Having small kids also means that I can do all the things I missed in my childhood; like going to a wildlife park. This time, my family and I have decided take the trip to Kristiansand Zoo and amusement park. The park is located in the southern part of Norway, and living in Oslo, this means a road trip for 4 - 5 hours. Well, in theory, yes, but in real life, no. After 2 - 3 hours of driving different kind of noises start to appear from the back seat, and suddenly all kind of nagging started; need for toilet, not fun to just drive and drive, hungry, thirsty and so on. And no, I don’t have any back-seat entertainment set up, but will for sure consider one after this journey.
After about 6 hours we arrived in Kristiansand, and within some minutes with great help from google maps we found the hotel for the night. This hotel is probably the most convenient way to stay when visiting the park, as it is literally situated beside the entrance.
The hotel is named and shaped like the famous vessel Noah's Ark. When booking tickets online, one can also book accommodation in this hotel, which is highly advice. The theme in the hotel is all about animals which seems to be quite appreciated by the kids. But despite this being a god stay, there are also other different god hotels or motels just a search away. Take a look on sites like booking.com.
Inside the hotel there are different facilities like a workout room, a playroom for the kids, a big restaurant on the ground floor, as well as a big lounge on the same floor. And probably something more that I missed.
The dinner for the evening was a buffet, containing seafood, different kind of meat, vegetables and desserts. Overall, well prepared and good variations in the food.
Despite having a great meal in front of you, the most important thing for the evening was of course the playroom, speaking from a kid's point of view. So, after consuming big amount of delicious pudding and cookies nothing else was more logical than running away and play. Since the playroom was across the lounge it was no biggie for us adults, just sitting down and relaxing while kids was exploring all the fun.
Moving on to the next day, after a god night sleep, followed up by a great breakfast, what first caught our sight from the room, was the enormous queue of people waiting to get inside the park. Obviously, we were not the only ones to explore the park that day.
Luckily, there were many entrances and a very efficient staff, so after some short amount of time we were inside. The entire park is organized by themes or attractions. E.g. the animals are situated on one side of the park, while the aqua land and "Kardemomme by" is situated on the other side. You can read more about this on the sites official map. We started the journey in the Captain Sabertooth World moving on to the "Kardemomme by".
And honestly speaking, the world of Captain Sabertooth wasn't much to see, nor do. Neither did our kids found it especially interesting. Probably here as well, one should follow the scheduled activities.
Then some steps away there it was, The Cardmoom Town. Approaching it from "hill" side, it opened up for some great shoots as well. The fun thing about the Cardamom Town is actually to be there, because almost every child in Norway has heard about it through the book When the Robbers Came to Cardamom Town. Being able to experience everything in miniature, was a huge success among the kids. Maybe this was also the biggest highlight of the exploration.
According to the website there are 135 different species in the zoo, and if you are a quick explorer you will probably be able to see them all. Slightly hurrying from one booth to the other we noticed that many of the animals seems to be quite lazy, most of the time just sitting or lying around. However, if you are looking for a bit more action, you should try to follow the scheduled activities set up by the staff in the park.
So, to sum it all up; the excursion was great, and it is highly recommended to visit the park, especially if you have small kids. If you want to get must out if it, you should plan your trip slightly more than what we did. And, it is also an option to get to Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik by plane from probably all of the bigger cities in Norway.
Note: All pictures in this post are taken by me, and thereby copyrighted by me. As long as you keep the copyright information, and keep the reference to this blog you are free to use the pictures in any way. If you would like to get any of these pictures in native, high resolution, please contact me.