There is something I’ve been struggling with quite a bit lately... How to entertain and keep two kids of such different ages happy with the same plan. My eldest is nearly 3 and my youngest is 7 months old. They are not so far apart in age, but yet there is such a huge difference from a development perspective right now. Their needs and energies are so different at the moment. One needs running, jumping and climbing, the other one needs calmness, floor and sleeping. And both of course need mommy’s arms, hugs, lots of attention and loads of love. And often at the same time! Yep, challenging! (Parent's of 3+ kids, how do you manage?!?).
A few weeks ago we decided to go on a little city excursion and both girls had so much fun that it made my day! Ok, it was Sunday, so daddy came along, which made it a bit easier for me. But still, seeing both so smiley and happy together was amazing so I thought I would share the plan.
We basically walked along Akerselva, all the way from Nydalen down to Grünerløkka. We took the bus up and had lots of fun stops on the way down. There are many playgrounds or barnehage along the river, cozy cafés and green picnic areas. Here are a few spots we really enjoyed:
Next to the Nydalen t-bane stop there is a new and modern space for kids to play. It looks like an abstract, wooden bench but during the entire time we spent there, I never saw any adult using it as such. Only children climbing up and down, playing and using it as a slide. What I liked best was the bike path surrounding this wooden bench. It’s perfect for kids to ride their bikes and scooters no matter what their level is. My eldest has just started and it was great for her to practice, but there were other kids with more advanced skills that seemed to have a great time, too.
I can’t remember what the name of this specific barnehage is, but it’s in Bjølsen right next to the river. Thea saw it when we walked by and, of course, made us stop for almost another hour. But there are even more kindergartens the further down you walk. This one specifically is quite big and has many different playing things. (For those ones new to Oslo, the outdoor kindergarten facilities here remain open during weekends and after closing hours, so your kids are free to play in them.)
Lilleborg is a cute little neighbourhood next to Akerselva. You’ll need to cross a tiny bridge to reach this fantastic square surrounded by these beautifully restored factory buildings. You’ll find a cozy café and a pizza restaurant in case you’re hungry and a children friendly fountain in the middle where your kids can freshen up in during these warm summer days.
We usually bring some snacks with us and improvise a picnic whenever our stomachs demand a break. This green called Myraløkka is one of my favorite ones along the river walk.
Hønse-Lovisas Hus is one of our favorite spots, specially on sunny days. It’s an old cottage with loads of history that now a days sells waffles and has the cutest outdoor terrace. You can have a break, overlooking one of Akerselva’s biggest waterfalls. Great for crawling babies as there is clean and soft grass areas.
I hope you enjoyed the reading and wish you all an amazing July! For those of you staying in Oslo during the summer, we’d love to hear what your plans are in the city! Where do you take your kids during these warm days?
Hola, hola! You might have noticed (or not) that the blog was quieter this week. Sorry! Thea took some tricky virus back home from barnehage and was kind enough to share them with us (awww!). AND… my mom was visiting from Spain and kept us quite busy (on a good way, of course ;), too. So bittersweet week, as you can see. A bit of coughing here, a bit of grandma there :).
But, that didn’t keep us from moving around in search of more plans and activities to share with you. Today I’d like to explain about our day trip to Bogstad Gård.
For the ones that don’t know this place yet, it’s a beautiful old farm situated in Sørkedalen, approximately 20 minutes drive northwest from Oslo. It’s located next to a big lake called Bogstadvannet, which btw was already covered in ice at this time of the year, oh my! The setting is truly beautiful through all four seasons. You might actually have read about Bogstad Gård on this previous post. That was earlier this year during spring.
This time the gardens were all white, covered in a perfect puffy, clean snow ideal for snowmen and snowball fights. We walked a bit around and then had a nice hot chocolate to warm up and some boller to content our stomachs. They have a really nice café with highchairs available, that opens Tuesdays through Sundays, from 12:00 to 16:00.
This time though, we discovered a super cozy room with lower chairs and tables, toys, wooden blocks and even an old doll house and had our snacks there. The best of this is that one of the walls is actually a glass window that allows you to look into the actual farm. This means, children can look right into the sheep stable while playing around. Which kid wouldn’t love that? You can also visit the animals during weekdays from Tuesday to Friday, from 12:00-16:00 and the last Sunday of every month. Unfortunately we missed that yesterday, but at least we got to say “hi” to them through the glass window.
Great discovery anyways! Thea was super entertained with all those new toys and we could relax and chit-chat while she ran around exploring the place. I would totally recommend you to visit during the coming weekends. Actually, there is a Christmas market that will take place there on Sunday, November 27th from 11:00-16:00. There will be Christmas porridge, horse and pony rides in the snow, storytelling and workshops for children. Sounds fun, right? We will definitely try to pop by. Now, fingers crossed for no barnehage virus that weekend!
Other activities you might be interested in:
There’s a museum that shows the way people used to live in Bogstad Gård a few centuries ago. Might be interesting for older children to see how life at a farm was back then. I remember, I used to love these kind of visits to old castles and villas when I was a kid. It was fun to look into the kitchens and bedrooms or imagine those people spending the whole day in their living rooms with no TV. Sorry, couldn't help sharing my childhood flashback there :).
And last, but not least, there’s small shop with typical Norwegian woollen clothes, interior decoration items and loads of Christmas ornaments.
Hope you enjoy it! If you end up going, do let us know how you liked it :).
Café and shop: Tuesday - Sunday, from 12:00 to 16:00
Farm: Tuesday - Friday, from 12:00-16:00 and the last Sunday of every month
Tours of the main building and museum: Wednesdays at 13:00 and Sundays at 13:00 and 14:00
It’s official, the fall is here! The streets are covered in leaves again, the trees have turned orange and pumpkins have conquered the vegetable stores. It’s time for warm soups, wool sweaters and long walks in the park holding a warm cup of coffee. Well, the “warm cup of coffee” part was me daydreaming for a moment ;). The truth is, there’s no room for warm coffees or relaxing walks in the park in my new mommy routine. And you know what? I’m ok with it (at least most of the time ;).
I remember, when I used to think of a park I had this romantic image in my mind: birds singing, people reading books under the trees.... This has definitely been replaced now by water puddles, sand, grass stains on the knees, barking dogs and kids running wild. But, I've also discovered how much fun all that can be. Yes, it's exhausting too, but so worth it! Parks give us a chance to stay in touch with nature, breathe fresh air, climb trees, search for bugs, roll down the hill and build snowmen during the winter.
Luckily for us, Oslo has quite a few really nice parks spread around the city. A few weekends ago, we went to Botanisk Hage, one of my favourite ones. We used to come here all the time when I was pregnant, since it was quite close to home. I thought I knew it quite well, but apparently not. Now with Thea, I'm totally re-discovering it, and it's amazing! It has so many hidden corners and fun places for kids to play and jump around. There is no playground directly inside, but to be honest, I didn't really miss it. You'll see on the pictures below, but you can find waterfalls, a really cool viking garden inside a viking ship, gigantic mushroom sculptures and other fun figures and much more.
And they often organise special events too, which are usually very family friendly. When we last visited, for instance, they were celebrating some sort of onion and apple festival (I know... sounds weird, but was great fun!). It was really cute and we actually ended up buying a 3 liter apple juice box.
Anyhow, I would strongly encourage you to keep an eye on their website and keep tuned for coming events. There is a food festival taking place next Sunday, October 16th, and they will also have a Christmas market later this year.
There's also a really nice café that serves sandwiches and really yummy boller. They have a super nice outdoor sitting area, but it's also quite cozy inside for chilly days. They have high chairs and changing table in the bathroom.
And if your kids reaaally missed the swings and some playground action, there is a very cozy one right outside the park's main entrances (Tøyengata/Hagegata):
And YOU? What's your favourite park in Oslo?
Every day 07-21