10 free things to do during Höstlov with the entire family! One last out-door hurrah before hibernation begins.

In Stockholm, höstlov, Autumn half-term,  starts on the 31st of October for one week. It’s approaching fast and there isn’t much time left to prepare timetables of adventurous things to do with the kids. If we were all made of money we’d fork out the dough to send them somewhere which would do the thinking for us. But, alas, none of us are made of money these days.

So, we’ve cracked our skulls together at Littlebearabroad HQ and put together 10 free things to do with kids during Stockholm’s höstlov.


Museums in Stockholm

Since early 2016 a huge portion of the cultural centres and museums in Stockholm are now free to enter. For a full list read the article published by the Local in Feb 2016 “Swedish museums start opening up for free.” During the holidays many of these museums run specialist pedagogical programmes for pre-school and school children. A lot of them will have a halloween theme or autumnal vibe and it is a great way of introducing kids into the City’s cultural scene. Be mindful, some of the state and city run museums are closed on Mondays. Be sure to check with the museums opening times before committing.


In particular, Nordiska Museet and Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet have brilliant programmes based around creative play and arts ‘n’ crafts.


Rainbow walks in Tyresta National Park

Tyresta National Park is 20km south of Stockholm, approx 30 minutes by car and an hour by train from T-Central. It is a diverse landscape of forest, wetlands and lakes. The Tyresta National Park is almost completely surrounded by the Tyresta National Reserve, famous for its broad-leaved woods, buildings of cultural interest and private farmland.


Because of its diverse nature, Tyresta is perfect for rainbow walks. It doesn’t matter where you walk to, or how long or short you take, the purpose of the rainbow walk is to pick something from nature that represents every colour in a rainbow.


Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Good Luck!


Painting at Rum för Barn

So, this might be cheating slightly because it isn’t exactly free. BUT, it is a brilliant way to entertain the kids for an afternoon whilst you drink a coffee.


Rum för barn’s bildverkstad is open every day during the week between the opening hours of 12pm – 5pm, but do check their website. There is a small fee of 30sek that goes towards painting materials. Other than that it is completely free. There are Kulturhuset employees there to support you and the kids whilst they paint. Job Done!


Leaf peeping at the City National Park

Firstly, leaf peeping is an American term used to describe the activity of travelling to different parts of America to view and photograph the foliage changing colour.


In Sweden, you don’t have to travel an entire state to do that, just follow the walks around the City National Park. The boundaries of the park start in Ulriksdal and follow south towards Hagaparken and Norra Djurgården. The contrast in Maple and Birch tree foliage at this time is stunniong as the landscape changes towards the wetlands of Bergianska Trädgården. Check out the City National Park website for organised walks or take a fleeting journey and go your own way (see what I did there).


Listen to some storytelling

Storytelling for kids in Swedish and in English in Stockholm. Stockholm Stadsbibliotek host age appropriate storytelling sessions in Swedish, and sometimes in English. In Swedish story telling is called ‘sagostund’. If you go to the Stadsbibliotek website you’ll find storytelling sessions all over Stockholm.


Rum för barn at Kulturhuset host storytelling for 3+ years every Wednesday between 4-5pm. All of these you can find on Littlebearabroad’s events calendar.


Forest exploration in Lida

Lida is another nature reserve or community recreation area in Botkyrka and owned by the municipality. It’s a total delight with 35km of nature, parkland, walks, running tracks, bike tracks and cross-country skiing. The name Lida means ‘slope’ in English so where better to take the pulka’s and hit the snow in the Winter.


The diversity of the parkland and nature serves as a brilliant took to play some awesome forest games. I-Spy for one and hunting animal tracks. Exploring the different trees and bark and discovering new fungus (look, don’t touch!). Perhaps, collecting some souvenirs to bring home and create autumn sensory boards and best of all, conker heaven!


Uppsala - Pelle Svanslöss, Botaniska, Gustava Museet

Another short ride from Stockholm is Uppsala. The City of Uppsala is the one of the oldest Cities in Sweden, pre-dating Christianity and believed to be the home of Sweden’s oldest and most respected Viking clans. The Viking Museum, set within the burial mounds of Gamla Uppsala, is another historical and child-friendly gem. To some extent, better than Vikingaliv in Stockholm. Definitely more extensive, and well curated.


It is also home to some pretty brilliant free stuff. In the heart of Uppsala is the English Park, Engelskaparken, named that because of its similarities to English parks. In the middle of the park is Pelle Svanslös play park. Pelle Svanslös is a well known children’s story about a tail-less cat. The author was from Uppsala and so was the cat. The play park is fantastic and it doesn’t matter whether or not you know the stories.


In the centre of the city is another Littlebearabroad recommended find, Biotopia Uppsala. Discover Upplands biodiversity and natural landscape through Biotopia’s scenescapes and theatre-like displays, interactive science activities and underwater experiments.


Leaf walks in Hellasgården

Hellasgården on the outskirts of the Nacka nature reserve it claims to be 15 minutes from downtown Slussen. If you add 2 kids, a buggy and life’s daily survival kit make that 35 minutes and it’s more accurate. Still very easy to get to by bus and car. There is also a cafe with lunch and fika items. There are dirt tracks, forest walks and more.


Try and pick up at least 6 different types of leaf before you go home. Once you are home, you can create rubbings of them, collages, or leaf people (if you have the creative foresight).


Grow your own Ek

Whilst you’ve done all these nature walks and reserve trails, you might have picked up a few acorns along the way. Why not try and seed an acorn! Acorns drop from early September all the way through to December. For the best chance of seeding them successfully pick them fresh from the tree (when no-one is looking).


All you need is a small sandwich bag, a damp piece of kitchen roll and a dark cupboard. You might also need the patience for a week or two. Wet the kitchen roll, don’t ring it out but don’t have it sopping, either. Place the acorn in the middle of the wet kitchen roll and fold the kitchen roll around the acorn, like a handkerchief. Place the kitchen roll/acorn bundle into the plastic sandwich bag and put in the dark cupboard. Wait for two weeks. Hopefully, by then you’ll see the very start of a root sprouting from the bottom of the acorn. As soon as this is visible, tranfer is to a very thin necked vase or bottle so the acorn can sit out of water in the neck.


Get down with the mysig "hygge" and watch a movie.

What is more comforting than curling up on the sofa with blankets, pillows, warm drinks and watching your favourite movie? The concept of Fredagsmysig (‘Friday cosy’) doesn’t just have to happen on a Friday! During the holidays it can happen every day of the week. Make like a winter björn and start that hibernation phase in style.

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