The Best Free Thing to Do in Oslo with Kids – Vigeland Sculptures – Stuck indoors is potentially a good time to admire the beauty of this park, and perhaps visit one day. Oslo is a short hop from Scotland, and it’s a smart city where most people speak English. Money doesn’t go quite as far as you’d often like in Norway, so a free attraction is worth its weight in Kroner. Introducing Vigeland Park in Frogner Park. It’s absolutely beautiful.
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Vigeland Park is strangely beautiful. An unexpected exuberant celebration of the human body. Sometimes I find it slightly eery (as if the bodies are crushing each other like piled up corpses), the next I find it alive and bursting with tenderness, either way I couldn’t take my eyes of the statues. You decide.
Vigeland himself was a Norwegian sculptor, 1869-1943, who also designed the Nobel Peace Prize medal. Vigeland Park is probably his best known work, and it’s usually visited by over 1 million people each year. We dropped by as the sun was setting on a winter’s evening.
What You See – Vigeland Sculptures
Statues around the world usually feature men, and rarely, but occasionally, women – I love the fact this park features babies and children too. Some are laughing, some crying, it’s a real mix of feeling and emotion.
Here you can explore over 200 sculptures in granite, bronze and wrought iron. The park’s main feature is a central granite monolith, featured in the video below. It’s 17 metres high and features of 121 figures alone. Cut from one piece of granite, it’s a jaw-dropping creation.
Vigeland Park a good space to let kids run around, as there’s always something new to see. All the statues are naked, and whilst my tots are usually the first to point at a nude bottom, shouting ‘Bare bum, bare bum, bare bum’, the nudity here didn’t phase them at all. It was almost like they saw past it. Statues often celebrate key individuals – kings, artists or warriors – these creations just celebrate the human body, stripped back. The nudity gives the sculptures a timeless quality too, unfettered by fashion.
The kids were fascinated and intrigued by the statues, as each depiction was so different. And each child took time deciding which statue was their favourite. Mr Tot opted for the man juggling babies, pictured below right. Junior never did quite make his mind up.
The park is usually open all day, every day. Get there by catching the number 12 tram from Oslo Sentral station, getting off at Frogner Plass. The trams are so efficient, and provide an easy, affordable way for a family to get around.