3 to 8 years.

A second family trail takes visitors through the Vasa´s history and is suitable for children from 6 years. The family trail is available in Swedish, English, German, Finnish and Russian.

 

Stockholm with kids
Become a dancing queen at the ABBA Museum

Become a dancing queen at the ABBA Museum

Even if your children have never heard of ABBA this poptastic museum is definitely one of the best things to do in Stockholm.

Dedicated to Sweden’s most famous pop group the museum celebrates everything there is to know about ABBA, from the moment that Björn and Benny first met to the day that the group sang their winning song, Waterloo, at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974. There are costumes and gold records on display as well as other original items and memorabilia.

But there’s more to this museum than rooms full of ‘stuff’.

The ABBA Museum is built on audience engagement and visitors are encouraged to get involved. You can mix songs, audition to become the fifth member of ABBA and sit at the controls of the ‘Arrival Helicopter’ – made famous from the classic album cover.

The highlight of the museum, however, is the stage where you can join the ABBA avatars and belt out Mama Mia as loud as you like.

 

Stockholm with kids
Skansen is the world’s oldest open-air museum.

Step back in time at Skansen

Located on the island of Djurgården (along with Junibacken, see above), Skansen is the world’s first open air museum and a popular place to visit in Stockholm for families.

Founded in 1891, it’s a place to experience living history; where you can wander around historic homes and see the staff dressed in period dress.

There are 150 farms and houses to explore, each representing different periods in Sweden’s history. The houses were disassembled and transported here from across the country and then rebuilt on site (you’ll find a similar museum in Tallinn, Estonia).

There is a zoo, home to wild Nordic animals including bears, wolves and lynx and a children’s zoo with domestic animals such as goats and chicks. National Holidays are celebrated great vigour at Skansen with fun events to celebrate Midsummer, Christmas and more.

 

Stockholm with kids
Artipelag in Stockholm, Sweden

Be creative at Artipelag

Set on Värmdö, in the Stockholm Archipelago, Artipelag is an art gallery located just a 20-minute drive from the city centre or a 1.5-hour boat ride. If the sun is shining, you should definitely travel by water.

Artipelag is a combination of the words ‘art’, ‘activities’ and ‘archipelago’ and sums up what this creative space aims to offer. Exhibitions change regularly and in the past have featured artists such as Carouschka Streijffert and Andy Warhol.

Artipelag also has programmes for kids with dedicated activity spaces for children and organised workshops based on current  exhibitions. Other activities include quizzes and making Easter eggs.

A very good restaurant is on site and the island itself has boarded walkways for strolling.

 

Stockholm with kids
Yasuragi Kids runs during the summer months

Relax at Yasuragi Kids

Yasuragi, meaning ‘inner peace and harmony’ is a hotel and spa designed to provide a complete holistic experience and a complete unique experience in Stockholm for families. The spa is known primarily for its relaxing Japanese baths, that soothe the body and clear the mind.

For 10 months of the year, Yasuragi is open to visitors aged 16 years and over. However, during the summer months, Yasuragi opens its doors to children of all ages. This period is known as Yasuragi Kids.

Yasuragi Kids was conceived to offer families the opportunity to spend quality time together in relaxing and peaceful environment. Yasuragi Kids is not a glorified kids’ club where you can leave your children while you enjoy a massage, however.

Instead, Yasuragi Kids is a place to spend time simply being with your children; a place that aims to help children slow down and reconnect with themselves. Parents and children are also expected to participate in activities together. These include sushi making, family yoga, and meditation classes. For more information on this truly innovative concept, take a look at our full review.

 

Stockholm with kids
Get spooked on a Ghost Walk of Stockholm

Get spooked on a Ghost Walk!

Suitable for older kids (the Ghost Walk recommends 7 years and up) who aren’t easily scared is this ghoulish 90-minute walk through Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm city.

During the Stockholm Ghost Walk you can expect tales of murder and mayhem, death and disease, and executions and assassinations. These gruesome stories are told as you walk along dark alleyways, through forgotten courtyards, and across cobbled streets.

Kids are more than welcome although parental discretion is advised. Tours are held in Swedish and English and are tailored to whether or not there are children in the group.

 

Stockholm with kids
Learn about Vikings at the Swedish History Museum

The Swedish History Museum

The Swedish History Museum is one of the biggest museums in Sweden and is the place to come to learn about the Vikings. Legends paint the Vikings as brutal robbers who travelled the world plundering villages and frightening locals. The reality is, however, that they were mostly peaceful traders, farmers, hunters and craftsmen.

On display at the Swedish History Museum are literally millions of objects covering every aspect of Viking life, including gold and silver treasures, medieval art and unique finds from the Battle of Gotland (1361) one of the most violent battles of Swedish history.

Activities are held for children and families throughout the year and in the summer season they offer special hands-on activities such as craftsmanship and Viking games in the museum courtyard.

 

Stockholm Family Hotels

We stayed at the Nordic C Hotel, which is brilliantly located near the Arlanda Express trains. Rooms are on the small side but prices are good for this part of town, and breakfast is excellent!

We visited the Haymarket by Scandic, a very handsome hotel in a restored department store. The central location is great and it’s family-friendly.

Other popular family hotels include the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, beautiful Freys Hotel, the Nobis Hotel and Hotel Skeppsholmen.

 

Getting to Stockholm

As the capital of Sweden and the country’s biggest city, Stockholm is a well-connected transport hub. There are two airports within easy reach of Stockholm and a further two airports around 100km from the city.

Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) is the biggest airport in Sweden and is served by direct flights from destinations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It’s the main hub for Scandinavian Airlines and handles flights from some 30 domestic destinations.

The airport is well connected to the city; dedicated airport buses depart from terminal five every 10–15 minutes taking 45 minutes to reach City Terminalen in Norrmalm. There’s also the Arlanda Express train, which takes 20 minutes to get from terminal two to the Central Station, with departures every 10–15 minutes throughout the day.

Stockholm Skavsta Airport sits about 100km southwest of the capital, close to the town of Nyköping. It’s mainly serviced by Ryanair and Wizz Air flights. Airport buses operated by Flygbussarna run between Skavsta and Stockholm’s City Terminalen. The journey takes around 80 minutes.

There is also Stockholm Västerås Airport, which sits 100km northwest of the city.

12 thoughts on “The 10 best things to do in Stockholm with kids – 2020”

  1. Everything I read made me want to visit more and more! I love all of the dress up and playing opportunities for kids! Stockholm looks like an amazing family travel destination and I am adding it to our bucket list!

  2. We had a great time in Stockholm on a cruise a few years ago but didn’t have enough time to fully explore and have wanted to go back ever since! I’d go back just for the ABBA Museum!! 🙂

  3. Yes to all of these! We did not do the Yasuragi Kids (but I want to now) or the Ghost Walk (want to do that too). Stockholm was one of our favorite Scandinavian cities and I am sure we will return one day. Making notes to add these to our “to do” list!

  4. Brilliant information on this amazing city! I live in Stockholm and love it every single day. (Psst: a little type-o on the Vasa page: You write that the ship was constructed in 1626, and sank in 1928. As you know, it sank 300 years earlier.) Thank you for your very informative article on this glorious city. I agree with your enthusiasm:
    Stockholm is a spectacular place to see! 🙂

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