When we first started planning our trip to Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens was high on our list to visit and it did not disappoint. My boys were 3 years old and 1 year old when we went so we stuck to the toddler rides and playgrounds and just enjoyed the scenery in addition to the huge smiles on their faces!
History of Tivoli Gardens
Tivoli Gardens is an amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park first opened its doors in 1843 and is the second-oldest amusement park currently operating in the world. The amusement park was first called Tivoli & Vauxhall, with Tivoli alluding to the Jardin du Tivoli in Paris (which had been named near Tivoli in Rome, Italy) and Vauxhall alluding to Vauxhall Gardens in London. From the beginning Tivoli Gardens featured exotic buildings in the Orient theme, coloured lamps illuminated the gardens at night and fireworks could be seen reflected on the lake which used to be a moat surrounding Copenhagen’s fortifications. In 1943, most of the buildings were burnt to the ground by some Nazi sympathizers. But within a few weeks, temporary structures were built and the park reopened.
On this trip I was traveling with my parents and my brother so the boys were pretty pumped to go on the rides with their uncle. My oldest son mostly went on the rides while I stayed in the play areas with my 1 year old. There is so much to do and see that everyone was entertained by different things during our time there.
The Rides at Tivoli Gardens
The Lighthouse Ride
The first ride at Tivoli Gardens that my older son Holter wanted to go on was The Lighthouse. The kids get to pedal as they ride and the faster they pedal the higher they go! There are six boats shaped like prehistoric animals and while the ride gives them a little bit of a thrill, it isn’t too much for toddlers to handle.
Rasmus Klumps World
Rasmus Klumps World is an incredible play world for children of all ages. It is divided into two sections, one for very young children and one for older children who aren’t afraid to be challenged. The play world includes three towers with suspension bridges, look-out posts, climbing nets and multiple levels. The pirate themed ship is built on an angle and it was adorable watching the kids try and navigate across it without losing their balance.
The Dragon Boat Ride
The Dragon Boat ride at Tivoli Gardens was a perfect opportunity for some peace and quiet and to get away from all the stimulation of the amusement park. Lake Tivoli is the remnant of a moat that used to surround the city’s fortifications and is the perfect setting for a boat ride. This kids get to steer the boat but it isn’t as easy as it looks!
The Vintage Car Ride
The Vintage Car ride at Tivoli Gardens completely stole the show! My son went on the ride multiple times and begged us to keep doing it. The kids can steer the cars all on their own if they are brave enough to do it without an adult with them. My son was a little hesitant at first since he was only three but a few seconds driving the vintage car and he forgot all about us.
The open-air stage at Tivoli Gardens hosts musical performances and the day we were there was a beautiful opera singer performing for the audience.
Additional Rides for Kids
There are so many more rides for little kids and toddlers at Tivoli Gardens that I didn’t mention:
- The Astronomer (Astronomen) – space-themed roundabout boats
- The Big Clock (Den blå Safir) – mini Ferris wheel
- The Classic Carousel (Dyrekarrusellen) – classic carousel
- The Elf Train – train ride
- The Fun House – house of fun
- The Little Dragon – swing ride
- The Little Pilot – airplanes
- The Music Carousel – carousel
- Minimorgana – mini bumper cars
- The Panda (Pandaen) – mini drop tower
- The Star Tower – Children’s ‘drop tower’
- The Temple Tower – pull-yourself-up tower ride
- The Wood Carousel – wooden carousel
And of course there are many more rides for bigger kids who like thrills and excitement and can handle rollercoasters.
If you find yourself in Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens is a must see. Plan to spend most of the day there as there is so much to explore. My kids were very young when we went so we stuck to areas in their age range but as they get older I would love to return and explore the other rides at Tivoli Gardens and perhaps have more time to enjoy the gardens themselves.