måndag 28 oktober 2013

Sorry I haven't been around at Playing Around for a short while!

Part of the city of Mariestad where I live. Me and my husband got married in this church in 2009.

     Beautiful wievs and wonderful beaches, summertime this town is at its best :)

We've had so much to do on the house we're living in and redecorating so I haven't been able to find the time to work on the blog these last few days, but that changes from now on! Neither have I had the time to book our trip to Lisbon or a skiing-trip but I do have some propositions for you at what to do if the children are off school and youto have the day off - like our school-holiday next week.

Of course there is always things like going to amusementparks (that are open) or aqualands, but it gets quiet expensive if you've got a couple of kids like we do, and also it's fun and interesting to do something else.

My kids have npow reached the age when they all want to discover, and at the moment they love museums, not just the big "kid-friendly" ones, but also artmuseums (they choosed the Louvre in Paris themselves) and smaller museums like the ones about the city you're currently in or museums that specialize in a certain subject.

As we live in a small city there aren't very many museums around so we often go when we're at citytrips in Europe or visiting grandma and grandpa in Gothenburg, where you can visit about 5 museums how much you like for 1 year för around 4 euros. Children go for free up to the age of 18 :)
Many museums offer playareas with the theme of the museum, like "Sjöfartsmuseet" (= museum of  maritime) in Gothenburg, who's got a big ship for the children to play in at the top floor for example.

We also go to discover new tings in our own town, when we had a visitor from France and wanted to show him the city we went to the main church and discovered they had a little activity for kids in families who visited - there was a little brochure telling about different mice and through the stories of the mice the story of the church was told to the children while they tried to find all the mice . I love discovering things like that for the kids to do!

tisdag 22 oktober 2013

Strollers for travelling etc.

We are still looking in to a trip to Lisbon in Portugal and a skitrip here in Sweden over christmas, trying to find out the best place to go with children in different ages.

Next week there's a school-holiday here in Sweden, and asboth me and my husband are teachers, we havesome time off , which probably will spent on Astrid Lingrens Värld (The world of Astrid Lindgren, the author of Pippi Longstocking etc) and their autumn-fair.

At the momennt my computer is working really slow, don't know why but I'll do my best to keep the blog updated.
There will also be som list of blogs I'm following, what to pack for the kids on different holidays, good travelsystem-strollers etc.

I brought an Akta Graco Fusio Moon (italian brand) - stroller to Paris but it was a bit heavy and not so quick to fold - my absolute favourite -stroller for a vacation is BabyJogger City mini, you just pull a handle and it's folded, and maximum-weight of the child is nearly 30 kg - most smaller strollers have a maximumweight of the child of 15 kg, but my 3-year-old is heavier than that and need a stroller at holidays, preferably one that he can sleep in. I've also tried Bugaboo Bee Classic, great option if you have a smaller child or a  baby.

And of course ther is Yoyo - handluggage-size!


Baby Jogger City Mini

                                                                             Bugaboo bee - this and the Orbit baby stroller seems to be the celebrities favourites!

Don't forget to have a photo of your pram, and the receipt aswell, if it gets broken while handled at the airports - and pack it well, there are great "Prampacks" etc to buy if you'd like, but you can also by a plasticbag at the airprt for around 2-4 euros.

lördag 19 oktober 2013

Enjoying Gothenburg/Göteborg

Spending this weekend in my hometown with my three kids aged 10, 6 and 3. Here are lots of stuff to do with them but today we satisfied with a fleamarket and some shoeshopping followed by a visit at the playground.

Tomorrow though, we're going to their absolute favouritemuseum, Universeum! (, were they will get the chance to meet and pet a real snake, watch sharks, experience space and much much more. This museum is not a budgetpleasure, costs about 50 euros for a family but it's worth every penny, Ivpromise! We usually stay for several hours, cause their is so much to see, do and learn. And i know there are some guidetours/activities in english too ;)

Also there are good picknick-areas at top and groundfloor if you want to bring your own food, the last one accompanied with a playground for the youngest when they need a break from all the exciting animals, experiments etc.

If you prefer to buy lunch at the museum there's a good and child-friendly restaurant with food for all ages, even babyfood!

fredag 18 oktober 2013

Lisbon, portugal & the living lounge

Got a very positive reply fr.o.m. The hostel I told you about earlier, children are more than welcome to stay and as for us, a family with three kids, they said they'd put in an extra babybed in a 4-bed-room at the same cost as 4 people :)

First impression:really good! Serviceminded staff and the Roms look grat standard fr a hostel, and our kids are big enough so shared bathroom in corridor won't be a problem.

Budget accomodation like this makes us beeing able to travel a lot more than we should be able to at our salary, so i'm always really happy to find them!

This weekend me and my kids are staying at my parents' in Gothenburg so we'll have a lot to do and report when we get back!

torsdag 17 oktober 2013

Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo udated!

I've spent the last few days on updasting these posts with pictures and more information, hope you'll find them helpful!

Also I read an article about Lisbon, Portugal in our local travelmagazine the other day - the article turned to young backpackers who was travelling on their own but it caught my interest anyway and I got really curious about this city, so I started searching the internet for som information about going there with kids - and it turns out it seems to be a great optione l with an ok price level for a citybreak with your children. :)

For example I think all of my children would be happy to go visit museums like the Children's museum and the electricity musum and there seems to be some nice parks too.

The other reason I thought of Lisbon as a good citytrip for our family was the cheap and great standard hostels at good locations - now I just have to find out if children are welcome to stay with their family at any one of them. The independente doesn't allow children under 16, but the other ones didn't have this information at their websites som I'm waiting for a reply from The Living Lounge, located near Chiado that seems to be the best area to stay with kids.

So I'll get back to you when I know more - at you can find good budgetplaces to stay at in Europe, lots of rewievs too.

Paris with kids

This post was supposed to be posted earlier, but here it is anyway!

A trip to Paris, as all big cities, especially with kids, requires good planning - but if you do a little research before you can have great pleasure and do a lot even if it's just a short trip.
If you bring a stroller - bring a small one but with the ability to lay down - the children will get tired and it's nice being out at evenings too, but you need a stroller that is easy to fold and light to carry up and down all stairs and through doors at the metro - easier on the bus but it takes longer and it's also harder to find your way around.

We bought a 3-day card wich was valid both on metro and the bus so we used both. If you have to kids in stroller, bring on where they sit behind eachother - the ones where they sit next to each other simply won't fit at the sidewalks and you'll have a hard time getting through at a lot of places. Do keep in mind that Paris is one of the word's cities where ther
e are the most pickpockets - and they're good at what they do! Don't put valueables under the stroller and look after your purse, even if there are nice people too who just want to help you with your stroller. :)

Anyway, to the fun part about what to see!

The Eiffel Tower was of course the first thing my kids stared talking about and wanting to see when we planned the trip, we arrived late afternoon and went there the first evening, shoukd absolutely been seen in dark while lightened up, but getting in line and pay to get up, day or night, didn't seem worth it with small kids. Could be exciting for bigger ones if they're not afraid of heights, but if you want to get the most of your time in this exciting city, don't waist it on standing in line.

                                                                     Surprisingly, my ten-year-old was determind to go to the Louvre to see Mona-Lisa/Jaconde and the buildings the museum is in. So we did ;)
Unlike many other museums this is open on mondays, so we went a monday afternoon, as 2-3 hours is maximum for a visit with children I think, and don't count on seeing it all! There's a great family guide on their website, we chosed 3 of 4 in their "Family spot guide tour".
In the afternoon the lines aren't that long, and also, if you have a pram/pushchair, you just pass the line :) If you don't know french, buy an audioguide to go wit your 3DS or read a lot about what you'll see before because all signs and´information about the items and paintings are in french, and in french only :p I recomend getting in from "Le carousel du Louvre" to which you get from the metro station or the parc outside, "Jardin du tueliers". Then you can START with a visit to the souvenirshop where you can find books in both english and french about different things at the museum. For example there is a great book with short fairytales about a few chosen paintings, great for small kids. Or if you're going back or want to talk with older children afterwards, there's a great guide called "how to talk about the Louvre with kids". And don't forget to buy the map of ten central and big playgrounds in Paris, so you know how to activate the kids the next day when they (and you!) need a break!

If the weather is good, treat your kids with a visit to Jardin du tueliers just outside and enjoy its beautiful surroundings while the kids go on the merry-go-round, having an ice-cream or playing at the playground (we met lots of american kids there so the kids really got to tr

y the few english words they know!)
Having been in the city a lot, it's nice with a break from the hectic citylife even for my kids who live at the countryside ;) In Parc de La Vilette you can just enjoy the exciting environment with a  picknick at the lawn or go to the museum "Cite de sciences" (closed on mondays)
We went there a beautiful early morning (watch out for the lawnmowers if you do too, they arrive around 9 am in high speed!), had breakfast in the park and then took a walk in the childrens pace, watching chinese and japanese tourits doing qi-gong in the meditational garden, looking at all the weird red buildings called "folies" and look what a funny sculpture we found!
Another great park is "Bois de Vincennes", a huge park of 995 acres! We spent a whole day in Parc Floral where we found about ten differnet playgrounds with different themes, for different ages. They're also famous for their puppetshow which my youngest loved even though he doesn't know french.
Further away in the park, a few stops with the bus or metro, you find a buddhist temple. Outside of it, a big asian foodmarket is held each sunday. A great start for a picknick!
That's all about Paris for today, I'll write more this week and about a few more destinations etc!
Hope you'd like to follow this blog growing up!

onsdag 16 oktober 2013

Capitals of Scandinavia



The capitals here in Scandinavia offers great citylife with kids, there is lots of fun activities for kids and it's close to nature.

I find both Copenhagen and Oslo much less stressed than Stockholm and its busy metro and centralstation, but on the other hand, Stockholm offers a great selection of culture and exciting restaurants like "Koh Pahnang" ( where you can step right into Thailand and the kids are specially welcome and very well treated. You can only reserve tables at weekends, monday - friday you'll have to get in line at the black board (if you have kids with you they chose one of their names and call their name when a table is ready - yourselves wait in the bar with a lovely drink, alcoholic or non-alcoholic while the kids can watch the fish in the aquariums when they've finished their beverage).

Before having dinner here, or the day after, you should go to Gamla Stan (the Old City) to watch the Stockholm Castle and the pittoresque little streets. Around 12 am the guards change shift, and it's really fun to watch, it's a whole ritual with guards on horses and on the ground in cool uniforms.

After watching this, go down the hill and into the museum "Livrustkammaren" where you can see wich clothes and prams the royal families used to wear decades ago, and the children can play knights, princesses and princes and dreess up in their play-area where they even get to try a real armour if they want!

                                                                 The castle
 Part of the museum

Treat yourselves with a "fika" (coffee and cake/cookie) in Gamla Stan, for example at "Kladdkakan" close to the metrostation where you also can get a really good healthy meal if you'd rather like that.

Having a short break so I'll continue writing on this guide. My personal favourite capital, as you already know, is Copenhagen, or Köbenhavn in Danish.
Relaxed, non-stressed city with great friendly people and great shopping.

Cutest orchestra at Rådhuspladsen, central Copengagen

 Tivoli at christmas

Tivoli is the central amusementpark in Copenhagen, with rides such as rollercoasters etc, a cosy christmasmarket but not very good food - in summertime Bakken, a few minutes drive at Strandvejen, a beautiful road along the coast with exclusive houses to glance at, is a better choice. Free entrance and great restaurants, take a ride around the park in a horse and carriage to see what's there and then go buy a ticket for around 20 euros for your kids and they can go up to 10 times at all the rides.

Samos Restaurant   Skindergade 29  1159 København K

Eating out with a bunch of kids can be rather expensive, but there are good budgetchoices once you find them!
Greek Restaurant Samos,
 just a stonethrow away from the main street Ströget is a great budget-choice with an all-you-can-eat lunch buffé for just 49 DKK (around 5 euros) our soup for 35 DKK, a glass of wine is about 30 DKK (around 3 euros). This is a popular place among te locals so prepare to wait in line for a short while around business lunch time - worth waiting though, the food is both great and cheap!

Danish kids fashion is big and look great, brands like Molo, Me too and Katvig are huge and very popular, especially among young parents.'s a bit expensive, so I always try to come here around Molos big sales in may and november, sign up for their newsletter at and you get an email with the dates some time before - they are never the same and the sale is 30-70 % off (30 % wednesday, 70% sunday)

Other great boutiques for childrens fashion are Zara kids, Illum and Magasin, and don't miss the lovely toystore Hamley's.

A short trainride away from Hovedbanegården (central station) is Lyngby, a small city with a wide range of shopping at good prices, there's also a big shoppingcentre called Fields close to the airport where you can find things a bit cheaper.

If you're driving in Denmark don't forget that you need a parking-disc that shows for how long you've been parked - otherwise you get a ticket. You can get one from a parking-guard or buy them really cheap at the tourstinformation/touristoffice.

Hotels are expensive in Copenhagen but a good budget choice is Copenhagen Go Hotel near the airport but still just a 7-minute ride with the metro from the city. And as it is a airporthotel, there's breakfast available early if you've got kids waking up long before sunrise :)

Small but smart and very clean and good-looking hotel.

 If you come to Scandinavia at summer time both Stockholm and Copenhagen are close to the ocean and great beaches for a swim.
Try Amager Strand in Copenhagen  or travel up north for cosy little villages by the sea, or the islands outside Stockholm.

And...last but not least - Oslo!

I remember coming here and alking at the main-street Karl-Johann with school as a kid. We went by bus and stayed for one day. A long trip from Gothenburg where I grew up for just a day but we had fun :)

The most fun day in Oslo is no doubt thier national day, May 17th - but it's also the most crowded!

As there is a newbuilt opera house in Oslo that could be fun to see the interesting architecture for both parents and kids,and the main-street and the castle of course!

Waiting for some more pics of kids entertainment in Oslo from a friend and I'll update this post tomorrow.

Find out more here:

Hope you find this little guide useful and I'll add some more information about other cities worth seeing while in Scandinavia next week!

cheap trips from Sweden and Denmark in nov/dec

Found a great list of cheap short breaks from around here, wouldn't mind going to Marrakesh and a 5-star hotel in the middle of dark December! Maybe I'll have to check if I can get a few days off... ;),6_11,12_17&utm_source=AB&utm_medium=MMPuff&utm_content=1&utm_campaign=billig_sista_minuten&#xtor=AD-500-[destination]-[]-[Textlank]-[aftonbladet]-[]-[]

tisdag 15 oktober 2013

Good morning!

 A typical day off in the auttumn, somewhere in Sweden (pic from

Beautiful autumnweather in Sweden today and I was so happy to see that some readers already found my blog, both in Sweden and in the States.

This week I'll write about the capitals in Scandinavia, although Stockholm want to name themselves "The capital of Scandinavia" I personally think Copenhagen is the obvious capital of Scandinavia, it's also the only capital I've been to where I could imagine living.

If you're planning a trip to Scandinavia for a longer time, don't just go to the capitals though, there are lots of nice and cosy smaller cities too!

The three biggest cities in my country for example is Stockholm , Gothenburg and Malmö and both Gothenburg and Malmö are great places to visit with kids. Combine you're trip to Malmö with a visit in Copenhagen, Helsingborg and Helsingör, or combine you're trip to Gothenburg with visiting the islands nearby.

Last weekend we had a french guy who is travelling through Sweden staying over at our place, he strongly recomended the island of Orust for example. Many people couldn´t understand how we as a family "dared"  to take in a couchsurfer, but we got to know him over internet/skype first and it was a great experience for the kids and also he got to see the actual life in Sweden, he went to our neighbours and to church with us and we tought him how to fish. :)
In exchange for food and accomodation we got beligian beer and a lot of candy, and also some carpenting done!
So don't hesitate if you get this oppurtunity, a great way to meet new friends and new cultures!

Soon it's time to wake my little one and get to preschool and work, but the guide to Scandinavia will hopefully be posted tonight.

Have a great day! (or night)

Welcome to Playing Around - a blog about trips with kids in Europe

As a mother of three and aswell as my husband and kids loving to travel and discovering new places and things to do, I wanted to share our experiences and also help my readers find good offers and family deals.

The title came to my mind as the blog will mainly concentrate on how you can dicover through a child's point of wiev, through their eyes :)

Based in Sweden I'll try to make rather specific guides of Scandinavian cities and then do my best to guide to the rest of Europe, of course starting with those where I've been most recently, that's why I'll start with Paris as I just got back from a lovely city break there, 2 adults, 3 children, 3 nights and flight - cost us about 1000 euros, including money spent there!

So while you're exploring my blog and where to go in Europe, I'll do my best to create a great inspirational blog. I'd be really grateful if you wrote to me in a comment or by mail what you'd like to read about!