Descend into the largest copper mine in Europe
The Falun copper mine is the cradle of the characteristic Falu red, the Swedish house color. Everywhere in Sweden you can see the red-colored houses and the (wooden) Dalarna horse. The ‘Falu Gruva’ was used to mine copper and had as a by-product a red dye from which paint was made. It produced a deep red, glossy paint that preserves the wood excellently. The mine was closed in 1992 (all the copper had been mined), but the famous red paint is still made there. The Falun copper mine has been open to the public ever since.
The tour of the Falun mine is an experience for the whole family. With a guide you will discover an underground world of winding stairs and dark corridors, large underground chambers and impressively deep mine shafts. The guide tells a lot about the history of the mine and about the men who worked here 12 hours a day. The walk through the mine is about 700 meters long and takes one hour. Children under the age of 3 are not allowed in the mine. It is recommended to wear warm clothes and good shoes with profile. Everyone gets a helmet and a bright orange rain cape for protection.
More information for visiting the copper mine in Falun: www.falugruva.se.
Read our extensive blog about our visit to the copper mine in Falun here.
Does an ostrich bury its head in the sand? Why can’t an ostrich fly? Is it a mammal or a bird? Learn all about the ostrich at the Sahlins Struts ostrich farm in Borlänge. And extra fun for the kids; they get to feed the ostriches themselves!
At Sahlins Struts live about 100 ostriches of the Strutio Camelus breed, the breed that originally lived in the wild in Africa. They are curious and use their beaks to explore things. You will also receive a board with a long stick to feed the ostriches.
The ostrich farm also has a large playground and its own restaurant serving ostrich burgers, among other things. And don’t forget to try their famous ice cream made from ostrich egg!
More information about the ostrich farm in Borlänge: www.sahlinsstruts.se.
Paint your own Dala horse
You have probably heard of it, the Swedish wooden horses with their beautiful (often red) paintings. In the village of Nusnäs, on the shores of Lake Siljan, is the official factory where the Dalarna horses are made. Here you will learn more about the horses, their history and you can take a look at the factory. As a souvenir you can paint your own Dalarna horse. Very fun to do with the kids. Typically a souvenir that should not be missing after a holiday in Sweden and a must-have for the children’s room!
In Swedish the horses are called Dalahäst.
More information: www.grannas.com.
Visit Styggforsen, the evil waterfall
In Swedish, Styggforsen means ‘the evil waterfall’. The waterfall is located in the eponymous nature reserve in the village of Boda, 20 kilometers north of Rättvik. From the car park, which also houses an information center with cafe, a 1000m footpath leads around the reserve. The paths between the tall trees are perfect for walking with the children. After a climb of 36 meters you reach the top of the waterfall. The water plunges down a steep cliff between tall spruce trees. A cave has been created at the bottom of the waterfall, the Trollhålet. We thought this was one of the most beautiful places we have been in Sweden with our children. So be sure to stop by Styggforsen if you’re in the area!
More information about Styggforsen: www.visitdalarna.se.
Walk or cycle the Blueberry trail in Orsa Grönklitt
If you are on holiday in Orsa Grönklitt for one or more days, then Blueberry trail is a must. This walking tour through the Blueberry Forest – which you can also do by bike – is specially designed for children. Together with the mascot of the forest, Blueberry Bärra, you go on a discovery. And of course you can pick delicious blueberries along the way. Enjoy!
More information about activities with children in Orsa Grönklitt www.orsagronklitt.se.
Summer Sledding in Rättvik
In Rättvik is the only parallel toboggan run, two runways next to each other, in Scandinavia. The track is 725 meters long and an attraction for the whole family. After watching a short introductory film, you will be pulled up in your sled with the drag lift. Backwards.
Here you have a fantastic view over Lake Siljan. Then you whiz down on the toboggan run. The toboggan run is open daily in summer from about the end of June to the end of August. If it rains, the track is closed for safety. Little ones can go on a tandem toboggan and you can determine the speed yourself.
More information about tobogganing in Rättvik: www.rattviksbacken.se.
Tip: if you are in Rättvik it is also nice to walk up the Långbryggan (promenade pier). This is a promenade pier with a total length of 628 meters, one of the longest piers in the world located in a lake.
Climbing and clambering in klätterpark Lindvallen
The Högt & Lågt climbing park, opened in 2021, consists of seven different courses with different levels of difficulty, so that you can enjoy this adventure with the whole family. There are a total of 52 obstacles along the tracks that are placed both on the treetops and on the ground – high and low, from easy to difficult. In the climbing park you will also find six cable cars, one of which will take you on a magical ride over Lake Svansjön.
The difficulty of the courses is indicated by color codes; orange for the easiest, followed by green and blue. There are two orange, three green and two blue courses for you to enjoy. We started with our children calmly with the orange courses, but soon we jumped over to the green and blue courses. The age limit is 3 years and participants must be at least 80cm tall (always accompanied by an adult) to climb orange courses, 110cm for green climbs and at least 140cm for the blue courses.
More information climbing park Lindvallen: www.skistar.com.
Wildlife watching in Orsa Predator Park
Have you not been able to spot the bears and wolves in the wild in Sweden? Then the wildlife park Orsa Rovdjurspark in Dalarna is a must visit. It is certainly not a ‘standard’ zoo. The animals roam in large enclosures designed to resemble their natural environment and where they can behave as they would in the wild. You really have to do your best to spot the animals. That makes it extra fun, especially for the kids.
In Orsa Predator Park you will learn in an interactive way about the four largest predators in Sweden (glutton, wolf, lynx and brown bear) and about the other animals in the park. For example, you can test on an exercise bike whether you are faster than a brown bear. Then you must be able to pedal more than 50 km per hour. At the end of the visit to Orsa Rovdjurspark, the children receive a diploma. Very nice as a souvenir of this beautiful wildlife park!
Orsa Rovdjurspark is open all year round and is located next to the popular holiday park Orsa Grönklitt.
More information Orsa Predator Park: www.orsarovdjurspark.se.
Downhill mountain biking in Sälen
Close to the Swedish-Norwegian border is Sälen, one of the largest ski areas in Sweden. In the summer you can enjoy fantastic mountain biking here, for example in Lindvallen. Here you will find something for everyone: easy and flat family tours and challenging and technically difficult routes, ranging from a few kilometers to routes of almost 40 km.
There is also a Bike Park with several downhill routes. At Gustavtorget you can take the chairlift up with your special downhill bike and then whiz down. The trails are well marked and of varying difficulty. Bicycles and equipment (helmet and protection) can be rented on site.
You will also find a Skills Area here where you can train jumps, turns and your balance and there are several Pump Tracks for children (including the bottom of the lift at Gustavtorget and in front of the klätterpark in Lindvallen). The purpose of a pump track is to ride on it without pedaling. You get your speed by shifting your weight at the right time and making a pull and push movement.
More information about cycling in Sälen: www.skistar.com.
Cycling on an old train track
One of the best activities during a holiday in Sweden with children is cycling on an old train track. Rail cycling is very popular in Sweden! It is also called dressin, railbiking or trolley bikes. At the old train station of Bengtsfors you can rent a one or two person trolley or a family trolley (max 4 people). You can choose for an hour, part of the day or the whole day. You cycle through beautiful forests, along the way you can pick blueberries and raspberries and stop for a picnic. After about an hour of cycling you will arrive at Kråkviken beach. Here you can take a wonderful dive before returning to Bengtsfors.
More information about rail biking from Bengtsfors: www.dvvj.se.
Take a dip or grab a canoe in one of the many lakes in Dalarna
You never have to look for a lake in Sweden for long, there are already thousands of lakes in Dalarna. Since most lakes are relatively shallow, you can enjoy swimming with the children. And contrary to our expectation, the water was not cold. For example, you will find Lake Orsa at a fifteen minute drive from Orsa Grönklitt. This family-friendly seaside resort with a beautiful sandy beach is also known as the Riviera of Dalarna. You can enjoy canoeing in the extensive network of lakes, lakes and islands.
Are you not a fan of beaches and natural water? In Lindvallen you will find a state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor pool with several spectacular water slides. Here you can also surf indoors. And extra nice: the outdoor pool is wonderfully warm with 37 degrees, our children could not get out of it.
More information about the Experium swimming pool in Lindvallen: www.skistar.com/en/experiment.
More activities with children in Central Sweden?
Dalarna is a real family region: a popular holiday destination in central Sweden for families with children. The vast nature is the largest playground, but the Swedish province also offers many special family options, including summer tobogganing, (multi-day) canoe trips, feeding moose, wildlife parks, rail biking and climbing parks. But there is much more to do!
We didn’t have time to do the following activities ourselves, but it might fit into your holiday planning:
Huskies don’t just pull sleds through the vast forests of Dalarna in winter, you can also go out with husky dogs in summer, such as at Below Zero Husky Tours
Visit Santa in Tomteland
In the middle of the majestic forests of Dalarna, Santa Claus has his own cottage at the foot of a mountain. Complete with reindeer and his little troll friends. And you can do it visit in Tomteland, a fairytale theme park, where children will be amazed.
Avesta Bison Park
It bison park in Avesta is a fun outing for the whole family! Here, the large, endangered European bison roam in a vast, fenced-in area, close to a beautiful old farmhouse. There are now about 30 bison living in the park and if you are lucky you can come face to face with one of the four to eight calves that are born there every year.