About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
History Museums, Ships, Speciality Museums
Speciality Museums, History Museums
Bodies of Water, Biking Trails
Points of Interest & Landmarks, History Museums, Historic Sites, Architectural Buildings, Theme Parks
Speciality Museums, Science Museums
Bodies of Water, Hiking Trails
Ski & Snowboard Areas
Boasting a real Arctic exploration ship at its center, the Fram Polar Ship Museum tells tales of daring adventurers and exotic ships equipped to be the first Nordic expeditions to the poles. It starts off the journey with a detailed film that gives an overview of the expeditions and their treacherous conditions, before inviting visitors to see what it was really like, from the extensive preparations for extreme temperatures provided by the Inuit people, to the explorers' lives thereafter. The ship at the center, which survived a polar expedition trapped in ice, is open to exploration, with visitors able to enter its engine room and state rooms.
An amazing place to learn all about the Vikings, their way of life and modes of transport, The Viking Ship Museum is a must for families with inquisitive minds and a historical thirst. The small museum packs a punch, housing ancient relics like restored Viking boats and fittings, sleds, and everyday objects, both for war and daily life. Interactive panels and vast displays help to animate the history, and visitors can relish the sheer size and age of the 1,200-year-old artifacts.
Located close to the Polar and the Viking Ship museums, the Bygdøy Peninsula area offers a wealth of outdoor amusements for families. Its sandy beaches are the perfect spot for a picnic near the water, and its walking, hiking, and biking trails loop around the beautiful boats in the harbor and through lush forest. Daring families (with a lot of energy to expend) can walk the entire peninsula, which is home to small museums and delicious seafood restaurants. There's a lot to look at, explore, and do.
Sørenga Public Pool opened in 2015, and is a little oasis paradise right in the city center. With wide swaths of boardwalk offering open water swimming, and outdoor sea pools specially designed for everyone from children to advanced swimmers, this free beach is modern, relaxing, and great for families. Open until 10pm, the fully pedestrianized space is a scenic spot for a picnic, some fun in the sun (if it's warm out!), a dip, or just some laid back time playing and enjoying the view outside.
The Oslo Reptile Park is a private indoor park with a number of species to peruse and explore. The park itself is small, with just over twenty dioramic cases, but is nonetheless home to a wealth of different amphibians. Snakes (naturally!), frogs, lizards, turtles, spiders — including a black widow — as well as other bugs are on display across two floors. There are even some mammalian monkeys, which are especially lively during feeding time. Perfect for young children and cuddly creepy-crawler lovers of all ages.
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is a feast for all the senses. Housed in real abodes taken from across Norway and dating back to the 1200s, this folk-led museum illustrates the art, architecture, dress, and trappings of daily life for common Norwegian people throughout history. The focus on how the 'average person' lived is brought to life wonderfully through food demonstrations (fresh bread, anyone?) and folk dances performed by the costumed actors inside, while the lovingly re-created rooms and sets show how people once worked and played. There's always something engaging going on here, and it's great for adults and children of all ages.
Cinemateket is a theater in downtown Oslo, famous for showing old films in a laid back atmosphere. Reverent of cinema's past, it includes a film museum, concentrating on the evolution of film technology and pointing out important Norwegian actors and their contributions throughout history. Many of the films put on are especially for children, and while showings are mostly in Norwegian, it can still be a treat to visit and see the memorabilia. Tickets are a bargain, the museum is free, and the onsite cafe is well-stocked.
The Norwegian Museum of Technology is a wonderful showcase of science and machinery through the ages, with engaging hands-on elements for kids to enjoy. With a cool focus on scientific progress during the industrial revolution, as well as the way that gas, oils, and old car engines work, the museum provides a visual bang, with so much living history to explore. Another highlight is the timeline of earth, which shows how recently the dinosaurs died, and allows visitors to see how recent much of human progress is. It saves the best for last however: The basement is where you'll find its biggest collection of hands-on gadgetry and experiments!
If your family needs a break from sightseeing to get down to some good, old fashioned fun, try the neon-lit Oslo Bowling Alley. Bright lanes and upbeat music make the game fun for all, while billiards tables and a solid pizza cafe mean it's easy to make a whole afternoon of it! Just be sure to visit before dinner time, as it transforms from family-friendly hangout to a happening bar by nightfall, especially on weekends.
The Vigeland Museum is more than it sounds. While it is home to the studio of sculptor Vigeland himself, which can be visited to see some of his drafts, works, and studies, the real treat is the surrounding parkland. The park contains a huge number of statues and sculptures, many by Vigeland, with fountains, green spaces, and walking paths enlivening the scenery. A great place to shoot some unforgettable photos, have a picnic, or just take a nice jaunt around with the family!
If you're looking to celebrate a special event while with the family in Oslo, Freia Sjokoladefabrikk is just the spot. The chocolatier, whose candies stock many of Norway's supermarket aisles, offers private factory tours for groups of children and adults, during which kids get to see the entire process — from bean to bonbon. You'll begin with a demonstration of how Freia chocolate is made, learn about the history of chocolate (with some reproductions of ancient methods), and even end by making your own. Anyone with a sweet tooth can delight at this private event, especially as you're invited to indulge in as much chocolate as you'd like to eat!
If you need a light bite and your kids want a little break from traditional Norwegian fare, it's Villa Paradiso to the rescue! The location is homey and the staff helpful, but the real stars here are the pizzas, which come in a variety of ways with a number of exciting toppings. Whether you want meatballs or mushrooms, basil or olives, personal-dish pies come at a great deal in expensive Oslo, and will leave every in the family happy and full.
PARADIS is a one-stop shop for dessert while in Oslo. With delicious homemade ice cream and sorbets, macarons, chocolate-covered fruits, and dipped cones, there is a lot to choose from when seeking out your sugar rush. Kids will especially delight in watching the ice cream being made throughout various parts of the day here, while parents can appreciate the real fruit and fresh cream going into them!
Sognsvann Lake and its environs offer fresh air and beautiful natural landscapes to visitors. Clean and well-tended, the hiking trails, nature reserves, docks, and open spaces provide a wealth of things for families to do. Jog, cycle, play a game of catch, rent a grill to cook up some lunch, or take a boat onto the lake. In the spring and summer, you can go for a dip, while the winter provides great fodder for snowball fights and snow forts. A tranquil, forested spot that locals love year round.
Hovedoya is a small island close to Oslo that provides a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Especially beautiful when the weather is nice, it offers commanding views, picturesque picnicking spots, and a number of wide green spaces for playing sports together. Hovedoya also has rocky beaches to enjoy, hiking trails, and a thousand-year-old monastery that can be visited. Recommended for a nature hike through the preserve with children, or for a visit during sunset, which is undeniably stunning at any age.
At Korketrekkeren, you can have the most Norwegian winter experience of all: sledding. Rent a sled and ride down the mountain trail provided as many times as you like! It takes a few tries to get used to it, but the bobsled trail is fast, fun, and great for kids. So long as there's snow on the ground (common even outside of winter in Oslo), the Korketrekkeren is open, and you can take as many trips down as you can stand the metro rides back to the top of the mountain!
Ekebergparken is a wide, expansive parkland with something new hidden around each corner. Families can enjoy the onsite playground for children, as well as the climbing park, which provides a wealth of ways to let kids get their energy out. Walking paths include 63 pieces of outdoor installation art, much of which is interactive in some aspect. Afterwards, rest up alongside the scenic greenery, or take the hike up to the park's highest point, which offers an amazing vista of the city and the sea.
The Botanical Gardens in Oslo are specially designed to include areas of interest for all ages. Along with a beautiful greenhouse, Japanese rock garden, and a number of manicured spaces with fragrant flowers, the Botanical Gardens also include a dinosaur-themed area with information about prehistoric plants, as well as a Viking herb garden, and a Victorian water lily area. A wonderful way to learn about and enjoy plant life together as a family.
When it's too cold for outdoor swimming, a dip at the Tøyenbadet Public Baths might be just the ticket. With two long indoor pools that are open year round (and two outdoor, open only in summer), families can swim, dive, and water-slide their way to a good time. The Public Bath also features a children's pool, which is kept comfortably warm year-round.
Located on Bogstad lake, this handsome manor house and farm was where powerful Victorian-era families once met over dinner to discuss the future of their land — a future that would include independence from Denmark. Historically rich and completely enchanting, families can enjoy a horse-drawn sled around the grounds by winter, or a sit on the grass during summer. The house's grounds are lovely and worth exploring year-round, and the restaurant on the premises serves homemade traditional food. The site even includes a play area, and children are welcome to visit the farm's resident sheep and pigs!
Wonderful for children of all ages, especially young ones, the International Children's Art Museum is all about being hands-on. With plenty to draw and play with, both indoors and out, kids can let their imaginations and inspirations run wild. The museum itself houses art made by children from all over the world, showing a gorgeous portrait of innocence and emotion that transcends culture, and that people of any age can connect with.