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Put Business Aside To Spend Time With Family In Stockholm

Dec 18, 2013
2014 / January 2014

Business travelers on the run 9–5 in Stockholm may not immediately notice its family-friendly nature, but once hectic schedules settle down, visitors in town for work might just discover it’s the perfect place to bring along the family next time business demands a visit.

Taking a minute to savor the scenery, business visitors will notice a city of green, bustling with parks and playgrounds. The clean, kid-friendly transportation options make zipping around Stockholm — even with strollers, bags and a gaggle of children — feasible. Nearly every restaurant offers a children’s menu, keeping even the fussiest of eaters happy. And that’s just the beginning; Stockholm is ripe with attractions to delight children of all ages, as well as keep parents entertained.

When the working day is done, families should familiarize themselves with Stockholm by wandering the Old Town. Gamla Stan is the original city center on the island of Stadsholmen and the islets of Riddarholmen and Strömsborg. Dating back to the 13th century, many of the structures are from the 1700s and 1800s. The cobbled streets and alleyways are the perfect spots for an evening amble with the family. Kids will enjoy the pomp and circumstance of the Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace, daily at 12:15 p.m. in the summer; Wednesdays and Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 1 p.m. in the winter.

When free from business responsibilities, one discovers three city venues perfect for a day full of fun. For thrill-seeking tykes, consider Tivoli Gröna Lund on the Djurgården Island, a 15-acre amusement park with more than 30 attractions. Also a popular concert venue, the park dates back to 1883 and is constructed around buildings from the 19th century.

Also on Djurgården, and perhaps a bit less high-speed, is Skansen, the world’s first open-air museum, founded in 1891. More than 1 million travelers visit Skansen yearly; its 75 acres convey a sense of Stockholm’s history and past. Children will love exploring the replica 19th-century town and chatting with costumed staffers. The on-site zoo largely showcases Scandinavian animals. Among the 75 different species and breeds are traditional cows, pigs, horses, sheep and goats.

Beloved children’s literary figure Pippi Longstocking comes to life at Junibacken. Dedicated to Swedish children’s literature, it has a particular focus on Astrid Lindgren, the brainchild behind the pig-tailed Longstocking. Children spend a magical day in a fairytale, journeying through beloved tales on the Storybook Train, enjoying the living exhibition of Storybook Square, exploring galleries dedicated to favorite characters, playing all around the museum and picking up a new book for the flight home at the extra-large bookstore.

If museums are more your family’s speed, Stockholm’s offerings deliver and delight. Scandinavia’s most visited museum is Stockholm’s Vasa Museum, home to the only nearly fully intact 17th-century ship ever salvaged. The Vasa sank on her 1628 maiden voyage. On the sixth floor, kids can try their hand at building and sailing Vasa. Family tours are also available in Swedish, English, German, Finnish and Russian for children ages 6 and older.

To entertain budding scientists, venture to the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Nine permanent exhibits teach young ones about nature, with collections dating back to 1739, the year of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences founding. The museum’s IMAX cinema, Cosmonova, also the largest planetarium in Sweden, plays several different films daily and has 3D capability.

Tekniska Museet, Sweden’s largest museum of technology, is full of gadgets galore. The interactive exhibits allow children to get hands-on with experiments and explorations. Cino4 offers a 4D-multisensory theater experience.

Soar 425 feet above sea level as a family in SkyView, the new attraction that takes visitors to the top of Ericsson Globe, the world’s largest spherical building. Gondola rides depart every 10 minutes and take 30 minutes. Shopping and dining options are available.

Sergels Torg, Stockholm’s most central public square, is immediately identifiable by the black and white triangular pattern in its pedestrian plaza. Here, families find affordable shopping for young trendsetters. Between Drottninggatan, Kungsträdgârden and Sergels Torg lie clothing stores, chains, boutiques and exclusive fashion. Find Åhléns City, the largest department store in Sweden, where Drottninggaten meets Sergels Torg.

For families looking to explore every corner of Stockholm, consider the Stockholm Card, which includes free admission to 80 museums and attractions, free travel by public transportation, free boat sightseeing and other bonus offers.

A business trip to Stockholm needn’t be all meetings and negotiations. A visit to the city provides the perfect opportunity to include family and educate, entertain and enjoy time with children.

Where to Stay in Stockholm

Hotel Rival The city’s first boutique hotel is colorful and fun, with an on-site bakery and cinema. If those don’t excite the kids, the bed’s signature teddy bear from Debenhams certainly will. Mariatorget 3 $$$

Hotel Skeppsholmen Housed in a historic building dating to 1699, this funky boutique hotel’s interior is thoroughly modern. The eco-friendly hotel’s rates include breakfast and WiFi. Gröna gången 1 $$$

Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel This centrally located, modern hotel is a convenient home away from home for travelers, near business centers, city attractions and shopping. It’s also known for its view. Nils Ericsons Plan 4 $$$$

Restaurants in Stockholm

Lisa Elmqvist The fourth generation of the Elmqvist family runs the popular fish, seafood, delicatessen and restaurant, a mainstay in Östermalms Saluhall for the past 80 years. Östermalmstorg 114 39 $$$

Röda Villan Café The ferry ride to Fjäderholmarna island will delight kids, and a few hours exploring the island, 30 minutes from city center, will work up an appetite for the delicious fare. Stora Allén 111 $$$

The Veranda The restaurant is known for serving a tasty meal with a superb view of the waterfront and Royal Palace. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, its buffets and smorgasbord are also popular. Grand Hôtel, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8 $$$$


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