The downsides to traveling with a toddler are numerous (beginning with waking up too early in the morning and ending with not being able to explore the nightlife) but there are plenty of upsides too. If we didn’t have a toddler in tow, we would have totally missed out on what turned out to be our favorite attraction in Stockholm: Junibacken, the children’s museum.
Junibacken is comprised of three main parts. First there’s Storybook Square, which was the highlight for us. We spent almost an hour chasing after our 20-month-old as he explored the little houses. The aesthetic was so adorable that it didn’t bother us at all that we were unfamiliar with the stories that inspired the different playspaces.
After Storybook Square, we boarded the Storybook Train. This ride takes you around intricate scenes that relate to different tales by Astrid Lindgren, who is Sweden’s most beloved children’s author. Overall, the stories seemed a bit dark, as there were definitely references to heaven and hell and dying and all that. As I prefer cheerier motifs, I was thankful that my son couldn’t understand it yet. The artwork was beautiful though.
The train drops you off by Villa Villekulla, aka Pippi Longstocking’s house. Pippi is Lindgren’s most famous character, at least internationally. I was a big fan of the Pippi books when I was growing up. But alas, Pippi’s house seemed to be the domain of big kids. Storybook Square was more his speed. Also, the grownups were a little played out at this point, and we had a lot more museums to explore in Djurgården. Not to mention we were under pressure to make up for our first day of lackluster sightseeing.
Here’s a slideshow of Junibacken, with our son playing in Storybook Square plus a photo of the whole family about to embark on our first ride together (a milestone). We weren’t allowed to take photos on the Storybook Train, unfortunately.
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