Outdoors, indoors, culture, playing and learning. Linköping is full of many wonderful activities for the young and curious. Many will appeal to the entire family, including grandma and grandpa, or a group of friends with an adult. All you have to do is go exploring!
Gamla (Old) Linköping and the Valla Recreation Area
There's something for everyone here, and if the weather is good, you'll probably want to spend the day. If you begin in Gamla (Old) Linköping - open-air museum with the kids' interests in mind, this little town, which harkens back to olden days, has a lot to offer.
Though school might be out, what could be more exciting than to put on vintage children's clothes and sit in a genuine, early 20th century classroom? Follow this up with a visit to the old-fashioned general store that sells, among other things, hard candies in a paper cone. And how about making time for a stop at the children's book store or the toy shop?
Not far from the Cloetta chocolate factory shop (yes, more candy...) is the Fenomenmagasinet, which is usually a hit with both young and old alike. This three-story science center is filled with experiments about science and technology. You can learn about everything from how the ear works to how to operate the locks of the Göta Canal.
If you're feeling energetic, you can walk through the Vallaskogen Nature Reserve to the nearby recreation area. If you'd prefer to get a ride there, board the "choo-choo" train instead. The Valla recreation area is home to a pony stable, goats, rabbits and other small animals, all waiting to make friends with you. The children are sure to enjoy the lovely Lill-Valla playground. You can also take in a round of miniature golf if you like.
But that's not all. The area is also home to a number of museums: on railroads, farming, technology and horse-drawn vehicles. In addition, there is a convenience store and a restaurant, and if you want to spend the night and continue your adventure the next day, a hostel awaits you. A wonderfully steep hill located just on the forest's edge is perfect for sledding...if there's enough snow, that is.
Busfabriken or Leos Lekland
On a day that's not suited to outdoor activities, the Busfabriken or Leos Lekland is the way to go. Toddlers to teens will be happy to spend the entire day here. In this huge indoor playground, kids can run, tumble around in a ball room or climb all over the various jungle gyms. And how about a game of hide and seek, crawling around among pipes and passageways? It doesn't get any better than that!
Bigger kids can ride down huge slides, jump on trampolines or gymnastics mats or try their hand at air rifles or air hockey. If a group of kids wants to have a party here, then an activity in the sports zone -soccer, basketball or floor bandy, for example, might be appropriate.
While the kids are having fun, you can relax with a cup of coffee in the café or you and your friends can enjoy a game of billiards.
Flygvapenmuseum - Air Force Museum
Perhaps the word "museum" makes you think of an activity that's primarily for adults. But that's not the case with our wonderful Air Force Museum, which has lots of fun activities for children who are inventive and eager to learn. How about making your very own rocket from a plastic bottle, some cardboard, tap water and a bicycle pump? If you're successful, your rocket might fly up to 25 meters!
Linköpings Simhall (swimming complex) and Tinnerbäcksbadet
Most people, and especially children, like to go swimming, and Linköping has a lot to offer in this regard. For example, our indoor swimming complex has two 25-meter pools, Europe's longest water slide, a diving tower and a wave and swimming pool for fun and games.
The beautiful outdoor pool, Tinnerbäcksbadet, or Tinnis, as the locals like to call it, is located right next door to the swimming complex. In the summer of 2008, it celebrated its 70th birthday. Tinnis has both a 50-meter swimming pool and a man-made lake with a concrete bottom and a water slide. To extend the swimming season, the water is warmed with surplus heat from the municipality's district heating production.
Play ball or relax on a blanket on the grass around the lake. All you really need to do is pack your beach bag!
Ateljé Passagen, Linköping's art museum
Passagen, our lovely art museum, is situated at Stora Torget Square, in the middle of the city. Contemporary art from around the world is exhibited in beautiful, light-filled rooms.
Children also have the opportunity to create their own works of art at Ateljé Passagen, which has a variety of media appropriate for creating different art forms. Professional help and guidance is also available on-site. The workshop has planned activities for school classes, for example, as well as a drop-in program.
Mutebo-Aspnäs Järnväg & Café
If you would like to take the younger children on an excursion just a short distance from town, take your car or a bus to Aspnäs in Skeda Udde, where you'll find a miniature, steam-powered, vintage train. Although the track is no wider than 184 mm, the train is big enough for adults to come along for the ride, which takes about 15 minutes. Open hours vary so do call ahead.
Trädgårdsföreningen - Garden Society
The Garden Society in central Linköping is a big open green space and park. Stroll around and admire the beautifully arranged plantings and beds or get some exercise on one of the open playing fields in the area. There is also a children's playground, with swings, jungle gyms and other fun stuff. In the winter, the garden society constructs a little ice skating rink. Would juice, some ice cream or a cup of hot chocolate taste good right about now? Then walk on up to the Belvedere lookout tower. At the café, which is open all year round, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city below. On a clear day you can actually see all the way to Lake Roxen.
Ice skating rinks
Linköping has four indoor ice skating rinks. Three are located at Stångebrofältet and one in Ljungsbro. The rinks are only open to the public at certain times. Since these hours vary from week to week, we recommend that you visit one of the adjacent links to find out when and where you can go skating.
Jousting tournament at Ekenäs Slott
If you're looking for a castle with lots of entertaining activities for young and old alike, we highly recommend Ekenäs Slott. Take Road 35 toward Åtvidaberg. Look for additional signs at the Vårdsberg traffic circle, just outside of Linköping. The castle is about 20 kilometers away. Ekenäs arranges jousting tournaments, Christmas bazaars, concerts and ghost hunts.
Hangaren Hot Sport Center
How about some inline skating, skateboarding, or BMXing? Then head on over to the Hangaren Hot Sport Center in the Ryd district. You can also test your mettle on the 14-meter high climbing wall there. Sure, climbing outdoors may be more intense, but if the weather is cold and rainy, it's pretty cool to have the option of going to Hangaren, which boasts one of Sweden's biggest indoor climbing facilities, with over 350 square meters of wall surface.
In the gymnasium, you can enjoy the use of the trampoline, as well as the occasional disco dance party, arranged several times a year during the fall and spring semesters. Young Linköping residents can also sign up for different kinds of dance classes. In the summer, come out with a group of friends and play beach volleyball. Forget your lunch? No problem. Enjoy a meal at the center's outdoor restaurant.
Fun Skate Park
"Once upon a time, there was a mother of three teenage boys-all of whom loved skateboarding." Yep, that's the beginning of the true story of Fun Skate Park, Sweden's biggest outdoor skateboard park. Made entirely of concrete, the park has an area of 1,451 square meters and is located in Ekholmen, in south Linköping. This enterprising mother took the initiative and made a dream come true. The skate park, which is managed by the municipality, was inaugurated several years ago. It is the first of its kind in the Nordic countries. Skateboarders come from near and far to tackle the park's bumps, steps, banks, gaps, rails and ledges. The park is built in such a way that skaters can select from a variety of routes. Most people bring their own gear, but you can also borrow equipment from the nearby recreation center.
Prison Island Linköping
Prison Island is the latest and coolest Prison Island in Sweden. A completely unique prison adventure with challenges for all from ten years and upward, younger children are welcome, accompanied by adults. Here you will find everything for an unforgettable experience. Brainteasing prison cells, café, changing room with shower and conference facilities. Gather your friends, form a team and together crack the challenges in the prison cells. Co-operate, have fun and pick up as many points as you can. Everything is possible and the best team always wins!
When you play with us we recommend that you wear durable clothing, a pair of comfortable shoes and of course, good humour. Begin by splitting into teams of three to four people per team and then decide on a good team name. Avoid claustrophobia by checking out Prison Island’s twelve “prison regulations” on www.prisonisland.se, so your team can be best prepared to meet all the challenges.
Now all you have to do is come, so ring/e-mail and book for the time you want.