Always Time for Tivoli

TIVOLI GARDENS AMUSEMENT PARK | COPENHAGEN
DENMARK’S BEST AMUSEMENT PARK

Tivoli! Tivoli! Tivoli! No – not another little Italian town. I live in Denmark! I’m talking about Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park right here in the Danish capital Copenhagen. What? You don’t know Tivoli? You should come visit! You should come visit Copenhagen AND visit Tivoli. When it’s open. Alas, it’s not always open. But if your travels allow, it is so worth it when it is.

Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park Summer Concerts | Jessie J 2015

Tivoli is the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world and has been in operation since August 1843. In the world peeps! That is cool. And old. And cool! Bakken, only 20 kilometers up the road in Klampenborg is the oldest, but my heart lies in Tivoli.

That’s because Tivoli is all sorts of charming in every season. And seasonal it is. Tivoli is not open all year round like some of those other world famous amusement parks you may know. Say maybe like… Disneyland. But did you know that ol’ Walt himself visited Copenhagen multiple times and drew more than a little inspiration for many of his own attractions? And he may have even co-opted a bit of Disneyworld’s pristine, fairy-tale-like atmosphere from a certain darling Danish theme park. Where else? Ding, ding, ding. Yep, you got it. TIVOLI.

Tivoli’s season begins in early April so that means that here in Copenhagen – it will soon be open for your enjoyment! Bring on summer! Summer season that is. I know it’s only April. Believe me, I feel you. Spring is a little slower to start up here in Scandinavia – but it’s springing. I can taste it. And like one bookend on a calendar’s shelf, now that Tivoli is open, the year can truly begin. So let’s begin. This is a perfect time to walk you through the unique seasons at Tivoli Gardens. There is always time for Tivoli. I’ll start now in…

SPRING – FORÅR IN DANISH
Easter Activities | April 6th – April 17th, 2017

After an initial crush of locals getting their sweet Tivoli rush on following four months of dark, Spring is a great time to visit this Copenhagen icon. If your trip falls in Spring, it is actually fantastisk (that’s Danish for fantastic) in the park. Flowers, those traditional trumpeters of spring, play an important role in creating the coveted atmosphere at Tivoli. Already hyacinths and daffodils and pansies will be perking up the park. But the big show will be 24,000 Dutch tulips in a grand display outside the park’s Pantomime Theater.

This year Tivoli starts the season with special Easter themed activities. Besides extra fresh flowers, baby lambs will be on display. Yes. I said baby lambs. I’m sold. You can also meet the park’s mascot Petzi the Bear and his friend Flora (are you sensing a pattern?) for a special easter scavenger hunt through the old garden and earn a chocolate egg if you complete your sheet. For 20dkk, grab a list and starting looking. Don’t forget to meet back at 16:00 at the main stage each day to claim your treat.

Besides flowers, springtime affords the added bonus of smaller crowds. Thank Denmark’s unpredictable spring weather. Case in point – even gobs of rain didn’t stop those in the know from getting a head start on the season at last year’s Lysfest, or soft opening. We didn’t stay long, just enough to hug friends and whet our appetite on a ride or two. If you can brave the potentially crazy weather and come during a weekday, right when the park opens at 11:00 am, you will be rewarded with relatively shorter lines for most rides. Danish school children are tucked away in classes until late June. Weekdays during spring will also save you 10DKK per ticket.

On most spring days, repeats on your soon-to-be favorite rides are easily possible. Try the newest attraction – Fatamagora – which only opened April 28th, 2016 – adding another beautiful tower to the Tivoli skyline. Will it become one of your family favorites?

TIVOLI TIP: Spring affords the added bonus that crowds will be smaller during this time of year. But keep note of Danish public holidays, as a visit to Tivoli is always popular with the many locals who purchase annual passes.

SUMMER – SOMMER IN DANISH
April 6th – September 24th, 2017

Most people who visit Tivoli know it from the fragrant flower-filled fun of summer, which runs through the end of September. During the summer season, you can enjoy tons of live music, marching parades and fireworks shows. The park can also be chock full of tourists from every corner of the world in the summer. Holding an annual pass card becomes a small luxury for those who do, as they can hop in and out as often as they please when the lines get too long. Don’t have that freedom? Don’t worry. Tivoli is the perfect size. In fact, much smaller than an average American amusement park – facilitating your ability to check that line again later. No fast track or line wait apps necessary. And there is plenty to do here with or without waiting for the rides.

Just chilling on the center lawn while the children dart in and out is truly a lovely way to spend the sunny afternoon in the summer time. Grab some take-away food, a glass of wine or a cold Carlsberg and if you are lucky enough to nab one of the loungers about the lawn – sit back and soak up the atmosphere. Unlike other amusement parks around the world, the food offerings are very good here. We haven’t tried all of the restaurants, but do like the BBQ ribs at Promenaden and there is always a line for Wagamama. Don’t want a full sit down meal? Try the traditionally Danish meatball sandwich at Frikadellen – a small take away window near the lawn area. For sweet treats there are yummy is vafler (ice cream cones), candy floss (cotton candy, not edible underwear) or try the Scandi favorite – the fancy lakrids (licorice) from Johan Bülow. Just try some, it’s super lækker! Delicious!

Tivoli offers a myriad of entertainment options if rollercoasters and losing your delicious lunch isn’t really your thing. Try to make time for marveling at the prestigious Tivoli Guard marching through the park in their red and blue regalia. The guard is made up of mostly boys (only recently girls) starting at age 8 up to 16 years old. They are part of what I love about Tivoli – the many historic traditions that still endure today. You could take in a theater show, but remember that they will all be in Danish. That could be entertaining in and of itself! Need

Need a more universal language? There are tons of musical performances – both modern and classical for your listening pleasure. Many Friday evenings in the summer – there are free concerts (after you pay admission) from the main lawn stage. Known as Fredagsrock in Danish, there are as many options as there are musical tastes. From Lil Wayne to House of Pain and Erykah Badu to Brian Wilson. Want more local flavor? Top Danish acts like Phlake, Mads Langer and Joey Moe are here to hjælp (help.) This year Tivoli has added music options for lillefredag (little Friday, otherwise known as Thursday) as well. Find all the current events listings here.

If you fancy fireworks, you can often find one of their famous displays during the summer time. Plan accordingly, they are worth the wait, if you can make it until the end of the park day! The light stays long come midsummer, which we all love, but it will be nearly 23:00 when the show finally starts.

TIVOLI TIP: Crowds shrink again in September when kids are back in school – a perfect time to visit Tivoli with potentially great weather.

FALL – EFTERÅR IN DANISH
October 13th – November 5th, 2017

Because operations at Tivoli are only seasonal in nature – there is plenty of down time to prepare, making the most of each season in truly unique and special ways. Autumn brings Halloween to Tivoli. This is the newest addition to the Tivoli repertoire and has only been around since 2006. That will make this year’s jack-o-lanterned party a memorable 11th anniversary if you are waiting for a reason to come in October. For a holiday that isn’t widely celebrated in Denmark, Tivoli does a wonderful job with their delightful Halloween decor.

The gardens shift into fall shades and provide the backdrop for harvest-themed displays full of gourds and friendly ghouls. In Denmark, Halloween is the “spooky” holiday, in contrast to the traditional Danish kid-costumed Fastelavn celebrated in February. But don’t worry, no zombies will be on the loose and the park keeps their charm safe for all ages. A word of caution that some of the shops will be selling supremely creepy and somewhat gory costumes and accessories, so if that is not your family’s thing – steer clear.

The weekend closest to Halloween will offer pumpkin carving if you need your lantern jacked as there is nary a pumpkin patch to pluck your own in Denmark. You only have three weeks to get your fall on at Tivoli this year, so plan accordingly. (Looking for more reasons to visit Denmark in Fall? I’ve got you covered here.)

TIVOLI TIP: Closer to October 31st, Tivoli offers pumpkin carving if you need your lantern jacked as there is nary a pumpkin patch to pluck your own in Denmark.

CHRISTMAS – JUL IN DANISH
November 18th – December 31st, 2017

God Jul! Merry Christmas from Tivoli – truly the pinnacle of the year! A perfect magical wonderful fairy tale bookend on all the seasons. Christmas at Tivoli. Oooh. Ahh. The winter solstice may darken our days here, but Tivoli lights up our hearts. As cheesy as that sounds, once you see the million and one sparkly fantastisk twinkly lights flocking the festivities, you will agree. Lights bedeck the rides, hang in the trees and illuminate the lanes. Summer’s lazy lawn gets covered with little chalets and Christmas trees and love. No, really. There is a huge tree near the center that drips with giant glowing red hearts, that oh so Danish of holiday decorations.

Bundle up, it can be cold, especially on the rides! But braziers burn around the grounds and can afford you a few minutes’ hand warming while you ogle the lights and take in the sights. Don’t have the nerve to try one of the world’s tallest swing rides? At Christmas, the fountains close up and make space for a tamer version that I adore. I miss those swings in other seasons.

Try the gløgg – Denmark’s answer to warm mulled wine. Go ahead – take the extra snaps. It’s very Danish. And you know – when in Denmark? Plan ahead and book dinner at one of the restaurants for a chance to warm up before one of the amazing themed fireworks displays to end your festive evening in Tivoli! It has become a special Copenhagen tradition for our family. Want more things to love about Danish Jul time? Read my post here. Christmas at Tivoli begins November 18th and runs through New Year’s Eve, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the Jul time bliss.

TIVOLI TIP: Try the gløgg – Denmark’s answer to warm mulled wine. Go ahead – take the extra snaps. It’s very Danish. God Jul!

A year’s worth of fun and memories at Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park in Copenhagen. Been to Tivoli? What time of year did you come? What did you like best? What is your favorite ride? PS – mine is the Demon – love it! Share in the comments below and tell me where you’re reading from, I’d love to know.

Cheers from Copenhagen! Har en go’weekend! Have a great weekend! – Erin

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
My family at Tivoli
NOTE: This post originally posted April 9, 2016 has been updated with information current as of April 2017.
Untold Morsels

64 thoughts on “Always Time for Tivoli

  1. ersatzexpat

    I have heard about this place before, it is definitely on my must see list when we finally get to Denmark! Thanks for linking up to #TravelAtHome

  2. What a great intro to Tivoli – I hadn’t realised it closed either, so useful to know! When we visited it was just before Halloween so lots of pumpkin themes but the summer sounds beautiful and I’d love to wrap up and have a taste of Christmas there too. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  3. Good to know when the best times are to visit! I havent made it to Denmark yet, but I WILL! But I have a hard time deciding if I want to go and see Tivoli Gardens during the Christmas season or in the Spring with flowers. Or are the beautiful lights always on?? Which is better!? #CityTripping

    1. Yes – Copenhagen should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list – such more charm and character in a compact and accessible little package. Hmmm… which is a better time to visit Tivoli? Hard to say – Christmas (or Jul) in Denmark is very special if you can handle the dark and cold. There are lights all year round, just not quite as many as christmas. Late spring is brilliant with the flowers and lower crowds! Thanks for the comment, cheers from Copenhagen – Erin

  4. Wander Mum

    This brings back memories…we went at Christmas and it really was a magical experience – and something out of a fairytale. Yes, it was cold but a fab atmosphere. I would love to go in the summer too though! Great idea for a post! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

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  7. mymeenalife

    I recently visited the oldest amusement park in the world – so this one is the logical next stop! Haha. Great post, it makes me wish I was there now.

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  12. Wherejogoes

    I feel hard done by now, when we went to Copenhagen it was shut! Note to self -go when Tivoli is open. My children would *love* it and it sounds wonderful at all times, baby lambs, halloween, Christmas. More excuse for the glogg at Christmas! #FarawayFiles

      1. Wherejogoes

        It was at New Year but I see from your post it is open till New Years Eve so perhaps we were just unlucky that year!

      2. oregongirlaroundtheworld

        Yes we usually go after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve to catch the christmas atmosphere, fireworks and the gløgg!

  13. it is such a fun place – in my head, it’s always decorated with pumpkins as I’ve only visited in October, but a return trip would definitely be fun. My daughter was a bit too young to try the rides so we mostly wandered, but I suspect she’d be lining right up now. #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Haha! Yes pumpkin time at Tivoli is a limited release – you should feel lucky to have caught it!

  14. Bring it on!! Can’t wait. It was lovely just wandering there last year but we couldn’t go on the rides due to my friend being preggo. This time I’m in. I’ll have to do some checking of height restrictions though as the kiddos are just around 1m. Let’s go Tivoli!!

  15. This is one of the main reasons why I want to go to Denmark! I’ll have to keep in mind that the park isnt always open, and that a great time to go would be September after all the kids are back in school! #FarawayFiles

  16. Copenhagen is so much on my wishlist and despite not being into theme parks AT ALL, I actually do want to go to Tivoli because it’s so historic and integral to a visit to Copenhagen. Your enthusiasm is infectious, I think I’d like to go at Christmas best. #farawayfiles

  17. This looks like a place for all seasons! Wow – what a great place for making fun memories year after year, season after season. What is your absolute favourite time to visit? #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Christmas! It’s so adorable. I love the Julemarked (Christmas markets), the food, the lights and the gløgg!

  18. I think my husband went here when he was little. But it’s even more ancient than him, haha! I love the idea of an historic park and the marching looks really impressive. #FarawayFiles

  19. I think I would love Tivoli for the cultural things. I love amusement parks even though I’m not a fan of rollercoasters. Tivoli seems like it has something extra that most amusement parks don’t have. #farawayfiles

  20. Holy, that is one old amusement park which is so awesome! One of the many reasons why I love Europe so much. And I have to be honest when I saw “Tivoli”, I did think Italian town lol

  21. Clare Thomson

    One of the reasons we decided not to visit Copenhagen last February was the disappointment of realising Tivoli would be closed. We’d all love to go. I’m not a big fan of fairground rides but there are so many other brilliant things to do here. I’ve not heard about the Tivoli Guard before – what a fantastic tradition. #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      I love that the Tivoli Guard got progressive and added girls to the mix in the recent past. They are definitely part of the fairy tale charm and our friends’ son was one of the marchers!

  22. I’m not a fan of rollercoasters at all so I was quite unsure whether I should visit Tivoli or not but I’m so glad I did!! It was a lot of fun to play arcade games, visit the aquarium and just eat ice-cream on the lawn. I’ll definitely visit again next time I’m in the city!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      I know! I think Tivoli has something for everyone even if you aren’t into rollercoasters and rides. Glad you went! I think it’s part of Copenhagen’s fairy tale charm. Cheers, Erin

  23. We would go back just for Tivoli! I could just peer in when we were there in February and imagine!! Actually we need no excuse to visit Denmark again and again! It was my husband’s first visit and he is saying he wants to go back all the time so it had an impact! I just mentioned Tivoli was opening and he said “Lets go back” LOL!!!! #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Great! Glad to hear! Next time I hope to be feeling tip top and get that coffee raincheck! Cheers.

  24. I have been in Tivoli many years ago (maybe 15 years) and I didn’t know about this seasons. I would love to see it in Fall. The Haloween decoration must be awesome. #FarawayFiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes – they definitely know how to dress up for each holiday! Cheers from Denmark – Erin

  25. So fun! Tivoli has always sounded so magical..and much classier than some of the other amusement parks. Love all the season festivities..it genuinely seems like a very beloved park by all. #farawayfiles

  26. I have heard a lot of good things about Tivoli. There must be a reason why it holds a special place in the heart of Danes. Looks very magical and charming to me! #FarawayFiles

  27. jphowze

    We loved Tivoli on our trip to Copenhagen a few years back. We must have lingered at the bottom of the “chair-plane” ride for 10 minutes debating whether or not to get on. In the end, I chicken out, but there was so much to see and do there. I even bought a pair of mittens — my favourite (and warmest) souvenir ever! #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      I have never been on that thing! Freaks me out! I finally went on the swings that take you up so high and I was holding on for dear life!

  28. Oh! This place looks so fun! I’m a big fan of Disneyland, but am open to other theme parks as well, and this one is on my list! The lights and flowers alone are enough for me! #farawayfiles

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      It’s much smaller in scale than Disneyland, but maybe even a little bit more charming! I think it’s adorable!

    1. oregongirlaroundtheworld

      Yes! I think it’s a Copenhagen icon and especially if you have kids – it’s a definite don’t miss!

  29. Visiting amusement parks while traveling is one of my guilty pleasures, I’m not sure why riding roller coasters and eating fried food in other countries is so much better, but it is. Tivoli looks awesome and I’ll have to spend a day there when I’m in Copenhagen!
    #farawayfiles

  30. Oh I had always thought Tivoli was somewhere in Italy, oops! Looks like a fun place to be with family and friends for every season. Now that spring is coming soon, I can sense the excitement coming from bloggers’ posts as they anticipate the sun, flowers and outdoor activities 🙂 #farawayfiles

  31. This is a beautifully written and inspiring post that’s made me want to revisit Copenhagen. Last time we visited the Little Mermaid was abroad too! #FarawayFiles

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