Most of what’s written about Stockholm focuses on the city’s refined, adult side – from museums and galleries to design boutiques and smart restaurants.
But the Swedish capital is a welcoming place for young families too, with loads of fun attractions to check out and a public transport system that makes it easy to get around without too much stress, even if you’re stuck on pushchair duty.
Top attractions in Stockholm for kids
There are a few main attractions in Stockholm aimed at young ones, and some of these are so well done that they’ll keep mums and dads entertained for an hour or two as well.
Unfortunately most charge admission fees – scroll down if you need ideas for completely free things to do in Stockholm.
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There’s something for kids of all ages at Skansen, the sprawling, open-air museum on the island of Djurgården. Little ones will love exploring the old shops and farmsteads which are done up in traditional Swedish style.
There’s also an indoor aquarium (extra charge applies) where kids can gawp at exotic fish, plus an outdoor zoo that’s home to some of Sweden’s native species, including foxes, brown bears and elk.
The admission fee for Skansen changes throughout the year but is usually low enough to make a family day out pretty good value – if the kids are feeling energetic you could easily spend half a day wandering around the place, stopping for drinks and snacks along the way.
Our full guide to Skansen has more details on admission costs and getting to the park.
Tom Tits Experiment
Great fun for kids and with a name that will make parents snigger, Tom Tits Experiment is a sort of hands-on science and technology centre.
Here, kids can play with giant bubbles, get lost in a hall of mirrors, throw themselves down a helter-skelter and learn about how the body works through a variety of weird and wonderful experiments.
Tom Tits is around 30km southwest of the city centre but is easy enough to reach. To get there, take the train from Stockholm Central to Södertälje Centrum and then walk 10 minutes north.
Without a doubt, this is the best museum in Stockholm. After the initial ‘wow’ of seeing the 17th-Century ship called Vasa for the first time, inquisitive kids will get a kick out of learning how the thing was built.
They’ll also discover what made the ship sink in the first place, and learn how it was painstakingly salvaged hundreds of years later. Our full guide to the Vasa Museum has more on what you can expect to see when you arrive.
Stockholm’s science and technology museum has some really cool stuff for kinds, including hands-on exhibitions and interactive play areas, that explore all sorts of scientific and technological themes.
Kids can enter a recreated mine, explore AI, sit in a self-driving car and go gaming, with an entire floor of games from the past plus cutting-edge new games that are still in development.
Entrance costs 170 SEK on the door (or 160 SEK online), or is free with the Stockholm Pass.
Stockholm Transport Museum
The Stockholm Transport Museum is treasure house of trams, trains and transport from a horse-drawn carriage to a double-decker bus.
Kids can clamber round buses, trains and trams, sit in full-size railways carriages, press all the buttons and levers in a driver’s cab, dress-up in a driver’s uniform and take a mini train ride round this huge new museum, set in a converted gasworks. Admission is 210 SEK.
Stockholm Toy Museum
Northern Europe’s largest toy collection, the Stockholm Toy Museum is located in a series of underground tunnels dug into the mountainside at Skeppsholmen.
It’s stuffed full of toys of all shapes and sizes, from action figures, 1930s comic books, 15th-century dolls and original Marvel comic illustrations, to a Volvo car sawn in half!
Admission is 90 SEK (aged 4–18), 140 SEK for adults, or free with the Stockholm Pass.
The Police Museum
Kids can play in a police car, sit on a police bike and try on police uniforms at Stockholm’s Polismuseet. Older children, plus parents, can learn about clues and crime-solving techniques through real life crimes and criminal investigations.
The Police Museum is included on the Stockholm Pass; otherwise admission is 60 SEK.
Stockholm’s vast museum of modern and contemporary art is filled with fun and fascinating artworks by the likes of Dali and Picasso, which may appeal to older kids, while younger children can play around the colourful sculptures in the outdoor garden.
Guided tours of the museum specifically for kids are held on Sundays, followed by a workshop session where they can make art from various materials.
There are also drop-in art, drawing and painting sessions from time to time. Check the website for dates and times.
Admission to the museum is 150 SEK, though it’s free on Fridays from 6–8pm.
The Natural History Museum
Stockholm’s Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet has exhibitions on Swedish native flora and fauna, fossils, evolution and dinosaurs, climate change, meteorites and more.
Children can follow a Discovery Trail (download a map or pick one up at the museum) that leads to some of the museum’s most interesting exhibits for children, including looking inside a bear’s winter lair and exploring an ant hill from the inside.
Admission is free for under-18s, and 140 SEK for adults.
Theme parks, cinemas and other fun activities
Built with Stockholm’s youngest visitors in mind, Junibacken is a playful attraction based around Swedish children’s books.
The main focus is on characters dreamt up by Astrid Lindgren, including Pippi Longstocking, whose colourful ‘house’ kids can run around in – dressing up in zany outfits and making friends as they go.
There’s a great children’s bookshop here too, which stocks books in English and Swedish.
Entrance tickets can be pre-booked here: they include a ride on the story train, all the exhibitions plus the theatre shows. If you just want to visit the bookshop, entrance is free.
Gröna Lund isn’t Sweden’s best theme park but it is close to the middle of Stockholm and has some decent rides that attract a mix of young families and thrill-seeking teenagers.
Highlights for young visitors include bumper cars, an old-fashioned merry-go-round and a classic-style ghost train, though there are considerably scarier free-fall rides for older kids and parents to enjoy.
Arrive early if you want to beat the worst of the summertime queues.
New rides are planned for 2024, when Gröna Lund is building new attractions on its current car park.
The movies, baby
Some of Stockholm’s movie theatres now run ‘barnvagnsbio’ events (the name literally means ‘pushchair cinema’).
The idea is that new parents can go and watch a film at the cinema without getting a hard time when their little one starts to cry.
The volume is dampened to help protect babies’ fragile ears, and there’s an interval in the middle of the show allowing time for feeding and nappy changes.
Naturally, babies go free. Try Filmstaden Söder at Folkungatrappan 2, in Södermalm: check here for details of what films are currently being shown.
Take an amphibious bus tour
Kids will love this guided tour with a difference. First of all you start on a fairly standard tour of the city’s sights, but then the bus (really an amphibious vehicle) drives straight into the sea to cruise around the island of Skeppsholmen.
So you get to see views of the city from the water as well as from land – and it’s much more fun than just sitting on a bus!
Indoor playgrounds in Stockholm
If the weather is bad and your kids have surplus energy, it’s worth checking out one of Stockholm’s indoor play areas. These generally have ball ponds, slides, trampolines and – most importantly – a café for parents to relax in.
Stockholm has several branches of Leo’s Lekland, a large jungle-themed indoor play area for kids. With slides, climbing frames, tunnels, ball parks, trampolines and padded soft play areas, kids can run wild and let off steam for a few hours.
Or try Lek & Bus, just east of central Stockholm at Cylindervägen 4, Nacka Strand. Expect to pay 159 SEK for one-year-olds; aged 2–17 pay 169 SEK on weekdays and 229 SEK at weekends and public holidays; adults go free.
Some free things for families to do in Stockholm
A museum about Stockholm in the Middle Ages might not seem like the most obvious place to take young kids, but this place is put together in such a way that it really helps to spark the imagination.
At its centre is a life-sized recreation of an old market square, complete with clip-clopping horse noises and real cobbles underfoot.
And what’s more, the museum is completely free – a rarity for Stockholm. You can read our full guide to Stockholm’s medieval museum here.
Free events include story-telling in different languages (English, Italian, Kurdish, Russian and, of course, Swedish are all options) and sing-a-long sessions, while activities such as Brazilian dance and singing and art workshops charge a small fee (usually around 50 SEK per child).
Outdoor parks and playgrounds
On sunny days Stockholm’s parks come into their own. One of the best central options is Humlegården in Östermalm, where you’ll find a great outdoor playground.
There’s plenty of space to picnic beneath the mature trees and the skatepark here (also free) is perfect for older kids.
In the Lida Friluftsgård in the suburb of Tullinge, kids can let off steam at the free parkour track. It’s in a lovely park with 22 miles of trails for hiking, biking and running – or cross-country skiing in winter.
There are barbecue grills in the park too, so you can cook your own food, plus a lake with a beach for swimming in summer.
The Stockholm travel guide for more tips and ideas
110 cheap and free things to do in Stockholm
Stockholm Archipelago: six of the best islands to visit
Ten ways to get back to nature in Stockholm