Neither a theme park nor amusement park, but we’ll mention it anyway. Junibacken in Stockholm pays homage to the book characters of Astrid Lindgren. One of the highlights here is The Storybook Train (Sagotåget) that whizzes you over rooftops and setting from some of the books. Expect a children’s library, and organized fun and activities for kids such as singalongs. Open year-round.
Come to Gröna Lund amusement park in Stockholm for the heady aroma of candyfloss and hotdogs and white-knuckle rides like Twister an old-style wooden roller-coaster and The Giant Drop (Fritt Fall), from which you get tremendous views of Stockholm. The names say it all really. Do it like the locals at Gröna Lund by picking five activities (Femkamp), where the whole family competes. Open from end April until end September.
Just across the street from Gröna Lund is Skansen, an open-air museum. It is a living, working Sweden of the 1900s with its 160 buildings from all over Sweden to form a society of the times. There are farm buildings, mills and ‘olde worlde’ shops. Skansen also has Galejan amusement park for kids with old fashioned carousels and swing roundabouts. Skansen is a must if you are in Stockholm and it is open every day of the year.
Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg is Scandinavia’s biggest. And it has one of the most fearsome attractions in the world – Atmosfear, a 116 metre tower that you free fall from. It takes 90 seconds to reach the top and only 3 seconds to hurtle back towards earth. As well as 35 other rides and attractions, Liseberg is packed with restaurants, fast food joints and cafés and has hotel, cottage, youth hostel and camping accommodation. Rides and attractions open from April to end September.
Still in Gothenburg, Universeum, is Sweden’s largest science center. Don’t let the word ‘science’ put you off, this place is a blast (literally sometimes as you get to perform experiments). Universeum’s seven floors are packed with adventures; experimental workshops, spaceships, giant aquaria with sharks, rays that you can pet, deadly poisonous snakes, mountain slopes and an entire, steaming rainforest complete with apes, caymans, piranhas, the lot.
For some good old-fashioned ‘howdy partner’ fun hit High Chaparall which lies south-west of Gothenburg. This unsurprisingly western-themed park has cowboys, saloon bars, mock gun-fights, gold panning and stage coach rides. Your little cowboys and cowgirls will love it. The buildings and sets are right out of a cowboy movie.
Kids and adults love Astrid Lindgren books and characters. So what better than Astrid Lindgren’s World located in Vimmerby, where Astrid Lindgren grew up, in the province of Småland in southern Sweden. It is choc-a-bloc with big and bright backgrounds and settings and, of course, characters from her books including, Karlsson, Emil and Rasmus and, of course Pippi Longstocking. There are also theatres, stages with live performances and activities where the kids get immersed in the fun. This attraction also has chalet and campsite accommodation.
Sweden’s other theme and amusement parks include Skara Sommarland in West Sweden province, Tom Tits Experiment in Södertälje and Jamtli near the town of Östersund.