The rest of our Copenhagen days were rounded out by a mix of both kiddie and adult activities. A bright and sunny Sunday morning found us at the highly designed Den Blå Planet, (The Blue Planet), the largest aquarium in Northern Europe. Naturally all of our kids were very excited to spend a morning there gazing at the fish.
The aquarium has a super sleek and modern design, almost like a metal sphere, and it’s situated waterfront so there are beautiful views from the glass – walled restaurant; which also had some of the best food I’ve ever had at an aquarium or the like! Definitely an elevated family outing and dining experience. We spent the morning wandering around and watched a sea otter show, walked through a rainforest with flittering butterflies, and gazed at a highlight for the littles; the shark and ray exhibit, which you enter by walking through a glass tunnel surrounded by tanks on all sides. I would definitely recommend a visit here regardless of the weather as most of the aquarium is indoors, although it was nice to visit on such an exceptionally nice day and take in the sea vistas.
That afternoon the little kiddies had some playtime at the Charlottehaven playground, and the three of us ladies with Sienna in tow had afternoon cocktails on the rooftop of Illum, a famous Danish department store. We spent a couple of hours exploring the store, which ended up being quite expansive. The emphasis is definitely on Scandinavian designers, which is cool, although they do have a mix of everything. The children’s fashion section was especially dangerous, as was the home decor floor. The lower level is an Epicurian paradise with a plethora of gourmet foods and Eataly! After our wandering we headed home to reunite with all the kiddies and give Karen and Jackie a much needed break!
The sunset from our decks at Charlottehaven was so beautiful that evening, it was impossible to capture it in a photo but it was HUGE on the horizon and seemed to set very slowly. The moms and kids had a relaxing evening in while Karen and Jackie had a night to themselves to explore the city. The relaxing part is definitely a bit of an exaggeration, the kiddies were going crazy and bouncing off the walls, and the moms were all pretty tired and struggling at this point. I love traveling with the kids, it really is my most favorite thing however there are moments on every vacation when you just wish everyone would go the **** to sleep!!!
On Monday we woke up pretty early and had a breakfast at the hotel, and then Crystalyn and I headed off for a day of design scouting for our upcoming house projects, while Ashley had a little alone time with her littles. It was nice to have a few hours to go slow and look around, without the tug of little hands or stress of screaming kids in the store. It’s all about balance, after all 🙂
There were many highlights from the design hunting mission, a favorite being Hay House, which carries pencils and trinket toys, furniture and lighting, and everything for the home that falls in between. I found some fun office and stationary supplies for Sienna and a bunch of interior decorating ideas for myself. We also visited the home-decor centric outpost of Illum, called Illums Bolighus, a veritable Mecca of Scandinavian home design and a great source of inspiration, I must have taken a hundred photos of furniture, lighting, and decorative items to reference back to at a later date.
Another cool shop we visited was Storm, a cool concept store with an edited view on fashion and art, in the vein of Colette in Paris. As it took me so long to get to wrapping this up I forget some of the other great boutiques we visited, but many we came upon just by walking around the neighborhoods, always a great way to discover new spots.
After all of that walking we stopped for a cocktail and a dessert at Cafe Norden, perfectly situated for people watching in the center of Strøget, and beautifully designed like so many of the places we visited here.
At the same time as our shopping mission, Karen and Jackie took the kids to visit the famous Little Mermaid Statue and play at a nearby playground. The light was so lovely shining through the clouds (I’m obsessed with great light), and I’m so happy Karen was able to capture some really beautiful shots for me! The kiddies were pretty well behaved it seems, and they had a very lovely morning as well, so a successful day for all!
That afternoon we reconvened with everyone and decided to venture out to the Torvehallerne Food Market, a giant enclosed food hall with every type of regional (and beyond) food you can think of. I’m obsessed with food markets and halls and make sure to visit at least one in every country we visit, and Torvehallarne definitely did not disappoint. We were there scouting possible dinner options for Karen, Jackie, and the littles as we had our second ladies dinner planned for that evening. We walked around and sampled some of the food, and had a late lunch of really amazing little pizzas. The kids loved looking at all of the beautiful treats and flowers, and Isla in particular was enraptured with the seafood selection. I’m not sure she realized all of the whole fish were no longer with us, and she spent a lot of time screaming excitedly about the fishies in the case.
We also payed a quick visit to a lovely church, The Church of our Savior, which is a baroque church, known for its’ helix shaped sphere that you can climb to the top. It was very windy and we thought this would have been an exercise in futility with all of the kids, but we did go inside and light a candle and look at the beautiful details.
That evening we had our second ladies night out restaurant experience in the city, at Kiin Kiin, the only Thai restaurant in the world outside of Thailand with a Michelin Star. We all love Thai food so this was a really fun and special dinner, about 10 courses and with some very theatrical elements such as a dish that opens with a plume of steam perfumed with the scents of the streets of Bangkok (a much better and interesting smell than one might think.) Another unforgettable dining experience, or at least it would have been unforgettable if Ashley and I hadn’t coupled it with the wine pairing. I have fond memories nonetheless!
Tuesday morning was bit of a hustle, we had booked a roughly 1pm flight to Stockholm and so were all trying to re-pack, do last minute laundry, and cram everything we’d acquired so far into suitcases. I swear no matter how many times I do this and feel like I’m prepared it’s always a clustered nightmare at the end. We finally all had it pretty much together, no easy feat by any means, and made a somewhat ill-fated decision to visit the famous Royal Smushi Cafe on Strøget for a departing breakfast before heading to the airport. While the cafe was darling and the menu looked great we were in such a rush that we could only order from a small selection of (still completely amazing) pastries and rush out. My two little ones were pretty misbehaved at this breakfast and so what I thought would have been a delightfully sweet last note on our Copenhagen trip was a bit of a bummer instead. This is another place I would like to revisit upon a return trip, for a happier experience and because the pastries were seriously some of the best I’d ever had.
We rushed back to the lovely Charlottehaven to bid it farewell, and I’m happy to say we managed to make it to the airport in plenty of time. I’m going to save the actual journey from Copenhagen to Stockholm for my next post, it was a bit hectic and not without a couple of unfortunate moments, however we all made it in one piece and with all of our belongings, always a win!