Sweden’s third-biggest city Malmö, also known as “the City of Parks”, has had a dramatic transformation from an industrial centre to a sustainable green hub. Its nickname is justified by over 200 public parks, as well as 20 themed parks, making almost the whole city a playground for actual kids and big kids alike.

The construction of the Malmö parks followed a city redevelopment plan in the mid-1990s, which saw a considerable amount of space reallocated as activity areas for children. As a result, a former concrete jungle has been converted into a series of unique jungle gyms, with the sole aim of awakening children’s curiosity. Although the summers are particularly filled with family-friendly activities, you can visit any of Malmö’s playgrounds all year round.

Educational Ecology

In the bustling Västra Hamnen neighbourhood, a fascinating ecology playground teaches children all about the environment and the importance of ecosystems. Situated right across the road from Park Inn by Radisson Malmö, grab a picnic and an ice cream and set off to uncover a new way to help your kids engage with the natural world around them.

Farmyard Fun

Further afield in in Malmö’s western Videdal neighbourhood you’ll find the bondgårdslekplats, designed to look like a country homestead. The playground is full of sculptures that mimic rural life, from the barn’s swings and slides to the cows and tractors that kids can clamber over. Role-playing is encouraged in the faux farmhouse, complete with kitchen and shop.

Fairytale Fantasy

Brilliant for very young children, the fairytale playground or sagolekplatsen is where dreams come to life. Blue bubbles provide a textured trek for the adventurous, huge yellow butterflies decorate the climbing equipment, and a rainbow slide welcomes you to this children’s paradise. Wait until they’re tired out, then tell them some classic fairytales as you rest beside the enchanted woods.

Secret Safari

At the other end of the city in Bunkerflostrand, you’ll find an Africa-themed playground for intrepid explorers. Here, life-sized animals look out over the manmade savannah, surveying the kids clambering over termite mounds and identifying the animal tracks that criss-cross the paths.

Water Wonderland

If you didn’t make it to the beach this summer, make sure you reach this water playground in Rosengårdsfältet. With an island, spouting fountains, bridges, a climbing tower and walk ropes to let you bathe or play, this park packs in action as well as relaxation. Just remember to bring dry clothes.

Snaking Spirals

The spiral playground or spirallekplatsen next to Malmö Konsthall showcases several stunning sculptures that twist and turn in endless loops, entirely designed for children’s amusement. Bring older kids here to set them the amateur acrobatics challenge of their lives.

The one with it all…

If your kids aren’t known for the length of their attention spans, take a trip to Folkets Park, thought to be the world’s oldest public park. Along with its own ice rink, paddling pool, mini-amusement park and crazy golf course, there’s even a petting zoo with every farm animal from goats to chickens, rabbits and sheep. Afterwards, you can catch a performance at the children’s stage, or treat them to a pony ride.