Pippi Longstocking is Adrian’s favourite character, and Ingrid loves many of Astrid Lindgren’s stories, too. So yesterday we went to Astrid Lindgren’s World, a Lindgren theme park, together with another family.
Most of the park consisted of recreations of environments from the books. There was Pippi’s house of course (and a pirate ship next to it), as well as copies of Bullerby, Mattis’s fort, Thorn Rose Valley, and so on. Most things were scaled down to child size, with small houses, narrow streets, even scaled-down cobblestones.
I found the park itself a bit underwhelming. Many of the environments were just façades: the doors and windows couldn’t be opened. In others you could go inside but there was hardly anything there, just bare walls and a bare floor. Cute to look at from afar but there wasn’t much to actually do there.
Mattis’s fort was at least large enough so we could walk around on the walls and climb up and down in the towers, and Karlsson’s roof had some slides. There were also some other bits and pieces where the kids could climb, including a large “don’t touch the ground” trail that Ingrid enjoyed a lot.
There were performances throughout the day, and we saw two of them: one Pippi show, and one sing-along show. The actors also sang and performed between the main shows. I think Pippi and her crew were out and interacting with the crowd almost all day.
Ingrid loved hanging out around the Pippi house with Pippi and her sailors and pirates. She’s now independent enough that we could just sit at a café nearby while she wandered around. Apart from the shows, her favourite attraction was a little knee-deep pond with two cable ferries. She kept going back and forth across the pond, on her own, with Adrian, with random other kids, for around half an hour I think, and only quit after she accidentally stepped into the pond and got rather wet.
Adrian just enjoyed hanging around the park with Ingrid and his friend Hanna, and looking at stuff.
The park was extremely family-friendly. There were picnic tables, toilets, cafés and restaurants everywhere. At times it felt like there were more cafés than attractions there. But it was very convenient, with almost no queueing anywhere. The restaurants served locally sourced food, and it was real food, with no hot dogs or hamburgers in sight. But expensive… 75 kr for a kids’ portion of meatballs and two potatoes is a bit extreme.
We were lucky to be at ALV on a Friday during the off season. The park wasn’t empty but not too crowded either. As we drove past this morning we saw many more people heading that way so avoiding the weekend was a good thing. I can imagine that it could get awfully busy there during the main season which starts in early June. On the other hand it is probably also more fun then, with many more shows during the day, and more characters from the books just walking around in the park.
I don’t think we’ll be going back there next year. Maybe in a few years’ time, when Adrian is as old as Ingrid is now. And in that case probably at the very beginning or end of the high season, so we catch more of the action but (hopefully) not much more of the crowds.