Discover the capital Oslo, starting with a trip to the museums on the Bygdøy peninsula: hear about the Vikings at the Viking Ship Museum and learn about Norway’s cultural history at the nearby Norsk Folkemuseum. Also close-by are the Kon Tiki Museum and the Fram Museum, for tales of polar exploration and the world’s most famous polar ship. The Oslo Reptile Park is back in the centre; east of the centre is the Natural History Museum, while west of it lies the International Museum of Children’s Art and Frogner Park, home to Oslo's most visited attraction, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, and to Norway’s largest playground.
Take a day-trip out from Oslo to see the child-friendly exhibits at the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology or experience the high-octane thrills at Tusenfryd, Norway’s largest amusement park.
If you’re visiting Oslo in winter, make the 30-minute journey out of the capital to Oslo Winter Park Tryvann, the area’s main ski resort, offering 14 slopes, alpine skiing, snowboarding and a special area for kids and beginners.
Seek out more winter fun at Lillehammer 185km to the north: pay a visit to the Olympic Park and ski-jumping arena or base yourself in one of the five ski-parks within easy reach of the centre, where active families can tackle everything from dog-sledding and cross-country skiing to ice-fishing, horse sleigh-rides and tobogganing. For magical evening entertainment, head to Hunderfossen Vinterpark minutes from the centre, which has an ice cathedral and fairytale palace plus activities including snow-rafting, ice-bowling and high ropes for kids 7+. In summer, take a trip to Lake Mjøsa to ride on the world’s oldest paddle-steamer, the Skibladner, built in 1856.
Norway is also a fantastic destination for a family ski trip, with popular resorts including Geilo and Trysil.
Visit Kristiansand in southern Norway – for the beach in summer and for good skiing in winter. In warmer months, ride the Setesdalsbanen Steam Railway or head out of town to Kristiansand zoo and amusement park, with a waterpark, forest park, entertainment area, themepark and zoo.
Base yourself in Bergen if you want to explore Norway’s famous fjords or go up into the mountains surrounding the city for skiing, sledging and hiking. The Fløibanen Funicular takes you to the top of Mount Fløyen for fantastic views of Bergen, great hiking trails, a playground and the Troll Forest, where little ones can follow a magical trail and cross Billy Goats Gruff bridge. In winter, the paths down from Mount Fløyen are floodlit at night, making them perfect for sledging. In Bergen itself, visit the pretty 19th-century wooden houses in Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen) or get hands-on with the interactive exhibits at the Vilvite Science Centre. Bergen Aquarium is another must for families, with penguins, sealions and sharks.
Head south of Bergen, to Stavanger, a great destination for summer family holidays, with some of the best beaches in Norway. Also visit the secret treehouse at the Norwegian Children’s Museum and head out to the region’s many fjords.
Have an unforgettable family adventure by heading to the far north, to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in Tromsø or the Finnmark region ('Norwegian Lapland'). Just 2,000km from the North Pole, Tromsø is the capital of the Arctic and one of the easiest destinations for families hoping to see the elusive Aurora Borealis. While sightings are never guaranteed, the lights are at their most frequent in late autumn and winter/early spring. (Those hoping to see them should come prepared for extreme cold and be ready to set aside at least a whole night for the quest). And Tromsø has plenty else to keep the kids entertained: visit the bearded seals at Polaria, the city’s arctic aquarium, or take the Fjellheisen Cable Car up Storsteinen Mountain for panoramic views over the city and, if you’re lucky, to experience the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights.
In Finnmark, base yourself in Alta, the largest town, where as well as looking out for the Northern Lights you can get an insight into the life of the region’s indigenous Sami people, join a fisherman on a king crab safari and take the kids on a reindeer sleigh-ride across the region’s white plains. Don’t leave without taking a dog sled or snowmobile safari – preferably under the Aurora Borealis!