Posted by: Sarah | July 14, 2013

Where Is Everybody? The Silly Season Has Arrived In Norway


If you visit Norway in July you might be wondering where everyone is because July is the month when everyone disappears for the month.  It’s a legal requirement in Norway for employers to allow employees to take 3 weeks of vacation in July if they want to so most Norwegians take this chunk of time and will either go ‘syden’ (to the south of Europe) or to their summer cottages along the coast.  Many will do both since they don’t trust the Norwegian summer and getting on a plane often guarantees some warm weather during their vacation period.

Eliot and I have decided to stay in Norway and lucky we did…the weather has been absolutely fantastic so we’re making the most of our last summer in this beautiful country before moving back to the UK in September.  Eliot had planned to work through July but we found out that familiebarnehages (the smaller private barnehages) shut for the entire month of July.  With that in mind we’ve had to figure out how we exhaust Lizzie each day.  Normally  the barnehage provides this service for us :-)

So, if you’re in the Oslo area, here are some activities to keep your toddler busy during the summer months.

  • leoslekelandBogstad:  The manor, cafe and gardens are nice for a stroll but if you don’t make it that far, just stop off at the car park on the approach to the manor.  If you cross the road to the lake there’s a little beach and plenty of shady spots under trees
  • Beaches:  There are many beaches dotted around the Oslo area and on the Oslo islands in the fjord.  Some of our favourites include the beach in Sandvika, Kalvøya island near Sandvika, Storøykilen beach on Fornebu, the many beaches on Hovedøya
  • Leos Lekeland:  This has to be the number 1 activity for toddlers who love to climb and explore – it’s full of climbing farm frames, slides, building blocks and it’s totally child friendly.  It’s also pretty good fun for adults – they have a cafe, free WIFI and massage chairs!  Lizzie LOVES it at Leo’s Lekeland
  • Farms:  The farms at Ekerberg and Søndre Gård are open all summer and have sheep, pigs, donkeys and all kinds of animals that will help put Old MacDonald Had A Farm into context for your toddler :-)
  • Toddler Friendly Walks:  There are many walks in and around the Oslo area – this website provides some great ideas.  My personal favourites include walking around Bygdøy, Akerselva and Hovedøya
  • barnehageBarnehage Parks:  Many of the barnehage’s will close for at least 2 weeks during July during which time you can freely go into the grounds and use the equipment.  Most will have slides, swings and sand pits making for an expense free afternoon out.
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