1/10 Take to the slopes
During the crisp winter months, Oslo’s teenagers head to Tryvann, the ski resort a handy 20-minute metro ride from the city centre. Home to 18 runs including easy greens and more challenging reds and blacks plus a ski school and two nursery slopes. There’s ski hire centre on-site so all your teen needs to do is rock up in a woolly viking hat and hip neon jacket and they’re ready to learn the laws of the slopes. For those with more experience, check out Tryvann’s terrain park with ski and snowboard jumps, sliding rails and two half pipes – perfect for thrill monkeys.
More info: oslovinterpark.no
2/10 Go tobogganing
If time is too limited to take to the slopes, then teenagers can still get their icy kicks on Korketrekkeren, the original luge track from the 1952 Olympic games and now Oslo’s longest toboggan run. The route starts at the Frognerseteren station and runs 2km through a heavenly snow-draped pine forest to Midtstuen station, where you just hop on the metro and do it all over again. Access to the run is free and you can hire racing toboggans and helmets from the Akeforeningen hire shop in Frognerseteren.
More info: visitoslo.com/akeforeningen.no
3/10 Zip-line down a ski jump
Want to know how it feels to be an Olympic ski jumper? Well, now you can. Head out to the Holmenkollen Olympic Ski Jump between March and October and teen adrenaline junkies can zip-line down the entire 361m length of it. But be warned – it’s not for the faint-hearted. If that’s too much for a mother to witness, visit the ski museum located in the base which explores some 4,000 years of skiing history. Or take the lift to the top of the jump where the viewing terrace is blessed with jaw-dropping views across Oslo and the fjords.
More info: holmenkollen.com
4/10 Go mountain biking
Mud hounds should head out to the Nordmarka Forest, 20-minutes from the city and home to 450km of hiking trails and mountain bike routes. Start at the Voksenkollen metro station where you can hire 24-speed mountain bikes and helmets, grab a map and prepare to get muddy. Follow the blue biking routes which will whizz you through pine forests and along the banks of Oslo’s stunning inland lakes. Don’t trust your teen’s navigating skills? Then check out the various guided mountain bike tours on offer including one which takes in Holmenkollen (not down the ski jump!) and through the stunning Frogner Park, home to Vigeland’s famous ‘Angry Boy’ sculptures.
5/10 Swing through the trees
Come April when the snow has gone, Tryvann is transformed into a glorious summer park with bike and hiking trails and one of Scandinavia’s largest treetop climbing courses. There are nine rope routes in total all with varying degrees of difficulty. From mini-trails set half a metre off the ground for younger nippers, while thrill-seekers with a head for heights can test their wits on the dizzying 20m high treetop trails. Plus there’s nearly a kilometre of zip-lines en route where kids can glide through the forest like grinning bats.
More info: oslosommerpark.no
6/10 Feed the snakes
Older children and teenagers will love the quirky Oslo Reptile Park located in the centre of the city. More a private collection than a zoo, it features over 100 different reptiles, birds and arachnids including snakes, dwarf crocodiles and tarantulas. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly and there’s the chance to get up close and personal with some rarer species such as poison dart frogs and black widow spiders. The best time to visit is Tuesdays at 5pm when it’s feeding time for the in-mates and the ultra-brave have the opportunity to feed rats and rabbits to a boa constrictor. Strong stomachs required.
More info: reptilpark.no
7/10 Witness the history of film-making
Young Spielbergs and fans of Scandinavian crime dramas should head to the interactive film museum at the Norwegian Film Institute. While much of the museum is in Norwegian, it’s still very hands on and is a fascinating tour through the technological history of film making from a Laterna Magika, the original 17th century image projector and daguerrotypes right through to today’s digital projectors. There’s also a cool collection of cutesy folk puppets from Norway’s most famous animated film, Ivo Caprino’s The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix.
More info: nfi.no
8/10 Pull a rabbit out of a hat
Wannabe Dynamos should head to the city’s Akker Brygge district and the teeny tiny Norwegian Museum of Magic. It was opened in 1997 by a collective of magicians as a safe place for their vast collection of posters, programmes and photos. It’s since been built up into a brilliant collection of magic memorabilia with tricks, props and costumes from some of Norway’s magic greats. The downside is it’s only open on a Sunday, but there’s magic show performed every week and a small shop to stock up on cool tricks.
9/10 Be a pop star for a day
Music-obsessed teens will love Popsenteret, a super-cool museum which explores pop music and pop culture through the years. With stacks of interactive experiences including Stage Fright, where you have the chance to perform in front of a huge (virtual) crowd or dress up as your favourite pop star and have your photos taken for your own album cover. But the best part is the chance to re-record ‘Take on me’ by Norway’s most famous export, A-ha, in the on-site studio (other songs are available). Plus all studio recordings and images you produce can be downloaded for free from their website.
More info: popsenteret.no
Take arty teens to see a world-famous piece of art. Munch’s The Scream, stolen twice in the past 30 years, is now housed safely (we hope) in the Munch Museum in Oslo. As one of the pioneers of expressionism, this modern museum houses some 28,000 pieces by the Norwegian-born artist including 1100 paintings (and yes, that one too) along with his private library collection. There are film screenings about his life plus a gift shop to buy yet another Scream poster.