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Winter city guides for parents and kids: Gothenburg

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Winter city guides for parents and kids: Gothenburg
14:13 CET+01:00
Sweden's second city has plenty of options for families with children this winter, as Jennifer Heape finds out.

Attracting approximately 3.1 million visitors a year, Liseberg is one of the main amusement parks in Europe and one of the most visited destinations in Scandinavia. Liseberg has 36 permanent rides and attractions, which makes it an entertaining family day out any time of the year.

But the park really goes to town when it comes to Christmas and hosts a huge range of Yuletide activities. The park boasts the largest Christmas market in Scandinavia, with 80 cabins dedicated to Christmas shopping and the whole landscape is lavishly decorated with lights and spruce.

Liseberg has a range of rides for all ages, but specifically for the Christmas period an ice rink is set up where skates can be hired and anyone can have a go. Another sports activity for kids is the children's ski slope, which features a slalom course and on-hand instructors.

Get in the holiday mood with Christmas sing-alongs led by Lotta Engberg and other famous guest artists. Running every Sunday from the November 23rd to December 14th, they're sure to get you in the spirit.

As can be expected, there are many different food outlets at Liseberg, ranging from kiosks, which are a reasonably priced snack option, to restaurants with traditional Swedish Christmas buffets ('julbord').

Entry to Liseberg costs 70 kronor for adults with the under 7s getting in for free.

The Universeum Science and Technology Museum is located right next to Liseberg and is the largest science centre in Scandinavia, offering 7,000 square metres of educational activities.

In the space science section of the museum, a full scale model of the International Space Station can be explored. Moving on to the rainforest area, exhibitions with monkeys, frogs, caimans and sharks are bound to delight.

Check out the aquarium and experience the transparent walk-through tank where oceanic life can be seen up close. Or visit the poisonous snake exhibition featuring some species not found in any other zoo.

The museum also has an in-house restaurant with a range of ecologically-friendly hot and cold food and notes an ability to provide for a range of food intolerances.

Admission for kids aged 4-16 costs 95kr and for adults it is 145kr. Alternatively, a family ticket (2 adults, 3 kids) is priced at 440kr.

The Botanical Garden in Gothenburg is considered the finest in Northern Europe with a kitchen garden, rock garden and hothouses featuring more than 4,000 species of plants, including a beautiful orchid collection. Entrance to the gardens is 20kr.

From flowers to fleets, moored next to Packhuskajen in the centre of Gothenburg is the World's largest floating maritime adventure centre, Maritiman. Nineteen ships are collected here, demonstrating ship building over the last 100 years. There are a range of vessels to explore, including U-Boats, destroyers, mine-layers and fireboats.

On board the ferry Dan Broström there is an organic and fair trade café offering hot drinks and homemade cakes. Maritiman costs 80kr for adults, 40kr for children aged 7 to 15, or a family ticket is 210kr.

If all that sightseeing has left you eager to rest your legs, then the Gothenburg Opera is performing a brilliantly colourful, musical version of Sergej Prokofjev's Cinderella from December 6th to 26th. Or the Christmas concert, complete with operatic Christmas trees, snowmen and of course Santa himself, is running from the December 13th to 20th.

If you are planning on fitting in a fair bit of sightseeing, then the Gothenburg Pass is a frugal investment. The pass costs 225kr for adults and 160kr for children up to 16 and grants admission for 24 hours to most of the city's attractions and museums, several sightseeing tours by bus or boat and free parking and public transport.

For more information and inspiration, check out the Gothenburg Tourist Board website.

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