We knew activities would be an important ingredient in keeping Lil D happy on our trip to Copenhagen, but we hadn’t realised how fun they would be for the grown ups too.
Things we used on holiday
From sitting at a Burger King table in Dublin airport to pass the time till we could get our gate number, to relaxing in the hotel after a picnic dinner, playing Jack Changes was something that all of us enjoyed. Add in the fun of a rock, paper, scissor match to see who got to go first, and it was fun all around. (side note: we may be teaching Lil D to be a little competitive)
2. Notebook and pen
The simplest of things but again effective. Lil D needs encouragement when it comes to reading and spelling, but she had no idea that’s what we were up to when we played hangman. I have to say, the man gets quite a few extras before he’s hanged!
This was worth every minute Bear put into organising it before we left. There were pictures of famous sites, mini maps and pages to fill with tickets, receipts and information about each day. Lil D got into the sticking things in side and tolerated our requests that she write some sentences about her day. We took it out during dinner in restaurants and she worked away (until distracted by ice cream sundae making stations).
We brought a couple of relevant books with us for this trip. A phonic reader of The Little Mermaid, which we read beside the statue of Hans Christian Andersen (though Lil D had really had enough that day so it didn’t get the attention it deserved), and Molly and the Magic Suitcase: Molly Goes to Copenhagen Chris Oler and Amy Houston Oler. Molly and her brother Michael see all the sights, learn how to say Danish words and experience some Danish culture. It was a little long to keep our dote interested, but it was a nice idea.
How can you have a dance party in your room without music? Well maybe the tv will provide a music channel, but Lil D is a YouTube girl and having access to this through her tablet in the hotel gave her the right kind of energy to start (or end) the day.
The holiday is over and the reflection has begun.
Was all the planning necessary for our first trip away with a dote? Did Lil D have a fun? Did the grown-ups have a good time? Was it worth it?
We aunties went into this with our eyes open. Kids, we were reliably informed, moan. They get hungry, they get tired, they’re enthusiastic about what they like, less so when they aren’t interested.
So we brought snacks in prepared packs (mini oreos, yogurt covered raisins, raisins) and Lil D looked forward to scoffing the lot everyday. We planned one big activity a day (zoo, Tivoli amusement park) and took it in our stride when Lil D and D Daddy (not a natural traveller) were too tired to take a walk through Copenhagen just to enjoy the sites. We aunties went without them as they settled in for an evening in front of Danish tv. We could not go to Copenhagen and not visit the Little Mermaid, but didn’t mind that Lil D missed her.
We had plenty of activities with us, and free hotel wi-fi allowed Lil D to indulge in her first love, dance. We had a dance party everyday, with Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie quickly becoming the theme song for the holiday!
Yes D Daddy suffered from lack of sleep, an unfortunate flare up of his eczema, and the loss of his phone due to overheating in a European plug socket, but he also got to eat some great food (mostly burgers!), went on the scariest rides in the amusement park and saw his first real life rhinoceros. It all balanced.
Lil D loved being with her aunties, the hotel buffet breakfast, the make your own ice cream sundae in our first restaurant, every ride at Tivoli, the polar bears.
Seeing it through her eyes was a joy.
And us aunties? Well done us, we say. Everything we brought was used, including the birth certificate / letter of consent. Well done Dublin airport for questioning the fact that Lil D has a different surname from us. Yes, a little odd that we were able to leave the country unquestioned, but at least we got to use it on the way back! We got to share one of our favourite cities with our Lil D and we all made it home in one piece!
It’s been quite a while since we aunties have been to a zoo. Our expectations weren’t high but Copenhagen Zoo enchanted us all completely. A good 40 minute walk from Central Station, under advertised but beautifully designed. Even rain couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm for these gorgeous animals. Highly recommended. Free entry with the Copenhagen Card.
We’re beginning to realise that planning the daily activities for this trip is a previously unknown combination (to us) of dote friendly activities, snack breaks and using google to make sure everything is within easy walking distance (with public transport options if little legs get tired), all beneath the looming cloud that this planning may go up in smoke for any number of dote related reasons. This holiday is going to be all about Lil’ D, though with any luck we adults will enjoy it too.
On past holidays Bear has done an excellent job of creating an itinerary that we tend to use as a strong guideline when we get to our destination. Not so, we suspect, when travelling with dotes. Should our idea of fun be diametrically opposed to that of Lil D we have a safety net in place. We have prepurchased ourselves some Copenhagen cards that will gain us free entry to 74 museums and attractions, free transport and other assorted discounts. Lil D goes free with one adult card. The card costs €79 for 72 hours and will hopefully prove convenient.