March 20, 2012

Lill-Skansen: The New & Improved Children's Zoo

The amphibian/reptile area
If you have been reading this blog, then you know that I'm a big fan of Skansen... both to visit myself and to send visitors to see. Skansen is many places in one: a beautiful park, an open-air museum of Swedish culture & traditions as well as Stockholm's zoo (with plenty of Nordic animals like reindeer, moose, bears, etc;). It is a favorite with both adults and children, but now it will be even more child friendly with their new children's zoo... Lill-Skansen!
Bunny Hill?
I was invited yesterday to a sneak preview of the new facilities which will open for the general public on March 31st. There has been a popular children's zoo at Skansen since 1955, but now it has been re-imagined and revamped. Lill-Skansen will now have both an indoor and outdoor area with a wide variety of small Nordic animals (both the wild and tame types). There is even a children's theater and a shop in the area. What impressed me the most is how they've managed to make everything both educational and fun for children. There are signs at each enclosure with detailed information about the animals in both English and Swedish. You'll find playground elements throughout Lill-Skansen such as tunnels, forts and slides. The animals will range from the cute (voles, rabbits, guinea pigs, lemmings and miniature goats & pigs) to the perhaps not-so-cute (snakes, toads, rats and various insects) and plenty in-between. Children get the opportunity to get quite close to the animals!
Insect home and surrounding fish pond
Skansen is open every day year-round and Lill-Skansen will only be closed on Christmas Eve. It is easy to get to from the Rival Hotel by taking the Djurgård's Ferry from Slussen (10 minute walk from the hotel). Click here if you want more recommendations for child friendly activities and places in Stockholm.
The rodent area was popular with the sneak preview crowd!

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