He’s been known to think of museums as a great place to nap, but enjoys the activity inherent in open-air museums. Founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius, Skansen was the world’s first open-air museum. It is a great place to visit with kids, as big kids we enjoyed it too. It was great to be out in the sun on a nice spring day and we saw tons of cool stuff.
Skansen is a time machine. It has 150 houses that were relocated from different parts of Sweden to form a medieval city. Most of the houses have museum staff dressed in costume ready to answer questions, tell the stories of the buildings and giving demonstrations. There are demonstrations on glass-blowing, netting, sheep-sheering, how to make bread, how to produce various handicrafts, etc. We even bought coffee (coffee again, quelle surprise) from a costumed lady in a 19th century house.
The staff are one of the things that make Skansen so special They are everywhere and do a lot to enrich visitors. In addition to the standard imparting knowledge, musicians perform folk melodies. Dancers teach people folk dances. Staff drive visitors around the complex in a horse and carriage. People in traditional costumes walk along the streets and do traditional everyday tasks.
Skansen has a zoological part with domestic and wild local animals. In addition to the normal farm animals, there are Scandinavian animals such as lynxes, wolves, bears, wolverines, reindeer and seals. We happened upon them at feeding time (around 2:00 p.m.).
Skansen is fun for kids, big ones, like us.