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Top 8 kid-friendly outdoor adventures

Nature experiences for the whole family
Family trip motivator and author Anders Baumberger is urging all families: come and explore Norway’s endless possibilities for various outdoor activities. Start with his eight top tips especially suited for children.
Photo: CH/visitnorway.com

    There are many hidden treasures waiting all along Norway, even for families who have already visited the country with the longest coastline in Europe.

    “Parents are often advised to do everything on the children’s premises, like ‘setting up a tent in the garden will be sufficient for them to get a feel of the outdoors.’ While this perspective is certainly working for some, in our family we turn the whole thing upside down: we have high ambitions and we let the children push the boundaries – in the mountains, in the woods, and on the water. The purpose is to share positive experiences”.

    This fresh thinking became the outdoor enthusiast’s base for writing a popular reference book about how to explore the great outdoors with the people you care about the most. Baumberger is convinced that children love challenges and that they can manage more than many parents imagine. By showing kids trust you encourage them to stretch towards new goals.

    “My top tips are all about having confidence in children and discover that life with both small and not so small ones is less restricted than many parents think,” he argues.

    Baumberger has picked eight natural wonders that captivate both children, youths, and adults who want to make the most out of a weekend or a longer holiday. This is your ticket to create good family memories between trees, on the water, in the mountains, or under a starry sky.

    Top 8 kid-friendly adventures in nature

  • 1. Cabin holiday – choose among 1000 cabins

  • Norway offers numerous kinds of cosy and practical accommodation where you come close to nature. The Norwegian Trekking Association operates over 500 cabins located between 0 and 2068 metres above sea level. One of the many advantages is the possibility of choosing your destination and cabin once you have checked the weather forecast.

    Becoming a member is easy and inexpensive compared to the benefits. You can also find cabins at the following websites: ut.no, kystled.no (Norwegian only) and inatur.no.

    Storkvebu, Oppland

    Storkvebu, Oppland.
    Photo: Anders Gjengedal - Visitnorway.com
  • 2. Summer and winter in one

  • Few countries in the world offer such short distances between glaciers and beaches. In early summer many places let you combine one day of skiing with – the next day – a fresh fjord bath and beach volleyball in comfortable summer temperatures. Even if many of us don’t long for winter once summer is here, a quick trip up in the mountains may elicit the child in you.

    Try summer skiing at Folgefonna Sommerskisenter, Juvbreen glacier at Galdhøpiggen, or Stryn Sommerskisenter, and end the day with a barbecue under trees in full bloom in the lowland. Alternatively enjoy skiing at Sognefjellet mountain and finish off the day with an evening bath in the Sognefjord.

  • 3. Midnight sun and northern lights

  • People come from all over the world to experience these phenomenons. Northern Norway offers scenic nature and fun activities. In the city of Bodø you can hike to Keiservarden mountain and enjoy the view of the city and the beautiful island Landegode.

    From there you can see the famous Lofotveggen mountain chain in clear weather.

  • 4. Summit hikes on the roof of Norway

  • Even mountaintops with only a few hundred metres height offer impressive views. Then there are those who are tempted by the thought of bringing the family over the magical point of 2000 metres height.

    Anders Baumberger recommends the following hikes for families with some mountaineering experience and fit footwear:

  • 5. Norway’s most known tourist attractions – against the stream

  • Experience Norway’s most spectacular places in the middle of the high season without queuing with other tourist. Prepare food, pack a tent and sleeping bags and head for popular places like Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock), the Kjeragbolten boulder, Trolltunga or Verdens Ende – at night. These attractions are at their most beautiful at sunrise and sunset when they are practically emptied of tourists.

  • 6. Fire towers – 360 degrees view in the middle of the spruce forest

  • Did you know there are more than 50 viewpoint towers between the cities of Kristiansand in the south and Trondheim in Central Norway? Most of them used to serve as viewpoints for forest fire surveillance.

    The view is great even in the thickest spruce forests at flat land in the southern part of Eastern Norway.

    Kjerringhøgda, Østmarka

    Kjerringhøgda, Østmarka.
    Photo: Anders Baumberger
  • 7. Glacier hiking

  • Glaciers seem beautiful at a distance and are even more exciting to experience at close range. You don’t need to have knowledge about glacier hiking or to bring your own equipment.

    All the biggest glacier areas in Southern Norway offer possibilities for guiding. Here are two of Anders Baumberger’s favorites:

  • 8. Vertical adrenalin kick

  • Take your family holiday to new heights. You don’t have to be experienced climbers or possess your own climbing equipment to experience hundreds of vertical, airy meters under your feet.

    Existing bolted routes, full safety equipment, and a guide ensure that even steep mountain walls become a reality for those who don’t suffer from a distinct fear of heights. Anders Baumberger recommends:

    7 tips for motivating children

    1. Let the children help choosing the destination. A spectacular goal will create excitement. The only restriction is your fantasy. Preparing the trip should be fun.

    2. Pack your bags well ahead of the trip. Let the children participate. This will help your family having a stress free departure.

    3. Be ambitious, but make sure to have plenty of time to reach the goal in order to keep up the good spirit.

    4. Cutting down on weight is a virtue on most trips, although it shouldn’t affect aspects like comfort and cosiness. When the children want to bring cuddle bears and toys their parents should be prepared to carry a little more.

    5. By choosing transport like canoe, bicycle with a wagon, or pulk (tiny snow sledge for a small child pulled by an adult), children are able to enjoy the trip as passengers.

    6. Go together with other families. Children who have playmates usually forget to whine.

    7. Choose trips that also captivate the adults. Adventures are for the whole family, not only for the children.

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