Posted by: Sarah | August 1, 2013

A Day At The Zoo: A Norwegian Tradition For Kids

FlamingosGiven this is our last summer in Norway we decided to take a trip down to the south of Norway last week to Kristiansand.  We haven’t visited the south of Norway before so this was a good opportunity.

The main reason we went was because of the Dyreparken – the most famous animal park in Norway that every Norwegian has pretty much visited at some point in their lives – mostly in their childhood.  So we took our little family of four to the attraction to follow tradition!

My top tips for visiting the Dyreparken:

  1. KardemommeByBook a hotel near to the Dyreparken.  Rica Dyreparken Hotel looks the best option and it looks fun!  We stayed in Kristiansand (First Hotel which we wouldn’t recommend) and wish we stayed closer to the park for easier parking.
  2. Buy a ticket in advance.  We thought we would spend just the day there but no chance – the park is huge and we didn’t even go to the water park.  If you’re to do everything including shows, demonstrations and water park you probably need a week!  It’s cheaper to buy a ticket online – get a day pass and then upgrade for another day for 120NOKs online or as you exit the park you can upgrade there for 150NOK
  3. DeerBook in advance for parking at Dyreparken.  Get there early to park in Carpark 1 otherwise you could be in for quite a walk especially if you have super excited kids in tow.   Otherwise, drop family and all the gear off at the Rica Dyreparken Hotel and then go park the car.  Try to book your parking in advance online – it’s 20NOK cheaper
  4. Rent a buggy or trolley.  They have a great service in the park where you can rent single/double strollers or a wooden trolley.  We did this since the park was much bigger than expected.  The wooden trolley is fun – you can transport stuff and kids around in it.
  5. If you want to see the lions?  Be sure to attend the scheduled feeding demonstration.  All of the animals Piratesseem to be in great condition and have good living conditions.  The  ions have such a huge space we didn’t see them in the three days we were there!  it’s only when we were leaving the park we passed the demonstration and saw them.  I almost thought that had gone for the big July getaway with the rest of the Norwegians.
  6. Want your child to give up the dummy/pacifier?  Tell them to give it to Kaptein Sabeltann.  There’s a whole section of the park dedicated to Kaptein Sabeltann – a famous Norwegian pirate character that the kids adore.  It’s a really impressive part of the park but there’s one little area called the SSmokkariummokkarium (smokk is the Norwegian word for dummy/pacifier) where kids can put it into Kaptein Sabeltanns treasure chest and sign the book to say “I’m old enough not to need the smokk anymore”…such a brilliant idea.  Lizzie wasn’t ready to give hers up yet and neither were we after the 6 hour car ride to Kristiansand!

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