Parks and Play in Stockholm

 Anders Franzén Park.
This is a "new" area of Stockholm - Hammarby Sjöstaden this was in the Henriksdal area of Hammarby Sjöstaden. 
 There were several signs - which I have translated here. You can also see that the books are screwed into the shelves, so pretty hard to take them home or rip them... I did see one that was being flipped through. Most of the things in the park were bolted down... so even though you see lots of "loose parts" they are not loose for real. Both my son and I got quite excited about all the machinery - and the sign posts encouraging you to saw boards and build things, which cannot be done at all except with imagination. Some of the machinery had moving parts, but not enough for you get the imagination going to it working (just in a few places). In a way it felt like a museum, crossed with a play-space with a junk yard effect without enough loose parts to bring it all together. Maybe the loose part have made their way home to various people over time?? Maybe there needs to be playworkers here on occasion to support play (not least support the parents to support the play). There were some kitchen utensils - most spread out in random places in the play-space.
 There was a lot of vegetation around the play-space... and dividing up some of the play areas too. Surfaces were varied and it had the feeling of a small boatyard.
 The various small houses each had their own feel, but at the same time, all felt quite like junk rooms and it made it hard for me, who has never set foot in a boat building establishment to make sense of it, and how to begin my play in something so very unfamiliar.
 The firest thing you wanted to do was go round all the rooms, and secret ways. The chair spins, and you could climb into the submersible (diving bell) to pretend to be a diving old time.
The slide seemed fun and went down into the sand where the big rope climbing frame is.
 Just to the side of the houses, was the climbing frame (mentioned above) with seats fixed in certain places, as well as button swings hanging down. And behind more vegetation in a gated area there was another playspace with bridges and balancing and tramploines as well as a basket swing and other swings.
 In the bottom right image you can see the Anders Franzén Park in the background... this was yet another playspace available. I saw two preschools, with own small playspaces in close proximity to these parks. There was also a skateboard area and football/playing field (both can be seen in bottom right image). Close to the water there was a pretend beach (sanded area) and a shower. The water did not have swimming access though.
We took a walk back through the area - you can take the boat (free) to Luma (more playspaces there, I will be sharing images soon) or to Södermalm, a short walk from Stora Becktorns Park.

Stora Blecktorns Park
Another playspace on Södermalm... another manned playspace with indoor play opportunities, animals and a animal club to get in closer contact with the animals, the grill is lit twice a week... Wednesdays and Fridays.
 The indoor area is considerable here... with two sections and also a roofed area to eat outside... when we visited today there was an open preschool (drop in) in action in one of the houses. There are several kinds of animals, but there are no opportunities to interact with them unless you are part of the animal club... it is a look only kind of thing if you are visiting the park...

 The park is large and uses the hills/slopes perfectly... I used to work at a preschool close by here back in 1995 and this park had a wonderful slope for sledging... There are many different areas to play and climb on... the bottom right image shows basket, a small football/hockey area, climbing frame, and then beyond that a zip-line...

there is also plenty of green space to run in.

 There are the usual swings - although no nest like swing here that is great for group swinging or swinging for children with disabilities. There are two hillslides, a shorter one, and then the really long one that you can see behind the trampolines... it was wonderful seeing the children come down with total exhileration on their faces... the long tube slide says that tummy riding is strictly forbidden... it was a little to the side, and several of my lots had already slid down on their bellies before noticing... I assume there have been several accidents... they did get quite a speed up, but not one of them was close to coming to the end of the slide...

The park has lots of bikes that you can borrow, there was also a little petrol station that the children though was great fun... to ride up the little ramp pretend to tank their bikes and then continue...

Lekboskén playspace at Kristineberg
We took the underground to Kristineberg to one of Stockholms newest playspaces... it opened last summer. Hopefully we will get round to doing a few more parks these coming weekends... maybe a few more a bit further afield from our home - the reason why most have been in southern Stockholm

the play-space is just a short walk from the underground station Kristineberg... you are met by the many slides curling out of two giant owls with a connecting wire crawlway.

Just next to the owls are these mushroom like contructions with small sheltters, a s lide and spinners... My son liked the challenge of climbing between the roofs of these fungi...

behind the muchrooms was a wood climbing construction with a net in the middle of it. The mushrooms had another spinner which you dangled under... Michael seemed to like that one a lot testing it out in many different ways and flying off quite a few times... if he hurt himself he did not let on... Ten there were the super cute ants, found in several parts of the playspace to balance on... I also saw a young one year old sit and pretend to ride one of these (only just walking). Michael thought the ants tended to look mean or sad...

The giant beatles offered opportunites for playing inside and out... no matter what you abilities there seemed to be adquate challenge... they all linked up too with poles.

the flower garden was another place to climb and explore - the tulip like one you could climb into... the daisy like ones you perched on and hopped from one to another and then slid down the oak like leaves. There were two hammocks here. This area was also fenced in.

A bit further away from this park was another one, belonging to a school, with swings and another hammock, a sand play areas with buckets chained to the table, and an assault like course climbing frame... these are rather popular with my children as they like to play American Ninjas - they work out a course and then time themselves around it... then re-do the challnege to try and complete it in a shorter time... Michael's times were 1m41secs then 1.17secs and lastly 59.5secs

 This playspace got the thumbs up from Michael, he wants to go there again, and th fact there was a minigolf close by also increased his interest... he is planing for us to return as a whole family soon. The minigolf had a café/bar
The only thing lacking was a place to go to the toilet at this playspace... and now that I have been in Colorado for a month this summer I also miss the drinking fountains that were in every playspace there.
It will be interesting to see how safe this park is during a snowy and icey winter... especially during the defrost when everything is like a skating rink - I wonder if it will be maintained in some way.

Rosenlund Park
On Södermalm not far from Skattehuset (T-bana Medborgarplatesen) you will find a big long playspace  with many different areas of play to choose from... and even beach like loungechairs to chill out on closest to the shopping centre of Skattehuset.

to the right you will find the sunloungers and parasol type of shades, but this is the first play area that greet you as you arrive from Götgatan end of Rosenlund park. Swings, balance, football - you can also see the small house and huts belonging to the parklek - which store lots of toys - this was closed today as we visited.

the next area is just outside the main building of the parklek (where you can buy coffee, sausages, buns etc) Next week there will be waterplay offered here too and throughout summer... the blue box like thing being filled with water

here you can see the enrance to the building, which was open for coffee etc (and also toilets, which is always handy when you have children)

close by to the house is the totally fenced in area for the youngest children.
I LOVE these play sculptures

a bit further along is this play space, just off photo are some spinners... which will always remind me of my children when they played here when they were small and span and span so much they went green... yep they actually turned green, I think they were close to throwing up, but didn't - and took a full hour to recover.... they have never spun that much again since... but it hasn't stopped then spinning either...

and yet further along is this climbing web with a couple of cocons to climb into half way up.

and just beyond the web is this green area with a nature pond (although there were no living things in there) - there was a small stage/gazebo to the right - and behind the bushes at the end of the green was yet another small play space with auditorium like steps going round it... I didn't have time to take a photo of that this time


Ekholm Park playspace
This is a park located in Skärholmen in the southern suburbs of Stockholm, not very far from the world's largest Ikea - it's the second one built with inspiration from the Guggenheim in New York!! (how about that for some useless information!!?)
This playspace is aimed at 7-12 year olds - but younger children could also quite easily play here and there are swings for babies and toddlers. It is also a part ofa school yard - which is big, open and not fenced in... 
a selection of images... the big wooden climbing frame with hanging swings and wood chipping underneath - lots of little houses and wooden vehicles and a wooden pathway going round perfect for riding trikes I imagine - I assume that there would be bikes available in the houses/shed when the park is staffed (today it was closed) - they also have a creative centre for paitning, crafts, beading and baking in the afternoons.

the view from the school towards the park - the green building on the left is the house for crafts etc - the ones on the left looked like where the bikes and other outdoor toys are kept...
on one side the decking looked like a stage - which Michael thought was fun to jump on and off - on one side it was an open area perfect for ballgames etc - and on the right you can see it is a sandpit and also the ship climbing frame etc was there

here you can see the decking on the other side of the middle path - it goes right round the park like a road. There is also seating and a grill for outdoor cooking

this swing was causing quite a few squeals when it was in use... It was a park being used by children WITHOUT parents - here they were playing freely - quite a contrast to the playspace yesterday at Mulle Meck where it felt like there were more adults than children... here I was the only adult...

when we went up the hill to Ekholm park we noticed as we looked down that there was another playspace on top of the roof of the metro entrance - we went to explore and dicovered it was a water play space too... so now we are waiting for summer to give this a go! There was also a boule area - and the seating in this area looked like sunloungers!!

further along this terraced area there was another play-space - Michael called this the American Ninja Warrior park - as he set himself the challenge of getting round as fast as he could without touching the ground... it took quite a few attempts before he worked out a way of getting round without touching the ground (he was a bit too tall for the hanging bits) - but he worked out a way and then worked on improving his time round... and my hand felt like a block of ice by the end using the stop watch function on my phone!!


Mulle Meck Playspace
In Solna, in the outskirts of Stockholm there is a park with a book theme... Mulle Meck is a character that build things from junk... I like the books and I certainly liked this park too... I want to visit in summer when the water is working...
this is the character Mulle Meck... and the play-space behind him is based on the books

plenty of small spaces to crawl into and through and slide down - various entrances and exits and things to do inside - including plenty of scope for role-play... in a way there were far too many adults here... there should be a system where the parents can let their children PLAY together and start socialising - instead of each child testing everything out with their parents... the tunnel bridge connecting the buildings can be seen below

the tunnel bridge came to this attic space

a series of 4 bridges going over what would be a water system in summer... with damms that can be lifted to let the water through down to a pool area at the bottom where the boat is

the play space was created a little like a village

the attic space had a very low roof - perfect for children ... and there were things to do up there...

the flower maze... Michael decided to go in small so that he could experience the maze properly

balancing - not your every day balance track - but using junk as often seen in the Mulle Meck books...

lots of small spaces to explore... it was also a play-space that was not entirely risk free... here the children HAD to think about what they were doing and how they were playing - and also probably why there were so many parents...

space rocket slide

"The world would be well poor if no-one dared to take the risk of failing (One says in Deepfalls when one tests something new and doesn't know how it will turn out)... Many things to try out - the boat had a rope that connected to a tree on the other side of what would be the pool area... just waiting for someone to dare to cross it... the bike roundabout was made from old bikes.. pedal bikes and motorbikes and the zip-line was good and fast - of course Michael likes to half hang off it for extra risk factor!!

haha - and of course I started seeing other details... there was also cobbles and artificial turf...

Aspudden Playspace
located just one stop away on the underground from our home (or a walk around the lake and over to Vinterviken and then up the hill) is Aspudden park with large green area for running, football and sledging in winter as it is surrounded by slopes. In summer there is a spalsh pool (the concrete area behing the climbing structure and bench) the park is also divided into areas with smaller areas for younger children and an area with animals as the is a 4H park too.

one of the smaller fenced off play areas with lots of toddlers busily playing - this is on an elevated area of the park - but the steps up or sloping, large steps that are easier enough to manage with a pram as each step is so wide you can fit the whole pram on it.

the other small play area seems better for even younger children - the ladybird lide was proving popular with a not yet walking child (one of the dots is actually a hole into the slide)

this buidling offers indoor entertainment with board games and books etc and various activities arranged - today they were going to have a birthday party there - also the chance to go inside and warm up on the really cold days. Just outside this building was another small fenced off play-space that had a prison like quality about it - I remember when it was NOT fenced off

behind the building are the horses and a small forested area

the animals can be visited - with a limited number of children visiting at one time - but as my children pointed out - there was never any point going in as the rabbits etc just went into the area where they could be left alone - so the animals are only petted if they want to be - which is like NEVER!! There are opportunities to work with the park to learn about taking care of the animals - rabbits, ponies, goats and pigs...

despite many of the play spaces being VERY fenced off the main part of the play-space is BIG and open with trees all around adding to a wonderful feel and to allow the children to play there as well as the climbing frame - which even challenged my 12 and 9 year olds.

there are also swings - and a broken flying fox/zip-line at the far end of the open green space.
I took my children here today with the aim that they have free range to come all the way here by themselves - as the walk around the lake (going past the fruit park, another small play space, a adult training "play" space (which we all had fun on) the allottments at Vinterviken) is all off road - they need to cross 2 roads in total - a small road and a driveway - both with very little traffic. My mission this winter is to show the children many places where they can easily get to, so that next summer they can explore on their own. BIG BREATH.

Technically the following images are not a playground but an area of Stockholm, but they have designed it in such a way that it is a play-space. We are just a short walk away from here... <i feel so happy that we have so many parks and play spaces and green areas within a short walking space of where we live... the last few days we have come here to Liljeholmskajen to go swimming (or I should say continuous hopping and diving)... At Liljeholmskajen you can visit the parks Blomsterdalen (with the wooden dragon slide and climbing frame) and Årsta Adventure park... both can be viewed on this page... there is a park with brick and yellow hares... I just haven't got round to posting yet... will do soon!

lots of wood - a water play feature and plenty of jetties fo enable catching the sun and going swimming

big rocks to climb and slide on, climbing frame and swinging sofa and an area to play Boule. The water feeature has a boulder in it too - the water just rolls down the steps...

I love the fact the surfaces are varied - and there is a lots of wood that makes it easy on the eyes in the middle of a city... the water again - and a little garden with stepping stones...

Yet another park on Södermalm (we will eventually start exploring more of Stockholm - but this one island does have a lot to offer). I feel that this playspace is not so much about the equipment that is on offer, but its situation - a small green area and a small play area in the middle of trendy shops and cafés and restaurants... I certainly do not bring my children (or ever have done) to the park to play, but we play here as part of the shopping experience - as I really like the deli on the corner there!!

a natural stump, picnic tables, climbing frame, swings

the other half of the square taken from the playground - grass, benches and a water feature in the middle

more climbing frames and little houses to play in, as well as a cycle-roundabout and a rocker. There was also water play - but the tap was not working when we were there - but there was a nice puddle to collect water from as it had rained during the night...

Another park on Södermalm - at the end of Timmermansgatan and not so far from SödraStation - sort of in between Mariatorget and Medborgarplatsen. Its a relatively new park with an obvious pirate theme, it does lack sheltered seating - but makes up for that with its creative play!

football area

plenty of climbing and balancing opportunities - I have been here with preschool children and so enjoyed watching them meet the challenge of the wooden stumps - some of them are just far enough apart to make a child wary - dare they jump across, or do they give up, or do they crawl across - and they sheer joy when they make it all the way round for the first time!! It was pretty lethal here when the snow had melted and re-freezed - its seldom I feel a place is unsafe - but right then for that group of 2-3 year olds it was not a safe place at all so we went to play elsewhere (it was just uneven ice and constant falling down near hard edges - I am all for slippery - but that was just too much risk for my liking) Here you can also see the back end of the boat.
Its one of the few parks in Stockholm that uses wood-chippings as a surface

little huts to hide in, talk in, or chase around... and the other half of the balancing track

the play area is surrounded by this raided blue soft surface... its great for running on - it squidges under my feet (maybe not the same for the children considerably lighter than me!) - and you do have to concentrate to keep your balance. When it was snowy it was great for sliding down on your bum - it is slightly higher at the ends - here you can see the back end of the boat and the climbing frames that link it to the front

slides and climbing ropes

the front part of the boat - Michael loved this bit as it felt like there were secret ways in and out and up and down inside - quite remarkable for something so small ...

the sandbox by the slides

the front of the boat connects to the back of the boat with a series of climbing and swinging

Bergsgruvan Park
Another park on Södermalm, at stones throw for the pendeltåg (commuter station) "Söder". Another busy park on weekends too!
plenty of slides to choose from, and a variety of methods for getting up onto the slides too!

football area - which my son always checks first to see if there is anyone to play with... makes me realise how brave children are... I remember as a child that I could play with anyone - regardless of language (summers were spent in Austria and even though my sister and I spoke no German and the other children spoke no English we always managed to play) - but I have lost that over the years, so much more wary of approaching people now, and I miss that ability my son has to go up and ask others if he can play with them...

tunnels to climb through under the bridge like construction to yet another slide

here you can see the wooden horse that can be climbed on and in, the slide from the bridge is to the left - and it is quite a fast one too - and on the right there is the train and a play shop The white horse climbing frame thing is now gone... and their is a moose there instead...

here is the brifge or the fort - or whatever your imagination allows it to be

the approach up to the park

undercover seating for shade on hot days or shelter on wet days

the mine - hence the name Bergsgruvan - the mountain mine - this is one of the first things to visit for Michael (once he has checked out the football area) - and every time he goes he tells me the story about the time there were some children who would not allow him in...

on one side of the football area is this little fire engine, and there is also a basket swing on the other side, as well as a whole row of swings.

There are also two small play houses which I have a great film of Michael as a 2 year old pretending to milk some cows!!

Drakenbergspark (Tanto) ... "Dragon Mountain Park"

Near Hornstull on Södermalm you can find Drakensbergpark the Underground Station "Hornstull" is close by as is bus 4 - there are also plenty of cafés and a mini-golf close by and the chance to swim at the beach by the water. In winter it has great slopes for sledging - especially for families. There are ALWAYS people here - and on summer days the whole area is filled with all sorts of people, sunbathing, playing games, grilling, hanging out and having fun

The small images below are from before the park was made over... the first and lager images are of how the park looks now. I have decided to keep the old images as a form of documentation of the parks in Stockholm...

a climbing fram made from lots of poles... it can be traversed from one side to the other, on various levels with slides and swings connected to it

large slide, a kind of rope bridge for balancing on the way up... and the cycle roundabout that can be found in many playspaces in Stockholm.

hammock... you can find these more and more often in playspaces around Stockholm now..

the original dragon is STILL there... but it has a new mat around it, including eggs that will glow in the dark... he children I work with have loved using the bikes/trikes/scooter availbale at the park to go up and down the mounds here

here you can see he stick climbing fram in the distance (to the right) and the dragon with children sitting on the head. The big slide is immediatly to the right just off shot.

just outside the park is this little playspace as part of the residents play space... it is also where the entrance to the parklek is... the indoor part of the playspace... used for afterschool activity clubs for children too old to atend school ones... and during school time as a open preschool.

you can borrow bats and balls... in the background is a fenced in playspace with e Three Little Pigs feel to it

here is a close up of that fenced in playspace...

close up of the surface by the dragon (that still spurts water out during summer)

the dragon still offers challnges for children and their climbing

friendship swing... (nest swing) so many can swing at the same time

the slide is great for challenging children's motor skill and risk assessment... so much fun together with others.

playing on the little mounds... I have taken my preschooler here and we have done all sorts of fun challneges on these.

trampolines and more swings

little dragon babies...
 Sadly the sheltered grill area is now gone... that was a great place for families to meet and grill food together... I have not seen a grill replacement yet and I am not sure if there are plans to add one... but I miss it a great deal, it meant you could eat outside regardless of weather... hot sunny days you could it in the shade, on rainy and snowy days sheltered from the cold wet stuff.

Now for the images from how it used to look...

The dragon is, of course the main feature of the park - and squirts water from its mouth when you press the button close by.... it creates a wonderful puddle on hot summer days. There is also a outdoor shower for cooling off/getting clean again (there is also an outdoor shower at the beach). As the dragon is made of metal it does get quite hot to the touch on sunny summer days.

The dragon is quite long - and offers a variety of motor challenges, slides, tunnels and climbing - over the years I have seen my children master all of the challenges one by one...

there is volley ball, football, a flying fox and rockers
there is a small bridge with trees and bushes - perfect for hide and seek - although my son recommends wearing long trousers as there are quite a few nettles - but the whole area is filled with bird song
beyond the swings (including a big basket swing and a handicap swing) there is another football pitch - in winter this football pitch is iced for skating. The sheltered seating is perfect for eating food - and there is a BBQ there so on Tuesdays (11-16:30) and Fridays (11-13:00) you can take your sausages (or whatever takes your fancy) and pop them on the grill...

there is an area with spinners, a climbing boat, small slide and little house, there is another fenced in area for the very young children also with equipment suitable for them. This park is also a PARKLEK - which means there is a building attached with those who work there, and toilets available too.


The park can be found at the end of Sockerbruksgränd on Södermalm, near Årsta Bridge, also not so far from the end stop of bus 43, Tanto.

Great natural elements, also a covered sandbox with different levels - both these areas are played with a great deal. Puddles collect in the rocks even when it seems dry elsewhere...

these animals/shapes are just outside the fencing, I like the fact that children can decide themselves what kind of animal they are... great for climbing, running around, exploring raindrops traveling down them...

s basic slide and two trampolines built into the ground. They were not very bouncy, as the snow has gone through and frozen underneath so that there was not enough space between the bouncy netting and the ground under to get a decent jump - MUCH better in warmer weather.

great views, and it is a sunny location as it's facing south

not quite sure how to describe this - but it slides back and forth a bit like a boat. Children need to work together to make it move.

a single spinner close to the trampolines - the spinner is often very popular with young children

A climbing rock just outside the fencing - good challenge for a wide age range - quite often see the parents having a go at this!!

On the whole this is a good park, although we were not over impressed with it in this icey state as it felt rather dangerous - there is no maintenance to help children and parents not slip, and the pathway to the park is not maintained either - so that felt almost of an equal challenge. We will return to this park when it is warmer but not until the ice has melted...

Gröndals Park
Take the tram (tvärbanan) to Gröndal - and right next to the tram stop you will find this park. Luckily for us its just a walk away...

this park is divided into sections - there is this obstacle like course with the soft bouncy ground (it feels LOVELY to walk on)

it has plenty of variation in rope techniques as it goes round - plenty to challenge... I saw children from 4-5 years old having a go at this - I just loved watching a dad and his preschooler and his encouragement to try technique after technique and to try out things herself to work out how to get round...

to climb over - or just to perch a while

dangling swings

next to the obstacle course is what looks like will soon be a splash pool

In the other section is a boat and a beach/sea theme - there is a slide going down from the other side of the boat - there are also birds and fish shapes used to be a part of a climbing wall...
there are seals and small mounds here and there - like islands and waves

beach huts - many children climbing onto the roof

this is the corner of a large sandbox with several beach umbrellas to give it a beach like feel
looking over the park is a "adult park" with a few items to work out the body - although my girls found ways to play with them instead...
the park is bordered by trees - and we even saw a roe deer strolling there.
a few minutes from the park is the lake Trekanten - which can be enjoyed for its nature - and also the walk to the fruit park

Blomsterdalen Park
located in Liljeholmskajen - not far from Liljeholms underground station or Årstadal tram station is this newly built park

My children call it the Dragontrainer park - because of this dragon climbing frame and slide, here you can se the slide and one of the wings, the other wing is a ramp up...

there are baby swings, a basket swing, a variety of slides and climbing ropes, the grassy slope offers fun for sledging in winter, and just plain old running and rolling down the rest of the year, there is also a sandbox, and other natural materials for climbing on

back to the dragon climbing frame - with a swinging riding seat. As I observed the children playing here I could see plenty of role-play going on within the small groups there .. "this is where the monster's attack... come we need to run this way..."

There is plenty of open green area to kick a ball or just have fun running up and down the slopes...

to the side are the natural materials - a group of rocks, the rope bridge, a tree and a little house with ledges at different levels inside to offer climbing/perching opportunities. You can also see that the fencing is made of natural materials too.

the sandbox with places to work at with the sand and mud - plenty of baking going on when we were there...
Finishing off with a film of Michael using the scooter to go down the ramp - to plenty of experimenting to get just the right speed - not too fast or you won't make the curve, not to slow or you won't make it to the end, if you steer with the handles it's not as easy to control as leaning with your body...

The Fruit Park - Liljeholmen
map of the lake Trekanten - the fruit park is situated near to the number 1 and the underground station (T) Liljeholmen. As you can see the visit to the Fruit Park also offers the opportunity to explore the area around the lake and further afield - Vinterviken (6 on the map) is where Alfred Nobel had his factory - there is a café there now...
the banana slide - the swings used to be just behind it, but they have been removed and new swings have been put in another location

one of the pears and the watermelon - as you see there is quite a bit of graffiti - although I think this disturbs adults more than the children

this is where the spinning apple half usually is - the spinning strawberries were also not there at the moment - the park is obviously under renovation at the moment. The area behind is a walled collection of trees - both the wall and trees offer opportunities for climbing. 

The swings have been relocated here - it used to be a great little nature area with a tree trunk to climb on. Apparently there was a bot of a rat problem so the bushes and trees went. It will be interesting to see what they do with the area where the swings used to be.

the pears - for climbing, hiding in - and experimenting with sound

You can see the lake in the background - right now there are skaters on the ice (there is a track made as the snow is plowed away) in summer the lake has a beach on the far side - about a 10-15 minute walk from the park

orange see-saw - doesn't rock very much, and as an adult I find it rather uncomfortable

looking through the holes of the watermelon. These holes have offered challenges over the years - can you climb to the upper ones your self? Can you get onto the top? Not so easy for little bodies - and the feeling of joy when they can finally do it as their bodies grow and techniques develop is great.

more and more swings in Stockholm seem to look like this - swings for sharing

the small group of trees next to the spinning apple - offers the chance to climb

the spinning apple. Often its a group of children in it and another group running round and round to spin it - here Michael was testing how to spin it and climb in himself...

the spinning strawberries have returned newly painted...

the path around the lake in more summery conditions - the fruit park is behind the trees behind the jetty
at the far side of the lake from the fruit park is the beach/bathing area

its a great walk around the lake - not too long, and plenty to discover along the way - bridges for pretending to be billy goats gruff or playing Pooh Sticks

and if you take your time you will find wild strawberries and raspberries

the pear when the greenery was still there - and less graffiti - they do though take the fruits away to be cleaned up every now and again. The ground is the soft stuff, so nice not to get shoes filled with sand and gravel like at many other parks in Stockholm. There is a smell part to the park - and area with fragrant flowers and plants - sadly there is the risk that it smells of alcohol as it tends to be an alcoholic hang-out. It is far enough away from the Fruit park for it not to affect the fun.
Björnsträdgård (The Bear's Garden)
In the middle of Södermalm - (T-bana station Medborgarplatsen) is not only the big square that is Medborgarplatsen with its indoor market and shops (including the English Shop) but also a green area including a playground just across the road.

This Easter weekend the park was closed - in the sense that there was  no access to the bikes and hockey sticks and balls that there usually is. Here is the area for playing bandy/hockey/football/basket (wet and slippery right now though...)

The bears of bear garden - most times I have been the bears have their eyes lit up and they are warm to sit on - but not today. They are quite small and easy for a child to sit and ride on. I have had some great role-play sessions on these bears before...

Just a stone throw from the bears is this look out tower/pirate boat/caste/shop/ home... as you see there is plenty of play potential here!! It overlooks the big green area - which was a big wet swamp today with the rapidly melting ice and snow.

plenty of space for skateboarders - have spent long periods of time at these fences with young children admiring the skills of skateboarders...

The play train and another lookout tower. Its next to the swings and slide. Personally I am not keen on how this park looks, but every time I have brought children here, both my own and groups of preschoolers they have always enjoyed playing here...

spiderman wannabees practicing their climbing skills. I have had to climb this one countless times to help guide children down again - some dare to climb to the top, and of those there are some who then look down and totally freeze, unable to come down again. Some I can talk down from the ground - other's I have had to go up and be present to help down. I don't ever lift down - if the children can get up, they can get down, they just need to believe in it - and when they get the encouragement and support, the joy on their face of succeeding is worth the time spent guiding them down. It is also why I NEVER lift children up - sure they can get really frustrated with me when I don't - but again the feeling of sweet success when they finally work out how to get up - makes it worth accepting some of those frowns...
Bryggartäppan Park 
On Södermalm again, this time near to the T-bana station Skanstull is a thematic playground - its like going to Skansen except in mini format.

my words not needed...

as you can see the snow has been melting fast - which has left huge puddles and some muddy patches - of course puddles are no hinder to play - but can often be a magnet... This is the bakers shop next to a small sandbox

to the side there are these - they do role and make for a challenging balance activity

inside the tall house - to the right you see the steps that lead up to the slide. I like this park because it is child sized, and I hate this park because its child sized. Last summer I got some pretty nasty scrub marks on my back trying to get in and out of these houses - and getting up to the slide is near impossible - which means this isn't a park to recommend for children who like sliding but not without adult assistance.

and for those who like more risky play, climbing onto the roofs is an option...

view from the bridge to the houses - a home, a smithy, bakery etc

off to the side again - toilets?

a water logged barn...

behind the smithy - a small wall and some balancing boards - last summer this was green and full of flowers, its hard to imagine that now. Michael also loved digging in the mud by the wall...

inside the smithy - last summer there were lots of loose parts - wooden buckets, yokes and shovels that suited the feel of the park... none of those were in sight today - either they have been taken or they were in storage... Otherwise its worth taking your own buckets and spades with you...

animal market/maze

and old fashioned transportation.
At this park I have ALWAYS heard other English speaking families there - at no other park in Stockholm have I always heard English at a playground every time I visit it! Not sure if there are loads of English speakers in the neighbourhood, or whether its one of those parks that just attracts the English speaker...

Årstaberg Adventure Playarea

Just across the water from Södermalm you can find this fantastic park - you can reach it by walking across the train bridge (the pedestrian bit of course), or take the tram to Årstadal and walk from there (more parks from Årstadal coming during the week) - we of course walk from Liljeholmen there...

its a big forest park with wooden climbing frames and rocks

under the snow is the sand area - its not a box, it just happens, its part of the park, rather than being a separate little box of sand to climb in...
a large part of the park is forest - and in autumn its a fabulous place to find blueberries/bilberries - it literally full of  them. I love the rocks that have been placed there, and with gravel in between them so that children can find branches and use them to build dens - and the ground by the rocks doesn't get worn away and become a muddy swamp in the den making area... this I think was some smart thinking...

use the rope to climb up to the sand area...
There is a maze like area - with ricks for stepping stones, some of the paths with walls and some without - its perfect for playing chase. I have to admit that this is one of the few parks I visit where I ALWAYS see adults playing with the children - running around and having as much fun as the children themselves. You can also see on this picture the giant blueberries, bear, rope walk (just by the bear) and tree stump sculptures.

here some children have taken branches to try and make a bridge

the walled part of the maze - we have played hide and seek in this park too - some fab places to hide - including UNDER this part of the maze!! On the other side of the maze there are two swings - no infant swings...
funny metallic mirrors to reflect nature, us and the view

and the view from up here is quite spectacular - looking out over Södermalm (although it does look better and greener in summer - here you can see the snow cloud coming closer - and of course you see how the water is still frozen - hard to imagine that in about 8 weeks time my children will be swimming in the water on the opposite shore...)
I totally recommend this park - everytime we have been my children start to play with other children, even us adults play together. I do recommend taking something to eat and drink with you as it is not close to anywhere to eat (and there are no toilets connected to this park)


  1. Du skulle kunna publicera en bok om lekparkerna i stockholm! Perfekt för föräldralediga o turister på besök.

    1. Now that would be fun...
      så fort jag göra klart min bok om förskolebarn och tankar samt min fotografiska projekt är klart - kanske det är något... fram till dess - kan man vända sig hit... kanske inte alltid så bra ordning och lätt att hitta här - men det gäller att titta på allt!

  2. This is a fantastic resource :-)
    Many of the parks you've listed here I've never been to, even after 7 years as a parent in Stockholm!

    1. its a slow process... and I have photos waiting to be included here... including the new revamped Drakensberg park at Hornstull!