10 Super Activities for a Sustainable Summer in Copenhagen

Summer is Super in Copenhagen

If you’ve been to Denmark, you know. If you haven’t – what are you waiting for? Despite the popular meme that “summer is the best day of the year” here, it really truly might be the best time of the year here in Denmark. So come. Stay. And explore sustainably. It’s easy to do here. Really. They’ve practically terraformed it for you. A European Green Capital in 2014, Danes take the title very seriously. That. Is super. Seriously. And Danes love to say “super.” Lucky for you. It’s easy to pronounce. “Soo-pah!”

Ways to have sustainable FUN when Visiting the Danish Capital
1. Do the Danish Dip

Start sommer season off right and get happy in the head. Glad i låget as the Danes say. The water temps may feel brisk at the beginning of June, averaging 15-17ºC, but come to the peak of summer and the water will average 20-21ºC. That’s 70ºF. Basically balmy. It’s beautiful I tell you!

At the beginning of summer, take a tip from me. To really do the dip, it is best to find a spot where you can just jump right in, no wading required. Check out the beautiful new piers just put in along Nordhavn. A lovely place to relax and go for a swim, safe from boats. Just don’t test the water. Trust me. Just breathe. And jump. Come up for air. Emit a gasp of shock. Flail a bit. Get out. Repeat. The second time is the charm. I promise. As all the blood rushes to your extremities, the water feels amazing and you will feel full of life. I’m a believer. Try it. You’ll see.

TIP: You can check the Danish Meteorologic Institute’s Website for current water temperatures. It’s in Danish, but still easy to read temperatures. Just remember we work in Celsius over here.

DANSK VANDTEMPERATUR

Since 2000, Copenhagen has made valiant efforts to clean up their harbor restricting industrial, sewage and wastewater runoffs. The building of rainwater reservoirs and runoff conduits has dramatically increased the water quality and makes it safe to swim and enjoy.


2. Roam the Canals in an Electric Boat

Love the water, but afraid to get in? Take a toodle on an electric picnic boat. Have you ever rented a sustainable solar powered boat? You can! And you should.

Really – you must do this. Copenhagen is a harbor town. It’s in the name. København means merchant’s harbor. There is water everywhere. Seize your inner Viking sailor. You must get out on it. Especially in the sommer. Don’t have a boat? No problem. There are so many options for all budgets to explore the canals and harbor in Copenhagen.” – Summer in Copenhagen | 10 Must Do’s

We adore Go Boat and their super charming little electric picnic boats powered by solar cells. Book online, rent by the hour. It can be popular when the weather is nice, so plan ahead. Pick up your boat from their cool outpost near Islands Brygge right on the canal. We love the slow, cozy Go Boats for their charm, ease, stability, and maneuverability. There is a picnic table in the middle! No time to pack a lunch? Order ahead online and they will fashion a perfect picnic with organic wines, soft drinks and food.

Go Boat takes their sustainability next level and encourages your littlest sailors to help keep the harbor clean. Children who are interested can borrow a long-handled net to scoop garbage from the waters. They will be rewarded for their efforts when they return!

Friendships also offer electric boat rentals out of Christianshavn.

Go Boat – 1 hour = DKK 399 for up to 8 people
Friendships  – 1 hour = DKK 395 for 8 people


3. Experience Hygge at Ofelia Plads

After your cruise is complete, Ofelia Plads opened on this clean Copenhagen canal in the summer of 2016 and is the perfect place to perch in the sun and even try your Danish dip. Calmer than the colorful neighbor and tourist center Nyhavn, Ofelia Plads offers a casual chill and great views of the water. Snag a lounger and groove to the music. Share some cold rosé by the glass or bottle from the nearby Luftkastellet.

Follow Ofelia Plads on Facebook to stay up to date on special events and performances on the water. We adored seeing the Danish Royal Ballet this past weekend.


4. Ride a Bicycle Across Bridges and Around ‘bros

There are roads for bicycles in Copenhagen. Signals too. Little lights just for the cyclists to tell them to stop or to start. There are more bikes than people here in the capital. The easiest way to experience the city like a local is on two wheels. Don’t know where to go? Try this self-guided tour from Katy at Untold Morsels.

Renting a bike allows you to get a little further off the tourist path. Head to the Copenhagen neighborhoods – explore Vesterbro, Nørrebro and Østerbro. Or pedal your wheels across one of the two car-free harbor bridges. The Bryggesbroen will take you from Vesterbro to Islands Brygge and back. The Inderhavnsbro connects classic Nyhavn with Paper Island, Christiania and Christianshavn.


5. Eat Fresh Local Food Outside

Fresh food, food trucks and fab markets make their appearance once again when the weather is warmer and the light stays long. Make a positive impact by supporting the local economy ‘s bitty small businesses. All the while tasting lots of local and international flavors at one of the following fun options.

Kødbyen Mad & Marked
Flæsketorvet, 1711 København V
Saturdays & Sundays | 10-18
April to September

Kødbyen is the trendy meatpacking district in the Vesterbro neighborhood of Copenhagen. Every Saturday and Sunday starting late spring through early fall, there is a foodie dream market with rotating vendors and tables to enjoy your tasty wares outside.

Copenhagen Special – Frederiksberg Runddel
Frederiksberg Runddel, 2000 Frederiksberg
Saturday | June 24 | 12-20

Set outside the entrance to the lovely Frederiksberg Garden and hosted by local Food Truck collaborative Rebel Food CPH, here you will find Latin American, vegan, burgers, tacos and more.

Street Food Festival CPH
Søerne (Along the Lakes), 2200 København N
Friday | August 11 | 15 – 21 (Bar open later)
Saturday | August 12 | 11 – 21 (Bar open later)
Sunday | August 13 | 11 – 19

Don’t miss the summer street food extravaganza that stretches up and down the lakes in the middle of the city. Start at Dronning Louises Bro in Nørrebro and pick a direction to dive in. This is a giant collection of all the yummy street food purveyors in Copenhagen. Most will offer a small signature dish for only 40DKK, so you can try lots and not break the bank. Eat local!


6. Try Urban Foraging

You don’t have to live on a farm to pick your own produce. Lucky for you there are plenty of places to forage for summer sweets right here in the city. Check out Byhøst, a Danish website that will help you find and identify wild raw food. Click on KORT and find a map to what’s growing where. Click on RÅVARER to see what’s edible. Even if you don’t speak Danish, clearly labeled icons and images will allow you find what you’ve foraged. Can I eat that? I want to know. Download their app and dial in on the go.

Brombær = Blackberry
Jordbær = Strawberry
Hindbær = Raspberry
Kirsebær = Cherry
Hyld = Elderflowers

We’ve recently been foraging for hyldeblomst or elderflowers. You can find them all over town, but we like to look along the paths in Fælledparken. Be careful to not cut too many from one bush or plant. Elderflowers turn into elderberries in the fall, which you’ll want to find later. Take the recent blooms when the weather isn’t wet. What to do with the fragrant blooms? Make hyldeblomst saft of course! Elderflower cordial, ummmm. Stay tuned, recipe and tips on the blog soon.


7. Find One Man’s Treasures at a Loppemarked

Danes love a loppemarked. You may know the concept as a Flea Market. A yard sale. A garage sale. But these are collective experiences – more than one purveyor of gently used goods. Look for one of kind vintage pieces or jewelry or antiques or chairs. You can find just about anything at a Danish loppemarked.

Rita Blå’s Lopper Saxogadefest
Litauens Plads, 1723 København V, Danmark
June 24 | 12-17

Kulturhuset Islands Brygge Loppemarked
Islands Brygge 18, 2300 København
June 25 | 10-17


 8. Go Looking for Giants

Danish artist Thomas Dambo has hidden the 6 Forgotten Giants in the woods south of Copenhagen. Each constructed of reclaimed and recycled wood, they wait for you to find them. Make a sustainable day out with the family by carpooling to the destinations. Pack your picnic in and leave no waste. Bring a reuseable water bottle! Really want up your green quotient – take the S-tog with your bike and ride to each of the parks!


9. Put out Your Blanket for Movie in the Park

I love when you can see cinema outside. Every summer the Copenhagen theater Cinemateket offers two nights of viewing on a big screen set up in the Kings Garden. Spread out your blanket, invite some friends and sit back and relax. DJ music starts from 16:00. Last year we loved the David Bowie old school classic Spiders From Mars.

This year’s line up includes: David Lynch’s Blue Velvet on Tuesday and Saturday Night Fever on Wednesday. Ses vi? See you there?

Cinemateket Open Air
Kongens Have, The King’s Garden
August 1st and 2nd, 2017


10. Sail with the Swans

Paddle for your pleasure along Peblingesø, one of the lakes in the middle of Copenhagen. Restaurant Kaffesalonen rents the boats from their dockside café by the hour. The gentle churn of the pedal powered craft is a lovely slow summer treat.

Kaffesalonen Paddle Boat Rental 
Peblinge Dossering 6 2200 Copenhagen N
Swan Bicycle for 2 persons costs DKK 75 per ½ hour,  DKK 100 per hour.
Larger (non-swan) paddle boats can accommodate 5 and 7 passengers for a little more.


So there you have it. Summer fun that can be sustainable too. Looking for last year’s summertime list? Click the link below for a few more fun in the sun (and maybe not sun – it IS Denmark) options.

RELATED
Summertime in Copenhagen | 10 Must-Do’s

Cheers from Copenhagen!

Suitcases and Sandcastles
Looking for Giants | A Day out in Denmark Seeking the 6 Forgotten Giants | A Public Sculpture Treasure Hunt by artist Thomas Dambo | via Oregon Girl Around the World

Let’s go Hunting for Giants in Denmark

Being outside with your littles communing in nature can be magical. Add in the mystery, giddy anticipation and energy generated when following a treasure map to find real live GIANTS in your midst – and that magic goes next level.

The 6 Forgotten Giants

An Open Air Sculpture Treasure Hunt

Danish artist Thomas Dambo and a merry crew of volunteers have hidden six epic sculptures in the woods south of Copenhagen. Who wouldn’t be merry while creating such magic? Thomas uses reclaimed and recycled wood to assemble the giants that you will find. And while they may not be breathing themselves, they will surely breathe life into your littles. And not so littles. Fun for all ages. And what joy to discover.

THE 6 FORGOTTEN GIANTS | Map from ThomasDambo.com

Last weekend, we set out to find some. We started in reverse order driving to the farthest one from Copenhagen first. You will need a car for this trip, or much more time. Only two of the giants live near each other.  And while part of the fun is seeking and finding, admittedly the artist’s maps are really quite vague. I don’t want to ruin the fun and divulge all the secrets. But maybe offer just a few tips to start you on your own giant trek.

#6 Teddy Venlig | Teddy Friendly | Hakkemøsen in Høje Taastrup

Teddy is a perfect place to start. He was the easiest to find and a fun friendly giant. Set along the lake at Hakkemøsen in Høje Taastrup he offers his arm to help you across.

Hakkemøsen
Hakkemosevej 6, 2630 Taastrup
30-minute drive from central Copenhagen

At Hakkemøsen, park your car in the farthest parking lot, after you have entered the park. Take the trail towards the lake at the end of this parking lot. Follow the trail around to the right and curve around the lake. You should find Teddy waiting for you in under 5 minutes.

NOTE: Hakkemøsen park has a fun adventure course for kids, as well as fishing, camping and fire pits. You could make a day out of an adventure just here alone.

#5 THOMAS PÅ BJERGET | Thomas on the Mountain | Vallensbæk MOSE

Thomas was the most difficult to find, hiding on the backside of a hill in the Vallensbæk Mose. We had to ask a few fellow giant hunters for tips and finally found him lounging with his long legs stretched out down towards the valley below.

 

#4 LILLE TILDE LITTLE TILDE | VALLENSBÆK MOSE

Little Tilde was a group favorite. What a sweetie with her not-so-little tail curling out behind her as she stands watch across the lake.

 

WHERE TO FIND THOMAS AND TILDE

Vallensbæk Mose
Rendsagervej 5, 2625 Vallensbæk

Take the Vallensbæk exit off Route 21 and then left onto Vallensbækvej. Follow it straight across to Rendsagervej and enter the parking lot for Spisetedet Mosen. Park here.

Vallensbæk Mose is beautiful and scenic setting with both paved and wooded paths. Grab food or slow down for lunch from the Spisestedet Mosen near the parking lot. Or maybe an ice cream reward once your hunting is done! No other options for food and water out in the park. Keep an eye out for baby geese and friendly goats.

SPOILER ALERT: Someone has geolocated Lille Tilde and Thomas on the Mountain on Google Maps for you.

GOOD TO KNOW:

Plan on an about an hour per giant. Especially if you don’t take the Google hints. It took our group with littles in tow about three hours to find Teddy, Tilde and Thomas. Take it slow, enjoy the journey.

WHAT TO BRING:

MAP: Your treasure map – x marks the spot.

WATER: Bring your own reusable bottle – no fountains on the trail.

GOOD SHOES: Make sure they’re sturdy, you’ll be walking over hill and yon.

A JACKET: Preferably waterproof, weather changes quickly in Denmark.

PICNIC: Or snacks for your seekers. Pack out what you don’t eat.

SMILES: Patience and a good attitude – some are quite tricky to track down.

Looking for Giants | A Day out in Denmark Seeking the 6 Forgotten Giants | A Public Sculpture Treasure Hunt by artist Thomas Dambo | via Oregon Girl Around the World

Get out there and explore! Cheers from Copenhagen, Erin

Next up: Oscar Under the Bridge, Sleeping Louis and Hilltop Trine. Stay tuned.

This post was featured on the Lonely Planet Kids Blog for May 2017 Family Travel roundup.

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